Lower Your Bills


Hey everyone.  Any chance you want to save some money on your bills?  I thought so.  This week Mitch regurgitates an awesome article he read over at bakadesuyo.com.  The article is a cool interview with a hostage negotiator on some principles that you can apply to things like your cable subscription.  Mitch even recorded a conversation with his provider actually lowering his bill with these methods!  Companies HATE him, Good Guys love him.  Please enjoy!




Cutting the cable cord


This last month I paid $70.96 for cable alone. That doesn’t include phone or internet or fancy movie channels like HBO. Only cable. Through many conversations with friends, I know that I am not the only one with ever-growing contempt for cable companies. And like many of those friends, I am also getting ready to cut the cable cord! Just to confirm my anecdotal assumptions, I found the following quote from Bloomberg: “In 2013, the number of Americans who pay for Cable TV, satellite, or fiber services fell by more than 250,000. This was the first full year where cable users steadily declined.”

Now don’t be discouraged; there are other options that give you access to new television shows without the gouging price tag of traditional cable services. Let’s take a look at some of the best options out there.



Price = $8/month

Netflix came onto the scene in 1999 when it introduced it’s flat-rate DVD-by-mail service. Just over 15 years later, Netflix has over 50 million users. The driving force behind what now defines Netflix is the internet video streaming service. A report by Sandvine in 2013 stated that Netflix is the biggest source of North American downstream internet traffic at 32.3%. Now, Netflix offers somewhere around 10,000 online streaming titles. Of all the online streaming TV services, Netflix is also known for having the most exclusive content with shows like House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black headlining.

Hulu Plus

Price = $8/month

Limitations: Commercials

Some people argue that Hulu Plus is a little fish in a sea of sharks. Currently, Hulu Plus only has around 5 millions subscribers. But there is one thing that Hulu Plus does better than anyone else. It offers the most current running episodes of your favorite TV shows. Instead of waiting another year for your favorite show to show up on Netflix, snag a Hulu Plus account and watch the latest seasons now.

Amazon Prime Instant Video

Price = $8.25/month
Amazon Prime Instant Video really doesn’t sound too much different than Netflix. Users of this service have access to over 40,000 titles! More impressive than the video streaming service is that the only way to get Prime Instant Video is to sign up for Amazon Prime shipping which means that you have access to free two-day shipping on Amazon products. An impressive 20,000 people have are signed up for Amazon Prime. But it’s likely that only a fraction (~25%) actually use Instant Video. My suggestion: sign up for Prime shipping and reap the benefits of Instant Video as an added bonus.

HBO Now:

Price = $15/month

Limitations: Available in April, 2015

During Apple’s iWatch announcement event on March 9th, HBO was officially unveiled. HBO Now is a stand-alone service that gives users streaming access to all of HBO’s content. The going rate for access to some of the greatest shows ever created? $15 per month. And don’t worry; it will be here just in time for the season premier of Game of Thrones which is due out April 15th.

Sling TV by Dish:

Price = $20/month

Access: ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Disney, ABC Family, CNN, IFC, El Rey Network, Maker, Galavision.

Limitations: You can only watch Sling on 1 device at a time. Picture quality is almost as good as traditional cable. Since you are using the internet to watch Sling, you need an unlimited internet package with no data cap.

At the most recent CES (consumer electronics show), Dish announced a new alternative to traditional cable TV called Sling TV. And on February 9th, 2015, Sling TV was launched. Sling is a version of internet TV that users can access through streaming boxes such as Roku or mobile devices. Basic Sling TV includes Disney, ESPN, Food Network, HGTV, TNT, CNN and TBS. In addition, you are able to purchase more channels grouped by themes (i.e. sports, or kid’s programs) for an additional $5 per month. The TV channels are live channels, just like normal TV, except they are delivered over the internet. An important detail of Sling TV is that it doesn’t require a contract. You can cancel at any time with no penalties.

So there you have it folks. Tons of ways to access cable content without paying the exorbitant cable prices. And as a last bit of advice, it is important to recognize that many of these services have free trial periods! Give some of these options a try and see if you can live with an alternative to cable TV.










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Geo isn’t here this episode.  Quick, let’s talk about babies!  That’s right, without Geo around the Good Guys are discussing becoming new dads this episode.  There is lots to consider, but one of the main struggles I had personally was the overwhelming amount of information out there that my wife and I had to sift through.  The point of this episode is not necessarily to provide more of that information, or to provide the best information.  What I want to demonstrate is that in almost all of these circumstances, there is no one true answer, and even between similar dudes such as the Good Guys, we all do things very differently.  Some things were easy for some of us and hard for others.  I hope you enjoy the conversation, leave us feedback on the website or Facebook!  Thanks for listening!

Measles, Vaccines, and Autism




Measles Virus

Highly communicable (9 out of 10 in same room will become infected)


10-14 day incubation period

Fever (up to 104F or 40C), runny nose, sore throat, conjunctivitis, cough

Eventually, rash that starts on the face and moves down.

Koplik spots develop (small white spots on inside surface of cheek)

Contagious 4 days before and 4 days after rash

Mortality is .2% (2/1000) for developed countries, up to 10% for non-developed

Complications include pneumonia, diarrhea, ear infections, encephalitis, spontaneous abortion in pregnant, thrombocytopenia


Measles Vaccination

First isolated in 1954, first vaccine in 1963, first MMR combo in 1971

Reported measles cases in the US dropped from around 700,000 per year in the 50s and 60s to the thousands in the 1980s, and to the hundreds in the 2000s.

Recommendations that children receive a second dose around age 5 started in 1989 (93% are immune after 1 vaccine, 97% with the second)

Side effects:


Fever in 1/6

Mild rash in 1/20

Swollen glands in 1/75


Temporary joint pain/stiffness 1/4

Seizure due to fever 1/3000

Temporary low platelet count 1/30,000


Severe allergic reaction 1/1,000,000

VAERS system for reporting adverse effects


Medical – all 50 states

Religious – 48 states (MS, WV)

Philosophical – 17 states (MN included)


Why vaccinate if measles is gone?

Zhou et al paper published in Pediatrics 2009:

vaccination of 2009 cohort prevents 42,000 early deaths, 20M cases of disease, saves 13B in direct cost, and 69B in total societal cost


Herd Immunity:

Protection by breaking the potential for a disease to spread

“freeloaders” making a game theory risk calculation

Measles R0 12-18.  For herd immunity, need 83-94% vaccination



Andrew Wakefield

Born 1957

Graduated medical school 1981, practiced as a surgeon and researcher

1993 – published reports that measles virus was linked to Crohn’s disease (refuted)

1995 – published a paper in The Lancet that MMR vaccine caused Crohn’s disease (refuted)

1995 – Rosemary Kessick, mother of child with autism and bowel issues, and head of “Allergy Induced Autism” approached Wakefield

1998 – Paper linking autism, gastroenteritis, and measles/MMR

2001 – Wakefield leaves Royal Free Hospital, moves to US

2004 – The Sunday Times releases report that parents of 12 kids in study were recruited by UK law firm seeking legal action against MMR manufacturing companies, and that 55,000 had been paid to Wakefield’s hospital to pay for the research.  Just prior to the report, The Lancet retracted portions of the Wakefield paper, with the consent of 10 out of 12 co-researchers

Later in 2004 – Another news organization alleges that prior to his research, Wakefield had taken out a patent for a measles-only vaccine

2006 – The Sunday Times reveals that Wakefield was personally paid over 400,000 by the same UK law firm

2010 – UK GMC retracted Wakefield’s medical license (he released an autobiography claiming the medical institution was out to get him on the same day).

2010 – Wakefield paper officially retracted from The Lancet

2011 – BMJ releases Deer article


2014 – CDC reports 644 cases of measles in the US – highest since 2000 when measles was declared eradicated

2015 – By the end of January, we’ve seen over 100 cases already…


Anti-Vaccination Assertions:

Overloaded immune system – no evidence to support this, just more time at risk

Diseases are gone – not really, just suppressed by herd immunity

In breakouts, more vaccinated than unvaccinated get sick – because there are more vaccinated people to start with

Hygiene and Nutrition reduced disease, not vaccination – Chicken Pox

“Natural Immunity is Better” – see above risks with infection





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Stop saying umm



As you know, my new years resolution is to drastically reduce the amount of “filler” words I use during the podcast. “um,” “like,” “uh,” “right” etc. So as per usual, instead of getting out there and practicing , I delved into some research to figure out both why we say Um/uh etc, and if there are any strategies to fix it. And I thought to myself, ‘a good guy to know is really well spoken and can talk in a professional setting without sounding unsure of him or herself.’

After trolling a few public speaking blogs and seeing the same old wisdom; “imagine the audience naked to feel less anxious”, I finally stumbled across one of the good guys to know’s favorite blogs – the Art of Manliness. They basically did the work for me, compiled some studies on WHY we use filler words, as well as some the perceptions others have of you when you use them. (teaser – the latter might surprise you) Finally will end with a few tips/strategies you can implement.

As always, I’ll interject my thoughts along the way and clue you into my thought process on how I plan to tackle some of my speaking weaknesses – but it will pretty much be me stepping through this great blog post so please check it out and have a play around with their site.

The authors open up by pointing out that Ums and Uhs are just one factor when it comes to being well spoken. The rest of the checklist, if your interested – goes like this. You can follow along and kind of mentally check off which ones of these you possess and which you might want to focus in on a bit:

  • Creating well-formed sentences
  • Being articulate
  • Having a large and diverse vocabulary
  • Speaking clearly (not mumbling)
  • Having a good pace, tone, and intonation (not too loud, fast, or monotone)
  • Being fluent – words come easy
  • Being able to explain things
  • Being straightforward and meaning what you say
  • Being thoughtful and courteous to the needs of the listener
  • Using little filler and empty language

So on to the UMS! – The next thing that the article points out is that even though public speaking experts and professional speech givers say you should completely strike filler words from your speaking, almost everyone uses what are called “filled pauses.” It’s a super natural part of human speech and when you’re having a conversation with someone, as long as they aren’t super excessive, both the listener’s brain and the speaker’s brain filter them out pretty easily and you don’t really notice them.

It’s also pretty universal across cultures, though the words may change. We have a really good friend Mike, who has lived in Chile for the past several years and has since become fluent in Spanish. Instead of saying “Um” a lot, he says “Eh” and “Ehmmm.”

Now just because it’s natural to have these filled pauses, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t worry about them. Their appropriateness depends on the situation. i.e. your audience and your purpose. Research has found that how sensitive a listener is to these filler words depend on the speakers social role. People expect someone like the president that is giving prepared remarks to use hardly any of this filler. THIS is why I still DEFINITELY need to worry about them, because I’m the host of a Podcast. A broadcast that is almost nothing more than us talking to the listener.

So let’s delve into WHY we use these filler words. Honestly we don’t 100% know because they can mean a lot of things. Here are a few that were researched that the Art of Manliness article lays out and you can start to psychoanalyze me and tell me why you think I say them a lot:

  • They indicate that the speaker is in trouble: The speaker either consciously or subconsciously needs a moment to plan what he’s going to say next. “uh” signals a shorter delay, and “um” lets the listener know the delay might be a little longer. This happens when you’re trying to think and speak at the same time. (I think this probably happens to me a fair amount when I start to go “off script” and react to something one of the other host says about what I’ve just said)


  • Ums and Ahs act as placeholder to let people know you’re going to continue speaking. When you do need that moment, it lets everyone else know you’re not finished and are still in control. Researchers have theorized that this could explain why men use filler words more than women, because they are more worried about holding the floor as they speak. I think this one DEFINITELY happens while podcasting. Since we aren’t sitting around the table from each other, we don’t get ANY non-verbal cues on when someone else should hop in – and we also know that dead silence on air when broadcasting can be VERY distracting. So this one is probably a very legitimate use of Uhs and Ums in podcasting.


  • They indicate we aren’t that confident about what we are going to say.


  • They indicate that you’re searching for the right word.


  • They are more common when speaking about an abstract topic. The research here was kind of cool and found that in the classroom, humanities professors say Uh way more than professors of the ‘hard sciences.’ 4.76 times per hundred words versus 1.47 times. On the podcast, this can come up from time to time, but I think we usually are talking about something pretty concrete.


So now we know WHY we use these filler words, so next step is how to stop them. Even though it might not be desirable to totally eliminate these fillers from your speech, at least in my case, I think it’s very distracting to the listeners for me to leave them in as I think I lose credibility with them.

  1. Limit distractions and focus on speaking – Anything that adds to your cognitive load when you’re trying to speak has the potential to pull you off track and make you use fillers while you’re thinking about other stuff. The practical takeaway for me on this one is that I’m going to try and not look at my computer screens during my pillars anymore. Perhaps even turning them off, or at least physically turning away from them. Then I can’t see the other host’s ugly mugs, see when Geo loses internet connection, or have to wake up my screen when the screensaver comes on.


  1. Don’t put your hands in your pockets – I thought this one was lame at first, even though there was a study that accompanied it, because I couldn’t think of any time when I shoved my hands in my pockets during a broadcast. But what I HAVE done, is just have them at my sides or on my mouse scrolling through my notes. And the study postulated that when our hands are in our pockets (or in my case, doing something else not related to speaking) since you can’t use your hands to gesture, you’re forced to use more fillers. I’m going to try and use my hands just as I would if I was standing at a podium while I’m doing my podcasting from now on.


  1. Prepare rigorously and concentrate on transitions. This is one that is probably pretty obvious but I’m actually not sure a great way to do this. Was looking to you guys on how you prepare for your pillars and how you podcast for some tips.


  1. Keep your sentences simple and short. I actually don’t think I do a really poor job of this one, because we do keep our pillars pretty natural. Even though I write the whole thing out, I don’t read it word for word, so the changes that I have a really long complex sentence are low.


Before I conclude, there was two more really cool tidbit from this article, and it has to do with what NOT to do as you try to eliminate fillers from your speech. Conventional wisdom on public speaking says that just a silent pause is always better than an Ah or Um. This was a really cool study (the only one I read – but all the ones alluded to in this article are available at artofmanliness.com) where they took a broadcaster that said um a lot and recorded a segment of his show. They played this version for students, as well as a version where the ums had been replaced by silence, as well as one where they totally edited the ums out and the words just flowed.

They found that in terms of perceived “eloquence,” while the smooth version won hands down, the other two (ums and silent pauses) were exactly the same. And on the other thing they measured – how anxious the speaker sounded – the version with the pauses was actually rated as seeming more anxious than the Ums.

So there you have it – more than you ever wanted to know about Ums. Turns out that there are some good reasons we as humans use it in language and we shouldn’t necessarily be on a crusade to totally get rid of them in all circumstances. I’m still not off the hook, however, because I’m a podcaster – speech is our lifeblood of the podcast and if I distract or turn off listeners because of all my fillers, you guys will kick me out.

Which brings me to my last caveat – in a variation of that same study, one group of students was told to ONLY listen to the content of what the guy was talking about instead of focusing on the ‘style’ of his speech. On the recording with the Ums, the group that was told to focus on content didn’t notice the ums and filtered them out. The author of that study concluded “Ums will not be associated with poor speech, but NOTING ums will be… just about every speaker produces ums, but the good speekers, by keeping substance, not style, the center of attention, will effectively hide their hesitancies”.

So I guess ultimately, even if I can’t eliminate some of my filler words from podcasts where I have the main pillar, at least if I can talk about something engaging, listeners will tend to filter them out and not run away from goodguystoknow!

Year in review podcast!


2015-1Hey everybody!  Well, another year is in the books.  This episode we break down all the awesome stuff we did in 2014 on the Good Guys To Know Podcast.  Find out who had the most challenge points.  Hear how we did on our year long challenges.  Hear our NEW year long challenges.  So much content, just the right amount of time.

As always, thank you for listening!

Oil Prices


images-3Happy new year everybody!  I hope you all have a long drive ahead of you in the near future, because gas prices are crazy low.  It’s all over the news and I can’t go 10 feet without overhearing someone talking about how awesome it is.  I decided to take a look into WHY the prices are so low at the moment, and maybe find out how long things could stay this way.  I came across a lot of great information, and did my best to refine it all into one pillar (see what I did there?).


Hope you enjoy, thanks for listening!!

Guide to the Casino


I can confidently say that all of the Good Guys have made more than few trips to the casino. Whether those trips proved lucrative is up for debate. But what those experiences have taught us is that there are a number of tips that can help make your first (or 50th) trip to the casino more fun.

According to the American Gaming Association, 27% of Americans visit a casino at least once per year. According to GGTK, 100% of good guys visit a casino at least once per year. We think there are two main things that you should remember when you go to the casino: 1. Casinos are supposed to be fun. If you aren’t having fun, it is probably time to leave the casino. 2. Casinos exist to make money. In 2013, Nevada casinos pocketed $23 billion in total gaming and non-gaming revenue, with statewide gaming revenue alone topping $10 billion. That means YOU have a very good chance of losing money when you visit the casino. However, there are definitely games that offer the average gambler better odds against an already stacked deck. Without further ado, let us present the GGTK Guides to the Casino!



The odds of blackjack are some of the best in the entire casino. Players who follow some basic strategy can reduce the house odds to 0.5%. The purpose of blackjack is to have the value of your cards add up to a greater number than the dealers without going over 21. Cards numbered 2-9 are worth their face value. Aces are worth either 1 or 11 (your choice) 10, J, Q and K are each worth 10. Before each hand starts, each player must place a bet. Then each player is dealt two cards face up. The dealer is dealt one card face up and one card face down. At that point each player has 2 basic plays. Ask for more cards (hit), or decided to not take any more cards (stay). Any player who goes over 21 automatically loses. After each player has finished taking cards, the dealer then shows his second card. Typically, the dealer is required to hit if they have 16 or less. Blackjack is when a player is dealt an ace and a card worth 10 (10, J, Q or K), which equals 21. At that point the player automatically wins and is paid out 3 to 2.




Baccarat is a card game that is most often available in high stake settings at a casino. In this game, a player has no responsibility in terms of electing to draw more cards. All you have to do is make one bet before cards are dealt. When you sit down at a baccarat table, you have three options: 1. Bet on the player 2. Bet on the banker 3. Bet on a tie.

It is important to remember that betting on the banker does not mean that you are betting with the house. It simply means that you are betting on one of the two hands that are being dealt. After each player places their bets, two cards are dealt face up to each of the two hands (the player and the banker). Each card has a specific value. Aces are worth 1; tens and face cards are worth 0; and all other cards are worth their face value.

The purpose of baccarat is to bet on the hand that gets closest to 9 points. If the cards add up to more than 10, the value of the hand is equal to the second digit. For example, if a player is dealt a 9 and a 3 (total of 12), their hands total is 2. A natural win occurs when the hand that you bet on equals 8 or 9 with the first two cards dealt. If either hand has a natural win, that hand is paid out and a new hand is dealt.  If neither the banker nor the player has a natural win, a third card MAY be dealt. The player hand always gets dealt to first. The player hand is required to stay on 6 or 7. If the player hand totals any other number (0-5), a third and final card is dealt.

This is where things get complicated. If a player stays with their 2 card total, the banker draws if they have 0-5, and the banker stays if they have 6-7. ALL OTHER HANDS RELY ON THE THIRD CARD THAT IS DEALT TO THE PLAYER.  Here are the possible options:

◦If the Player’s third card is 9, 10, face-card or Ace, the Banker draws when he has a 0-3, and stays with a 4-7.

◦If the Player’s third card is 8, the Banker draws when he has a 0-2, and stays with a 3-7.

◦If the Player’s third card is 6 or 7, the Banker draws when he has a 0-6, and stays with a 7.

◦If the Player’s third card is 4 or 5, the Banker draws when he has a 0-5, and stays with a 6-7.

◦If the Player’s third card is 2 or 3, the Banker draws when he has a 0-4, and stays with a 5-7.

In the event of a tie, there are no losers. You would only win if you were crazy enough to bet on the tie. The tie usually pays out 8:1 odds. Also, anytime you bet on the banker and win, you have to pay a commission to the banker (usually 5% of your bet). The reason for this commission is while the odds between the two hands are very close, the banker hand has a slight advantage. Overall, baccarat is another game where the casino does not have a significant statistical advantage over the gambler.




Craps is an incredibly exciting casino game for a number of reasons. One is that it is one of the fastest moving casino games. Blackjack tables average around 60 hands per hour. In craps, there are usually over 100 plays per hour. Also, craps has some of the best odds in the casino (nearly even odds for players betting on the come and the followup free odds bet). Finally, people playing craps are usually either winning or losing together which leads to loud reactions to just about every roll.

Craps is a dice game. At the beginning of the game one player is chosen to roll for the entire table. The roller is responsible for all rolls until the roller “craps out”. Craping out is a basically a losing roll. Betting starts with the Come Out roll, which is the first roll. Before the Come Out roll is the time to place your first bet on the Pass Line. This is a small box that wraps basically all the way around the table. After this first bet is out, the first roll is made. If it is a 7 or 11, everyone who bet on the Pass line wins! If the first roll is a 2, 3, or 12, that is craps, and everyone who bet on the Pass Line loses. Any other number which is rolled on the Come Out is set as The Point. After The Point is set, the roller keeps rolling and anytime The Point number is rolled again, anyone who still has a bet on the Pass Line wins again. However, after a point is set, anytime a 7 is rolled, bets that are on the Pass Line lose. At this point, when the roller “sevens out,” the dice are passed to the next player and betting starts over.

One of the more intimidating aspects of craps is that playing usually requires putting a more significant amount of money at risk. Typical tables have $5 minimums and in order to take full advantage of the odds, you should have at least $100 ready to play. Rarely would you get all of this money in play at once, and in most cases $100 may be enough to play for a whole night!

For more detailed rules of craps please visit: http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/playing-craps1.htm






Slot Machines:

Some people are quick to point out that slot machines are heavily weighted in favor of the casino. They would be exactly correct. Typical slot machines hold about a 10% edge over the bettor. Another bad thing about slot machines is that they are completely random. They literally use random number generators to decide what shapes are going to show up on your spin. If you are planning to win money playing slots, you better be the luckiest guy you know. If you are going to the casino to make money, slots are not the answer. However, if you are going to the casino to have fun, an argument can be made for the slot machines. Slots come in all different shapes and sizes. You can play slot machines themed after your favorite TV shows (Survivor, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones) and most importantly you can bet anywhere from 1 cent to multiple dollars with each pull. Remember that on slot machines, each wager is per line. Most machines have the options of playing multiple lines at a time which can make your money disappear very quickly. All that said, some of your greatest casino moments may come after a slot machines light up so that everyone around you can see how lucky you are.





Polar Vortex




Most of the US is dealing with frigid temperatures, and everyone’s blaming the polar vortex. Educate yourself about the omega block, which is the true culprit!  See which Good Guy can accurately describe how soap works, check in on the apple-a-day challenge, find out why msn.com is a terrible home page, get Geo’s latest fashion advice, and see if Chad can end his bamboozle slump.  All this and more in this week’s episode!