Help Save Moon Bears Rescued from Bile Farms

Hi friends, family, followers! My very good friend Jonathan Lorenzo, who is currently working with endangered and at risk pangolins in Vietnam, is raising funds for his upcoming trip to China to help provide medical care for moon bears who have been rescued from bile farms. Jonathan is a passionate, intelligent, and hard-working animal conservationist with almost twenty years of experience working with animals in various capacities, including as a vet tech for the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo in New York.

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Look at this badass dude. That’s a pangolin Jonathan is holding. 

If you can donate a few bucks, it will go a long way. I can personally vouch for Jonathan and am in contact with him regularly so feel free to contact me if you have any questions about making a donation to this campaign. Also, you can follow Jonathan on Instagram here: JonathanZooLife. The link to his fund raising page can be found here (also copying the narrative text below):

https://fundrazr.com/b1cC60?ref=fb_38l2v3_ab_1OM7Plzno5S1OM7Plzno5S

“Hello Everyone! I am officially fundraising for the last bit of financial help needed for expenses on my 3 months of volunteer medical aid in China this spring/summer to help save and return a quality of life to asiatic bears rescued from bile farms. These bears are often taken from the wild while young, having mother killed, and live many years in unthinkable conditions that do not provide enrichment or any decency for these highly intelligent omnivores. This horrible practice is largely illegal but still persists with poor enforcement and lack of caretakers. Please help me come to the aid of threatened wildlife and help these bears with medical triage, necessary surgery, supportive care, behavioral rehabilitation and advocacy to increase the awareness of the plight of these sweet bears who deserve much better. By supporting me in this and talking to others about the truth about bile farms you are helping to end the cruelty they commit and the uninformed demand fueling this mostly unfounded and completely unsustainable and unethical drive in traditional medicine.

Personally, I was accepted as a professional volunteer for the Animals Asia foundation for this time last April 2019 to assist them in April, May and June of 2020 and have already paid for airfare for 2 legs of my journey plus travelers insurance and have my invitation letter from government which will lead to my visa being issued in about a months time. I am now completely broke though and all of my volunteered efforts in wildlife conservation in Vietnam and China from 2019 through half of 2020 are unpaid.  Given this I truly need to ask for financial support to buying the last bit of my airfare plus have some money to purchase meals for myself over those 3 months. My estimation is that $1500 should cover all of this. If I could get 100 people to donate $15 dollars then I’d be there with little strain to anyone else. Please help me help these poor bears that need a boost in life after the physical, emotional and psychological stress they have been put through by poachers and consumers of bear bile products. Thank you for your kindness in advance.”

Thanks for reading and for any potential donations that can support Jonathan’s important work!

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: 2 Matt: 0

In my notes for my next blog post and or podcast episode, I wrote down “Last week – went to Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) for first time in almost two months. Everything hurts BUT my ribs”. That was on Thursday evening. It’s now Tuesday evening. I made it through 55 or so minutes of an exhausting but largely unremarkable jiu jitsu class. Then while rolling with a guy about my size, who also happens to be named Matt, I heard a crack. It was similar to the sound of when you pop a row of knuckles or your back, but louder, and definitely more painful.

In case you don’t listen to my podcast or I forgot to include this in an earlier blog post, I started jiu jitsu lessons in September, injured my ribs in November, and wasn’t able to attend class for almost two months. Last week I finally felt good enough to go back to class and now I’m typing this with an ice pack on my rib cage. I had been really enjoying the physical and mental challenge of the jiu jitsu classes but I feel like maybe the universe is trying to tell me that maybe starting jiu jitsu classes in my 30s wasn’t the smartest idea. I’d love to write something like “I’m not ready to give up yet…” but I think I might need to find a less intense way of staying in shape while learning something new.

In the meanwhile, I’m not looking forward to spending the next few weeks recovering from the same injury I recently recovered from. *cue dramatic music and womp womp womp sound effects*

In other non-BJJ and rib injury related news, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time the past week trying to procure a “project car”. I’ve got my sights set on a Fox Body (1987-1993) Mustang, which is a car that I’ve wanted since I was a teenager. It’s one of those cars that I’ve often searched for on Auto Trader and Craigslist randomly over the years but finding the right car for the right price has always seemed impossible. Somehow though, I managed to find solid examples in a very short period of time. I was in the middle of trying to buy one of them, but the seller ended up deciding he wasn’t ready to part ways with the car. I was disappointed but I understand. I am waiting for more details on another one of the cars but trying my best to be patient. If I can land one of these, I plan to work on a series of blog posts and videos documenting the ownership experience and learning while doing different work on the car. Fingers crossed. Thanks for reading.

Edit for update: I got x-rays this morning. I have a fractured rib. No more jiu jitsu for the foreseeable future.

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Whopper vs. Impossible Whopper

I tried Burger King’s Impossible Whopper along side the original Whopper this weekend. Check out the results in my latest video here:

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Basic Burger’s Honey BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Latest video is up – trying the Honey BBQ Chicken Sandwich at Basic Burger.

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Happy New Year – new podcast episode, new YouTube video!

Happy New Year ya’ll. This is a short update but just wanted to share that my latest podcast episode can be found here: http://shoutengine.com/TacoPotatoMustang/happy-new-year-2020-89280

and my latest video on my YouTube channel can be found here:

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Car Phone Mount Search and Solution

In the ongoing saga of trying to make driving my Mustang as pleasant of an experience as possible, I spent a few weeks trying to find a proper phone mount. This isn’t something I wanted to do. With my iPhone 8 I had a pretty simple but reliable vent mount from Koomis but when I foolishly upgrade to the iPhone XR, which is comically large (I will admit the camera is pretty nice though), I needed something that would hold the weight of the larger phone plus the additional weight of the case. I’m not really big on having a ton of technology in my cars (I bought a base model Mustang GT which has pretty much no technology options) but I do want my phone to be able to link up so I can listen to my music and I need the phone mounted safely in my line of vision for when I’m using a maps app to get around.

I read good things about the Kenu Aiframe+ so I went ahead and ordered one. The quality was good and the mount itself fit around my phone with the case. Unfortunately the part where the mount connects to the air vent was too short for the Mustang, partially because there’s a bit of a ledge that comes out over the air vent.

I returned the Kenu and set out to find a solution through some good old fashioned in-person shopping. I found nothing worth even testing at Auto Zone or Advance Auto Parts, at least the stores close to where I live, which was pretty disappointing. At Best Buy I picked up this example from iOttie. This mount fell out of the air vent as soon as I put the phone in, no matter how hard I tried to lock it. I also looked at one at Costco, the Scosche Magic Mount, but after reading a load of bad reviews online, many which specifically mentioned that mount not being able to hold the weight of certain phones, I decided to pass.

At this point I gave up on a vent mount for the giant iPhone. I went back to my laptop (which is only a little bit bigger than my iPhone) and tried to find some solutions on YouTube. Fortunately I came across a video from a channel called “Dad Doing Stuff” that figured out a solution using some GoPro components, which also led me to this video on a channel called “Iftibashir” highlighting the SP Gadgets phone mount. I reached out to the folks at SP Gadgets to see if they thought their mount would fit my iPhone XR with Trianium case. To their credit, they didn’t just say yes to get me to buy something. They said they knew the mount would work with the iPhone XR but weren’t positive it would work with the case. I decided to give it a try and I figured worst case scenario, if the mount was sturdy enough, I’d find a smaller case.

Using a GoPro sticky pad that I had originally purchased over seven years ago (!!!) and that I was using to put my GoPro on the dash to record in-car videos, I was able to make the SP Gadgets mount work. You can see how it looks and sits in this video I made here:

This solution is probably tailored more to folks with 2005-2014 Mustangs but maybe there are other vehicles and drivers having issues with finding a sturdy mount for their larger phones so I hope this can be helpful. Thanks for watching and reading. 🙂

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Chicken Sandwiches

Trying various chicken sandwiches…

 

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