Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Getting Fit In 2011 With My Friend Brent

So one of my friends, Brent Worley has offered up a Fitness Challenge starting January 2nd ...

We're going to follow the eating plan in the The Abs Diet book ... he just got it recently, I've had it for a couple of years now.

And ...

There's also going to be a daily workout .. he does P90X, and/or Insanity .. I don't think I'm quit there yet, so I'll probably just start with the workout from the book.

The biggest thing for me is, Brent's going to start a FB group, or at the very least a thread on his blog, where those who participate can report in on our progress ... this will definitely help ... in that it adds an element of accountability to the goal ... and that's generally the key missing element for many of us, in any goal setting we do.

So ...

If you're thinking about making a "fitness and/or diet" oriented New Year's resolution, you might want to check out Brent's site (Get Fit With Brent) and consider joining us on his challenge.

Keep havin FuN!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Record Warm First Day Of Winter!

Last I checked December 21st was the first day of winter. Well, it's currently about 84 degrees at Fort Hood, Texas. Not that anybody's complaining ...

We are currently about 23 degrees warmer than it is at my parent's house .. just north of Tampa, Florida.

This has already been a weird winter, and it hasn't even started yet.

That being said, I'm not going to gloat too much ... this being Texas and all. I'm working in the evenings on Christmas Eve, and Christmas day; and I expect by the time I get off work on the 24th, the wind should be blowing, and the temperature should be dropping pretty good. It will most likely be below freezing by morning.

No chance of snow though.

In fact, with this being a La Nina year, it's entirely possible we won't see snow (or much rain for that matter) all winter long. The long term forecast is warmer and drier than normal for the next 3 months. Judging just by today, we seem to be off to a pretty good start on making that prediction come true.

And on that note, I'm off to throw on some shorts, and maybe wash my car :-D

Keep havin FuN!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Replacing My Blog's Comments With Facebook Comments

I'm going to try a little experiment here on this blog ...

As of today, I will not be utilizing the wordpress commenting system. I've disabled new comments on all posts older that 1 day, and on any new posts, there won't even be a comment box down there.

Instead, I'm going to use facebook comments. If you're not logged in to facebook, it will look something like this:

If you are logged in, you can just scroll down the bottom to see what it looks like.

So why am I doing this?

Glad you asked ...

Here's the thing, this is a personal blog. Most of the people who regularly comment on my posts are either already my facebook friends; or at the very least, they're people I wouldn't mind becoming facebook friends with. In addition, since I already share all of my posts on my FB wall, many times that's where people leave comments about my blog posts anyway.

So I figured I might as well make it easy for all of you. ;-)

Now instead of separate "like" and "share" buttons, if you want to "like" my post, the button is right there below my signature, at the end of every article. If you have a few thoughts to share, there's a hand little space where you can type away to your heart's content. And, if you really liked what you read, you can even check the little box so that your comment (and a link back to my post) show up right there on Your own FB wall, for all of Your friends to see too.

I'm hoping this will allow me to have better interaction with my existing FB friends ... and also give me the opportunity to meet even more interesting, and like minded people ... heck, if you're commenting on my blog posts, it's quite possible we have some things in common .. what better way to find out for sure than to head on over to your facebook profile to see what your interests are.

One other potential benefit I see from this ...

I expect that Comment Spam will become virtually non-existent here at tmtips.com. Somehow, someway, I still show up on a few of those silly "do follow" blog lists; that invite people to stop by my blog and leave a "comment" that usually has nothing to do with the post, and is really just an excuse to drop a link back to whatever website they happen to be promoting.

I guess it's still possible to "spam" a facebook comment thread ... but the fact that it's not anonymous should provide enough discouragement that I don't expect to be spending too much time moderating.

So what do you think ...

Is this a good idea for The Todd Morris Blog?

Would you consider replacing the wordpress commenting system with facebook comments on your own blog?

Feel free to opine below ...


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Are Fried Egg Sandwiches The Perfect Meal?

It's cheap, it's quick, and it's easy to make.

From a guy's perspective, those are pretty much the criteria for a "perfect" meal.

Just sayin' ;-)

Seriously though, I love fried egg sandwiches. I make them in the morning when I don't have PT (not fun to run on a full stomach). I sometimes make them as a nice late night snack. And every once in a while, we even have fried egg sandwiches for dinner ... on those nights, I could probably write a whole separate blog post entitled: "how to feed a family of 7 for about $4".

The version of the sandwich that I've been eating lately, I discovered sort of by accident, when I couldn't find the ham in the fridge on day.

And because I sometimes like to share "recipes" here on the blog ...


  • 2 Eggs

  • 4 pieces of bread

  • Butter or Margarine

  • 2 slices of roast beef

  • shredded mozzarella cheese


  • Heat up the pan, and spray generously with PAM

  • Put bread in toaster (preferably 4-slice variety), on med-light setting

  • Place roast beef slices on hot pan for about 30 seconds

  • Break two eggs onto the hot pan

  • Turn over roast beef slices and sprinkle with cheese

  • Bust the yokes in such a way that they stay within the cooking egg

  • Butter toast, and place roast beef slices on top

  • Turn over eggs, and cook for an additional 20-30 seconds

  • Place eggs on top of roast beef, cover with other pieces of toast

Enjoy your meal !

Til next time ...


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Why Do Kids Love McDonalds So Much?


Justin works at McDonalds.  Every Sunday he is on an 11am to 7pm shift.  Since I have to drive him anyway, it's become kind of a habit for the girls and I to spend a couple of hours every Sunday at the Micky D's Play Place. (Note: it's a nice indoor one here in Killeen). For Jaiden and Jasmine, this is usually one of the highlights of their week.

It's hardly suprising to me.  McDonalds, especially the Play Land, has pretty much been a Morris family "tradition" for as long as I can remember. 

When Justin, Haley were little, their mom worked at the McDonalds in Opp, Alabama.  I would bring a book, buy a large Diet Coke, and sit at a table with baby Haley, while Justin played .. sometimes for hours.  I suppose playland was sort of "daddy's babysitting helper".

Even at that young age (2-3 yrs) Justin knew exactly where we were.  It got to the point, where even when we were travelling, he could spot the golden arches from about a mile out.  Seriously, we'd be driving down the road, and from the back seat would eminate a piercing scream: "DONALDS !!!!!"  .. and sure enough, right around the next bend we'd be greeted by that familliar yellow M.

Now I've seen no evidence that love of a particular fast food restaurant might be hereditary.  That said, I do have some relevant memories from my own childhood.  When I was little, eating out was a treat.  We went maybe once or twice or a month.  Apparently these bi-monthly events had quite an impact on me.  When I was 6 or 7 years old, whenever somebody would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would tell them "Truck Driver" ...

Here's the thing though; I had no particular affinity for trucks, or driving.  I just figured that if I was a truck driver, I'd be able to eat at McDonalds Every Single Day!  :-)

Hope you have a FuN rest of the weekend!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Three Books That Helped Me Learn To Play Better Poker

Learn Poker Books

I've been playing poker for something like 7 or 8 years now. Back when I was first learning, we didn't have cool programs like the poker training network; so I turned to books as a way to increase my knowledge, and improve my game.

Here are three books that I found particularly helpful:

  1. Small Stakes Hold 'em
    Winning Big With Expert Play

    This was one of the first poker books that I ever bought. And as it turned out, it wasn't even about the game I was trying to learn. I was playing no limit Texas Hold 'em, and this was a book about Limit Texas Hold 'em.

    None-the-less, I learned some very valuable lessons from this book .. the most important of which was when the "light bulb" went on for me ...

    Poker is about MATH

    My approach to the game has been entirely different ever since the day I came to that realization.

    I would highly recommend this as the first book someone new to poker should consider purchasing. And actually, along those same lines, I'd also recommend that anyone just learning poker (especially on real money sites) should probably start by playing Limit Hold 'em, before they rush off into the "sexier" world of No Limit Poker.

  2. Doyle Brunson's Super System 2
    A Course In Power Poker

    This one is like the "Poker Bible". I really don't know any serious players who haven't read this book. What I like best about it, is that it covers a variety of different games; beyond just no limit hold 'em.

    It may sound a little bit "snobbish", but I think to truly be a "Poker Player" you should be have at least a rudimentary grasp of as many games a possible. For instance, even with the World Series of Poker that's on ESPN all the time, everybody is so concerned with who won the Main Event. But, in my opinion, the real "best player in the world" on any given year is probably the winner of the $50K Eight-Game event.

    So the lesson I got from this book:

    Learn to play more than one game.

  3. Phil Gordon's Little Green Book
    Lessons and Teachings in No Limit Hold 'em

    I've had this book on my shelf for a couple of years. I'm actually re-reading it again right now.

    For me, this book is about the thought process of poker. Reading Phil Gordon's stories has helped me to examine my own game, and think about why I make certain plays, and what my opponents at the table may be thinking when they bet (or don't bet).

    I would consider this to be a "beginner's book". But if you like playing poker, this is definitely a well written little book; and an enjoyable read.

Obviously, I have quite a few other poker books up on my shelf, but as I thought about it earlier this morning, these are definitely the ones that I would say were worth every penny I paid for them.

How about you ...

Are there any poker books that you've read, which had a dramatic impact on your game?


Can Guys Like Candles Too?

Let me tell you something Todd:

"Chicks Dig Candles"

That's a quote from a conversation that I had with my friend Mike more than 10 years ago, when he was helping his wife with her new candle business, and for some reason felt the need to justify himself to me. I will admit, I was kind of wondering how a guy could credibly market something like candles. At the time, I was still hawking a much more "manly" product ... waterless car wash. But Mike's explanation of why, especially a single guy, might want have some candles around, sort of made sense.

Fast forward a couple of years later ...

I was a divorced guy in my 30s, and I now sold candles. I did a lot of retailing at the time, so I kept a decent sized inventory ... usually at least one of those big bookshelves, filled with a variety of different scents.

Ok, so where am I going with this?

Well, I remember this one evening. I had met a girl, and took her out to dinner. After dinner we decided to stop back a my apartment and watch a DVD. The night appeared to be going well. As we were sitting on my couch watching the movie, I noticed that she would occasionally look around the corner into my dining room, and then glance at me, before returning her attention to the movie.

I finally had to ask ... "is there something wrong?"

So she looks back around the corner, turns to me and says, in a somewhat serious tone of voice:

"You sure do have a lot of Candles ... are you Gay or something?"

LOL, ok, so maybe Mike's advice might not have worked out so well in that particular instance.

Now-a-days, I'm remarried, have two more young daughters ... so I suppose you could say it's a pretty safe bet that I'm a practicing heterosexual.

... but I am still a Guy with a huge shelf full of Candles :-D


Thursday, December 9, 2010


I was glad to have my hat, gloves and fleece on the way home this morning.

It was definitely in the low 30s here at Fort Hood this morning ... and it felt every bit that cold. Of course, I can't complain too much, as most of the rest of the country is even colder.

Actually, you know what, now that I think about it, it's pretty darn nice to live in Texas in the winter. Even though it's bit chilly this morning, by later this afternoon, the temperature is supposed to climb up to about 68.

That's darn near perfect. :-)


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Spoon Feeding Baby

At 7 1/2 months, it's time for baby Joey to start taking her meals sitting down, from a spoon.

Apparently, earlier, while taking her afternoon meal; in the manner to which she's been accustomed since she joined us in April; someone almost got dropped on the floor. I didn't catch all the details, but something about "those darn teeth", "ouch", and "that was the last time".

So, as of today, no more "boobie" (or breast feeding for you formal types) for baby Joey.

From now on, she's gonna be a high chair and little plastic spoon kinda girl during the day. And a baby milkshake fan at night.

So far she seems to be taking pretty good to both the spoon and the chair. But to be honest, it's hardly surprising to me. After all, she does have a couple of big sisters who are only too willing to teach her everything they know ;-)

Keep havin FuN!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Repurposed Candle

Tonight, I am thankful for my creativity.

That glob of wax you see burning in the picture above used to be one of our Mia Bella 16oz jar candles.

A couple of weeks ago, we decided to have another yard sale, and whenever we have a yard sale, we always have a table of candles set up too. We had a good day. Sold some of our "junk", and a few candles. Well, in the afternoon when it was time to clean up, we were hauling stuff inside to put it back in the closet, when 2 year old Jaiden decided that she wanted to "help" ...

Not surprisingly, she promptly dropped a couple of jars right there on the driveway. Fortunately nobody was hurt. However, a couple of the candles did get nice big crack in their jars ... woops, we won't be selling those.

My first impulse was to just throw those jars away. Then I got an idea ...

I took both of the damaged candles over to the trash can, but instead of throwing them away, I used the curb near the trash can to break away the rest of the glass (lightly tapped to get more cracks, then peeled remaining glass away). I ended up with what was essentially a giant sized votive.

Ana found a bowl, plopped one of the candles in, and lit it up. We've been burning it on and off, almost every day since.

It's really not that big a deal. We've got a bunch a of candles on our shelf, so it wouldn't have been a big stress to just throw the broken ones away. But for some reason, I have a strange sense of pride about seeing the "dead" candle continuing to burn.

Sometimes it only takes something small to make us happy ... today was one of those days.


Sunday, December 5, 2010


Day one of my new picture a day project (told ya I wouldn't be able to wait).

This first one is pretty easy ...

I'm thankful for peek-a-boo, and tickle monster, and big smiles from little girls who are happy to see their daddy first thing on a Sunday morning.

I appreciate footie jammies, thick wool socks, and the fact that the heater kicked in before I came home.

As for the good stuff, well I think the fried egg sandwiches and chocolate chips waffles that I'm about to make for breakfast should qualify.

And just for good measure, I'm pretty darn happy to be such a lucky guy that it's not even 9am yet, and I've already found so many things to be grateful for ... without even having to "hunt" very hard at all. :-)

Hope you're all enjoying your weekend !

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hunting the Good Stuff with a Picture a Day ...

Last year, I made a valiant attempt to participate in Project365. It's a flickr group where you agree to post 1 picture a day for an entire year. I made it all the way until June (which is longer than I expected). It was a lot of fun, especially when I was in Iraq, to bring my camera with me every day and take a picture of something interesting. I kind of petered out on it once I got back home, and didn't have as much time to process images, and write blog posts in the evenings. Even so, all-in-all, it was a very positive experience.

So ...

I'm going to try to do a Picture a Day project again for 2011.

But with a twist ...

My picture a day, will also be my "hunt the good stuff".

Every single day in 2011, I'm going to post a picture of, and maybe write a few lines about, something I appreciate, something I'm thankful for, or maybe even something that's just plain "good".

I'm going to hold myself to very few "rules" ... other than doing it at least once a day.

If I have the opportunity to take my Canon dSLR out with me that day, then I'll try to post up some "pretty" pictures. But I'm not going to be tied to the camera. I strongly suspect that quite a few of my daily pictures are going to be snapshots captured with my Android phone ... but that's ok.

There may be some days where I can sit down and write a 500 word post to go along with the picture. Then, there'll also be days where I either just don't have time, or where the picture just speaks for itself.

Either way, the true purpose of the project this year will be to help me make sure I have an entire year of exercising the habit of appreciation; every single day.

If you've got a blog, or even if you just want to post pictures/thoughts to your facebook page every day, let me know ... maybe we can form up a "good stuff" group or something ... to support each other.

Should be FuN! ... lol, and now that I've written about it, I'm not even sure I'll be able to wait until January 1st to start :-)


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kids Pictures Eighteen Two and Seven Months

It was Justin's 18th birthday today. He's a bit camera shy (like his dad), so there's just the one picture of him.


Fortunately, he's got a couple of much younger sisters who are more than happy to pose for the camera:



Gotta run ... more pictures coming soon