Stay Strong. Treat Yourself. Treat Someone Else, Support Small Business

This stay at home thing is really getting old. Every day is the same, the concept of time no longer exists, and we’ve never watched so much television. One thing is for certain though – every day starts with a hot cup of coffee.

I had a woman contact me last week to make her a men’s shirt design on a women’s tee. In her conversation to me, she expressed genuine excitement for the shirt, but felt an underlying guilt purchasing an item like this while millions are suffering. I totally understood her and often felt similar while buying “non-essentials.”

Being stuck in your house for this long has extreme negative effects, one of them being mental health. People deal with it in different ways depending on severity. The truth is, if you can afford to and you are fortunate enough to be able to, purchasing something for yourself is a good thing. Or you may consider buying for someone else who might be having a tough time, especially if you buy through a small business.

While corporate giants like Amazon have stopped delivering non-essential items quickly, small businesses are eager and motivated to get their products out to you as soon as possible. You are able to help yourself or someone else with a fun, thoughtful gift, while helping struggling small businesses stay alive.

I write this not so that you order from us. We are fortunate enough to be doing OK during this pandemic. I write this so that you order from any small business – both local and online.

New Mad Max Onesie

During the next few weeks, I will be putting out a bunch of new designs.  Last week was super busy as I had put out a few new shirts and a new onesie.

After numerous requests, I have taken my Mad Max design and put it on a onesie.  The result was totally awesome:

This is now available in our Etsy Shop, eBay Store, and at supersweetshirts.com.

Beginner Guide to Cutting the Cord

    Three years ago when I purchased my house, we signed up for Direct TV.  As time went on, it would eat away at me that I only watched one thing on it.  All of those channels that I would never ask for if given the choice, and nothing worth watching.  I had to get rid of it.  Almost $80.00 a month was just being thrown out the window.  I just wanted to pay for what I wanted, but of course that isn’t an option.  Or is it?  With a little effort, you can get the exact set-up you want, and tell your TV provider to piss off.


What To Think About When Deciding If This is For You.
    You all know what you watch.  You know what’s important to you and you all have your shows.  Or maybe you watch sports religiously.  You may have a local team that you watch that they only show on cable.  When you make this decision, you have to break down what you watch, and figure out other ways to watch them.  In this article, I’m going to go over the options you have, explain ways around local blackouts, and a few other things.
What You Will Need.
   The best way to watch content without owning a video gaming system or connecting a computer to your television is to own a streaming device.  There are loads of them out there including the Amazon Fire Stick, Google Chrome-cast, Apple-TV, and my personal favorite – The Roku.  There are several versions of the Roku out there and it is relatively inexpensive.  The Roku 3 was rated the best of all streaming devices.  It is the most expensive model, but it is a super powerful little box capable of streaming content from Apps, streaming local content on your network, and even has a USB input to play video files right from an external hard drive.  This feature is the best.  You can literally connect your digital library right to this little box.  Amazon has this device at the lowest price of $84.99.  The Roku will allow you to stream content from Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and literally hundreds of other places both free and paid.

The Content.
   I don’t watch many TV shows, but the shows I watch are all on Hulu Plus.  The service is dirt cheap and they offer you a 2 week trial for you to decide if the shows that you watch are on there.  They also host a variety of obscure movies that are interesting.  Hulu is 7.99 a month.  
   If you are an Amazon prime member, they provide a TV streaming service that might possibly be the best of the three (although some months Netflix has better content.)  Amazon prime is $99.00 and includes the streaming service, free 2-Day shipping, a streaming music service, and over 500,000 free e-books.  If you order from Amazon regularly, its a ridiculous deal.
   Netflix is probably still the king of streaming services hosting award winning original programming along with a gigantic library of films and complete TV series. Netflix is 8.99 a month.
   For most people, their TV viewing could be satisfied by using any of the 3.

Sports.
   This is probably the biggest deal-breaker for people.  How will I be able to get my sports?  This will depend on what you watch, and what teams you watch.  Most major league sports offer online packages.  If you are a fan of your local team, this could be a problem.  Instead of doing a broad generalization, let’s break it down by some of the more popular sports.
Football:  The good thing about football, is that if the team you love is your local team, you will be able to see it on local television.  Digital Antenna’s are available on Amazon which allow you to play the games on your TV in HD and they are super cheap.  Most of them are barely noticeable.  If your team is out of market, it gets tricky.  If you live in an apartment building you can qualify for the Direct TV streaming Sunday Ticket.  Unfortunately if you are a fan on an out of market team, there aren’t many options and cutting the cord might not be the best move for you.
Hockey:  If you are a fan of hockey, both of a local or out of market team, you are probably well aware that 99% of the games are on cable.  The cool part is there isn’t a TV service like Direct TV monopolizing the content.  Game Center Ice is 100% online and the Roku even has an App for it so you can watch it right from there in HD quality depending on your broadband.  I know what your thinking.  What if you love your local team?  It’s blacked out.  VPN services are available at a low cost and allow you to spoof your location so that they think you are somewhere else.  This allows you to get around the black out.  There are two ways to do this.  A VPN on your computer hooked up to your TV or a DD-WRT router set-up.  I get into VPN services in general on Episode 1 of my Podcast.  Check it out below:

Next week I am going to do Episode 3 of The Super Sweet Podcast where we will discuss the DD-WRT setup in more detail. Basically, it’s programming your wireless router to constantly be connected to your VPN, so that all of the devices that connect to it can utilize it. This is ideal for sports packages. I will get into how to acquire a DD-WRT router, how to flash your existing router (if compatible) with the DD-WRT firmware, or how to buy one already set up and ready to go with no hassle.  Remember, I’ll be talking about this stuff like an average guy.  You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to learn about this stuff, just a little time and research.

Baseball:  Baseball is the same as Hockey and it also can be streamed on the Roku.

    As you can see, there are some things to think about and consider when deciding if this is for you.  Once you get your set-up up and running, its extremely liberating.  You are paying for what YOU want.  If you have any questions at all, send me an email at:

I will read all questions on the podcast as well as in an email response.  If you haven’t checked out the Super Sweet Podcast, check it out.  If you are a beginner techie, nerd, geek, or new dad – this show is for you!  Now available to subscribe to on itunes.

Saturday November 1st: Annual Holiday Sale!

Throw a notification in your phones for November 1st!  All items will be on sale in our shops.  The sale will be running all November to reward early shoppers!  Don’t miss out on $10.00 onesies, $14.00 toddler shirts, and adult shirts starting at 15.00!  This is the only time we have a sale this big because our regular prices are already so low.  Don’t wait until the last minute!

Cool Addition to Our Daughter’s Room

    As a kid I always had a wild imagination.  Whether it was playing with my action figures while involving them in a continuing storyline or acting in imaginary movies, both activities I would do by myself in my room.  If someone where to have filmed me, I’m sure it would have been embarrassingly hilarious.  As ridiculous as it was, I feel today that it was healthy and helped me grow to be creative as an adult.  We had video games growing up, I had my Nintendo/Sega.  I didn’t really give a shit about any of them. 

   I wanted Amelia to have a room that would hopefully spark her imagination.  I wanted a room that she would want to play in.  Nicole and I started brainstorming this room even before she was born.  This newest addition was something she had come up with that really put the final touch on her bedroom.

A freakin’ Tee Pee with a little fake animal skinned rug!  We got this on amazon for $130.00, I was able to use my amazon points and got it half off.  They have it in 2 sizes, we opted for the 6 ft size which was the smaller.  It fit perfectly.

Her face is always priceless when I show her something new.  This was no different, and for a little while she wouldn’t go in it.  She just looked at it.  Eventually I convinced her to go in by going in it myself with her favorite book, “Harry the Dirty Dog.”  She followed me in and seemed to like it.

    The quality of this thing is really nice.  The reviews on Amazon from everybody had said it was nice quality, but that it had a gross fishy smell.  It actually didn’t at all.  Maybe they fixed the issue.  I’ll have more pictures of her room once we finish the clouds that we want to paint on the wall.

"Beer Camp" Weekend

    Typically I just drink IPA’s, but have recently started trying other things. The local beer forums have been buzzing about “Beer Camp,” a 12 pack collaboration with 12 top notch breweries. These breweries include Ninkasi, Firestone Walker, New Glarus, Ballast Point, 3 Floyd’s, Bells, Allagash, Russian River, Asheville Brewers Alliance, and Russian River in 12 oz bottles. With breweries like this participating, I had to try it out. I had seen the price for this 12 pack differ by location, but I found it here in Buffalo for $25. A bit steep, but these are one shot brews, so I made an exception.

As I stated before, I typically only go for West Coast IPAs and Double IPAs. This 12 pack had some stuff in it that I would never normally try. I decided to go into it with a completely open mind. The first beer I had tried from the pack was the Sierra Nevada/Cigar City Brewery collaboration, “Yonder Bock Tropical Maibock.” This was actually in a can. I had tried a few beers from Cigar City earlier in the summer and was pretty impressed. A friend of my wife had brought us some from Florida. It was their year round releases: “Invasion Pale Ale” and “Florida Cracker White Ale.” Both of them were very good. I chose to pour this into a glass.  Some would argue that it’s meant to be consumed out of the can, but I hate doing that. The beer poured nicely and smelled great. I have found that Cigar City’s beers have a “flavor” that sticks with each brew they make. It’s not a bad flavor, it’s actually really good. The color on this beer was as vivid as it’s taste. I surprisingly loved this beer. As I write this, I am about 5 beers into the 12 pack (not all at once), and this remains my favorite. Bravo, Cigar City. You have impressed me.

Yonder Bock Tropical Maibock 

The next beer of choice was from the Sierra Nevada/Firestone Walker collaboration called “Torpedo Pilsner,” which was touted as a “Hoppy Pilsner.” I had high hopes for this one, as Firestone Walker is one of my favorite breweries. However, this was not a “hoppy pilsner.”  It wasn’t a bad beer, but it was nothing I’d bring up in a conversation. When I think of a “hoppy pilsner,” I think of Victory’s “Prima Pils” which is an excellent pilsner. This beer was light and refreshing, but lackluster and forgettable.

Torpedo Pilsner

Up next, Sierra Nevada and Russian River have created a Belgian style brew called “Yvan the Great Belgian-Style Blonde.” I actually loved this beer as well. I don’t particularly like Belgian-style beers, but maybe it was the weather?  Whatever the reason, I found this beer to be tasty and refreshing.  It held its flavor as it warmed up, too. A surprisingly good beer.

Yvan the Great Belgian-Style Blonde

I tried to drink these strategically, so the next beer I had was a collaboration from Sierra Nevada and Allagash Brewing known as “Myron’s Walk,” a Belgian Pale Ale. This beer was just “good.” It was nothing special, yet it served as another Belgian-style beer that won me over. Not something I would seek out, but was a tasty, refreshing one-timer.

Myron’s Walk – Belgian Pale Ale

The next selection was one I was excited to try. The Sierra Nevada and Ballast Point creation a”Electric Ray,” labeled as an India Pale Lager. This tasted more like a double IPA to me, but I loved it. It was a bold beer, with a good balance of malt and hops. There were really no lager-like characteristics, so that aspect of it failed in my opinion, but the beer delivered some really good flavor that only got more intense as it warmed up.


The next beer that I tried from Beer Camp was the Sierra Nevada/Oskar Blues collaboration “CANfusion” Rye Bock. I’m not all that familiar with bocks, but this beer was solid as well. One of the higher ABV’s in this pack, at 7.2, this beer packed a nice blend of rye, caramel and hops. This is one I would like to try again.

CANfusion – Rye Bock

The final beer for this post (I haven’t finished the 12 pack yet), is the “Chico King” Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada and 3 Floyd’s Brewing. This isn’t like many pale ales I have had before, this one was beefier. For a pale ale, I found this to be powerfully malty and equally as hoppy. Another beer from this box of gems that I would like to have another of.

Chico King – Pale Ale

I should have the rest of these up in a few days. So far Beer Camp is a fun trip and makes for an engaging, at home, beer drinking experience. Although I’d say 90% of these beers are about average, they are good enough to enjoy this way. 

Winamp Theme Ubuntu!

   It’s 2014 and things have changed with how we listen to music, in fact, some aspects of the way we now listen and consume music have almost gotten wacky.  Nobody buys a CD anymore, vinyl records are coming back strong, and services like Spotify offer millions of users instant access to most music in seconds.  But if you’re like me, you probably have albums that are still not on spotify, so you still use a music player.  Also, if you are like me, you like to kick it old school and rock nostalgia whenever possible.  Back in the 90’s, we rocked out our monster speakers with Winamp.  If you have Windows or Mac, it is still available.  If you are using Ubuntu, you are out of luck, unless you want to run it in “Wine” which sort of blows.  Fortunately, like almost everything in Ubuntu, there is always a way to get the same experience!
Audacious, is a music player for Linux which can offer that to you.  It’s free, open source, and very quick. Here’s how we do it!

To install Audacious, just fire up your terminal and enter:

 sudo apt-get install audacious

Next, head over to this site and grab the winamp classic skin, then just extract the winamp folder right to your desktop.  There are other ways to do this, but I’m just going to use the easiest way for new users.  After you have you winamp folder extracted to your desktop, open a terminal and enter:

sudo nautilus /usr/share/audacious/Skins/

What this is going to do is open up the folder that your skins are housed in.  Then just drag the winamp folder from your desktop into this one!  You should be set.  Open up Audacious:

 

Looks super boring right?  Click “View” at the top and select “Visualizations.”  This should open the settings panel.  The drop down at the top labeled “Interface Plugin” will now have an option in it for “Winamp Classic Interface.”

 Just select which one you want, and get busy!

 

 Check out my shop at supersweetshirts.com for totally awesome t-shirts that you will find nowhere else!

Pork Tenderloin W/ Jamaican Spices

Ok, so I didn’t make the “1 recipe a week” goal, but I’m still at it!  Today is a great day to brush the wet snow off the Buffalo Bills grill cover, and fire up the command station to make:

Pork Tenderloin with Jamaican Spices
Here is what we need for this:
9 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
9 Tbsp fresh lime juice
6 1-inch long pieces of peeled ginger
1.5 Tbsp of kosher salt
1 Tbsp ground allspice
1 Tbsp ground coriander 
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
3 1-1/2 pork tenderloins 
Now clearly i’m not making this recipe to accommodate 3 pork tenderloins.  We are going to be cooking just one.
You you first want to put the first 7 items in a food processor and and blend it up nicely until it turns into a thicker liquid, almost a paste.  Mine ended up being slightly more watery but still thick enough.  You then want to take your tenderloin and cut it down the middle like a hot dog bun.  Don’t slice it all the way through, do it just as you would if you were slicing a hot dog bun.  This creates a nice little grove for the marinade to rest in while coating the rest of the pork.  It also helps the tenderloin to cook quicker while keeping moist and tender. 

After you pour the marinade you just created over the pork, pop it in the fridge for an hour to marinate.  The maximum time this should marinate is 1 day.  I did it for an hour and it worked great.
Now lets get to the grill. In the winter, I tend to drink stouts, and when I’m grilling, I always have a beer in hand.  It helps me relax and really take in the grilling, especially when I’m standing in freezing temperatures with the snow.  It’s oddly awesome.

 
Lets get to grilling.  I cranked up all four burners on this baby to reach an internal temp of a little over 300 degrees Fahrenheit.  I then oiled up the grates and put the heat on 2 of the burners to the lowest setting.  It was this side that I laid the pork down while the side without anything on it stayed at a higher temp.  This allows a slower cook of the pork without charing the outside. 

Heat until pork is at an internal temp of 145 degrees.  Never press on your meats while they are on the grill, leave it be!

This recipe was totally delicious and by far the best one I’ve cooked from this book.  Its simple, quick, and very delicious.  If you want a recipe for pork tenderloin that packs an impressive taste.  This is a good one.

Cheers!

New Bodysuit!

   I have finished the first two new products of the year and they should be posted in all of my shops by the time this is read.  The first of the two is a new baby bodysuit inspired by the iconic picture of Keith Richards sporting the “Who the Fuck is Mick Jagger?” shirt.  Truthfully I hadn’t even seen the shirt until watching the Maroon 5 video with my wife.  Watching the video, I assumed countless indie shirt makers had already listed that for sale on plenty of sites, and I also thought it was sort of lame.  Then it hit me.  This as baby onesie would be awesome, because a baby would literally have no idea who Mick Jagger is!  I actually wanted to take it a step further and change it to Mike Jagger, but I figured I’d cut my obscure humour short in fear of never selling one.

My daughters first photo shoot for Super Sweet Shirts!

This is available in our Etsy, eBay, and supersweetshirts.com

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