Author Archives: Brian Webb

Happy Saturday!

Enjoy your Saturday!


Seven. Thousand. Dollars

Demetri Martin hits it on the head. It’s funny because it’s true. Or is it sad because it’s true?

Commercials fall into two camps for me. On one hand, I enjoy the creativity of a good commercial. On the other hand, commercials make me want to buy stuff I don’t need.

But when I read that economist Juliet Schor estimates that for every hour of TV a person watches each week, they will increase annual spending by about $200, I don’t seem to like commercials so much. With the average person watching nearly five hours of TV a day, that’s close to $7,000 a year. I wish I were making this up.

Seven. Thousand. Dollars.

That’s a pretty good raise for just about anyone and can be had just by cutting out the advertisements and artificial lifestyles we see on television. We’re less likely to keep up with the Joneses if we don’t know what the Joneses have.

Have you tried going TV-free? What’s your take on this? If you agree or disagree, sound off below.


Definition of a Gentleman

Not too far from our house is Oak Ridge Military Academy. This is posted in a building on campus:

Definition of a Gentleman

    A gentleman is a man who is clean inside and outside, who neither looks up to the rich nor down on the poor, who can lose without squealing, who can win without bragging, who is considerate to women, children, and old people, who is too brave to lie and too generous to cheat and too sensible to loaf, who takes his share of the world’s goods and lets other people take theirs.

When is the last time these traits were demonstrated in the media?

We all need a little more wisdom when it comes to the people we elevate to hero status. Most often, the people we should be looking up to receive no media attention at all. Here’s to choosing wisely!


Homemade toothpaste?

I’m not a hippie. But I could be. My wife used to work for Dr. Joseph Mercola, who, at the time, I thought was a little batty. Dr. Mercola is completely, 100% for natural remedies for common ailments and diseases. I’m beginning to catch on to the wisdom he espouses through his blog and daily newsletter.

One day not long ago, the topic of the day was oral care. I’ve known for a while now that fluoride is a toxin and have asked not to have the standard fluoride treatment for our kids when we’ve taken them to the dentist. But we haven’t done anything about the fluoride that we buy.

I found a great website with a simple recipe for homemade, natural toothpaste. So we gave it a shot.

Here are the ingredients.

This is what my girls did after tasting it for the first time.

So we added more mint, more mint, and more mint until it tasted somewhat close to store-bought toothpaste (I shouldn’t have added the salt.). What resulted gained mixed reviews from a normally liberal panel when it comes to approving the taste of things.

We’ll see if the kids get used to it. It’s worth a shot! Maybe I am a hippie…


June is National Audiobook Month

If you’ve seen the classic movie A Christmas Story then you probably remember the excitement of little Ralphie when Little Orphan Annie came on the radio. Dramatic radio was a tremendously popular medium before television and in the early years of moving pictures. We’re trying to bring it back, in a way.

Our seven year old daughter recently checked out some audiobooks from the library. She couldn’t stop listening to them. She closed the door to her room so she could give full attention. She gave us updates about the story. In other words, she loved it.

I used to have a looong commute to work so my brother-in-law suggested audiobooks to help pass the time. I didn’t think I’d like them because the idea sounded so old-fashioned. But I was wrong! The books I listened to were fantastic and fascinating. And because of the limited selection at our library, I was forced to pick stuff I wouldn’t have normally read but enjoyed them anyway.

If you haven’t given audiobooks a try, check out or Librivox offers free books that are public domain. Pick the Brain has more places to find audiobooks and podcasts. Check them out, err, download a book today and give it a try.

I wanna go hikin’!

I’m so blessed to have a wife and kids that enjoy being outside. Hopefully we’re building great memories that will serve them well in the future. The kids couldn’t wait to go hiking this afternoon. It was a bit muddy, but that made it even better.


National Trails Day

Salem Lake Trail

I used to think there wasn’t a difference between dirt trails and paved trails. Actually, I preferred paved trails because my shoes stayed clean. Over time, though, I’ve grown to love the sound of rocks and leaves under foot. Or under tire, as it was today.

It’s National Trails Day so I thought I’d celebrate by heading to a local trail that loops around a lake. Seven miles later, I’m sore but feel great. I hope you can get out this weekend and hear the crunch of loose rock as you hit the trail.

You can find great hikes near you at