Sunday, December 30, 2012

25 New Year's Resolutions You Should Make

It's that time of the year again. A time to look back at how the past year went and a time to plan and make goals for the upcoming year. 

But before you start setting goals for next year here are 25 things you should commit to doing this year to give you a fresh start at success in 2013:

  1. Get your passport. You never know when a great travelling opportunity may arise. You can download the passport application here.
  2. Read your preferred religious text all the way through. If you claim to belong to a religion it's about time you read your holy book all the way through if you haven't already. Break it down day by day so that it's manageable. The best site for the Bible is here. 
  3. Register or renew your domain names. If you don't own your own name as a .com it's about time you went out and bought it.
  4. Check your credit score.
  5. Go to the dentist.
  6. Buy new socks and underwear. And remember that white socks are only for yard work and working out at the gym.
  7. Put together a savings plan.
  8. Put everything on a calendar. Google Calendar or iCloud are both great.
  9. Organize your closet. Pull your old clothes out and donate them to charity.
  10. Organize your computer files and backup up the important ones online.
  11. Put up a Linkedin profile.
  12. Make plans to travel at least one place in 2013.
  13. Put together a list of quotes that inspire you.
  14. Set aside a few minutes each week to meditate.
  15. Update your rèsumè.
  16. Write down your bucket list.
  17. Write down all of your account #’s, logins and passwords in a secure place.
  18. Get a safety deposit box at the bank.
  19. Put together a list of books to read.
  20. Buy a paper shredder and get rid of old documents.
  21. Buy a scanner and scan important files.
  22. Put together a plan to learn things that will make you better at your current job.
  23. Make sure your computer and antivirus are up to date.
  24. Backup your phone #’s and contact info.
  25. Write down your list of goals for 2013.

Wishing you the best in 2013! -Shawn

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Review of The Big Texan Steak Ranch

I've always wanted to go to Amarillo and visit The Big Texan Steak Ranch ( for a meal. Finally I got the opportunity to stop in on my way through town.

For those of you who have lived under a rock, The Big Texan has been on numerous food and travel shows. They're famous for the Free 72-oz. Steak Challenge. If you can eat a 72-oz. steak,  baked potato, roll, and shrimp in under an hour it's free.

I'm not a competition eater so instead I ordered the "50th Anniversary Steak". It's like a smaller version of the challenge. It has an 18-oz. sirloin, 3 shrimp, baked potato, salad, and roll. Normally I would order a steak medium-rare but I chose medium this time. Something about this place didn't make me trust that they knew how to cook a steak.

My food came out and was was very underwhelming. I knew it was going to be rough when the waitress looked at my friend and said, "Umm. You may want to cut into your steak and let me know if you think it is cooked correctly." Ofcourse it was not so it went back to the kitchen to be cooked longer.

My salad, roll, shrimp, and baked potato were standard cafeteria fare. The steak was dry, tough, and tasted more like a cowboy boot than a steak. I was thoroughly disappointed.

However, this is not where the story ends. While the Big Texan is definitely not a food destination it is most certainly a tourist destination. It's stereotypical Texas on acid. Being a native Texan I was somewhere between amused and offended. I'm a little horrified that travelers might stop in and think this is what Texans are like.

The staff dresses up like a character from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. There are even cowboys walking around playing the guitar and singing folk songs. The restaurant itself looks like a wild west saloon. The outside of the building looks like a cross-between a circus and a old west town. There really isn't anything else I've ever experienced quite like this place.

So if you're on I-40 cruising through Amarillo stop on by. It's definitely worth the experience., and afterwards make sure you stop by Cadillac Ranch right outside of town.