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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Importance of Having a Pet: How Pets Can Improve our Health and Help us Live Longer.


Friends,
As you know from previous posts of mine, I am a firm believer that dog truly is man's best friend, and that dogs truly do make our lives better. In my experience, I have found that stepping through your front door, and seeing your dog wag their tail, jump all over you, and welcome you home, is one of the greatest feelings on planet Earth. Furthermore, I have recently done a bit of research, and discovered the fact that having a dog, or any type of pet for that matter, can actually be very beneficial to our health and can even extend our lifespans. Therefore, I have decided to share my findings with you, as a large component of TWAM is dedicated to staying positive, staying healthy, and making healthy lifestyle choices. In the past, I have blogged about the health benefits of eating turkey, salmon, drinking coffee, using olive oil etc., but it has been a while since I have touched on the healthy living component of my blog. I figured it was time to remedy that, with a post about how healthy it can be to own a pet, which I am certain you will find interesting and enjoyable!      

WebMD has a great slideshow article which is entitled 27 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health, which you can read right here.

I will not spoil the entire article, but I would like to discuss a few of my favorite parts of it with you.

According to WebMD, some of the benefits of having a pet include, but are not limited to...

  • The fact that "pets are natural mood enhancers" and that simply petting a dog or a cat, or even watching your fish swim, reduces stress and helps you feel more relaxed in a matter of minutes.  
  • The fact that owning a pet can help you maintain a healthy blood pressure.
  • The fact that researchers have found that pet owners typically have lower levels of cholesterol.
  • The fact that having a pet is good for your heart, as pet owners are at a lower risk of dying from a cardiac disease of any sort. 
  • and much much more...
To get the full list, please click on the link above, or the link below which I have simply added for good measure!

http://pets.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-pets-improve-your-health

Moreover, while I was researching the health benefits of owning a pet on Google, I came across another interesting article on natural-wonder-pets.com, which is entitled  Why Pet Owners Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier. In this article, it is said that while it is true that owning a pet of any type can be beneficial to your health, the group of pet owners which receives the greatest benefits from their pets are, in fact, dog owners. Feel free to check out this article right here.

One of the reasons for this, as you will read, is the fact that dogs require more physical activity than other pets, which consequently results in the dog owner becoming more physically active. It is also stated that taking your dog for a walk, often results in having interactions with other dogs owners, and these healthy conversations are very good for us as well.

Feel free to check out these wonderful articles, and let me know what you think about them as well as this post! Thanks!

Till next time,
BF



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Winter is Looming: Let's Talk About Fire!


Friends,
In Michigan we have four very distinct seasons, and I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoy them all. Yes, that means winter too, guys! As a matter of fact, you know from a previous post of mine that fall is my favorite season, but it may surprise you to learn that winter may, in fact, be a very close second. One of my favorite parts about winter is getting warm by the fire, after playing outside in the snow with my dog, and subsequently reading a great book or watching an entertaining movie while sipping on hot coffee or a premium dark beer. Below, I have decided to share an article with you, in order to boost your knowledge of wood and wood burning as Old Man Winter is lurking around the corner which means it is time to start thinking about getting prepared. Moreover, as I implied in a previous post last summer, building fire is a subject that all Alpha Males should be well versed in! 

Steve Nix has a very nice and concise article on About.com, which entitled What Wood Species Gives Off The Most Heat? In this article, he explains that you will get the best results when burning the heaviest, or highest density, wood available. He also explains that wood that comes from trees that are deciduous, meaning that they lose their leaves in the wintertime, and hardwoods to be more specific, have the tendency to burn longer and hotter than softwoods or evergreens although there are some exceptions.     


Nix also explains in this article that BTUs, or British Thermal Units, are used to measure wood heat value, and "the higher the value, the more heat you get per unit of wood."

Nix lists Hickory and Oak on his list of the best burning firewood, and names White Pine and Cottonwood on his list of the worst.  
  
See his full article and get the full lists of the best and the worst firewood to burn right here.

As a side note, since we are talking about wood, one of the all-time favorite tools of the Alpha Male happens to be a chainsaw. There is nothing like the smell of the exhaust of a two-stroke motor on a cool winter day while cutting up your firewood. The top two chainsaws in the industry happen to be the Stihl and the Husqvarna. Feel free to check out their websites. 

Till next time,
BF







Friday, October 4, 2013

Review of Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot Ale


Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s 2013 Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale is a one of a kind brew, which is an ideal autumn companion as we bid farewell to the dog days of summer and welcome in brown leaves, crisp sleeping weather, and playoff baseball. It tips the scales at 9.6 percent Alcohol By Volume, and after a single whiff, the aroma of maple, caramel, and pine will instantly bring thoughts of hayrides and jack-o-lanterns to the drinker’s mind. The scent may, in essence, remind one of an exceptionally strong Oktoberfest. The taste, however, is a slightly different story. 

The label on the back of the bottle happens to read, “Bigfoot is a beast of a beer, brimming with flavor from massive amounts of roasted malt and spicy hops; brewed in the Barleywine style with a rich, bittersweet body and whole-cone Pacific Northwest hops.” I wholeheartedly concur with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s definition of their beer. Moreover, on Sierra Nevada’s website, they elaborate on this description, and describe Bigfoot Ale as a “strong” and “robust bruiser of a beer,” which also carries the “refined intensity of wine[1].” Sierra Nevada then proceeds to make the claim that in sharp contrast to others beers, and under the correct conditions, Bigfoot Ale can actually age like a fine wine and even acquire new “flavors and character” as time goes on and the beer matures[1].   

After Bigfoot Ale is opened and subsequently poured into a glass, the drinker will notice that the beer is a deep, dark, and ruby red color. It also possesses an above average head which will persevere through multiple sips. The first sip of Bigfoot Ale will tickle the drinker’s tongue to say the very least. The superbly balanced flavors, which consist of the aforementioned hops and roasted malts, along with caramel, toffee, and the slightest hint of grapefruit erupt in the drinker’s mouth which culminates in a very satisfying taste with a smooth finish. 

As was the case with Old Rasputin, Bigfoot Ale is without question a beer for those who have mature taste buds. The novice beer drinker will likely find Bigfoot Ale to be rather bitter, and even the most weathered beer drinker will find that this is most certainly a “sipping beer.” If you are looking for a premium beer to give to a friend or family member as a gift for their 21st birthday, I would strongly advise against selecting Bigfoot Ale, as it is not a beverage for the young and inexperienced drinker, nor is it a brew for the casual light beer drinker. This would be the equivalent of trying to bench press 300 pounds without ever having done it before. It is a beer for those who have acquired a taste for heavy, dark, and full flavored beer which requires time. Therefore, it is a beer that one should build their way up to, and once they do, they will find it to be quite drinkable and enjoyable.  

Till next time,
BF

References
      [1]“Our Cult-Classic Beast of a Barleywine.” Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Website http://www.sierranevada.com/beer/high-altitude/bigfoot-barleywine-style-ale (Accessed Aug. 11  2013)


Disclaimer: This review is not intended to encourage or promote the use of alcohol. It is merely an evaluation of a product. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cicero's "Six Mistakes of Man."

Friends,
I mentioned a few weeks ago, in my review of Frank Miniter's book The Ultimate Man's Survival Guide, that I may be doing a post on Marcus Tullius Cicero's Six Mistakes of Man at some point in the future. That day has now arrived. Cicero, a Roman Philosopher, wrote Six Mistakes of Man over two millenniums ago, and it is as relevant today as it has ever been which is quite remarkable.

Here is what Cicero advises us to steer clear of:

1. The delusion that personal gain is made by crushing others.

2. The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected.

3. Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it.

4. Refusing to set aside trivial preferences.

5. Neglecting development and refinement of the mind, and not acquiring the habit of reading and       studying.

6. Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.

And that's all, folks.

I was going to offer a paragraph or two of my own insight underneath each of the six mistakes, but I neglected to do so, because this list is so powerful in its simplicity and I did not want to makes things complicated. To put it simply, this list speaks for itself, and not a one of the six mistakes requires a detailed explanation. Besides, I figured it was time for a more concise post, as I have just written three monster posts in a row! I hope you have enjoyed Cicero's Six Mistakes of Man, and please feel free to comment on it, and let me know which one of Cicero's six mistakes resonates with you the most.  

I also wanted to point out, as kind of a side note, that I have been writing TWAM for nearly five months now, and I am still feeling my way through it, and trying to figure out how to make all of the moving parts work together. I cover a fairly wide array of topics, and part of my blog is dedicated to positive thinking, being all you can be, and self-help & self-improvement, while another part of it is geared towards outdoor adventures, cooking meat, beer reviews, book and movie reviews etc. I just know that I really enjoy writing, and I want to make a career out of it, be a full time writer/blogger, and make a positive impact, and I am confident that it will all work out for me someday. As Jon Acuff would say, I am simply in the land of "Learning," which means I am at the stage where I am figuring out what I enjoy and what works. If you have read his book, which is entitled Start, then you know that the land of "Editing" will be the next stop for me. Anyways, thanks again for reading and for your continued support. 

Till next time,
BF