Blog January 2017


Posted On: January 31, 2017


 Those that know me, know I tinker in the kitchen.

WARNING: I take no responsibility if you pay more attention to the food than the game.

Chicken Parm Bites


  • 2 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 c. marinara
  • 1/4 lb. mozzarella, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil


  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Prepare breading station with 3 large bowls: In one bowl, whisk together breadcrumbs, garlic powder, paprika, and Parmesan; in another bowl egg; and in the last bowl flour.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Coat each piece of chicken in flour and shake off excess, then dip into egg, and lastly, coat in breadcrumb mixture. Repeat steps for remaining chicken and set aside on a plate.
  3. In a deep cast-iron skillet, warm 1" oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  4. Arrange chicken in a baking dish in a single layer. Add a small spoonful of marinara over chicken and top with a cube of mozzarella.
  5. Bake until chicken is warmed through and cheese is melty, 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.



 Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Go balls to the wall for these buff chick meatballs.


  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/3 c. hot sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot)
  • 1/3 c. crumbled blue cheese
  • kosher salt
  • 1/3 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. sliced scallions, plus more for garnish
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 425º. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add butter, hot sauce, blue cheese, and 1/2 tsp salt. Whisk until butter and cheese are melted and fully incorporated, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, 1/2 tsp salt, celery, onion powder, garlic, egg, and scallions. Add chicken and half of the hot sauce mixture and blend until combined. Do not over-mix.
  3. Brush a large cast-iron skillet with olive oil. Using an ice cream scoop or your hands, form 1" meatballs and place in prepared skillet.
  4. Bake until lightly golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes.
  5. Warm remaining sauce and drizzle over meatballs, then sprinkle with scallions. Serve on toothpicks.



Loaded Potato Skins


  • 4 russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried thoroughly
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 4 oz. bacon, cut into 1/4" pieces
  • 1 c. Grated Cheddar
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 425º. Place potatoes in a dish and prick with a fork all over. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush potatoes with olive oil and season with salt. Bake until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Transfer bacon to a plate and reserve fat.
  3. When potatoes are cool, cut in half lengthwise. Using an ice cream scooper or spoon, remove skin, leaving a 1/4" thick shell. Add skins back to the sheet pan and brush with bacon fat all over top and bottom. Bake until golden and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 375º. Sprinkle cheddar over potatoes and bake until cheese is melty. Top with bacon, spoonful of sour cream, and scallions. Serve immediately.



Salami Pinwheels


  • 1 package puff pastry, thawed in fridge overnight
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting counter
  • 1 Boursin cheese, crumbled up into pieces
  • 1/2 lb. grated Fontina
  • 1/2 lb. thinly sliced salami
  • 1/4 c. chopped parsley, additional for garnish


  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Line rectangular baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Lay out 1 piece of puff pastry on lightly floured counter. Sprinkle top of pastry with flour and roll into 1/4-inch thickness. Divide cheese and salami in half. Add dollops of Boursin all over, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Lay salami evenly all over slightly over-lapping and top with sprinkle of parsley and Fontina.
  3. Roll up tightly and place seam side down; using a serrated knife cut into 1-inch pieces. Place pinwheels cut side down into baking dish leaving about 1/4-inch space between each. Repeat with second piece of pastry. Top with additional Fontina if desired.
  4. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Thanks to Delish for the recipes




Posted On: January 26, 2017

Time and additional expense can be saved by preparing the vessel for inspection and making her more accessible.


Arrange to present a clean, shipshape boat, and have all papers and miscellaneous gear ready. If applicable, you will need to make arrangements with the marina to haul the vessel for bottom inspection, and retain a captain for sea trials. Lockers and cabin areas should be cleared of all miscellaneous gear.

The surveyor should never be asked to prepare a boat for inspection. The surveyor may request minor dismantling of interior ceilings, headliners, flooring, etc. in order to gain access to the suspected areas. Random removal and examination of below-the-waterline fasteners on wood boats may be required. Any dismantling and re-installation of parts should be performed by qualified personnel and is the responsibility of the person ordering the survey.

Written authorization from the owner may be needed to board and/or to remove part of the vessel. 




Posted On: January 24, 2017

What Type of Survey Do I Need?
Marine Surveys are performed for a number of reasons,
and the procedures for each vary to best suit your needs:


Pre-Purchase Survey 
This is the most comprehensive type of inspection, and is strongly advised when purchasing a new or used vessel. Condition and overall operation of the vessel should be examined. This covers structural integrity, electrical systems, the propulsion system, the fuel system, other machinery, navigation equipment, miscellaneous on-board systems, cosmetic appearance, electronics, and overall maintenance as well as an out-of-water inspection and a sea trial.


Insurance Survey
This inspection is performed so that the insurance company can determine whether or not the vessel is an acceptable risk. They are interested in structural integrity and safety for its intended use. Most insurance companies require a survey on older boats. They will also want to know the vessel's fair market value.

Appraisal Inspection
This inspection is performed to gather enough information to justify or determine the fair market value of the vessel. This is normally needed for financing, estate settlements, donations and legal cases.

Damage Inspection
The surveyor can be retained by an insurance company to determine the cause of a loss and determine the extent of loss related damage and may be asked to recommend repairs, review estimates, and determine the pre-loss value of a vessel.  A vessel owner can retain a surveyor for the same purposes, but for the owner's behalf.



Posted On: January 19, 2017


Many times when I perform surveys for clients, I offer them recommendations, as will most surveyors.

What are recommendations and why do I offer them?

Generally, these items can be normal upkeep items that should be addressed as you can or address with the person who are considering purchasing from.

Examples include:

  • Water leaks through ports or hatches
  • Anodes in need of replacement
  • Loose or worn engine belts, hoses, and engine mounts
  • Cosmetic issues
  • Winches in need of service

Keep in mind that while surveyors inspect a boat with an eye toward industry safety standards, such as those written by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), we recognize that newer standards were not in place when older boats were built. But some of those standards, like the need for carbon monoxide alarms or proper wiring, are critical enough that insurance underwriters may still require boats to comply with them.

All of the recommendations can usually be used as negotiation points for buyers. Any purchase contract should specify that a sale may be voided if the survey results are unacceptable to the buyer. In some cases, a seller may opt to address the required repairs before a sale, but make sure the boat is reinspected before the sale is finalized.

Usually surveyors will reinspect specific items for a fee, after the sale is made, and sign off that they appear to have been properly done. If, after the sale, the buyer choses to make the repairs, insurance coverage can begin immediately, while the repairs are in progress. But, either way, the insurance company will usually require a written statement from the owner, or yard bills, to confirm the recommendations have been completed correctly. 



Posted On: January 12, 2017


Here's an article on the best tools to keep with you.

Ten Top Boat Tools

By Tom Neale for BoatUS

You may have lots of tools in your bag, but are they all necessary? Here's my selection of those I just can't leave the dock without.

  It seems that you can never have too many tools. I have hundreds that I've collected over the years, but there are some seemingly simple tools that have gotten me out of a jam more times than I care to remember. If I had to whittle the list down to just 10 that I couldn't do without, these would be on it.

The majority of these tools can be bought from online retailers for just a few dollars. Buy good quality tools because they last longer and will be cheaper in the long run.

  1. Magnetizer/Demagnetizer: This enables you to quickly magnetize your screwdriver so that it'll hold ferrous screws. It also enables you to demagnetize it.
  2. Locking Forceps: The perfect tool for reaching into tight places to retrieve or insert small nuts, bolts, circlips, and O-rings. Also good for clamping small hoses.
  3. Block Of Wood: Use as backup for hammering, screwing, drilling, cutting and gluing, and as a cushion for tapping jobs.
  4. Old Inner Tube: Cut one to make temporary gaskets and insulation. Also useful to give hands extra grip for torque. You can probably get one of these for free from a tire shop.
  5. Good Mechanics Gloves: Protect your hands, but also increase grip when you need to undo things like spin-on filters. Try them for size before you buy, as they should fit, well, like a glove.
  6. Plastic-coated Wire Coat Hanger: Bends to innumerable shapes and are perfect for clearing drains and hooking dropped objects. You can most likely find one for free, on the floor of your closet, behind all the clothes.
  7. Oscillating Tool: Mine is a Rockwell, but there are other makes. Will cut directly into surfaces, including fiberglass. With the right adaptor can also be used as a detail sander, reefing tool for teak decks, or power scraper.
  8. Quality LED Headlamp: I like the swiveling type so that you can adjust it to suit your work. Far safer, and way more comfortable, than holding a flashlight in your teeth.
  9. Mechanic's Stethoscope: Invaluable for diagnosis, use one to familiarize yourself with component sounds now, so that you'll recognize abnormalities later.
  10. Stainless Wire Brushes: For cleaning threads and terminals, removing rust, surface prep, and much more. 




Posted On: January 05, 2017

The Bill Murray Technique for Saying “YES”

I came across this article last week, and it really made me think. I’m no stranger to saying no, ( I can see you snickering… know who you are!)

But what a reflective piece.

Let me know your thoughts

  • Published on December 29, 2016
  • Featured in: What Inspires Me

By James Altucher


I can’t say “No”.

If people ask me for something, it’s really hard for me to balance their needs with my own.

Like, if I need to spend time with my kids. Or I need to read or work on writing or business. But people are asking me to do X, Y, or Z.

This is why I had to write a book, “The Power of NO“. Because of my many problems saying no and taking care of myself.

But then Bill Murray taught me by example how to say “Yes”.

The Four Layers of No


At first I would lie to people if I said “no”. Like: “I broke my leg so I can’t go to your wedding.” Yes, I’ve said that.


Then I would just not respond to people. I’m going to use the wedding example again.

I lost my best friend because I couldn’t say “no” to him when he invited me to his wedding.

So I just never responded. He called, he wrote, he asked, “I don’t understand,” he said. And I just never responded. I kept feeling more and more guilty. We haven’t spoken since. I’m sorry.


Then I’d try to give an explanation. “I can’t go to your wedding because I’m having a hard time getting through a divorce.”

Which is a rationale I gave ten years ago to one invitation. But those people are not my friends now either.

And there’s never a point where they can explain why they are not my friends. They just hate me.

People tell me: Well they weren’t good friends in the first place.

Which is nice to hear, and makes me feel good to think about. But then I’m sad I can’t talk to them anymore anyway.


The fourth layer of “No”, and the only one that really works for me is to just say “No, I can’t do that.”

No explanation needed. I don’t need to argue my case in the court of friendship.

Does this work?

Not really. People still get upset. And I still feel bad. But it’s the quickest and sharpest.

It’s a hard world: people want your time from 6 in the morning to ten at night. They want their demands and needs met. They want your hands on their dirty messes.

This is cynical. So let me put it another way.

When you say the right “No” it gives you the air to find your very personal and important “Yes”.

Bill Murray says “No” to most things. People ask him to act in a movie. 99% of the time he says, “No”.

People ask to take their picture with him. He says No. People ask to partner with him on their restaurants. He says No.

Does it mean he’s selfish? Of course, not. You can’t be selfish if the things you say “Yes” to are unique to you and uniquely change the world in the way only you can do.

This is the essence of choosing yourself. Not to be selfish.

Only when you unravel and reveal the unique YOU, can you have impact on the world. Having impact today changes the future tomorrow.

Here is a Bill Murray yes:

One time he was in a cab for an hour-long drive.

He started (like he does) talking to the cab driver. He asked the driver what he does when he’s not driving a cab.

“I like to play the sax”.

“How often do you practice?” Bill said.

“Not very often. Busy driving this cab.”

“Where’s the sax now?”

“In the trunk.”

 Bill told the cab driver to pull over. Bill said, “Guess what. I know how to drive a car also.”

They got out and Bill said, “Get the sax”.

Then they switched places. Bill drove the rest of the ride.

The cab driver sat in the back and played the saxophone for an audience of just one, the new driver.

This is a Bill Murray “YES”.

How often can you take a moment in time and sculpt that moment into a beautiful work of art.

Art that has your unique signature all over it.

“Yes” you can.




Posted On: January 03, 2017


As we embark on yet another year of promise, I took some time to reflect on the current state of things.

                                             So here’s my end of year musings: a brain dump of  my state of the state


First, Stop what are you doing to the game of football?

It seems the public at large thinks football is too dangerous?

And that players are too socially irresponsible?

Last time I checked, it’s supposed to be a violent game. Dancing is a contact sport!

Football is a collision sport! Strap it on, suck it up, and prepare to go to battle!

The players that choose to participate know that. They get paid a lot of money to perform on a humongous stage and recklessly throw their bodies around.

The players who choose to partake in this war know the sacrifice and pain they will endure.

 Leave the game alone!  Stop with the whistles, the replays, the he hit too hard penalties! Men are supposed to be men!

If you want me to spend a fortune to attend a game, and cheer the battle, give me what I want, not this watered down, over officiated, watered down sludge that the game is becoming.

I think football is now becoming the new boxing.

I’m not sure which is more insane, the celebration after a play, even when you are down late in the game, or the complaining after every play by players and coaches, or the celebration penalties after the team has scored? ....and every play is either a penalty or a review!

In reality, the real issue is the message our kids are getting from all of this. I’m not sure that sports were created way back to develop the art of the complaint, or to mold soft, rules driven performers. Sports mold character, strength, relationships, and toughness. Let's get back to that!

Record Stores are Back

Hey, don’t look now but vinyl has made a comeback, and I love it.

Pay phones, toll collectors, and bookstores have all fading, but the old record store seems to be on the upswing. Hooray,! Maybe my collection will be heard again!  Unfortunately, tellers, cashiers…and even checkout stations…are about to be extinct. Seems jobs that actually service the public and have human interaction are disappearing. What does that say about our society?

Have we seen the last of big-box retailers?

We’ve got restaurants, drug stores, fast food, grocery stores, yoga studios and gyms. But big retailers? Nope. Amazon and the rest of e commerce has changed that. We've seen the last of the small boutique shops. Even Wal-Mart is closing some locations. This can't be good.

Which thought will prevail?

Why shop in the store when I can easily buy online? 


I love the fun and art of shopping.

I used to look forward to going to a store and looking around. Something tells me this new trend isn’t a good thing.

Some more thoughts

Do driver-less cars mean you can work a little more before getting to the office?

Do we really need driver less cars? I mean really?

                   Is it too hard to drive?

Baseball is getting more popular than ever. It may help if they can cut down the time of games to between 2 – 2 ½ hours!  If the NFL isn’t careful, MLB will again compete with the NFL as the most popular sport in the country. I wonder why?

Hmmm, maybe we are again ready to watch a sport where we can talk to each other during it, cheer at the appropriate times, and see the players perform without endless officiating delays to review plays that are trivial to the big picture.

Maybe the silver lining with the elections, forgetting all the rhetoric, is that we have been talking about politics and world issues in the last six months more than we have in years. We may be able to get somewhere in the future. This election was being talked about in classrooms! Maybe we will see a lot more people voting and there will be a lot more people aware of what's going on in politics. 

I don’t think we should underestimate social media. Kids should be taught more about the real-world consequences they can suffer for doing something really stupid online, and while we are at it, maybe we can stop giving everyone participation trophies. Let’s go back to rewarding accomplishment not just showing up.

 What are your thoughts?