Thursday, September 21, 2017

What is Wagyu Beef?

If you enjoy fine steaks, like I do, you’ve certainly heard of Wagyu.  There is a lot of confusion over what is wagyu beef, so today I’m going to set the record straight as well as share my own thoughts on this topic.

Wagyu is a Japanese beef cattle breed.  The cattle are native to Asia, and further, if you really want to impress a date, you should know that “Wa” means Japanese, while “gyu” means cow. Pretty simple stuff so far, right?

Let’s take things a step further and delve into the history of Wagyu beef and how they became one of the most in demand cuts of beef in fine dining establishments today.

The History of Wagyu Beef in Japan

Selected for their physical prowess and endurance, Wagyu is a horned breed that are either red or black in color.

Modern cattle that are considered Wagyu are actually Japanese native cattle that are bred with breeds that are imported.  This dates back to 1868 when Western culture began to be introduced into the area, thanks in part to the government.

The Japanese national herd is comprised mostly of the following strains:

Black Strains in Japan

  • Tajiri (Tajima)
  • Kedaka (Tottori)
  • Fujiyoshi (Shimane)

Red Strains in Japan

  • Kochi
  • Kumamoto

90% of the Japanese cattle are black according to Wagyu.org.

Which Breeds are Considered Wagyu in Japan?

There are four breeds that fit this category:

  • Japanese Black – this is the most commonly export to the U.S
  • Japanese Brown – U.S. calls this “Red Wagyu.”
  • Japanese Polled
  • Japanese Shorthorn

The last two on this list are NOT being bred outside of Japan. 

Since this is a luxury cattle, this beef is a highly regulated ordeal.  Progeny testing is mandatory and only the premier genetics are used for constant breeding.  Since the Japanese Government figured out the unique selling proposition and value of this cattle, Wagyu have been banned for exporting and they are a national living treasure.  It’s so regulated that there is a Government held entity, called Zenwa, that oversees the registry for all breeds.

Wagyu Breeding in the USA and the History

In 1975 Morris Whitney imported four bulls – two black and two red.  This was the first Wagyu imported into the United States.  With a desire for U.S. producers of beef to help make a premium product for Japan, the Japanese lowered the tariffs on imported beef in 1989.  This led to further Wagyu importations in the 1990’s. The products made from these were mostly exported back to Japan.  However, in 2003, BSE was found and most countries, including Japan, ceased all imports of U.S. beef.

These days, high end steak houses utilized the U.S. production of wagyu beef.

Why Is Wagyu Beef So Good?

Tender, tasty, and highly marbled, this is something that all steak lovers (like myself) can’t wait to sink their teeth into.  Although it does come with a high price point (I paid $72 for one at Hank’s, a martini bar and chop house in Las Vegas), it’s worth every penny to me.  You’ll find the wagyu beef offered at the finest steak houses across the U.S.A.

In addition to being tasty, it’s also a bit healthier than your average steak.  According to health experts, the mono-unsaturated to saturated fat ratio is greater in Wagyu when compared to other beef.  Additionally, it’s beneficial since the beef is highly marbled.

Lastly, there is a fatty acid known as CLA (conjugated linoleic acid.) With over 30% MORE than other breeds of beef, this is said to have less negative health effects.

Where to Buy American Wagyu Beef Online

If you like to show off your master grilling skills, you’ll be happy to know that you can order wagyu beef online.  I have a preferred vendor list that I’ve personally ordered from.  (Pics to follow).  Check out each company below and know that I fully endorse each one of them.

You can always get it at your local steak house as well.  If you found this article helpful, and it led to you ordering this type of beef, please post a pic of it on Instagram and use #thingsmenbuy.  You’ll be eligible for free swag, courtesy of Things Men Buy.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Why You Should Consider Buying DJ Speakers for Use at Home

Every music lover needs a good set of speakers to be able to hear the unique sounds and tones of the songs they choose to play. Whether you are a DJ or simply love music, choosing a high quality set of speakers can make all the difference in the world in sound quality. This article will discuss some of the reasons you should consider purchasing DJ speakers for at home use.

  1. Sound quality. Be sure to do your research on buying information and take your time in finding the best speakers for your needs. Just as buying a car or home is subjective, so is buying a good set of speakers for your home. Everyone has different goals for their sound system and opinions on what sounds the best. Listening to a variety of speaker options can help you determine what will work best in your space as well as what system projects the best sound.
  2. Type of speakers. There are a variety of speaker types on the market so you familiarizing yourself with the latest offerings is a good idea. If you know that you will want to host birthday parties or other social gatherings, investing in a higher quality set of speakers that can project great sound to a crowd is a good idea. However, if you are planning to only listen to music in a small area, a bookshelf speaker set may be perfect.
  3. A room can make a huge difference. Where will you be playing your speakers? Will you have them in a small home office or will you be purchasing speakers to outfit a large finished basement? Depending on the room and space, you will need a speaker system that can project and be heard. Purchasing a set of DJ speakers would be a great addition to a large area as the sound will be heard throughout the space and potentially in various areas of the house.
  4. Durability. If you hope to keep your speakers for a long period of time, that is even more of a reason to invest in a system that is of DJ quality. DJ speakers are made with materials that can withstand the test of time and will have a longer life than a standard set of speakers.
  5. Good range. DJ speakers are made to provide a good range of sounds and frequencies and will be able to project the lows and highs in clear and crisp manner. If you plan to play dance music, you will want to consider investing in a subwoofer as well.

There are many considerations that should come into play when determining the best set of speakers for your home. Investing in a high quality set of speakers that is sufficient for a DJ’s use is a good idea as you will not be disappointed. The DJ speakers will be able to play to a small or large area, can be used to host parties or social gatherings, will provide a good range of sounds and frequencies, and will be able to withstand the test of time.

You may also like:

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

How To Find the Best Anti Aging Cream for Men

A short time ago, I wrote about the best skin products for men.  Today, I’ll go into some of the things men need to know about how to find the best wrinkle creams.

In order for you to decide on what the best wrinkle cream for your skin should be, it is important for you to do your homework and know your product well in so that you are well informed. A dermatologist can also help you sort out what works, what is the hype, and what might help your skin.  Today I’m dumbing down the online research process so you can avoid going to the dermatologist and be a smart shopper.

Finding Anti Aging Creams for Men

Solve sun damage and wrinkles with antioxidants

I golf locally, as well as take trips to other sunny States to meet friends and play golf.  At least I try.  This means the sun is beating down on me constantly.

Antioxidants are a natural substance which is comprised of vitamins and minerals which are found in most plants in a different range of amounts. They can fight against “free radicals” which damage the skin DNA.

Arnold Palmer wrinkles

Arnold Palmer was a tremendous golfer. He also had skin wrinkles from so much sun, which is something I’m trying to avoid.

Damaged skin cells can be really boost aging in a negative way with wrinkles, dry skin, dark circles under the eyes, dull skin, and more. Consuming foods which are rich in antioxidants are key, not only for your skin but also generally for your overall health. Antioxidants are also used on the skin and the antioxidants which are most known to repair damaged skin and slowing the aging process include Acai oil, Alpha-lipoic acid, green tea extract, Retinol, Vitamin C, CoEnzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10), Caffeine. Along with these the other plant-based or natural ingredients for skin that is aging is found in skin-care products which include Alpha-hydroxy acid, Salicylic acid, Hyaluronic acid.

Acai Oil

Acai berries, are native to Central and South America, (although I never saw them when I lived in San Jose) and are highly potent in antioxidants, more than those found in other berries. Cold-pressing acai berries extracts the oil, which can fight aging by healing sun damage and smoothing wrinkles.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Alpha-lipoic acid is made by the body and is found in every cell. It also works as an antioxidant; it attacks free radicals throughout the body where it has the ability to absorb into skin-cell membranes to destroy them. Alpha-lipoic acid is advertised commercially as a substance that can erase fine lines and wrinkles, diminish pores, and give skin a healthy glow.

Green Tea Extract 

Tea is known to be filled with nutrients called polyphenols, which have been shown to fight free radicals.

Early studies have found the ingredients in tea can reduce sun damage and may protect skin from skin cancer when applied topically. Using green tea extract under sunscreen may yield a double dose of protection. Polyphenols in creams and lotions may also slow signs of aging and reduce sagging skin and wrinkles.

Retinol

Retinol is made from vitamin A and goes on your skin. It boosts collagen production and plumps out skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It also improves skin tone and color, and reduces mottled patches on the skin.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is being added to skin care products such as creams and lotions. If you want to use a topical vitamin C-based product, ask your dermatologist which one would be right for you otherwise the creams with high concentrations of vitamin C are the ones that are likely to work.  It’s also a master antioxidant, which is basically what detox drinks are known to do.

CoEnzyme Q-10 (CoQ-10)

Your body naturally makes CoQ-10 to neutralize free radicals in cells. As you age, you make less CoQ-10. That may make skin cells more vulnerable to damage by free radicals.

That’s a quick 20,000 foot look into ingredients you should know about.  The biggest tip I can give you is that when you read a skin care product label, the ingredients will be listed in the order of the amount of the active ingredient percentage.  The first ingredient will always be water, then it will be followed by the next most active ingredients.

Look out soon for our skin care product round-up, where we’ll talk about the best products for each skin condition a man will suffer over the course of his 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and beyond.

Product Reviews You Should Read:

 

 

 

 

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Golfers Rickie Fowler & Jordan Spieth Have Spring Break in Baker’s Bay

Back when I was in high school in the 90’s, the only thing that mattered to the people in Minnesota was who was good a putting the puck in the net, who had a hard slap shot, and who could put a guy over the boards.  Sure, football, basketball, and even baseball had their pockets of popularity, but the main sport of hockey was the one 99% of the people cared about above all other.  Unless you were a hockey player, or a Minnesota Viking, you were just another athlete.

Tell that to Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Smylie Kaufman, and Justin Thomas.  All of these accomplished (especially Spieth, arguably the best golfer on tour right now) PGA tour golfers are living the high life, even on their down time between tournaments.  Case in point, their recent “Spring Break” trip to Baker’s Bay.

#SB2K17

Just look up that hash tag and witness all of the fun.  Today I dive in to the story of how they got there, and why they had so much fun.

The PGA Golf Spring Break Trip to Baker’s Bay Bahamas

Baker’s Bay may not sound like much to you, but to the ultra rich celebrities, it’s really a place that is known as that secret vacation spot.  Ben Affleck, Cindy Crawford, Elle MacPherson, Tom Brady, and even the legendary Michael Jordan all frequent Baker’s Bay.  Fowler owns one of the residences there, and there are fewer than 300.

Immediately after the Master’s, the foursome took off for Baker’s Bay for a week of partying.  To say it was wild is an understatement.  The stuff seen on public social media was off the charts, so I can only be left curious to what they didn’t show us.

Fowler put the entire ordeal on snap chat.  Today, I provide you with some of the awesome highlights.

Clearly, it’s good to be young and consistent off the tee!

#1:  These boys don’t always take golf seriously.

One observer, named Nathan Hubbard, who posted a great recap of this entire ordeal here, noted that the crew played golf in carts, shirtless, and blaring music.   Minus the shirtless part, that’s a standard round for me, but one that these guys don’t get to enjoy too often at the stuffy clubs they have to compete at.

Side Note:  I found this story on many news sites.  NONE had the depth of Nathan’s.  None.  Not even close.

Side Note 2:  Nathan is a beast himself.  Former CEO of Ticketmaster.  Well played.

#2:  They Get Hammered

First off, they are on break, and they should be hammered.  They have every right to.  But second, this course caters to this debauchery.  There is a bar called the Sip Sip.  Need I say more?

Okay, I will.  They do shots of Casamigos tequila (which I love, but you’d think they would get Don Julio Real?)

#3:  They Got Their Own SnapChat Filter

This is perhaps the most impressive part of the entire ordeal.  Snapchat made them their own filter.  Slow clap, guys.  No, fuck it.  HUGE APPLAUSE.

snapchat filter

These guys are the epitome of millennials living large and enjoying it.  Good for them, they entirely deserve it.  Who do you think hooked up the most?

Here are a few clips from this amazing Bro-Fest.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How Men Can Score Big With Adult Dating Websites

Hey guys!  Tom Savage here, with a special guest contribution to ThingsMenBuy.com.

Hook up sites are significantly rising in popularity thanks to the ease of success people are having with it. A adult hook up site is a place or a platform over the internet that provides adult singles with a chance to find a partner to have sex with. Depending on your personal profile and social skills, using a hook up site can land you a fling every weekend with multiple people and you won’t even have to get involved in a long term relationship.

If you haven’t already started using adult hook up sites, you are missing out a whole new world of opportunity out there. So let me help you convince on why you should use adult hook up sites starting today.

Hook Up Sites are as Easy as ABC to Use

The whole concept of hook up sites was to provide an easy to use platform for common people where they can come and find adult singles. Hook up sites are as easy to use as Facebook. You will be required to sign up an account, add details about your personal profile and then find singles just like you find friends on Facebook.

Countless Options

Are you someone who enjoys having tons of options available for you to pick from? You’ll rarely going to find many options at your local bookstore, gym or bar. But on hookup sites, the options are nearly countless. There are hundreds and thousands of singles signed up on hook up sites which means that you’ll have at least half of that number’s total options to choose from. If you like trying out something new every week, hook up sites can help you achieve that dream of yours.

Look for Your Desires

So you are a kind of person who loves something particular about a person. Perhaps you enjoy women with red hair, or women who have great physique or a nice character? Whatever your choices are, you can head over to a hook up site and filter out the adults to specific people that match your taste. If you’re a woman, you can do the same to find a man with your personal tastes.

Find that Perfect Match

Did you know that hook up sites have complex systematic algorithms working behind that look at your personal profile and then match it against the perfect person according to your taste. Every site has a unique algorithm. While some sites don’t provide you a good match, others can help you find a near perfect match by automatically scanning your profile. The system is very simple yet very effective in helping you find the right one for you.

Hook up sites are without any doubt the best place you can go for casual sex tonight.  Sure, you will still need some good old fashion game, and you probably should look nice when you meet your date, but let’s face it, when two people are in the mood, there is just no stopping them.

So stop wondering what will come out of it and just head over to the internet and start your search to find the best hook up sites with the most wonderful adult singles.  Here is my top five list.  Use it.  Enjoy it.  Then, please come back here and leave a comment about your experience.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

2017 NFL Football Season Predictions

I figured with the Hall of Fame Game coming up next weekend, along with the Hall of Fame ceremony itself, (congrats again Jason Taylor) it was time to shed some light on who I feel will win each division and move on to the most watched season in sports:  the NFL Playoffs.

Being raised in Minnesota, I’m excited for the Land of 10,000 Lakes to get the Super Bowl in their amazing new stadium.  I went to the first Vikings game ever played there, which was a thrilling victory over our rival Green Bay Packers.  Stephon Diggs had a monster night, and new Viking Sam Bradford looked sharp in leading the team to victory.

There was also an amazing tribute to Prince, who is no doubt Minnesota’s most famous native.

If anyone gets a chance to attend the Super Bowl this year in Minnesota, I can guarantee the Stadium will impress the shit out of you.  What I can’t guarantee is that you’ll have good weather.

Enough preamble, let’s get to the 2017 Season!

My 2017 NFL Football Picks

****Note, this release is dated August 1 and does not take into account any injuries or personnel changes that could happen prior to the start of the season.  I’ll update my picks should something major happen in future blog posts.  Current betting odds per the Las Vegas Westgate can be found on ESPN.com.

Let’s start with the AFC, since they have the defending Champion New England Patriots.  The AFC East should be a breeze this year.  I mean seriously, who is going to compete with Tom Brady?  Sure, he just turned 40, but he was once again the MVP of the Super Bowl less than 9 months ago.  Bills?  Dolphins?  Jets?  Please, this is the easiest division in football and it’s not even close.

AFC East Projections:

  1. New England
  2. Buffalo
  3. Miami
  4. New York Jets

Next, let’s move on to one of the more gritty divisions in the NFL – the AFC North.  The Steelers are the most probable pick to win the division according to recent odds, but they will have to fend off the resilient Cincinnati Bengals as well as the never say die Baltimore Ravens.  I don’t predict this division to be a runaway by any means, but I do feel the Steelers will win it, even if that means it’s on the last day of the season.  With Martavis Bryant coming back as well as a healthy Leveon Bell, this team as is dangerous as they come on offense.  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is contemplating retirement, and you know he’ll stop at nothing to try to lead his team to the Super Bowl once again.

AFC North Projections:

  1. Pittsburgh
  2. Cincinnati
  3. Baltimore
  4. Cleveland

The main question is, who will drop a game to the lowly Browns?  It seems they sting a divisional opponent, or two, in one of their few wins each year.

The AFC South is probably the closest division in football when it comes to parody and predicting a winner this year is difficult for many reasons. First off, you have a Tennessee Titans team that is certainly trending upwards.  With a backfield of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, you simply can’t count them out of any game.  However, team leader and QB Marcus Mariota is coming off an injury, and it’s yet to be determined how his play will suffer.  They did add Minnesota native Eric Decker to the mix, and he will help instantly on offense, provided he can stay free of injuries.

Jacksonville is rebuilding.  I feel like this is a yearly statement.  The addition of a solid running back in Leonard Fournette is great, but I still don’t anticipate much of an improvement from the Jaguars.  The Texans went an entirely new direction in changing quarterbacks, but can a Rookie (Deshaun Watson) lead them to a division title?  Before you say no, remember that Dak Prescott did this just a short year ago.  He’ll still have to make the formality final by beating out Tom Savage, so let’s take things as they come.  The team has a lot of pieces, and did make the playoffs last year, so they will be a team to watch.

The Colts being the last team in this division, it’s really hard to say what they will do.  Andrew Luck was once the next Tom Brady, and while he hasn’t fallen as far as Colin Kaepernick, his stock has dropped.  For him, it’s due to injuries and poor protection, and his status to start the season is questionable.  I feel like the Colts ship sailed, and while they can be a dream team one week, I think this year they fade.  I officially feel bad for Frank Gore, he’s an all time legend and deserves to play for a contender.

AFC South Predictions:

  1. Tennessee
  2. Houston
  3. Indianapolis
  4. Jacksonville

That’s officially my long shot pick to overcome the odds.  Tennessee is supposed to finish third, but I think their running backs will flourish in season two together.  Questions at quarterback for the other contenders makes this long shot easier to justify.

The NFC should have won the Super Bowl last year.  Actually they won the game, in my eyes, but the Falcons beat themselves.  A middle school coach could have called better plays in the second half and led the Falcons to victory, but what’s done is done.  It only built the legend of Tom Brady, so I’m fine with it.  Plus, Atlanta beat Minnesota on a bullshit missed kick back in the late 90’s to go to the Super Bowl, so I really don’t feel sorry for their fan base.

Let’s start right there with the NFC South.  This division features a lot of explosion on offense.  With Adrian Peterson in New Orleans, the Saints COULD emerge as a contender if they can shore up their defense.  That is, if the old AP is back at it.  I’ll never count that guy out.  Cam Newton had a down year in 2016, but the addition of Christian McCaffrey should boost his arsenal on offense.  The versatile running back can play wide receiver and catch passes out of the backfield and my money is on him to win the Rookie of the Year on offense as long as he stays healthy.  Tampa returns many players and added a very solid tight end out of Alabama who will boost Jameis Winston to elite status if he delivers in the NFL.  I do like the Falcons team, but will they be as magical as they were in 2016?  It’s hard to imagine they can be as high flying, but with Julio Jones in the mix, that’s really what Falcons do – they fly.

NFC South Predictions:

  1. Carolina
  2. Atlanta
  3. Tampa Bay
  4. New Orleans

If Cam Newton regains form, it’s his division once again.  He was hurt a lot last year, and if he’s healthy, I think they take the division from Atlanta.  That’s another one that goes against Las Vegas, but hey, you gotta roll the dice sometimes.

The NFC West is a two team race.  Seattle vs. Arizona.  This one is going to come down to who stays healthier.  Sorry to be captain obvious, but really, do you see LA winning this division?  How about San Francisco?  Case rested.

NFC West Predictions:

  1. Seattle
  2. Arizona
  3. LA
  4. San Francisco

This isn’t my favorite division, and I am cheering for Larry Fitzgerald to make a post season run, but that’ll be up to his health as well as his veteran quarterback, Carson Palmer.  My money is on the younger Seattle Seahawks.

The NFC NORSE – err – North.  For starters, let me say that this is the division I follow the closest.  Always have, and always will.  I look for Sam Bradford and Stephon Diggs to keep their momentum going, and I look for the defense the Vikings had in the early parts of last season to resurface, and I pray that we don’t lose our entire offensive line like we did last year.  If that  happens, this one will be a good one for the Vikings.  The Packers lost Eddie Lacy, and honestly, I could not have been happier about that.  The Bears are the Bears, so we’ll not worry about them.  It’s been a while since we had to actually worry about them winning the North.  Detroit is a threat because of their quarterback, but I just see this as a two team race once again.  It’s going to be Aaron Rodgers and his air show versus the Minnesota D to see who advances with the crown.

NFC North Predictions:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Green Bay
  3. Detroit
  4. Chicago

The NFC East is always a fun one, thanks to the national attention it gets with the annoying Joe Buck calling all these Cowboys games.  I really hope the Cowboys implode this year, just so I can see Joe Buck make excuses.  Rooting for the Giants to get the East this year and old off young Carson Wentz, mainly because I think the Eagles song “Fly, Eagles, Fly,” is about as annoying as their fan base.  (I have many friends who like the Eagles – you know who you are.)  I can’t take the Redskins seriously because they can’t get serious about choosing a quarterback, so I’m going to say they finish last.  This is going to turn some heads, but my predictions are as follows.

NFC East Predictions:

  1. New York
  2. Philadelphia
  3. Dallas
  4. Washington

This leaves us with simply the playoffs (playoffs……?   Jim Mora) to go.  I’m going to wrap that thought up on another blog post and link you to it later this month!

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Friday, July 28, 2017

What is Pho?

Lately I’ve been on an absolute tear when it comes to eating at some of the best restaurants in Las Vegas.  Heck, I’ve been doing a lot of travel this Summer, which means I’ve been eating out quite a bit, which I’m not mad about.

While there are some premium steak houses that dominate my “Must Do” in Las Vegas list, I always make it a point to get my fixing of beef pho noodle soup at Pho Kim Long Vietnamese restaurant in Spring Valley.   Click that link if you are curious about it and want to read a review of the establishment on a travel website that I also contribute to.

Pho Soup Pic

I wish we had this growing up in Minnesota. It would have been amazing after playing hockey in the cold.

What on Earth is Pho?

Pronounced “fuh,” Pho is the national dish of Vietnam.  It’s a delightful (did I just use that word?) noodle soup that in my opinion, puts chicken noodle soup to shame. The fragrant soup consists of rice noodles and thinly sliced beef and is served with fresh herbs and sprouts that you can add at your own discretion.  Most places serve it with optional additions like sriracha and hoisin.  Some places also use fish sauce, garlic vinegar, and other additions.  Much like chili, there is no right or wrong recipe!

In North America, we are used to eating soups on cold days, mostly for lunch and dinner.  However, in Vietnam, this is a breakfast dish that is widely available across the country.  Making a proper stock can take a couple days, and it’s not the easiest of broths to make.  I’ve been to restaurants in South Florida that feature a Japanese and Thai menu that have tried offering up Pho as a way to boost business.  Let’s just say they should stick to what they are known for.

My favorite flavor is beef pho noodle soup.  To me, there is nothing as tasty as a beef broth. I once tried the seafood pho, and it wasn’t a comparison.  I’m currently putting together an expose on the best places to get Pho in the United States.  Bare with me as it’ll take some time, and you know I’ll be starting my search in Las Vegas!

 

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