Foodles — Your Heirloom Recipes, Everywhere

Some friends of mine have launched a COMPLETELY AWESOME website/service/company. It’s called Foodles, and it’s going to dominate the online cookbook/recipe scene with their well-thought out features and unique focus on preserving family meal traditions.

If you or someone you know likes cooking, recipes, preserving family food traditions, or has been looking for the right way to start building your own food-based family traditions, Foodles is going to be the service to use.

Right now they’re raising the last funds they need to finish the project through a Kickstarter campaign.  Any help you can give them to reach their goal is so very appreciated. Check it out and if you like it, consider backing it. They are offering some great incentives, including free premium account memberships, recipe packs, and hardcopy cookbooks of the most popular curated recipes.

I’ve backed this project myself because I know these people and know that they have the knowledge and skill to turn this concept into the awesome online recipe-sharing and family-tradition documenting tool I’ve been looking for myself for years now.  This is a legit project, but they need your help to meet their goal and be able to fund the final development of the site.  Please consider backing them, and even if it’s not for you, please spread the word to your friends and families who may be interested.  Thanks in advance!


P.S. – In case you’re not familiar with Kickstarter – please note that if the funding goal is not reached, you are not charged for your pledged amount, and you can change or cancel your pledge any time before the December 14th cutoff.


The Friday Drabble #17: A River Runs Through It


Holy rusted metal, Batman! You mean this blog is actually being updated again? And with a drabble?  Want to join me? Pen your own 100 word story, and tag it with “friday drabble”.  Share by linking to it in the comments and/or on Twitter with the hashtag #fridaydrabble. Happy Drabbling!


 
Last year, my neighborhood purchased 200 adjacent acres to build a Water Park.

As the debate over the park’s attractions grew heated, the community schismed into two factions: Wave Pools versus Waterslides.

After we completed the plans, the entire Water Park consisted of the only thing everyone could agree on: an enormous Lazy River.

Unfortunately, the contractor we hired was as lazy as the Park’s sole attraction and the concrete quickly cracked and leaked, making our Lazy River inoperable after a mere six weeks of use.

Next year, we plan to open the biggest Skate Park east of the Mississppi!

This has been an OctoBloMoooo post.

This has been an OctoBloMoooo post.


Monday Morning Haiku #26

Almost a whole year.
When the hell will I get to
leave fracking Bahrain?

Bahrain_Road

I’ve been in Bahrain since September 2012 (well, aside from the 2.5 months that I was home recuperating from two herniated disks in my back). That means as of yesterday, I have been in (hot and humid) Bahrain for 10.5 out of the last 13 months. Completely and utterly ridiculous.

Luckily, it appears I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’re gearing up to our performance tests and once we pass those, it’s just a matter of closing out any outstanding punch-list items (hopefully from the comfort of my home office in North Carolina) with a few small trips back over here to take care of things that must be done in person. At least, that’s the plan. Over here, plans change daily, and almost never for the better, but I can always hope…

Oh, and regardless of the extent of the punch-list items, I get to travel home in 9 days (218 more hours!) to go attend my wife’s half-brother’s wedding. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to STAY at home, but any time spent back in the US with my oh-so-patient wife and kids seems like heaven at this point in time. Don’t get me wrong, Bahrain is a decent place (besides the unbelievable heat and humidity from April to November) but it’s been 3.5 months since I’ve seen my family, and that’s about 14 weeks too long. I’m ready to go, and pretty soon I’ll be counting in minutes rather than hours & days. Aw, heck, only 13,080 minutes to go!

 


This has been an OctoBloMoooo post.

This has been an OctoBloMoooo post.


Hello, Would You Like to Buy an Encyclopedia?

Over the past 4 days, I’ve spent about 12 hours (total) walking door-to-door in my neighborhood, trying to collect signatures on a petition to get a parcel of land adjacent to the neighborhood (recently annexed by the city) zoned under a low-density classification to curb development and ensure our neighborhood doesn’t receive an influx of new traffic/noise/lower-quality housing that could adversely affect everyone in the neighborhood.  I’ve got another resident who’s helping me with their end of the neighborhood, so I only had to hit about 80 or so houses, rather than the 160 I’d have to hit on my own.  I’ve got a vested interest in this issue, since my house backs up on the land in question, but I’m also on the Homeowners Association (HOA) Board, so I felt it was my duty to participate in this activity regardless of whether it was my land or someone else’s land in the neighborhood impacted by this zoning issue.

I’m not a shy individual by any means, but the idea of cold-calling people or making door-to-door “sales” pitches is NOT my idea of a good time.  Nevertheless, I decided to suck it up and make an effort.  My biggest concern (and proven rightly so) was that people would think I was selling something and just wouldn’t come to the door, even if they were home.  I can’t very well yell through the door, “No really! It’s OK! I’m not selling anything and I’m not a crazy axe murderer who will abduct you if you open your door in the middle of the day! I’m out here for your own good, trust me!”  (Well, I could yell all that, but I doubt it would be very effective, even if the people inside DID hear me.)

So what did I find out from all my efforts?

  1. It is insanely hot outside right now.  And muggy.  Within seconds of stepping outside and into the sunlight, my forehead was pricked with sweat, and it only got worse from there.  I carried as much water as I could and stayed in the shade where possible, but it was just TOO DAMN HOT out there.
  2. I met a number of kind, friendly, open-minded individuals who welcomed me inside their homes to discuss the issue.  These are folks I may have met in passing in the neighborhood but in most cases, they didn’t know me from Adam.  Yet they were kind enough to notice my plight and offer me a cool drink or at least a few minutes of A/C while I discussed the zoning issue with them.  These are the people that make my neighborhood such a nice place to live.
  3. I met a number of people who came to door full of suspicion, all prepared to chase me off with a curt word if I DID turn out to be selling something.  Most of these individuals warmed up a moderate amount once I explained who I was and why I was there.  A few still seemed to think I was selling something, even after I explained IN DETAIL that I was just collecting signatures from residents to petition for the Rural zoning classification.
  4. It’s a lot easier to get people to sign a petition if they see an almost-filled form, rather than a blank sheet or a page with 1-2 signatures on it. Herd mentality, I think.
  5. It was TOO DAMN HOT to be walking around.  I should have applied some sunscreen, too.
  6. I met a couple of people who were so anti-Homeowners Association & HOA Board that they almost didn’t want to listen to me after I introduced myself as a member of that elected group.  Even though I was walking the neighborhood, in the heat, for their benefit (as well as my own, of course).  These people couldn’t say enough negative things about the Board, and seemed to think that they could say anything they wanted to me, including lying/embellishing about any “wrongs” done to them by “The Board”.  I kept what I hope was an apologetic face on, acted contrite if the situation warranted it, and actually got some good discourse going with a few of them after they ran out of steam on their initial gripe list.  End result? Signatures on the petition, a bit of venting, and maybe some not-quite-so-cranky residents.
  7. Did I mention it was hot out there? Wait, no, it wasn’t hot.  It was TOO DAMN HOT.
  8. The people in the neighborhood that were renting their houses were happy to be included in the petition effort, and were some of the nicest people I met overall.  Just because you don’t own a house doesn’t mean you’re a second-class citizen in a neighborhood primarily composed of people that do own their houses.  (And it definitely doesn’t mean you should be treated like one!)
  9. People who are home and don’t answer their doors when you ring their doorbell suck.
  10. People who aren’t home and leave their televisions on to pretend they’re home suck.
  11. People who have a sticker on their door asking firefighters to save their pets really should fill out the information indicating how many and of what type of pet they have, rather than leaving it blank and assuming the rescue workers will be able to magically find all the animals in the event of an emergency.
  12. Most of the people who invited me in have immaculate houses.  I’d never invite someone in just because I’d be ashamed for them to see the inside of my house under normal conditions.
  13. It was TOO DAMN HOT.  I’m not walking down the neighborhood for another petition until at least November.  Or maybe January.  Whew!

Total Houses Hit: Approximately 80

Total Houses Where Someone Answered Their Door: 45

Total Signatures Acquired: 44

 


Beware of the Axe Handle – My Thoughts on Amendment 1

Last evening, my wife and I sat in front of the television, watching the tallies roll in for North Carolina’s Primary. We grew more despondent as it became clear that Amendment 1, a measure banning same-sex marriage and civil unions in the state of North Carolina, was going to pass and be incorporated into the North Carolina Constitution. My wife was nearly physically sick at the thought of the level of bigotry and ignorance present in the Fundamentalist majority who voted to try to restrict the lives and relationships of those around them into the narrow definitions of their religious beliefs, while I started worrying about the financial and social impacts such a vote will have on the state of North Carolina in the upcoming years.

Before I went to sleep, I was flipping through a copy of Aesop’s Fables and I came across one that hit a little too close to home after the horrible results of the vote on Amendment 1:

One day, a Man went into a Forest and asked the Trees if they would be so good as to give him a handle for his axe. The trees readily granted his request and gave him a piece of tough Ash. But no sooner had the man fitted it into his axehead, than he quickly began to use it, and laid about him so vigorously that the giants of the forest fell under his strokes.

“Alas!” said a doomed Oak to a Cedar, “the first step lost us all. If we had not given up our rights to the Ash, we might have stood for ages.”

North Carolina (along with most of the rest of the South) is well known for its religiously conservative views, so it wasn’t a surprise to most that Amendment 1 passed. It appears North Carolina hasn’t changed much from the state that, in 1875, passed an Amendment to the former NC Constitution banning interracial marriage “forever”:

Well, forever, or until the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated anti-miscegenation laws in 1967...

As Gene Nichol, Law professor at UNC’s Law School puts it:

[Amendment 1] secures no liberties, alters no decision-making structures, opens no doors to a broader swath of the citizenry. Instead, through its phrases, a powerful majority enshrines its supremacy over a small and disfavored minority. It expresses hostility in the most distinctive way available. It carves it into our constitution. It declares, in effect, that “in this foundational matter, thou shalt never be equal.”

In my opinion, issues of Human Rights should never be decided by a majority vote. I’m not saying that the incorporation of this Amendment into the NC Constitution is necessarily going to open to the door to additional laws oppressing the gay population of the state, but it certainly is a huge step in the wrong direction.

I’m not exactly sure we go from here. Are we going to have to wait for a Supreme Court ruling on the issue, like Loving v. Virginia in 1967 that finally invalidated the anti-miscengenation laws after nearly 100 years in the NC Constitution?  I certainly hope not. I hope the population of North Carolina sees this as a shot across the bow to the liberties and rights of more than just a minority of individuals in the state. I hope people open their eyes and dispel their ignorance of what impact this Amendment could (and probably will) have on ALL unmarried couples, and change their minds. I hope the unregistered and apathetic voters sit up and take notice, and make it out to the polls when a proposition is raised to repeal this Amendment. I’ll be there doing my part, and I hope you will, too.


New Music Find: Rollin’ Metal

Here’s the newest Metal band on the scene.  They may not play any actual instruments and their lyrics still need some work, but they’ve got an energy you just can’t deny.

Oh wait, they DO play instruments.  Here’s a clip from an alternate, more intimate venue.


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