Follow these 3 easy steps to burn your house down


For whatever reason, you've decided to burn your house down...

It's much easier than you think - broken down into these 3 simple steps:

  1. Allow your pan to heat on high
  2. Pour a liberal amount of coconut oil on the pan
  3. Panic

That's it. Now sit back and enjoy the glorious combustion of substance interacting chemically with the oxygen in the air.

In all seriousness, Wednesday evening taught me a lesson in preparation and caution, for I had neither. I took a major L that night when I almost burnt my place down. It all started with an urge to take another crack at cooking a steak.

On Monday, my birthday, I celebrated with a steak and a bottle of wine. However, my steak got charred on the pan, smoked ensued, and fire alarms went off. Definitely a far cry, from the relaxing evening I was hoping for. Nevertheless, I salvaged the steak and managed to enjoy the rest of the night.

Like many, I hate to lose. Though the wine was good, Monday evening left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Literally and metaphorically.

ENTER: the ego and the medium-rare ribeye

Fast forward to Wednesday evening -  that determination and drive to win manifested into another attempt at this steak. While I was at the gym earlier that day, a spirited conversation with the "sister wives" yielded offers to celebrate DJ's Birthday 2.0 aka "HADJIpalooza 2017" - they would cook if I provided the booze. Excellent idea.

PRO TIP: the flashing point of coconut oil is 350 ° F

PRO TIP: the flashing point of coconut oil is 350°F

But my ego said otherwise. Next thing you know, I'm on the phone with  a friend talking about cooking steak, what temperature, and the best approaches. 30 minutes later, I'm at home with a juicy looking ribeye, cup filled with merlot, plotting how this next episode can be documented as an Instagram story, all while prepping the pan on HIGH.

My eyes glowed with renewed vigor as I cautiously poured the coconut oil onto the pan...

And for the next 2 minutes, my ego crumbled.

The pan ignited and flames threatened to consume the microwave and surrounding cabinets. Immediately, I went into survival mode. I did not panic. My towel was not large enough to smother the fire, so I immediately grabbed the pan by the handle and placed it on the tiled floor, letting the flame die. 

Like Monday's episode, smoke ensued and fire alarms went off, but instead of charring my steak, I ended up with a bruised ego and thoughts of what could have been. 

It is true, even adults need "adult supervision." Ladies and gentlemen, I fucked up. <sips glass of whiskey>

Once the nerves had settled and everything had gotten under control, I was able to bounce back with a decent medium-well ribeye:


It is a cliche statement, but if you can take anything away from my episode, please remember that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. AND DO NOT PANIC.

Not exactly one of my brighter moments, but certainly one that sharpened my testicular fortitude and wit.

When proving your girlfriend wrong goes right.

10 years of my life I can claim home ownership. Over the course of those years, I have upgraded, repaired, repainted, rented out, restored, but most importantly relished my time living there. The interior design certainly evolved through the years and continues to be refined as time goes on.

But out of those 10 years, not one point did I ever own a coffee table. I am not generally picky, but when it comes to furniture - I have a difficult time. I have always loved that ultramodern style, but I know I couldn't achieve it living in the suburbs. BUT, if I could get that one coffee table to satiate that style, I could transform my Pasco County townhouse into a downtown Manhattan loft. 

ENTER: Derek Auns

Derek and I have been friends for several years now, and through those years - I have discovered that his skills with woodworking resembles the quality of someone who's been doing it their whole life. Give him some pine wood and a few beers, he'll come back with a replica of Sagrada Família. He's that good. 

And he's my next guest in this week's episode of Filipino TIME

Here he explains the process of how he built this magnificent structural cube of significance and fortitude as well as the perils of laying metal inlays beneath hundreds of pounds of concrete:

And finally, Derek wraps up with some advice on following your passion. Not bad for a young buck.

If you're interested in learning more about Derek Auns Woodworking or just woodworking in general, you can reach his Facebook page for more info.  PEACE!

The Escape to Cuba

In Cuba, a Cuban sandwich is just a sandwich.

Now that I got that out of the way, I had a great time in Cuba this past week and I'm sure my distinguished colleague, Derrick, feels the same - with exception to the stomach bug he caught towards the end of the trip. Common logic would point to the street hamburger he consumed that day, but a deeper investigation through deductive reasoning and empirical data highly suggests that his digestive adversity resulted from the wrath of the "Red Lady".

More on her later.

So why visit Cuba?  

I needed a break from the so-called daily "routine" of work-gym-dogs-sleep-repeat. 

I found the challenge of visiting a country with such an archaic modus operandi very appealing. Cuba as a destination will satiate anyone seeking to get out of their comfort zone:

  • internet - don't count on it
  • mobile network service - nope
  • credit/debit cards - uh uh
  • two separate currencies circulate - CUC vs CUP

Not to mention, my Spanish sucks.

But you know what? I knew I had this trip under control. The plan was to go down there with no money, and all sex appeal. For those four days, I was going to be known as En-r-r-r--ique.

Funny how "Escape to Cuba" has an ironic ring to it, but it holds a lot of truth.

I'll be posting more about my experiences in Cuba later. For now, enjoy the first part of the critically-acclaimed drama series - Las Crónicas HADJI Visitan Cuba. 


Las Crónicas HADJI Visitan Cuba - Episodio 1