Charlie's Blog: December 2023


The Not-To-Do List

“Not-to-do” lists are often more effective than to-do lists for upgrading performance. The reason is simple: what you don’t do determines what you can do.

I don't always agree with Tim Ferriss, but I do appreciate Tim Ferriss. He has some good ideas, and I think his best idea is the Not-To-Do List. For most people, doing more is what they are after. They never stop to consider doing less. Subtraction belongs in the toolbox of your life, and I can say that removing things from my life has helped me. Here are the items on my personal Not-To-Do List.

1. Stop watching sports.

I do not watch sports or follow sports. This was not always the case, but I came to this decision in stages. I cancelled my cable TV subscription, and I deleted the preset for the sports radio station from my Walkman. I don't keep up with any of it now. In life, you can watch others do things, or you can do things yourself. For me, time to watch a game is better spent going for a walk.

2. Stop pursuing hobbies.

I define a hobby as the serious pursuit of a worthless activity. I do have worthless activities that I do for momentary fun like playing the kazoo or drawing things on the back of junk mail. I watch birds sometimes from the back step. But I don't go beyond this stuff into serious wastes of time and money like ham radio or car collecting. I definitely don't hunt, fish, or play golf.

3. Stop doing things that you are not good at doing.

This is a corollary to the hobby thing. I gave up guitar playing when I accepted that I was not very good at playing guitar. I switched to the kazoo because I could be just as annoying at a fraction of the cost. I also don't listen to people who think I should do podcasts or a YouTube channel. I am a good writer, but I am not a good speaker. My TBI has only exacerbated this for me. I also stopped writing fiction and poetry. I stick to non-fiction blogging.

4. Torch your bucket list.

I am never going to climb Everest or run a marathon or complete a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. I think all bucket lists are vanity. The only thing I want to do before I die is to be in a state of grace in order to go to Heaven. I don't think dying and becoming a popsicle on Everest is going to help me on that.

5. Stop trying to change other people.

When it comes to other people's problems, I am mostly indifferent. This is because these problems are usually self-inflicted, and people are not going to do what it takes to fix those problems. I pray for people and will give advice if they ask for it. Otherwise, I mind my own business. I have my own problems.

6. Stay off of social media.

Ever since kicking my Twitter addiction some years ago, I vowed to never allow myself to become addicted to social media again. I have kept that vow. Social media is a waste of life.

7. Stop extroverting.

I am an introvert. I can fake being an extrovert when I need to do that, but I am playing out of my position when that happens. I prefer a quiet mode of existence. Consequently, I don't go out to bars and cafes or attend parties and social functions except when it is required. I find people exhausting. My TBI has only exacerbated this for me. I don't care to change this.

8. Stop consuming bad information.

I try to listen to both sides of an argument or an issue. At some point, I have made up my mind, and I can tune out the wrong side. I am never going to become a Protestant again, join the Eastern Orthodox, or go atheist. Similarly, I am never going to become a Marxist. I am not going to become a carnivore meathead or take up triathlon. Knowing these things allows me to ignore a lot of useless blabber.

That's it for my Not-To-Do list. As you get older, you realize how precious time can be. This motivates you to stop wasting it. The Not-To-Do list is a great way to stop wasting time.


Shoes and Socks

DISCLAIMER: I am not a podiatrist or shoe expert. This is just a personal testimonial concerning what I wear on my feet for walking. Consult with podiatrists and experts before buying footwear.

It's gotta be the shoes.

The athletic footwear market is a 100+ billion dollar industry. That's a big number of shoes sold. $15 billion comes from the sale of running shoes. I won't get into socks. As for walking shoes, I don't know.

I wear shoes out of necessity. I don't think shoes have magic properties, but they do protect my feet. When I was a teenager, I took up walking briefly to help lose some weight. I had some paper thin soled boating shoes I wore while walking on the concrete sidewalk. My legs and feet felt like someone had taken a sledgehammer to them. I switched to some thick soled knock off brand running shoes from Walmart, and my legs and feet improved considerably. The lesson I learned from that experience was that I need that slab of foam underneath my feet especially on concrete.

I don't think you need special or expensive shoes for walking. The shoes I walk in now are essentially the same as those cheap Walmart shoes I wore briefly as a kid. I wear New Balance 608s preferably in white. They cost $50-60 on Amazon. I know when I need to replace them because I get that sledgehammer attack feeling in my legs at the 500 mile mark. Here is a picture of those shoes:

The Gentle Reader will recognize these as "dad shoes." Many of the old men in my town wear these shoes. I suppose this makes me an old man, too. They are basic, yet they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn in my life. These shoes are without gimmicks which brings me to the main point I want to make in this post.

Gimmick shoes are the ones that have some "extra" thing that makes them better than my plain shoes. These gimmicks also make them more expensive. One of those gimmicks for the last decade has been the minimalist barefoot shoes that promise to promote a more natural foot strike. Runners have taken to these shoes in the vain hope for finding a remedy for their running injuries. I recommend switching to walking. I do not think human beings were designed for long distance running, but I do think they were designed for long distance walking. Aside from a couple of blisters, I have experienced no injuries with walking.

Another gimmick has been the swing to the other extreme with maximalist shoes with gigantic stacked soles. I call these "Frankenstein shoes." I suspect they do help with injuries, but I think they are excessive especially when you look at the price tag.

The other gimmick shoes have weird construction. For instance, shoes with air cushions (and a famous swoosh) work good until you hit a tack. Then, they make a weird sound as you push out air through the puncture with each step. Another new line of shoes have little empty pockets under the sole to act as shock absorbers. Then, there are the rocking chair walking shoes with curved soles that are supposed to help propel you forward with each step. At the end of the day, I want the slab of foam. You can keep the gimmicks which I think are aimed at depriving you of hard earned money.

I suspect that trail shoes are gimmicks, too. I love walking on trails, but I wear the same NB 608 shoes I wear for everywhere else. I noticed early on that trail shoes were essentially the same as the road shoes except with different aesthetics on the upper. Later, they made the soles a bit grippier like off road tires for a truck. This was supposed to help for gnarly and technical terrain. I don't do that type of walking. If I did, I would switch to a good pair of hiking boots. I am not a hiker, so I save my money.

The one thing I do that seems unique to me is that I wear thick socks with my walking shoes. My socks are Thorlos running socks that only come up to the ankle. Here is a picture:

I love these socks. I wear them to protect against rubbing and blisters. They also add another layer of cushion to my dad shoes. My philosophy is that you will do a thing more if you are comfortable doing it. I walk mainly because my shoes and socks are comfortable.

My only beef with shoes is having to buy a new pair every six months. I don't think this fact of life will ever change. Everything has a downside. But this brings me to another thing I like about my New Balance shoes. They don't change. I buy the same brand and model every time in the same color. I may switch colors if they are cheaper, but the basic white ones tend to be the lowest cost. My two pairs of basic shoes each year still cost less than a single pair of gimmick shoes.

Shoes and socks come down to individual preference. Some folks like a tighter shoe with thin socks. I think everyone would benefit from finding a basic shoe that is inexpensive paired with a comfortable pair of socks. Aim for comfort. I think that is the most important thing. If you're not comfortable doing it, you will stop doing it.

UPDATE: I came across this article on maximalist running shoes aka Frankenstein shoes.

The Padded Paradox: The Cost Of Cushioned Running Shoes

Science aside, many runners find that max running shoes feel great—like soft, bouncy moon boots or like the shoe is doing the work for you. But highly cushioned shoes are not actually linked to lower levels of impact than traditional running shoes; in fact, they come with a higher vertical average load rate and vertical instantaneous loading rate—both of which promote overuse injuries like stress fractures and plantar fasciitis, research published in 2015 in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise revealed.

A 2018 study published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine also showed that runners exhibited increased impact forces and loading rates—variables that have been associated with a higher risk of running-related injuries—in maximal shoes versus neutral shoes. The authors wrote that runners who are new to running in a maximal shoe may be at an increased risk of injury.

My takeaway from this is that running is always the primary cause of running injuries. The shoes make no difference. This is a good reason to WALK in sensible shoes. Avoid the gimmick shoes.


The Tragedy of Micah True

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, personal trainer, or healthcare professional. These are just my opinions. Consult a physician before starting any exercise program.

I don't want anyone to do anything except come run, party, dance, eat, and hang with us. Running isn't about making people buy stuff. Running should be free, man.

Micah True was 58 when he died. He outlived Jim Fixx by six years. Like Fixx, True was an avid runner. In fact, he was an extreme ultrarunner and the hero in Born To Run known as "Caballo Blanco." True also died like Fixx from a bad ticker. True's heart was enlarged and showed evidence of scarring. It is the contention of Dr. James O'Keefe that running killed Micah True. I agree with O'Keefe.

James O'Keefe presented his argument concerning True's death in this Ted Talk. I highly recommend watching the whole thing, but I will summarize it here. It is possible to take endurance exercise too far. You can have too much of a good thing. Micah True was a perfect experiment in this regard as he ran for many years for extremely long distances. True described himself as a "trail running bum" similar to surf bums and climbing bums who spend the bulk of their days pursuing their passions. All that running took a toll on his heart. Naturally, there are those who differ with O'Keefe on this theory. These people are in denial.

Exercise is like anything else. You need exercise, but you don't want to overdo that exercise. It is all tied to the dosage. For Micah True, he took an overdose. That shatters a myth that I suspect the editors at a certain running publication would like to keep intact. High mileage running and marathons sell a lot of stuff. I can't help but draw a parallel between these running purveyors and tobacco company executives in denial about the hazards of their products. Micah True got it wrong. Running is totally about making people buy stuff.

The Gentle Reader already knows where I stand on this issue. I think walking is better than running. Plus, I don't make a red cent off of that opinion. I have no financial conflicts of interest when it comes to this debate. Unfortunately in life, where people stand on things usually depends upon where they are getting their money.

I am tempted often to devote a project entirely to a single topic of interest because this would increase traffic to that project and also advertising prospects. Unfortunately, I think being a single topic blogger is a hazard to objectivity. I have the freedom to present the empirical evidence and even change my mind on an issue because I haven't built my living on the thing.

I think running is an overrated and oversold activity. Because of this, people pursue it when they shouldn't while others are discouraged by it and remain on the couch. Walking is the middle path. Exercise doesn't have to be extreme to be beneficial.

Show me the bodies.

UPDATE: I have really enjoyed reading the combox comments on the O'Keefe video, Run for your life! At a comfortable pace, and not too far: James O'Keefe at TEDxUMKC. Here is a selection of the ones I liked the best:

I have been an endurance athlete/triathlete my entire life. My perfect Saturday was a 45-mile bike ride, followed by an 8-mile run with a 5 hours rest afterwards and then an afternoon masters swim chased with several pints at the La Jolla Brewing Co. I always thought that my activity would make me bulletproof, and I'd live to be 100. 2 years ago, after a vigorous masters swim in the lead lane with an ex-olympian, holding times that I would be proud of in my 20's and 30's,- I went home, had a sandwich, sat down at my desk and (with no prior history - family or otherwise) had a heart attack. They told me it was SCAD (Spontaneous Coronary Arterial Dissection) It was a super rare type of heart attack that effects women having a baby (90%) and endurance athletes (10% male). It floored me. I asked my Cardiologist "what caused this?" he said - "I don't know". I asked, "Will it happen again?"  he said - "I don't know". I now hang in the back, I am at about 65% of where I was 3 years ago, I take long walks and am enjoying the view from the middle/back of the pack. I'll be 60 next year, and I know my kids would like to see another 40 more.


What a wonderfully informative presentation. This avoidance of high intensity for long periods is also shown in Mafetone program. At 63 I thought I had a responsibility to push myself harder to give myself the best shot at a long healthy life. Not now, I am going to keep the intensity down and settle for plenty of low intensity exercise.


This is one of the best talks when it comes to exercise and safety.


Thank you for this lecture. I kind of suspected that the law of diminishing returns, which applies to everything else in life, would apply to exercise as well. Thanks for going over the evidence for this.


I'm an avid walker.  I love to walk.  Sometimes I even enjoy a nice run or some hill climbs.  The runners in my life don't understand.  They're into their best time.  Training for that next race.  We don't understand each other.  I walk to lower my stress and be happy.  I hope it does good things for my heart.


Much of this information, in bits and pieces, has been around for decades but the good doctor FINALLY puts together a sensible way to look at how we should approach our exercise habits in accordance with the older and, now, the newer research. His presentation style is low-key and comforting...


Wow. This blew my mind. Completely contrary to what conventional wisdom has fed us for the last 30 years. Thank you for sharing.


I have been an endurance athlete for about 10 years now training for Ironman triathlons off and on...and I have definitely noticed some negative health related things that occur when my training time periods rise above a certain level.


Fantastic talk. I certainly believe our bodies are not designed for endurance sports.


I felt my heart relaxing while listening to his speech. Nice indeed.


This opened my eyes a bit. The word I'll take from this is - Moderation! Life in moderation is healthier. Being efficient and optimal is more important than overdoing things. From now on I'll eat moderately, exercise adequately, and enjoy work. Thank you!!


everything he said was true and backed by solid data. Thank god we finally have people like this changing the ignorant face of exercise.


Brilliant!!! Everything in moderation has always been the best advice.


Amazing!   The readers of runners world won't be happy about this study.  Apparently for maximum health you should be running 2 times a week, roughly no more than 10-15 miles per week.  WOW!


This research is consistent with centenarians.  For example, Jeanne Calment only rode her bike around town.  Not to far and not too fast.  She started riding her bike at 3 years old and did so until 110 years old.  She lived to 122.  The centenarian Greeks also did a lot of low impact exercise such as shepherding sheep up hills.


Years go by, but this speech remains true.


This is an amazing Ted talk with robust scientific data that shakes the very foundation of endurance athletics . Thanks.


I was a devotee of Jim Fixx; studied his book,  "The Complete Book of Running" .  And, was shocked when he dropped dead while running.  Luckily I never had time to become more compulsive than a couple of half-marathons, and years of 7 miles on the weekends (with, of course 3 mile normals)


My friend's husband was a passionate cyclist pushing it every day. Very fit, looking great, full of life, good job as an engineer etc - perfect life you'd think. He died on his bike in his 60s, heart attack... She was absolutely devastated and felt cheated, how come, he was so fit etc... Now we hear more and more of pro athletes collapsing and dying suddenly. I think society is becoming more aware now but we need to take this message further, exercise is like water, you don't hydrate, you die, you overhydrate, you die. That's why I enjoy being a couch pot... no, I'm kidding :) I enjoy mixing my training with strength training, I'll do 20-30min of moderate to high cardio + 20-30 min of strength training. That way I feel good. When I was pushing my cardio too much I noticed I was sick all the time and I didn't feel that well most of the time, usually tired. The problem is that intensive cardio past 50--60 min is like a drug, you get high from it, it feels great for a second, you're the king of the world but like every drug that makes you high, it can be very dangerous.


By Cracky James O'Keefe just told me that I should be doing exactly what I have been doing, I walk moderately twice a day 40 miniutes and a few other activities.   I used to run marathons and exercise like a fanatic, but burned out, good thing too.


GREAT talk by Dr. James O'Keefe. Brings to mind the tragic story of Jimm Fixx = author of the Complete Book of Running - only to die in 1984 from jogging with multivessel disease on autopsy - which is eerily similar to Micah True's story (Caballo Blanco) that Dr. O'Keefe describes. It makes sense that some exercise is good - moderate exercise is better - but extreme exercise (done repetitively without rest) may be fatal.


Kenneth Cooper's "Aerobics" in 1968 was the first wave in the running craze. He cautioned in his  book, the benefits of running are many but if you run more than 3.2 miles you are doing it for reasons other than health


the middle way is the right way, thank you for sharing this life saving insight


The scientific confirmation of the common sense approach to exercise.


To live intensely can put you in a hospital.  The problem is not dying. It's hanging on with diminished health.  I'm 74 and walk a lot.


Genius and Common Sense together.


Clearly there is a difference between health and fitness performance.


Not a surprise heavy-duty runners don't like to hear this message.  What it doesn't take into account is the pyschological/mental aspects of vigorous exercise.  Some people don't want to slow down or reduce the amount of exercise because they don't feel as good as with their current dosage of activity.  Hard to go from Type A behavior/personality to Type B.  Runners, in particular, often have a hard time "cross-training".  They have a hard time getting mental boost from exercise if it's not long enough or fast enough.  Often, can't comprehend how they could have underlying health conditions with all of the exercise they get, especially when they feel great.  The "invincible" shield takes hold, as seen in some of the previous comments here, where one has the attitude of, "I'm not hurt and I feel awesome, so I can keep doing this for the rest of my life".


Thanks. I rate this as the best TED talk ever. Evidence-based, sound reasoning, well presented, and taking action on what's presented will have massive benefits to those who do so. Great work! You pulled together a lot of high quality studies into a succinct presentation.


The 45 people who disliked this video are obviously marathon runners in denial.


Runners will not like this video.  However, Caballo Blanco ran 150-160 miles a week, and the state medical examiner’s office has determined the cause of Caballo Blanco's death as idiopathic cardiomyopathy, a heart ailment.


When my father was in his 50's he ran several marathons and ended up being diagnosed with idiopathic cardiomyopathy.  Marathon running is not good for the heart.


very controversial topic but i think theres increasing data to support this guy. as an excercise enthusiast, i hate hearing this stuff too. its a shame but... probably gotta cut it back. 2-3 mile jogs humming along at 8 min/miles several times a week is the way to go. nice moderate pace swims 20-30 mins and that's it.


lol my knees regulate my heart damage.  Thank you.


I almost wanted to hate him for his message until he said "Don't shoot the messenger"


Shared this video with a runner and he wasn't happy.


Why run? Because it feels so good when I stop!


I hate running,walking is my thing


Batman Versus The Punisher

In certain extreme situations, the law is inadequate. In order to shame its inadequacy, it is necessary to act outside the law to pursue a natural justice. This is not vengeance. Revenge is not a valid motive. It’s an emotional response. No, not vengeance, punishment.

On the face of it, Batman and the Punisher are identical characters. Bruce Wayne lost his mother and father to a senseless crime when he was a child. Likewise, Frank Castle lost his family to another senseless crime. Both mourn the loss of their loved ones. The differences between the two men are their responses to crime, and their philosophies about those responses. Yes, these are just comic book characters, but they reflect the real world.

Batman has been tempted to the style of vigilantism of the Punisher. This was shown in the movie, Batman Begins, when Bruce Wayne brought a gun to the courtroom to kill the man that murdered his parents. Instead, someone else kills the man for different reasons cheating Bruce of pulling the trigger himself. Wayne has a moment of clarity and chooses a different path. Without a target, he chooses to go after crime and corruption in general but to also refrain from becoming the thing he is fighting against.

Frank Castle responds by gunning up and inflicting punishment and revenge on the same criminals that Batman fights. The difference is that Castle kills the crimlnals. He is enforcer, judge, jury, and executioner. He takes upon himself the roles that do not belong to him. This is justified because of the "inadequacies" of the system. The Punisher sees himself as the perfect dispenser of justice. I wonder if he hasn't killed some innocent bystanders along the way making him the same as the criminals he kills.

We live in the world of Gotham City right now, and we always have. Crime and corruption have always been with us and will be here until the Second Coming. Until then, we have to preserve the order even if this is imperfect. Batman understands this. His efforts are meant to reinforce what good remains in the urban corruption. The Punisher wants to burn it all down to satisfy something personal inside of himself. The problem is that crime is not the solution to crime.

We have punishers today. These are the ones who take preemptive action against the "guilty." They make broad judgments about entire groups of people, and they scorch the earth in their desire to exterminate the guilty. This already happens in war zones in foreign countries. Many of our service members have chosen to become war criminals. Some even wear the Punisher's symbol on their uniforms and equipment. Stateside, many wish to fulfill their own fantasies of inflicting punishment on criminals without all that due process crap.

Batman is not the same as the Punisher. In the stories I like, Batman works in cooperation with law enforcement as represented by Commissioner Gordon. Batman is not a vigilante so much as a deputy police officer and concerned citizen. His personal decision to not use guns and kill criminals is Batman's way of keeping vigilante impulses in check. Bruce Wayne's personal desire is to hang up the cape and leave it to the authorities. The reality is that your police depend upon the support of the public.

Anyone can be Batman in our society today. This doesn't require a special costume or a Batmobile. It could be something small as serving on a neighborhood watch and keeping your eyes open to criminal activities. For years, America's Most Wanted put away bad guys by tapping into the power of the public. To a lesser extent, we can be Batman by being good parents, good teachers, and law abiding citizens. Ultimately, law and order are what make the world a better place not vigilantes with guns and anger. Law and order demands good institutions and good people. Undermining these things is counterproductive.

Saint Paul makes this point in Romans 13:1-4,

Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation. For princes are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good: and thou shalt have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to thee, for good. But if thou do that which is evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is God's minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil.

Authority comes from God especially the authority of law enforcement. The power of the police comes less from their guns than from their badges that represent the special and God ordained function they serve in society. A vigilante like the Punisher undermines all of that. He steals an authority that does not belong to him. Without a basis in God and morality, justice is shredded to bits as violence replaces morality. In the long term, this leads to anarchy and chaos.

The vigilante argument is that our institutions and our culture are failing. This is true. Batman deals with this problem in Gotham City. There is nothing light and sunny about Gotham. This is what makes Batman the most realistic comic book. Gotham City is the world corrupted by original sin. This is what makes the Batman myth so appealing to a conservative and a Catholic such as myself. This world will never be Heaven, but you can keep it from becoming Hell.

The fundamental difference between Batman and the Punisher is that Batman has patience. The Punisher lacks this patience. Frank Castle just wants immediate satisfaction. We can see this lack of patience at play today. People want to lose their tempers and get stupid. This rashness on their part never solves problems or makes things better. They just make things worse. It also fundamentally tells God that you can do a better job than the Almighty.

The last thing about the Punisher is an inability to acknowledge his own need to be moral and upright. At the end of the day, Frank Castle is just a criminal with a different agenda. He's not the good guy. He is called an "antihero" because he kills killers. And that is what galls people. It is the idea that even criminals are made in the image of God and deserving of some basic level of dignity. The Punisher does not believe this. Along the way, he loses his own soul. He becomes that which he hates. Castle is a tragic figure in this regard.

Don't be the Punisher. Be Batman. Make the world a better place instead of settling the score. Leave justice to the authorities. Leave vengeance to God.



I think happiness is overrated. Satisfied, at peace-those would be more realistic goals.

Something is overrated when it does not live up to the hype it receives. That doesn't make it a bad thing. It just means that it does not live up to expectations because those expectations were too high. Conversely, a thing that is underrated is a pleasant surprise. It did not receive the credit it deserves. Here are some things I find overrated and underrated.


Carhartt makes good stuff, but it carries the reputation of indestructibility that is undeserved. Aside from double knee duck canvas pants, Carhartt pants last about as long as a pair of Dockers. I bought some pairs back in 2012, and they were disintegrated by the end of the decade. They were comfortable, and I did not wear them for work but just for casual wear.


I bought some Dickies pants for work back in 2005. I still have those pants and still wear them. There has been some light mending and a patch or two, but those pants have been indestructible. These would be the polyester pants they make like the 874. When it comes to work wear for actual work, you can't go wrong with Dickies.

OVERRATED: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Ever since the beginning of UFC back in the nineties, every bro on the planet has looked to BJJ as the ticket to badassery in the fighting arts and for self-defense. BJJ is fine for MMA competitions but is horrible for real world self-defense. I watched one video of a BJJ black belt who weighed 155 roll with an untrained opponent who was almost 7 foot tall and 450 pounds. The big guy owned the little guy. In another video, an untrained karate guy beat an opponent at BJJ simply by standing up. Basically, if you refuse to grapple with a BJJ guy, they can't do anything with you. Finally, who wants to roll with a dude in a filthy and dangerous parking lot with the possibility that his friends may join in the action and kick your head in? I also don't see women using BJJ for self-defense against stronger and bigger men. BJJ is a sport not a system for self-defense.


Krav Maga is my placeholder for all real world self-defense systems including those that don't carry the Krav Maga name. For me, Krav Maga is more of a philosophy than a system which allows additions, innovations, and variations as its founder, Imi Lichtenfeld envisioned it. Keyboard warriors will claim that Krav Maga doesn't work. When does an eye gouge or a kick to the groin not work? Finally, what does work? BJJ? I go with the system used by the IDF, the military, and the police around the world. 

OVERRATED: The Keurig Coffeemaker

Convenience is expensive. The Keurig is proof of this. This overpriced machine with its pricey and wasteful K-cups takes the same coffee you could brew with a Mr. Coffee and makes it easy to make a single cup without having to use a measuring spoon. That small inconvenience is all that you're skipping. Meanwhile, instant coffee is there for people who want that single cup without the expense. You will need to measure the instant coffee with the same spoon you will use to stir the cream and sugar. The Keurig exists for the stupid and the lazy.


The Chemex is a big glass bottle and a paper funnel. It is not a convenient way to make coffee, but I think it makes the most delicious cup you can get with pour over coffee. It even does a good job making cheap coffee taste good. It is also more sanitary and easier to clean than a machine.

OVERRATED: Literary fiction

I have read both Steinbeck and Hemingway. I don't see the big deal about their stories. When literature becomes "art," it means it is boring and empty. I won't say the same for works produced before the 20th century like Twain or Melville or Dumas. In those days, people just wrote stuff people wanted to read. They weren't trying to win a Nobel Prize.

UNDERRATED: Genre fiction

The biggest selling writer of the last century is Agatha Christie. She is second to the Holy Bible in terms of sales. I doubt any English professors are lecturing on her work. The same goes for Tolkien, Spillane, and L'Amour. Like it or not, genre fiction is what people want to read. People enjoy those stories. They are beloved.

OVERRATED: Arnold Schwarzenegger

This guy only made two good movies in his life playing a homicidal robot. The rest of his catalog of work pales in comparison. Yet, he is considered the king of action movies.

UNDERRATED: Kurt Russell

Kurt Russell is now getting respect for his body of outstanding work. Big Trouble in Little China is his best work, but he shined in everything else he has ever done. As far as I know, he did it all without steroids or a martial arts black belt. Kurt is the blue collar action hero for the rest of us.

OVERRATED: Sherlock Holmes

When people think of detectives, Sherlock Holmes springs immediately to mind with the pipe and the deerstalker cap. Holmes is the classic genius detective who solves cases with superior intellect. His feats are amazing, but he is not so likable as a character even with his eccentricities.


Lt. Columbo played by Peter Falk is my favorite detective. This is because he is fundamentally blue collar with the raincoat, cigar, and junky car. Columbo solves cases not by genius but by not giving up. He comes across as dumb, but he simply keeps asking questions until he gets the answers. He is also humble and down to earth. The Columbo shows are a real joy to watch.


I am talking about the classic Army style jeeps not the modern SUVs. These offroad vehicles are horrible to drive and are worthless for getting work done. They exist primarily as toys for people who go into the wilderness to flip them over and get them stuck somewhere.

UNDERRATED: Work trucks

These trucks could be Fords, Dodges, Chevys, Toyotas, Nissans, etc. The thing they have in common is plainness and utility. This is opposed to the shiny new versions of these vehicles that people drive as status symbols. Go to the parking lot at Lowe's or Home Depot to see some real work trucks. If you're worried about getting a scratch on it, it isn't a work truck.


Netflix is like the Keurig. It is convenient but expensive. You get to watch movies at your convenience unless they are on another streaming service. Otherwise, you are paying rent on entertainment with most of it not worth watching. You also need great internet. Good luck if you live in the country.


When DVDs came out, I climbed aboard. I already loved CDs, so I was a natural fit for DVDs. I like physical media especially used DVDs from the thrift store. We have a library of these videos that we watch at our convenience, and the price is less than a streaming service. DVDs are taking a hit as people move to streaming, but I think people will come back to the discs just like they have with vinyl records, cassette tapes, CDs, and physical books.

OVERRATED: Apple Macbooks

Apple is more of a cult than a company. I think they make overpriced junk products they sell to a bunch of brainwashed fools. The Macbook is the best product the company makes because you can use it for work. It costs thousands depending upon which version you get and becomes worthless in two years.

UNDERRATED: Chromebooks

Chromebooks are derided for not being real computers, but they are a fraction of the cost of a Macbook and enables you to do what most people use computers for which is going on the internet. They boot up fast and last a long time. You can get expensive and durable versions, but we had one that lasted over 7 years that was the basic plastic model made by Samsung.

OVERRATED: Disneyworld

I lived for 5 years in Orlando, Florida, and I never went to Disneyworld. I am not a kid, and I find the park ridiculous and stupid. This was before it went totally woke. Now, I wouldn't even recommend it for families. Additionally, the bulk of your time will be spent standing in line trying not to soil your pants as the wait time exceeds the capacity of your bladder and colon.


I joke that Gatorland is Redneck Disneyworld. I think they may have jazzed up the place over the years, but I remember it being a quiet place filled with snakes and gators who just sort of sat there doing nothing. There are some shows with gator wrestling, but I found that I enjoyed just looking at animals that could kill me. Gatorland began a love in me for roadside attractions that are kitschy and cheap fun.

That's it for Overrated/Underrated. I think I will have future installments of this type of thing. Be sure to tune in again, and don't fall for the hype.