My favorite on Netflix right now!

Movies

I watch Netflix all the time, about 3 years ago I ditched Cable TV and this is my #1 TV destination. The list below are my favorite on there right now. Sure they have Pulp Fiction, Breaking Bad, House of Cards and Orange is the new Black (I have to admit I’ve never been able to get past the first episode on either of the last two), everyone knows about those. There are a lot of good shows, movies, and documentaries on Netflix right now, might be the most options I’ve ever seen them have. These are a few of my favorites right now.

  1. History of the Eagles, this is a must see especially if you grew up in the 70’s. I wasn’t a big fan back then, but you just don’t see a lot of bands as creative as this. They are far and few between.
  2. Keith Richards: Under the Influence, not a real fan either, but it’s very interesting to see what influenced him to become a musician. I definitely think he’s a lot better guitar player after watching this than I did before doing so.
  3. Narcos, a Netflix original series about Drug Kingpin Pablo Escobar. It’s in English and Spanish something I really like, the characters speaking their own languages so it’s more authentic. If you’re not a fan of subtitles or don’t speak Spanish it might be a challenge to watch.
  4. Galaxy Quest, it’s pretty lame but very entertaining.
  5. Tucker & Dale vs Evil, a couple of backwoods guys unintentionally terrorize a bunch of college students. Very funny and entertaining.
  6. Better Call Saul, yeah I know everyone who watched Breaking Bad knows about this one. It’s really good to see the backstory on Saul and a few of the other Breaking Bad characters. I’m sure we will see more popping up as the series goes on.

5s Your Life

Getting Orginized

I think our lives are filled with clutter, everywhere we look we have things we never use, which obviously means we don’t need them. So why not get rid of them? If we 5s our life we will realize what we really need and easily find those things when we do need them.

So let’s start off by covering what 5s is for those who have never heard of it. Simply put 5s was developed in Japan and identified as one of the techniques that enabled just in time manufacturing. So what does that have to do with your life and where you live? A lot more than you’d think. While going through 5s training for my job it occurred to me that I could use a lot of parts of this process in everyday life as well.

What does 5s stand for? (I crossed out what is work related and added some notes to make it more useful at home.) Feel free to further customize it to work for you.

“Seiri” (“Sort” means eliminating anything that is unnecessary for the equipment to work properly.) See where I’m going here? Start by eliminating anything unnecessary to your every needs in life. 

  • Remove unnecessary items and dispose of them properly.
  • Make work easier by eliminating obstacles.
  • Reduce chance of being disturbed with unnecessary items.
  • Prevent accumulation of unnecessary items.
  • Evaluate necessary items with regard to cost or other factors.
  • Remove all parts not in use.
  • Segregate unwanted material from the workplace.
  • Need fully skilled supervisor for checking on regular basis. At home we’re the ones in charge of making sure we maintain things in order. If you have family members than we need someone to lead this process so that it continues to be effective.
  • Don’t put unnecessary items at the workplace & define a red-tagged area to keep those unnecessary items.
  • Waste removal.

How to use it at home: The first thing we need to do is pick a room or an area in a room that we want to start with. Let’s “sort” what’s in the room or area. What do we know we use or need, what aren’t we sure about and what do we know isn’t needed. Take what’s not needed and sell it, donate it or throw it away.  Place anything we aren’t sure about out in area on the floor (make sure it’s out of the way so no one walks or trips over it) or place all of it on a table. Determine a length of time, let’s say a month. If we haven’t used it during that time, it needs to go. If we know it’s something we use on occasion, let’s store in away neatly in an place we can retrieve it when needed. If there is anything left it should be something that is used often so move it to the area where the everyday items are now located. Organize everything so that it is easily accessible and we can quickly know where it’s place is once we have used it.

Seiton (Set)

  • Can also be translated as “set in order”, “straighten”, or “streamline”
  • Arrange all necessary items so they can be easily selected for use
  • Prevent loss and waste of time
  • Make it easy to find and pick up necessary items
  • Ensure first-come-first-served basis
  • Make workflow smooth and easy
  • All above work should be done on regular basis

How to use it at home: “Set” everything as mentioned about in a way that we can easily see it, use it and know where it goes once we are done. Forget the fancy stuff, keep it simple. Whether it’s a magnetic strip on the wall for knives, a basic container on the counter or tray in a drawer. Don’t get fancy, get something that is simple and does the job. Develop a system where everything is consistent. Whatever it is we are using we store in the same manner, clean if necessary and return it to it’s rightful place immediately after use. Everything setup so that it is easily and quickly accessible.

Seiso (Shine)

  • Can also be translated as “sweep”, “sanitize”, or “scrub”
  • Clean your workplace home completely
  • Use cleaning as inspection
  • Prevent machinery and equipment deterioration
  • Keep workplace home safe and easy to work
  • Keep workplace home clean and pleasing to work be in
  • When in place anyone not familiar to the environment must be able to detect problems in 5 seconds within 50 feet.

How to use it at home: “Shine” clean everything including all surfaces, walls, floors, etc. Create a plan to do so regularly. If you clean up every day it will be very easy to maintain your place neat and organize.

Seiketsu (Standardize)

  • Standardize the best practices in the work area.
  • Maintain high standards of housekeeping and workplace organization at all times.
  • Maintain orderliness. Maintain everything in order and according to its standard.
  • Everything in its right place.
  • Every process has a standard.

How to use it at home: Standardize” Develop and follow a system for everything we do, how we use everything and how we return it to it’s proper place. Truthfully this might a bit rigged for most things so it may not be as practical as others. Some areas where it might apply would be where you need to save time by eliminating the number of times you go back and forth doing something. If  you’re going to clean something make sure you have everything so you don’t lose time going back and forth. Maybe create a list and plan of what you’re going to do when you go grocery shopping, etc. This way you don’t forget something and you can make your way around town as quickly as possible. 

Shitsuke (Sustain)

  • To keep in working order
  • Also translates as “do without being told”
  • Perform regular audits
  • Training and Discipline
  • Training is goal oriented process. Its resulting feedback is necessary monthly

How to use it at home: “Sustain” keep it going and keep improving on it. It’s not going to be perfect nor does it need to be, we just need to keep improving what we started. 

Okay so maybe some of this sounds a bit over the top and compulsive, it doesn’t mean we have to be so strict about it. What it means is that if we apply parts of this or all if you chose we will have a lot less clutter and realize along the way that we don’t need as many things as we think we do in our daily lives. You save time and money freeing you up to do other more enjoyable things.

Slow Cooker Recipe that is KILLER!

Food and Beer

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I found this recipe on the Men’s Health website while googling Muscle Building Crock Pot Recipes. Not sure about the muscle building, but it’s damn good! It was originally posted in 2007 so it’s been around awhile and I imagine the recipe itself is a lot older than that.  I pretty much followed it as is going with the dried thyme, salt pork, chicken legs and chicken stock (4 cups total), but skipped the parsley. Once I bowl it up and am ready to eat it I squeeze a little lemon over it, toss in about a half dozen dashes of Tobasco and I’m good to go. Don’t forget a nice piece of crusty bread to dip in it as well!

The Real Cassoulet

Time: At least 4 hours, mostly unattended

1/2 lb small, dried white beans, such as navy beans

4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 medium onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 cups chopped tomatoes with the juice (canned are fine)

3 or 4 sprigs thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme

2 bay leaves

1/4 lb slab bacon or salt pork

Chicken stock or water, as needed

4 links Italian sausage

1 lb boneless pork shoulder

2 duck or chicken legs

Salt and black pepper

1 Tbsp minced garlic

Chopped fresh parsley leaves

  1.  Combine the beans, crushed garlic, onion, carrots, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and bacon in a slow cooker. Add stock to cover by 2 inches; set the heat to high.
  1.  Meanwhile, brown the sausage, pork, and duck legs in a skillet, one after the other. (There won’t be room to cook them all at once.) Add them to the simmering beans.
  1.  When the beans are tender, add salt and pepper to taste, along with the minced garlic. Garnish with the parsley and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings

Per serving: 510 calories, 39 grams (g) protein, 46 g carbohydrates, 18 g fat (6 g saturated), 9 g fiber, 624 milligrams (mg) sodium

I’ve made zero progress since…..

Getting Orginized

the last post which was a longtime ago. I had started a new job so I never really got into the cleaning overhaul like I had planned. I’m now back to giving it another try. I recently took a Lean Manufacturing seminar and 5s’d my desk at work so I think I can apply a lot of that to me personal surroundings as well. That said let’s see if we can make some progress this time around.

So how did I get here?

Getting Orginized

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I’m not exactly sure when I became so disorganized, but it’s been a long time.  Come to think of it, it might go all the way back to childhood.  For the most part there are two times in my life where being this way really stand out.  Although there are others I remember and probably more I’ve forgotten.  I’ve always cleaned up my place on occasion and if I know someone is coming over I’ll clean up well enough to make it look like it is regularly cleaned.  This usually involves stuffing things in every closet and drawer I can put anything into.

I always think of Pulp Fiction when Winston Wolfe shows up at Jimmy’s house to help clean up Marvin from the back seat of Jules’ car after Vincent accidentally shot him in the face.  He tells them how to clean out the car, but that it doesn’t have to be spic n’ span, “you don’t have to eat off of it” he says.  And how they are going to camouflage the inside of the car with blankets so if a cop stops them the subterfuge won’t last, but at a glance the car will appear to be normal.  That’s pretty much how I see it.  At work when telling employees to clean up I always use some variation of the lines from that scene.  Yeah I manage people and part of the job involves making sure the work area is clean at all times.  I always think that if I were paid to keep my house clean I’d keep it clean.

The two most memorable times I think of when it comes to my disorganization involved women of coarse. The first one I had been dating for a while and had known her for a few years at that point.  I hadn’t seen her in a few days, I think we may have gotten into an argument and stayed away from each other.  I was lounging around one afternoon when someone knocked on the door, I looked out the peephole and there she was.  I actually felt panicked; I couldn’t possibly clean up a mess that was days in the making in a matter of seconds. I couldn’t even walk a straight line to the door so there was no way I was going to let her see it. She knew I was home, but finally gave up and left.  That pretty much was the end of that relationship, there was other stuff, but that didn’t help.  She had come over often, but this time she caught me off guard.  Had she called ahead of time and let me know she was on here over I might have had a chance at making it look clean.  Then again maybe if I wasn’t so damn disorganized and messy it wouldn’t have mattered.

Anyway thinking back it’s unbelievable how much of a mess I made in just a few days while she was not around.  To this day I’m still very capable of doing that, I’m a pro at it.  Unfortunately the other time that comes to mind I can’t go into detail about, but I really wish my house hadn’t been a complete mess that day.  That time it was pretty bad come to think of it.  It’s a pretty funny story actually, maybe one day I can revisit that one.  Living with someone has definitely been a challenge too, keeping the place clean has always been a debate in those situations.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like you walk into the place and have to step over stuff that is 3 feet deep.  It just gets messy fast and I let it go until I have no choice but to clean it up. This can happen within a day or so, it doesn’t take weeks. The quick cleans have created another problem, which is trying to find something when I need it.  I put things everywhere and it can be next to impossible to find it later.  It can take days to find something if I ever do and I end up making a mess in the process.  It’s like Groundhog Day it just keeps happening over and over.  Then if I don’t find something I need, I end up buying another one even though I know I have it somewhere.

I think it’s time I improve on this and stay consistent at it going forward.  So my plan is to get rid of as much stuff as I can in the process making it easier to keep things in order.  I’m not sure if I want to call it being a minimalist, but it definitely seems to be the direction I need to head in.