Sunday, December 17, 2017

EB10: Star Wars 5) The Last Last Jedi

Ok folks - we didn't love this one. And it sounds like a lot of fans didn't either. I was watching the Today Show this morning and Willie Geist mentioned the rave reviews from critics. And it's true, all over instagram it's clear, the critics are in love with this movie and the fans are not --- listen, this thing has a lower audience score on rotten tomatoes than the PREQUELS.

I'm floored.

Anyway, there are some cool parts, there are some terrible parts. We share our immediate reaction in the ride home from the theater in our podcast. And I went a second time an hour after recording that podcast, and, frankly, it was a little bit better. We'll see what Dustin says after his New Year's re-watch.

So now we're freed of our Star Wars curse and we can move on to more pressing topics, like Net F**** Neutrality and the NFL Playoffs, etc.

Until next time, cheers.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

How to make good pour over coffee and what you need to do it

The coffee lover on your gift list is in luck. You have the Enlightened Bros on your side and you're about to purchase a gift that will make their life between 15% and 2000% better. Trust us. This has happened to us.

In our coffee podcast, we listed the Aeropress and French Press as our favorites. But a close second-place favorite coffee brewing method is a classic: the pour over.

A quick primer on the important variables of coffee brewing: there are three main scientific variables you need to control to get excellent coffee every time: grind consistency, temperature of the water, and the time the water spends with the coffee. With pour over methods, the grinder addresses consistency and time (size of the grind holds water back or lets it through due to gravity), and temperature is controlled by a good kettle.

Here's what your favorite coffee drinker needs to make the best pour over coffee on earth.


The "daily grind" means something different to folks like us. And the grind must be on point. Ewan McGreggor's character in Black Hawk Down was a grind afficionado. I thought he was crazy when I first saw that movie. Now he is the hero of that movie (and my whole life) for me. I've read a lot about grind and will boil down the essence here: your grind needs to be consistent and that consistency is not cheap. A blade grinder: not consistent. A conical burr grinder: consistent. Here's our picks for grinders that will take care of you.

 Mr. Coffee Burr Mill
Not super consistent,
but gets the job done
Cuisinart DBM-8
More consistent than Mr Coffee
and a little quieter than it too
Baratza Virtuoso 
This is what the pros
use at home

Pour over brewer

Nothing says delicious coffee like a manually poured-over brewing method. While it's more "work" than an automatic, the simplicity of pouring water over your now freshly-ground beans feels like you're actually aware of what's happening with your coffee. And it tastes better too.

Melitta Ready Set Joe Brewer
A nice cheap brewer that makes better coffee than your automatic machine

Hario V60 Ceramic Brewer
Who really prefers plastic anything 

Chemex Classic Brewer 
This takes style and flavor to the next level

Coming soon:
Scales & Kettles

Monday, November 27, 2017

EB06: Star Wars 1) Ranking the movies, and what's still Star Wars Canon

We are big Star Wars nerds on this podcast. But who isn't?

We wanted to commemorate the launch of Episode VIII: The Last Jedi with a few episodes leading up to December 15, so, without further ado, here they are.

This is the first of five Star Wars episodes, and we wanted to kick it off right. We talk about what might make us such fans. Without diving too far into the rabbit whole of what makes human psychology work at all, we guess it might have something to do with how it unlocks our imaginations, both our own imaginations and that of any child who has ever stepped into a theater and wondered just what it might be like to swing a real lightsaber through the air.

Then we rank the episodes. Spoiler alert, here are Justin's rankings -- Dustin's are very similar:
  1. Episode V: Empire Strikes Back
  2. Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  3. Episode IV: A New Hope
  4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  5. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  6. Ep 3
  7. Ep 2
  8. Ep 1
Then we discussed what George Lucas did with the Star Wars canon through the 80s, 90s and up to his sale to Disney and how he kept a tight leash on it. What's canon? Wikipedia says canon refers to the concept of "the conceptual material accepted as 'official' in a fictional universe's fan base." So -- yeah, it's important to us Star Wars nerds.

In the 90s, Lucas let out the leash a bit, by having Timothy Zahn write the first official novel since the canon was on lock down. Star Wars: Heir to the Empire, launched to positive reviews and breathed life into a relatively stagnant franchise. This new line of story telling turned into what we assume was a money making machine for Lucas, which helped him fund the creation of the prequels (blech).

So we then presume that after every parsec of the Star Wars universe was written about and Lucas had nowhere to go, he did the only thing he could do: sell it to someone who was ballsy enough to wipe out the thousands of pages of extended canon universe:Disney (Star Wars sold for more than $4B, by the way). Now, to that day, the all those stories in the extended universe were canon, which Star Wars nerds throughout the land held as sacred as the Bible.

Today, Disney is cashing in on the ability to turn a blank slate into a blank check by re-writing each minute of the Star Wars universe starting with the minute the second Death Star blew up--which they literally did by selling the "Shattered Empire" comic series and the "Aftermath" book trilogy.

While Disney is filling up this new blank slate with money-making materials (many of which I am happily throwing my money at), they are indeed keeping an equally, if not tighter, leash on the creation of new story lines through a story group much a modern-day Jedi council telling each author who has the right to become Star Wars story telling Jedi Master--Anakin still does not have that right. It’s clear Disney is being very strategic with their baby and, I think, ensuring they maximize the return on their investment.

In fact, supporting this theory, it's widely known that Disney has fired several directors from the Star Wars movies (we're not even halfway done with this new trilogy), and hired trustworthy Hollywood mainstays like Ron Howard or Star Wars' own J.J. Abrams to fill their place.

We discuss whether or not this is purely money driven or if it's in the best interest of the fans. Of course we'll leave the final decision up to you.

Check out some of the materials we mentioned below. Enlightened Bros uses affiliate links and may get a small portion of a commission if items are purchased.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

EB04: Meat, Design Thinking, Russian roulette questions

History of, and five tips for better meat
  • Types of cooking meat
    • Dry heat 
    • Roast 
    • Broil
    • Bbq or grill 
      • Thought to originate in the Caribbean 
      • Spanish settlers called it Barbacoa which has obviously evolved into the word barbecue 
      • Grilling is technically a method of broiling 
      • We used to be idiots about this. In in Minnesota we thought grill was barbecuing. Hot dogs and dry charred ground beef pucks. 
      • Now the event barbecue and the food category barbecue might be two different things but lest we be too enlightened I don't want to get into the etymology there.
    • Pan broiling
    • Stir frying 
    • Deep far frying
  • Wet heat 
    • Great for less tender cuts of meat 
    • Braising 
    • Stewing
    • Simmering: Used for less tender
    • Poaching: More tender cuts
      • No sear so I always thought this sounded lame. Like boiling your chicken and it tastes like um watered down chicken, but there are obviously delicious ways to braise in different liquids
Design thinking
  • Design thinking - A project and product management and planning methodology - has been around for decades 
    • Today it really represents a multi-disciplinary approach to human-centered projects that leverages research and rapid ideation. 
      • I describe it at work as a project design and management methodology that is better at innovation and human centered approach than some other boring business project methodologies. 
    • Has gained in popularity recently 
  • Back in history
    • In the 1960s - product and environment design began to evolve to try and solve programs more effectively
    • This resonates with me, think of the funky designs from the 60s like ergonomic chairs and the like 
    • We go through history with everyone designing their balls off - Scandinavians started IKEA at some point. Thanks.
    • In 1991 the design firm IDEO is formed out of a 3-way merger. 
    • Then in 1992 - a guy by the name of Richard Buchanan tied process of design thinking to innovation - and it looks like he said design has no subject matter which makes this a powerful discipline. 
    • Going forward, Ideo While most design firms hire people with backgrounds in designing furniture or spaces or graphic design, this place hires people from academia, business strategy and other disciplines. Their firms starts to win all kinds of awards with their multidisciplinary teams attacking their projects. 
    • Today, design thinking is gaining a foothold in the business world 
      • Business schools are teaching it
      • A young coworker of mine told me an assignment of his was to attend a sporting event and chart his high and low emotion points through the experience. 
    • So what is design thingijng? 
    • A lot of different ways you can attack it, but I've started to use this basic process, which I adapted from the IDEO handbook
    • Five basic steps: 
      • Research 
      • Brainstorm 
      • Prototype
      • Launch 
      • Iterate 

Mentioned in this podcast:

EB03: Coffee, Dating, and butter

In episode 3 - we discussed the history of coffee, our favorite brewing methods, and why we should probably open a coffee shop.
  • Our favorite brewing methods
    • Justin: Aeropress: the best-tasting cup of coffee you will make at home (or anywhere, really). Downsides: you only brew one cup at a time.
    • Dustin: French Press - it's "as coffee as coffee can get," as a wise Batdorf and Bronson employee told us once. It's a quick, dang tasty cup of coffee and clean up is quick and easy

  • Coffee History
    • 11th century - goat herders noticed their goats getting all crazy after eating these red berries off bushes. So they checked it out. It was coffee. Boom.
    • 15th century - Arabian peninsula - started cultivating coffee. They brewed at home but also at public coffee houses. The wifi was terrible, but the coffee was the FRESHEST.
      • A lot of intelligent conversations so they were dubbed the “schools of the wise”
    • 17th century - coffee made its way to Europe and started to become popular. Of course some thought it was from Satan like everything else that's become popular in history of everything. But I guess cooler and more caffineated heads prevailed.
    • Pope clement 8 gave it his stamp of approval so that helped.
    • Same century - coffee made its way to New York
    • Thomas Jefferson called coffee "the favorite drink of the civilized world"
  • Different waves of coffee
    • 1st wave - Folgers - this is what pushed coffee into omnipresence throughout the U.S.
    • 2nd wave - European espresso became popular in the states
    • 3rd wave - single origin specialty rosters, high end boutique coffee shops - manual brewing
Dating profiles -
  • History of dating services
  • Personal experience
  • Call on the phone and work up the balls to say out loud “will you go out with me?”
  • Now you just ask 300 girls if you wanna get a drink and you're going to succeed on some level as long as you're not 100% creep or 100% gollum from lord of the rings in your pics
  • Our generation and using them now
  • Texting, insta, Snapchat, messaging - if it's bad it's tough to get to the date
  • Lack of personal connection
Wild card
  • How fancy do you want your butter and in what applications?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Bro's Gift list

This is the infinitely buy-able list of cool stuff for dudes. You can likely buy this for just about any man on your list. And, most certainly, us, if you're in the mood to gift us these things. That would be super cool. Or make your own gift list to share with your family, lady, and coworkers and guilt them in to buying you something cool. Or, our favorite, just buy yourself something on this list right now.

But let's get on to the goods.

Duke Canon anything

Seriously. They make awesome everything. But if you want a pro tip, we love their Old Milwaukee soap, which has been around for a bit. And just in time for the holidays, they launched this Buffalo Trace soap and I'm angry at the world that I'm not already in the shower with it. Buy these for anyone. They will love you.

Chemex 10-cup Brewer

For the coffee lover in your life, they need to know the magic of the Chemex. It's clean, it tastes wonderful, and it looks like a work of art on your countertop. Go with the 10-cup so you can make this magic elixir for your guests. Trust me, filling the 6-cup twice is not as fun as it sounds when you're trying to entertain your father in law, mother in law, brother in law, his girlfriend, etc,etc...

A freakin Millenium Falcon bottle opener

Yep - we're Star Wars fans and yes we own this. (Justin has the Falcon, Dustin has Darth Vader). Can't go wrong with this for the Star Wars fan on your shopping list (or for yourself - just do it.)

Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss

We loved Ferriss' last book, Tools of Titans, which highlighted key lessons from his many podcasts. It was a huge book, and it was an incredibly interesting read which gave countless tips to help build a better life. We're looking forward to Tribe of Mentors, a sequel of sorts. Either and/or both of these would be solid holiday gifts.


Canon T6 DSLR with a 50mm lens

The budding photographer/videographer can't shoot on the iPhone forever. This Canon T6 DSLR is a great step into the "real" camera world and offers wi-fi connectivity (I'm jealous). For those that want to get serious, don't get the kit lens, which will only disappoint you later in life and pick up this incredibly-priced 50-mm fixed lens. You won't be able to zoom, which will only make you better at intentionally setting up shots. .... Canon T6 too pedestrian for you? check out the Canon 80D or the Canon 6D.


Fenix E05 Flashlight

Fenix makes excellent, nearly indestructible flashlights. This one makes a great addition to anyone's EDC. Not sure what EDC is? Then buy this immediately and start reading up.

Makita combo drill set

Every dude needs a drill. You can't go wrong with this rugged combo set in a flippin' metal carrying case from Makita.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Our favorite men's podcasts


These aren't all men-specific, but help establish an entertaining knowledge base that an enlightened bro might be interested in. There’s a heavy side-hustle focus, and of course, a nice enlightened focus. I want to be thinking about side hustles and understand the bigger context within which we’re trying to create these side hustles, hence the news podcasts.

Stuff You Should Know

These guys know their stuff. Hence the title. They’ve inspired me to be smarter about what I’m talking about. They’re so smart. In fact, they were smart enough to include some of the same stuff about beer history that we went through in our episode 2 about "effin IPAs." I presume they may have heard our podcast, loved it so much, then taken a time machine back and recorded it before we recorded ours. Time travel is a big theme with our podcast. So it's totally possible.

Side Hustle School

This polished provides a brief explanation of side hustles and how they got started. I really appreciate it because it’s a quick bite-sized piece that gives you some good food for thought on a regular basis.

Art of Manliness

Brett McKay is the godfather of men’s new media. Or something like that. Art of Manliness was my instruction manual for a my pivotal yo-pro years. His guests are thought leaders and experts in their field. I recently listened to a discussion with an author on the history of camping. What a brilliant topic that Brett must have stolen from us in the future and gone back in a time machine because we’re totally going to do that some day soon.

HBR Ideacast

This little nugget of wisdom is usually pulled from larger articles published in Harvard Business Review. Who couldn't use intelligent tips to unleash on your high-impact corporate job, if you have one. And if not, these are likely often relevant for the rest of you bros "doing what you love," or whatever.

Life Time Cash Flow through Real Estate Investing with Rod Khlief

I've been on a real estate kick recently doing some work with a friend of mine who’s crushing it on AirBnB. Rod’s podcast is a good one that focuses on the benefits of apartment buildings more so than single-family houses, while….

Bigger Pockets

...focuses a lot on the success in single family buy-rehab-rent-refinance-repeat model. They really make it sound like a great way to start building semi-passive income.

NY Times The Daily

NY Times gives a fairly quick bite-sized piece about the headline(s) of the day. I don’t read the newspaper every morning over orange juice and toast before I put on my short sleeved button up, get in my Chrysler station wagon, and drive to my job like it’s the 1980s, so it’s nice to get the latest world happenings on the commute.

NPR Planet Money

This is a great podcast that covers some sort of economic story in depth really well with millennial-friendly looseness and humor that one might gravitate toward in a podcast. Sounds awfully enlightened….

Enlightened Bros

They're just getting started, but these guys have got it figured out. Well, we're figuring it out. But we think you might like this thing, because as much as I might hate the sound of my own voice, I get a chuckle out of myself, and they always say if you laugh at your own jokes, then you've got incredible podcast material, right?

EB10: Star Wars 5) The Last Last Jedi

Ok folks - we didn't love this one. And it sounds like a lot of fans didn't either. I was watching the Today Show this morning ...