Blog: My Brain Dump

Alphabet Name Soup

There are 128 people in the U.S. named Chuck Brown.

However, there are exactly *ONE* person(s) who owns the domain name That would be…MOI. 😉

There are 1,595,222 people in the U.S. with the last name Brown. Statistically the 4th most popular last name.

Famous people with the last name Brown:

  • Ayla Brown
  • Bruce Brown
  • Bryan Brown
  • Chad Brown
  • Chris Brown
  • Clancy Brown
  • Clarence Brown
  • Corrine Brown
  • Curtis Brown
  • Dana Brown
  • Devin Brown
  • Harry Joe Brown
  • Henry Brown
  • Jim Brown
  • Joe E. Brown
  • Johnny Mack Brown
  • Kevin Brown
  • Olivia Brown
  • Phil Brown
  • P.J. Brown
  • Ronnie Brown
  • Savoy Brown
  • Sherrod Brown
  • Tim Brown
  • Troy Brown
  • Virginia Brown-Waite
  • Wes Brown
  • Willie Brown

Apparently, “famous” is a relative term. I know of Ayla, Bryan, Chris, Clancy (one of my favorite actors), Jim (my dad’s favorite football player), Sherrod, Tim and Willie. Don’t recognize the others. Savoy Brown is a person??

You can find out how many people share your name here: How Many Of Me?

Low Carb & Sugar-Free Parfait At Kroger

Some folks who are into low carb, slow-carb, paleo, whole foods, real food and sugar-free eating are opposed to artificial sweeteners. And, who knows? Maybe someday I will be too.

But for now, when I want the feeling of a little something in my stomach, I don’t mind eating some artificially-sweetened stuff.

Kroger has some cool little parfaits (in the refrigerated section), which are a mixture of gelatin and something sort of like Cool Whip. Except they are completely sugar-free. I paid $3.55 for 12 of them. They come shrink-wrapped on a hunk of cardboard as part of their Value line, and you get 6 strawberry, 3 orange and 3 grape.

I find them quite tasty. The Nutrition Facts label lists them as having 2g Total Carbs. But they also have 2g of sugar alcohols…which means that, for low carb eaters…they are effectively “free foods”…virtually no impact on blood sugar and no rush of insulin production. Of course, they aren’t going to stave off hunger the way protein and fat will. Nonethless, they scratch an itch for me!

So how are they sweetened? They include sorbitol, erythritol, and aspartame. Again, some folks have issues with these. But if you’re in the mood for something to tide you over til the next meal…you might want to check them out!

Weight Loss: Down More Than 10% Of Total Body Weight

Since my big 39-pound weight loss announcement about seven weeks ago, I’ve been fairly silent about further progress. The reason? There wasn’t much progress to report! For some reason, I hit a plateau…basically bouncing between 36 and 39 for the better part of two months. I wasn’t doing anything different…but somehow I wasn’t continuing to lose.

It was fairly frustrating and I had begun to think I might need to mix things up a bit. However, I was heartened earlier this week to learn that Jimmy Moore (the man whose podcast help me get a bit of a handle on low-carb eating in the first place) had himself experienced a plateau in the midst of his year-long, 180-pound weight loss journey. So I never did actually get around to changing anything (well, I did skip one of my “slow-carb” cheat days somewhere in there).

But, the good news is that my weight has begun drop again as of yesterday…and I’m down several more pounds at this point…including passing the point where I have lost over 10% of my body weight since January 3rd. As you might imagine, I’m quite relieved!

Speaking of Jimmy Moore, I heard two of his weight-related podcast interviews this week that I would recommend to anyone considering low-carb eating for health or weight loss (and seeking more infomation about its credibility):

Diane Sanfilippo
Dr. Catey Shanahan

If you’re more of a reader than a listener, I’d heartily recommend Gary Taubes’ book : Why We Get Fat (and what to do about it). It’s an easy read, and provides a wealth of info about how low-fat dieting became the accepted norm in this country…and why that approach can’t work for everyone.

More to come…about less of me! 😉

Second Video Released This Month!

Taking another step forward in my plan for world domination (and to replace Howard Stern as The King Of All Media!), I am pleased to announce my second professional-quality video for the preschool/early-elementary crowd.

Following just over 2 weeks after the release of Yellowberry Jam on YouTube (now at nearly 10K views), today I have released The Fantabulous Cumulo-Nimbuli Pump. This story (actually, the only one I’ve ever written!) is about a boy who…frustrated with frequent rain-outs of sporting events, asks a scientist friend for help…and becomes the proud owner of a vacuum that sucks the clouds right out of the sky!

More videos are on the way in the weeks to come, as I move to push further into a market where I’ve had significant influence for some time…but am now focusing on the video end of things…both as an individual artist and as a part of several new partnerships with friends.

Because I’m starting almost from scratch here and it’s going to take time to get established in this new venue, I especially appreciate those of you who are sharing these two videos via email or social media.

In addition to my three popular web sites for kids:

I also launched, earlier in the week, two new touchpoints for children’s video in the same market:

and the brand-new YouTube channel:

Thanks for your interest and support!

Essential iPhone Apps: First Edition

I had lunch with my friend Tom Sapp last week…in part, because he promised to turn me on to some apps for my new Verizon iPhone that would save me time and money…and he did not disappoint. I’ve only picked up a handful of the apps so far, but am already VERY glad that I made the switch from the Droid to the iPhone (despite the iOS bug re: inexplicably unpairing Bluetooth devices). I expect there to be more apps that make this worth my while…but here is my initial list:

1. iTunes: Yes, I know people love to whine about iTunes…”it’s bloatware, the App Store sucks, etc”. Fine…whatever. And I admit I’m a bit of a freak in my listening needs for both educational and recreational purposes. Because of how I make my living, podcasts are unbelievably important to me. The Droid is worthless for podcast management. I tried virtually every app out there (free and paid) just to be able to easily subscribe to and manage the podcasts that I find so helpful in building my online business. iTunes does this in its SLEEP. It’s a beautiful thing. Yes, the App Store could be better. So could the Android Market. They are both supposedly undergoing majority renovations. One can only hope. But…iTunes was the biggest factor in my decision to move back to an “i” as my primary portable listening platform (the secondary reason being the immediate availability of a built-in HD camera for movies). Apple’s tech support department went to the wall to keep me as a customer…and I am glad they did. Verdict? A big win for the iPhone.

2. Skobbler: This was brought to my attention by Tom, and saved me $5-10 a month. One of the great features of the Droid is its built-in turn-by-turn navigation from Google. The iPhone doesn’t have that feature…which means you have to subscribe to Verizon’s nav service if you use it (which, in my case, might be once a month on average). But, when you need it…it’s not a good thing if you don’t have it. They had an introductory special going on when I bought my iPhone, which had shaved the $10 monthly fee to $4.99. But, Skobbler does everything I need in this regard…for FREE. Verdict? It’s a tie between the two platforms.

3. GasBuddy: The lovely and talented Heather Dugan brought this one to my attention a couple weeks ago. This is available for the Android (which is the version she uses), but while I had heard of it before…I didn’t download it til I was on the iPhone. It is a two-click wonder. The first click launches the application. The second click (on “Find Gas Near Me”) uses your phone’s GPS to locate you, and then displays the prices of all gas stations nearby. The other day, I noticed that gas was available at the Speedway at Morse and Hamilton for $3.31 a gallon, so I went and filled up the tank. 20 minutes later, I had to put a couple gallons in another car about 5 miles away…at $3.48 a gallon. That single purchase at Speedway saved me almost $2 on a 10-gallon purchase. So if you are considering making the move to an internet-connected phone, but having a hard time justifying the $30/mo additional charge…I suspect you can recoup somewhere between 5 and 10 bucks of that 30 with this little free app alone. Verdict? A tie between the platforms…but a must-have nonetheless (and there is a website you can access for free if you can’t make the leap to a smartphone yet…it’s just not as convenient when you’re out on the road).

4. Dragon Dictation: This one also comes courtesy of my friend Tom. One of the things I loved about the Droid was the speech-to-text function…which allowed me to say a few words (even while I was driving) and allow me to jot down a thought or two, or reply to a text message…without tieing up hands, fingers or attention. The iPhone has no such native function. But…enter Dragon:

“This application is from the folks that make Dragon NaturallySpeaking for the PC which I occasionally use as a timesaver. It just so happens that Dragon for the iPhone is even better in terms of speech interpretation and even occasionally inserting punctuation and capitalization this paragraph was dictated directly into Dragon on the iPhone and pasted into this blog post”

Pretty impressive, eh? I thought you’d like that one. 😉

Verdict? iPhone again.

5. SimpleNote: I had become a premium user of Evernote a couple months back…which is a fantastic way of storing information and keeping it with you all the time. But it was $60/yr…and the app itself was overkill for my needs and the note-editing capability was poorly implemented on the Droid. I found SimpleNote instead…which is $20/yr and does everything I need with a much cleaner implementation for the iPhone. I leave the web app open on my PC at home at all times for quick access…but I can get to all that info anywhere from the iPhone with just 2 clicks…including the ability to edit the data (which will be updated and waiting for me when I get back home). There is an Android client for this…but I never saw it, and sometimes the app quality varies between the two platforms…so I only know of this through the iPhone. Verdict?: Another big win for the iPhone.

There are others…and others I am moving to test out in the next couple weeks. More to come!