Farewell

I started this whole thing just over ten years ago, while mending a broken heart.  I would drink scotch and just write what was on my mind.

The funny thing is, other people took notice.

Soon after I started the site, I was flooded with readers asking for advice, giving words of encouragement, and offering up rants/music/perspectives, among other things.

While continuing on that path, I also came into contact with various vendors and started doing product reviews.  It was a fantastic gig, but I was soon up to my eyeballs in product with not enough time to review in my spare time and not enough income to make it a full time thing, so I started declining requests and went back to basic posts.

I then met the woman who is now my wife.

What started off as a fantastic couple of dates, became an engagement, and a marriage, and now marriage with two kids (one “shared” and one of our own). Life got busy pretty fast.

Readers kept insisting I get back to product reviews, so I gave in and lined up a few more.  Supplements are my thing, and tech is a fun passion of mine, so the last round of reviews I did were were enjoyable, but I stopped shortly after.   A few vendors wanted video reviews, wanted me to do things I wasn’t comfortable with, and wanted SO much time spend editing and taking action shots or video that it became “un-fun”. Vendors started trying to make influencers out of reviewers and that’s always a biased mess.

By this time, I’d also started getting harassing emails from people that didn’t like my perspectives, didn’t like my advice, and didn’t like my reviews.  I am relatively thick skinned, so it didn’t bother me personally and I didn’t respond to all of them.  The persistence of those I DID respond to was not a great experience, however.  Since 2009, the world has become a place where people begin to despise someone who doesn’t think like they do or see things the way they see them.  Once I shared my conservative leaning views or my Christian beliefs, these “complainers” got vicious. I am a pretty loving guy, and I don’t care what your sexual preference is, what your religion is, or where you lean politically.  I know where I stand on these things and that’s all that matters to me.

I’d get sick  of  fending them off and take a break every now and then and come back refreshed, only to be bombarded with negative emails by these dozen or so people.

I decided today that I’m leaving.  Rather than fend off these “haters” as we once named them, I’ve decided there is way too much beauty in this world to let someone piss on my cornflakes.  I’m taking my adventures and my family and heading out into this world.  I’ll still leave this site up for a bit, but it’ll be a standing home with no one inside.  I may even decide to move this site in addition to my real home…who knows.  It’ll be fun either way.

The world isn’t black and white, there is no great conspiracy to keep people down, the only hate in this world is the hate you “think you feel”, and understand this – people don’t have to pick a side over every little thing.  Just relax and be content in your views, but acknowledge that others may have other views (both good and bad) that don’t jive with yours.  In the end, none of this really amounts to anything.  In the end, it’s between you and God.  Work hard, love, push your limits, and pray.  Life is beautiful and you have been wonderful.

Thanks for the adventures everyone.

Sean

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What about the preworkout?

Fog wrote

I read your post on protein yesterday and was curious, what are your buying tips for finding good preworkout powders?

Fog

Fog

I have 5 rules here:

1. It should taste amazing. So far, nothing has beaten Valhalla Labs’ Fenris Fury in this arena.

2. None of that stevia b.s.- stevia may be a sweetener in theory but I feel it makes things taste nasty. To compensate for “off” taste, manufacturers throw in all sorts of other crap.

3. Nothing less than 4g citrulline, unless there is a equal or greater dose of AAKG in it.

4. No preworkout should cost more than $2 a serving. If it does, you’re paying for marketing and not quality.

5. Buy from A1 Supplements, Suppz, the Manufacturer, or Amazon.

I don’t know if you’re looking for specific brands, but Valhalla Labs and MuscleForce are my two favorite brands in this arena. Black Magic Supply is a close second. As far as taste goes, my motto is nothing lemon tea flavored (they taste like crap) and nothing flavored like cocktails (it won’t taste like the cocktail – and why would you want to combine the taste of alcohol with working out?).

One final thing- do not pour preworkout powder directly into your mouth. It’s insanely corrosive without water and it will kill your tooth enamel.

Good luck.

Sean

Not all protein has to taste “off”

Anonymous wrote:

Hey, I came across this site a few days ago when I saw a link to a post from 2015. I have a question. Is there a protein powder that doesn’t taste “off”? I was doing Beachbody and Isogenix and can’t stand the taste or texture of any of those. Beachbody Cafe Latte is the absolute worst! I tried Thrive (I think that’s what it is called) and couldn’t stop gagging, and the GNC protein is the awful, but their sales people must be brainwashed because they all say it’s delicious. How do you take protein if it tastes like garbage?

Anonymous

Anonymous,

I am no fan of the brands you named either, but different people have different tastes and some of those companies offer more than just protein.

Here are the three brands I swear by:

Dymatize- Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla flavors are good across the board and it mixes and blends well. No amino spiking either.

Sparta Nutrition- Vanilla is an absolute winner and the fruit loopish cereal one is awesome. I like all of their flavors, except the one that is supposed to be like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It’s disgusting. No protein company has gotten that flavor 100% correct.

Outlaw Vanilla Protein- Vanilla and Chocolate taste great and it has CLA for extra fat burning.

No 5lb protein should cost over $59 and buy from manufacturer, on supplement sites like Suppz or A1 Supplements, or Amazon.

As I have said in the past, Vanilla is the standard I measure a protein by because it is the most versatile flavor due to the variety of what it can be blended with it. A crappy Vanilla flavor can throw off an entire smoothie. Over the years, I’ve tried several dozen protein brands and hundreds of flavors. I recommend staying away from GNC brands and BSN as they are often overpriced and have horrible flavors. GNCs AMP Vanilla tastes like burned plastic.

Finally, if you’re a coffee drinker, try Chike protein. Great coffee flavor and very smooth when mixed with milk. I get mine at HyVee.

There are a few other brands out there, and you have to try some samples before committing. Look for sample packs on the manufacturers’ websites for these.

Good luck

Sean

At the end of the world

I was recently lectured for using a plastic straw. Not a 3 foot straw…just a straw. The worst part was the woman that was lecturing me was holding a plastic Starbucks cup.

I’ll let you know right now that I am not a believer in the theory that the world is ending with in 12 years, nor do I believe that the world is in some kind of awful ecological shape. I also don’t fully subscribe to some of the science out there predicting where we will be in the future because of supposed global warming. It’s not that I don’t believe global warming exists, but I don’t think it the man-made portion is anywhere near the magnitude that some scientists say it is.

On the other hand, I do believe in land conservation, sustainable farming practices, and most of all, I believe littering is one of the worst things anyone could do to our earth.

The woman lecturing me rubbed me the wrong way because she epitomizes how I see many “eco-warriors” act today; they want to save the world but are often littering outdoor concert venues, beaches, and other outdoor spaces with their trash rather than putting it in a garbage or recycling can. These “social media ecology warriors” rage against things like plastic straws while rejecting aluminum and steel containers which are more sustainable and less damaging to the environment as plastic or paper (we need those trees). They viciously support moving to solar and wind energy (which are proven to cause massive bird deaths), rather than lobbying to support nuclear energy development and advances, and they flock to large cities which only adds to urban sprawl. They also throw cups/plates/paper products with food waste on it into recycling bins, which can ruin an entire load of recycling. Think about how many times you’ve seen a pizza box in recycling…it cannot be recycled.

Many of these people don’t want to farm, but many want to be a vegan who “sometimes” eats animal products. On the west coast, human waste on the street is washing into the ocean and causing marine die offs because we aren’t fixing a housing crisis – we are expecting taxes to fix a problem that requires an industry shift. I feel if people started passing up Silicon Valley jobs until the companies contributed to affordable housing or if people stopped renting/buying housing in San Fran, L.A. or Mountain View, the market could begin to correct itself.

Finally, these people also support vigorous legislation rather than shifting an industry by encouraging business competition, knowing legislation requires tax money to support it, people to manage it, more paper shuffling, more transportation, and more waste overall.

It’s easy to lecture someone about what you believe in, while not following the same guidelines. It’s easy to “share” a picture or video to try and sway others opinions. It’s not so easy to actually do the right thing and practice long term solutions, is it?

I eat meat & use plastic straws. I don’t always recycle. I don’t compost my food. I make a conscious decision to drive myself rather than taking public transit. I drink water from plastic bottles (sometimes from steel cups). These are all short term decisions. When I look at where we want to be in 12 years or even 30 years, we aren’t making good decisions because we’re doing the trendy thing and not the smart thing.

Before you go on bragging about your eco-progress or start lecturing someone (or supporting disastrous legislation), think about the bigger picture. Ask yourself if your action really fixes the problem long term, or if this going to result in a poorly managed subsequent problem. Support nuclear power (it’s killed less people and animals worldwide than any other energy source), invent something that revolutionizes an industry, learn to farm, recycle properly, eat balanced meals, and for God’s sake, pick up your damn garbage.

Kneel before Zod

PB wrote:

Hi Sean,

I am writing for some advice and hoping you can help. It’s not for me, and I am hoping a friend of mine who knows your blog reads this and sees she is constantly messing up.

SA, let’s call her, is constantly losing a job or quitting them because she feels she was meant for more in life, and the jobs with their rules and regulations, don’t match what she wants to do or follow in her life. Working a holiday? She’ll quit and say it’s because it’s too hard on her. Working long hours? She leaves because it’s for “mental health”. Stressful co-workers (she seems to find them at every job)? She will complain until they quit or she does.

I’ve tried to be understanding, but after 11 years of this, it’s ridiculous. The worst part is, her other friends and acquaintances seem to all coddle her and encourage this behavior rather than showing her it’s wrong and she will never get to where she wants to be if she doesn’t learn.

How else do I help her?

PB

PB,

I know people like this and it’s sad to see them constantly remain on the bottom rung of success in life and see them struggle financially. It’s even more frustrating when friends encourage these people to remain on that path rather than leveling up.

There will always be things you don’t like about any job…I can guarantee it. I love my job, but it’s not sunshine and rainbows every minute of every day. My New Years Eve is often stressful, as are a few other days of the year, and I can guarantee I will have at least 200 emails I will have to respond to if I take more than one day off.

Whatever stresses come my way, I always try to look at the larger perspective and be humble about where I am. If I like what I do, if I like my coworkers, if I am challenged, and if my income needs are being met, I am happy. I don’t care what other people do at work, it’s not up to me to be annoyed by other teams that have loud talkers, or people that spend 45 minutes talking in the breakroom 4 or 5 times a day, or the guys that spend an hour in the bathroom stall on their phones (it’s just gross, but it’s not me making the decision). What IS up to me is to do the best job I can and ensure my team is performing as they should.

I will be asked to work a bit on some days I took off (I took an early morning call while in Vancouver on family vacation), I will work holidays and some evenings, and I will be asked to do things that test my patience and stress me out. That’s life. If someone isn’t willing to give their best self at work, then they won’t have a best self to give outside of work.

Your success in personal life translates to success at work and vice versa. If you’re looking for the world to bend to your will and kneel at your feet, it just doesn’t work that way. Unless you own your own company, you are not going to direct 100% of your path at work and you will have rules, schedules, and managerial hierarchies to live by. Even if you DO your own company, you’re at the will of your customers. If you don’t like it, suck it up and push onward, doing phenomenal work, and move into better positions.

And mental health? Let’s address that part. Is it harder on mental health to have work stress, or to constantly be strapped for cash and unable to afford basics? I’d say not having steady income is much worse on mental health.

I don’t know how to help your friend if her other friends are encouraging her to stay where she is in life. It’s tough when others cannot see the damage they do to others by encouraging people to be less than the best they can be. Personally I see this type of thing quite a bit these days and it’s sad to think there is a piece of the population that feels life is all about them rather than feeling that they have an ability to contribute to something bigger than they are, even if it’s a large corporation. Every company in America is providing a legal good or service to a piece of the population and making those people’s lives greater. It’s wrong to stand in the way of that for selfish reasons.

If she reads this and gets the help she needs, I hope it lasts. If you want to read this to her, go ahead. In the end, the ones that want to be successful in life need to keep focused on churning out great work and being the best they can be, so it is sometimes beneficial to leave these people behind if they become too much of an anchor.

Sean

Half of my life

I turn 41 this month and I am feeling pretty good about it. Life is going well, and despite a few vendors cancelling out on review opportunities, I may have a few more coming.

My fitness routine is still going strong and work is going extremely well. I have an amazing team.

I have lived in MN for almost half of my life now, and it’s been a good ride. Lots of twists and turns have come my way over that time. I have had some heartbreak, some adventures, and I have watched both of my kids come into this world here.

I don’t know what the future will bring, but the 41 years under the bridge have all been a memorable experience.

The parade

Trellis wrote:

Sean,

My family and I had a falling out over Easter and I am hoping you can help. I just met this guy a few weeks ago and I am head over heels in love. It’s love too, I am 24 and know what love is and what it isn’t.

Anyway, I met this guy and he is totally different than my ex husband (yes- 24 and divorced), and he is crazy about me. We just can’t keep our hands off of each other!

We were not making out or anything with my family, but they said we were hanging on each other and making people uncomfortable after I brought him for Easter dinner. I told my mom that he was moving in this week and she got upset. When I fired back to my mom that he was “the one”, she got upset and said I have issues because I’d only been divorced for three weeks and she felt I was moving too fast. I said, “When it’s right, you know it’s right.” We left shortly after and I don’t know what to do. Help!

Trellis

Trellis,

So you’ve been divorced for three weeks and have decided a guy you met a few weeks ago is “the one”? Yikes. No offense, but I sense you’re most likely a train wreck. I am not knocking you feeling your emotions or being really into this guy, but the truth is, no one knows who they really are until 25 or later, so you’re really jumping the gun here. To top that off, you’ve been married before and obviously thought the first dude was worth marrying, so after just three weeks of being divorced, don’t blame your mom for showing concern that you’re moving way too fast. Listen to your parents and slow it down. Your decision making skills and impulse control are definitely lacking.

If whatever you have with this guy is solid, he will understand. Give it several months, and get to know him. Don’t jump into this knee deep in a few short weeks. Get to know him better…not physically, just emotionally/mentally. If you fail to do this, you’ll be twice divorced by 25.

Sean