Caption This!

After reviewing my photos from today, I found this one:Caption This

And honestly, I have no idea what we were talking about when I took this shot. It could have been something like this:

A) Did I leave the gas on?
B) What happened to my Space Engineers Miner and why did it disappear?
C) Where did Jared Polin get his Wookie jacket, and how do I get one?

Or it could have been something else entirely unrelated to any of the above.

What would YOU caption this shot?!

P.S. Dave’s shirt says:
Fibonacci Easy as 1,1,2,3. So maybe it was about his Space Engineers Miner…

The Secret to Making Cabbage (Recipe)

If you’ve struggled with how to cook cabbage, that’s because you haven’t found the right recipe yet!Dave Cooking

This recipe for Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon has become a staple in our house. Of course, we have a few ingredient substitutions…

Ingredients We Use:

  • 1 large head red cabbage
  • 1/2 pound of bacon (Organic smoked beef bacon with no sugar)
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of homemade beef bone broth

Using the ingredients above, then follow the instructions here. It smells fantastic while it’s cooking, so you’re going to want to have some the night you cook it, but it gets better when you reheat it in the oven, so be sure to save some for leftovers!Cabbage Cooking

Dave serves the cabbage with rice. However, he doesn’t just make rice, he makes yummy rice.

Here are the ingredients you need to make yummy rice:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup homemade beef bone broth
  • 1 and 1/4 cup water
  • Kelp granules (for iodine since we use salt without iodine)
  • Sea salt
  • Dried garlic
  • Dried red onion
  • 1-2 Tablespoons butter

And with that, dinner is done!Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon

On a Cold Winter’s Day

It was cold today. I mean, really, really cold. I wanted to take my camera outside to play, but it was so cold, I realized I needed to Google for minimum operating temperatures for my camera – which means – what on earth was I thinking?

Back up. It was NOT time to go outside. No, it was time to stay inside, and snuggle with my dog. He’s a pro at snuggling, see? Perhaps, it was also a good time to play with Photoshop…

Frodo ChillingNo animals were harmed in the post-processing of this photo. 

A Snapshot of my Reading Life: January 2015

ReadingThis week I’ve been working my way through reading the biography, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It’s a tough read for me – not because of writing style, but simply because Steve Jobs was such an absolute jerk. And I’m being polite. He was really awful to so many people, for that reason, I’d rather not read this book. However, the history of Apple and of personal computers is interesting to me, so I’m reading it – I just have to keep taking breaks. And in those reading breaks today I discovered:

  • The complete works of H.P. Lovecraft, for free, online. Sadly, prior to today, I had never read anything by Lovecraft, and I see that as a huge gaping hole in my reading life. I remedied this today by reading The Tomb (published 1917) and was astonished! It’s a page turner, and not at all what I was expecting. I shall be reading more of Lovecraft soon, as I now have his entire collection on my Kindle.
  • The blog “101 Books,” by one very determined reader to read (and review) his way through Time’s 100 Greatest Novels (plus Ulysses). Many of the books on that list are ones I have been planning to read, and his reviews are excellent. In fact, I discovered this blog today while attempting to find any other lost souls who are also bored by Virginia Woolf. I tried to read To the Lighthouse. I did. I really, really did. However, I am done trying now, and I appreciate Robert Bruce’s honesty about what he thinks about Virginia Woolf (thank you, you kind soul sir). Anyway, I have bookmarked his list of reviews and plan to read more of them, they are quite enjoyable.
  • A Knowledge Junky’s Heaven in Open Culture – the best free cultural and educational media on the web. I knew about this site, but for some reason, forgot about it. Talk about a tragedy. I spent over an hour browsing the various goodies found here and all I can say is, be sure to make sure you have time before you visit. One of my favorite finds from today was the Commonsense Composition textbook from CK-12, but there are endless treasures to be enjoyed on Open Culture.

Are any of you as tired and cold as I am? I’m ready for Spring now. Any day now.

Facebook Compares to AOL? Time for New Habits

The Verge shared some scary insight today:

Facebook is the beginning and the end of the internet for a huge number of normal people, a combination of primary service provider (user profiles, messaging, photo sharing) and ’90s-style portal to the wider web. Facebook has its own IM platform, Messenger, just like AOL had AOL Instant Messenger.

This has so much truth in it, it makes me sad and gives me hope – hope because like AOL, maybe Facebook will actually be replaced some day.

I joined Facebook in it’s early days of public access, when it was fun, interesting, and social. Anyone who was around then, and still uses it now, will likely agree – Facebook isn’t what it was. I do think it was successful in bringing people together but I think Facebook has basically lost it’s way.

Google Play Newsstand
Google Play Newsstand

Out of frustration of what Facebook is now, I have started to create some new habits for myself that so far – are working. Instead of beginning the day with Facebook for news (which no longer appears in my News Feed unless the posts are sponsored), I now reach for my Google Play Newsstand.

Google Play Newsstand is an Android App. where I can see highlighted news I from sources I have selected. Unlike RSS, you aren’t able to add your own preferred feeds, but it’s a great starting point with a lot of fantastic news sources that cover news, business, entertainment, sports, and more. If you use Android, I highly recommend taking a look.

After browsing through Google Newsstand, I’ll often check out Reddit where I view internet cultivated news, learn new things, and get book recommendations (here, here, and here). It took me quite a while from the time I first learned about Reddit, to where I actually began to use it. Granted, they could use a nicer looking design, but the site functions well and their voting system works more or less as intended.

On Reddit, the more popular posts get voted up, and become easier for you to find. And no matter what your interests are, you’ll be sure to find a subreddit that exists – just play around with the search box.

All in all, my biggest motivation is to use Facebook only occasionally, rather than often. There are better ways to find out what’s going in the world, and someday, I hope there will be better ways to connect with friends, perhaps even here within the WordPress community.

How about you? Do you still find Facebook serves it’s purpose as a tool to connect with Friends? Is it more social, or anti-social in your life?

Creative Writing as a Life Skill

Jan 2015 Sharon and FrodoToday’s Blogging University assignment is to introduce yourself, a “who I am and why am I here” post. Rather than say who I am, it makes more sense for me to explain, why I am blogging. I’m actually using two blogs on the WordPress platform right now, but I’ll simply publish this post once.

Creative Writing is something that appeals to me, and quite frankly, I rather suck at it. Almost every year I challenge myself to begin writing daily, and I make it only three to four days in before I quit. Writing non-fiction is easier for me, but still difficult.

I launched this blog because I stay extremely busy with “life” but often can’t tell you what I’m doing from one week to the next. I work from home, seven days a week, and the days, weeks, and months all tend to blend together. What did I do last week? I don’t know, but now I have this place where I can go back and look and recall the recipes we’ve tried, books I’ve read, movies we’ve watched… things that make up my day-to-day life.

Now that I have this location (Drink More Decaf) I got a little crazy and created a second WordPress site where I can practice fiction. Why? Mostly because I’m very good at creating crazy challenges for myself. Partly because I want to see if I can actually write fiction more than five days in a row! I’m really not sure. I know if I improve my ability to write fiction, it will carry over to non-fiction, so my goal isn’t to become a writer, but simply a better communicator. It feels a little complicated to manage two blogs where I am challenging myself to write daily for each, but I wanted a clear demarcation between my life, and fictional writing exercises that have no basis in my reality. I’m hoping I can make this work!

So there you have it, for those of you participating in the Blogging 101 course, this is my WHY. I look forward to reading your introduction as well!

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out and DNA Altering Soda

Today I read…

In Books: The movie that many of us now know as THE Christmas movie: A Christmas Story (1983), was actually based on a bookIn God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd, was published in 1966! Did you know this? You can read more about this via Off the Shelf. In the meantime, yet another book was added to my TBR. I have come to accept I will never, ever, read all the books on my To Be Read list!

In Health: Everyone knows drinking soda is unhealthy. But did you know drinking soda daily makes you age faster? Soda drinkers have shorter telomeres than non-soda drinkers (this is related to our DNA). I gave up soda (kicking and screaming) about 6 years ago, I guess sometimes my corn allergy is looking out for me. Okay, not really, but I’m glad I don’t have to worry about this anymore.

And in General News, Marriott is evil. That is all.