Sunday, 24 August 2014

Red Neck Wind Chimes

I love wind chimes. We don't have a lot of them, but with southern Alberta's regular winds, enough to always hear some interesting wind-generated sounds ringing across our deck.

Having always been somewhat of a "Red Neck," not to mention being responsible for putting away a few ice cold Coors Light in my day, needless to say I was thrilled to receive this hand-made wind chime from a dear friend.

Thanks, Delores; I love it!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Rethinking My Social Media Involvement


So, I almost committed the unpardonable sin; I almost deactivated my Facebook account.

As a matter of fact, I did click the deactivate button, and as I did, I waited for the bolt of lightening that surely would send me into the afterlife, but the interesting thing is, it never came.

As a matter of fact, I was almost amazed that for those brief moments that I sat perched ready to pounce on the “confirm” deactivation link, nothing happened at all; the world didn’t end.

As I sat there, I thought of all those endless hours that in recent years I wasted on social media; hours that are now forever lost.

Please understand, I do not want to sound judgmental in any way towards those who clearly enjoy and regularly participate in such online activities. That is not my intent in saying this. To each their own. I say it only as a part of my reflection on how I might have otherwise spent those hours. Perhaps I could have spent the time reading some of the plethora of yet unread volumes of books in my personal library, which now currently numbers somewhere in excess of 1000 volumes, and is still ever growing.

Perhaps I could have spent more time in prayer and meditation, or physically left the house and spent some face to face time in fellowship with friends over coffee or a beer. Perhaps I could have finished writing and editing that book that has long since been started, but never yet quite finished. The possibilities of things I could have done are endless, but as the saying goes, “You can’t cry over spilt milk.” Time to move on.

So what shall I do? Click on the “confirm” deletion of some social media accounts? Though tempted, I didn’t. Instead, I eventually found the “cancel” button and kept my Facebook account active. Instead, I deleted the Facebook app from my iPhone, thinking that would reduce my online time; and it did. I did, however, keep my Facebook Pages Manager app. As of today, about the only Facebook activity that I regularly involve myself in, is managing my two pages, Rethinking Faith and Church (RF&C), and The Other Side of Will (TOSoW), which correspond to my two blogs by the same name, and which both can be found on rochow.ca. Any other Facebook activity now requires me to first log onto my computer as opposed to accessing it from my cell phone.

Well that took care of Facebook, but what about Twitter? That required some rethinking too.

It used to be that, if I remember correctly, they advertised Twitter as a means of following people and organizations that interested you. While that may yet be true, lately it seems to have also evolved into a “follow-me-or-I-won’t-follow-you” mentality, in which many folks simply follow someone, not because they’re necessarily interested in what they’re about, but in order to secure more followers themselves. If the newly followed person or organization does not re-follow in a timely manner, they’re simply “unfollowed” (is there even such a word as that?).

To help one control who has unfollowed you, and thereby presumably allow you to unfollow them in return, one can even subscribe to organizations such as justunfollow.com. They will help you keep track of who unfollowed you so that you can reciprocate and unfollow them too. Tit for tat, seems to have become the order of the day with Twitter. Follow me back, or else!

But I must say, I am amused at Twitter accounts that advertise the opportunity to instantly "purchase" 1000's of followers. Really? Says something about where our minds are at with social media, wouldn't you say? Is that what we've come to, "buying" friends and followers? Hmm.

Whatever happened to following someone just because they’re interesting to me, without expecting anything in return? Have we become that self centered and prideful that the whole social media thing no longer has anything to do with focusing on the other, but has everything to do with the numbers game of self? Is that what we’ve evolved into? How pathetic!

And as I say that, I speak to myself. How many times have I too followed someone on Twitter, not because their message necessarily interests me, but with the ulterior motive and expectation that they will follow me back? And when they don’t? Well that’s easy; unfollow them (that will teach them!). Again, how pathetic! Woe is me! Have I become that prideful?

Again, this is not a judgment call on anyone, except myself. So where do I go from here? After some more rethinking, here’s my new personal Twitter policy:

  •  I am tired of online mind games
  • I fail to see how I can possibly faithfully “follow” several hundred (or thousand) people/organizations at any true degree of the word “follow”
  • I refuse to follow someone simply because they follow me
  • I refuse to follow anyone with the ulterior motive that they follow me back
  • I will only initially follow someone whose profile or recent tweets interests or amuses me, be they “Christian” or not
  • I will only continue to follow them if, (1) their tweets continue to interest or amuse me, or (2) we have some sort or semi-regular dialogue one with one another, through either commenting on each other’s tweets, or by retweeting each other. In other words, more of a connection than simply a numbers game
  • I reserve the right to unfollow anyone I choose, and I grant the same right to anyone to unfollow me if they choose to, without any ill feelings on my part one way or another

Well there you have it; my new take and personal position on social media, and my (limited) online activity. If I don’t re-follow or accept friend requests, please don’t be offended; you’re probably not alone. It’s nothing personal. Lately, “friend requests” and “following” with me, often amounts to simply a flip of the coin. Again, it’s nothing personal.

Peace.

Photo Credit: Rosaura Ochoa, Flickr Creative Commons

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Our New Car: The Flatula Backfire

"When the well is dry,
we know the worth of water."
(Benjamin Franklin)

So we're thinking of getting rid of the old gas-gusler and going green. The way we figure it, it's time we did our part in looking after Mother Earth and making sure there's still some green on this planet of ours to leave to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Makes sense, wouldn't you say?

After researching the automotive industry, we've come up with a winner; the Flatula Backfire. Modelled after the Smart Car, it's perfect for our urban needs! As a matter of fact, the way we figure it, the gasoline savings alone will actually pay for the car in a few short years. No other car manufacturer can boast that; not even one! They actually take the "gallons" right out of mpg.

Here's a short promotional video of the latest and the best in the automotive race to truly be eco-friendly.



The Flatula Backfire. Made with the flatulent (like me) in mind. Made because we all want to preserve our resources and have a greener Earth. Made because "gassing up" can actually be an enjoyable event, as opposed to a pain in the wallet.

The Flatula Backfire. Soon to be available at a dealer near you.

Photo Credit: mattwalker69, Flickr Creative Commons

Friday, 8 August 2014

How to Grow A Beard in One Easy Step

I allow my face to become a jungle,
No longer barren or devoid of fuzzy foliage.
The manmade steel that shredded
and sliced the whisker trees
lays abandoned,
somewhere in a porcelain graveyard;
rusting and eroding into ash,
slowly becoming one with nature again.

Isn't that beautiful? Doesn't it just bring a tear to your eye? Having been bearded most of my life, I have often been asked how I grow such an awesome beard. Well, it all starts with one easy to follow step. Any guesses what that might be? I will give you a hint: See picture.

Poem source: Brycical
Photo Source: Unknown (via Facebook)

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Jog Strap

A friend came over after work this afternoon, and as we shared a glass of Will's Hootch, she pulled out her iPhone and shared the following video. We laughed and laughed. Who thinks this stuff up, I wondered? I simply had to share, knowing that those of you who have a similar sick sense of humour to mine, will also enjoy it. So, without further adieu, here's "The Jog Strap."

Monday, 4 August 2014

from the "Lighter" Side of Will?

I saw a poster similar to this picture years ago in the back room office of an acquaintance who owned a small funeral home. It simply said, "Thank you for Smoking."

At the time I really wasn't sure what to make of it, given that death and funerals are such a sensitive subject. Maybe that's why the poster was in the back office where clients generally don't go.

Having said that, I suppose the clients that do go in the back room, probably don't much care either way what's on the office walls.

Photo Source: Unknown

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Will's Soon-to-be Famous, Burgers 'n Beans


Hello fellow Foodies. If you like burgers and beans, have I got a treat for you! I’m talking REAL burgers, and not that fast pseudo-food junk.

Typically I pre-make a whole bunch of burgers from scratch and then freeze individual ¼ pound patties by wrapping each one in both wax paper and aluminum foil. I find that this helps to eliminate freezer burn, and allows you to pull out of the freezer exactly the amount of burgers that you want without waste.

My burger patties are a secret concoction, but for you I am willing to un-secretize them. They are roughly half lean ground beef and half lean ground pork. I add a bunch of chopped raw onion, several healthy shakes of garlic powder and ground cayenne pepper, followed by some oatmeal and eggs to hold the whole mixture together. The last time I did this, 30 burger patties headed for the freezer, so it’s a big job. However, I also don’t have to make them that often, and I’ve always got an awesome burger when I want it.

Today I grilled three burgers and a package of four Marc Angelo’s Hot Italian pork sausages. I generously basted the burgers and sausages with Bull’s-Eye Hot Southern Cajun Barbeque Sauce. While they were cooking, I started chopping my veggies.

I used one whole raw onion, one whole green pepper, one small hot red pepper that came from a friend’s garden (I have no idea what it was), one dehydrated Habanero pepper (if you can’t handle the spice, you may want to skip this ingredient), and about half a pound of chopped fresh mushrooms.

Once the grilling was done, I sliced the four sausages into thin slices, and added them to the veggie mix. To that I stirred in two 398 ml (14 oz) cans of Heinz Chipotle BBQ Style beans and mixed the whole concoction together.

Finally I took my three grilled burgers, put them in an oven-proof casserole dish, and poured the veggie and bean mixture overtop. After wrapping the dish in aluminum foil, I let it all cook together in a 300 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes.

Well there you have it, fellow Foodies; Will’s soon-to-be famous Burgers ‘n Beans. Eat your heart out, Weight-Watchers! Sometimes you have to live a little and blow the diet, although the calorie count probably isn't that bad.

Just Grow It


There are two words for people without beards: "Women" and "Children."
Enough said. Just Grow It.

Photo Source: Incredibeard

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Walking the Dog


Just when you think that you’ve seen it all, along comes something that makes you sit up and say, “Hmm.”

Now I’m not really a nosey neighbor; I like to think that I mind my own business. However, this particular morning all that changed, at least for a few moments. I was sitting in my favourite chair at about 6:00 am, like I do almost every morning, enjoying a nice cup of coffee before I trying to motivate myself to start my day, when I happened to look up long enough to notice a woman across the street walking her dog. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be so strange. Lots of people do that. What struck me odd was that she was wearing a housecoat and a scarf over her hair while doing so.

Interesting how the first thing I thought of was, if it were not for the dog, perhaps she’s off to Wal-Mart to do some shopping. But seriously, letting the dog out into your backyard while wearing a housecoat is one thing; walking down the street while wearing the housecoat is quite another.

Then again, some people think it's quite acceptable to walk out in public wearing pyjama pants too. It’s a strange new world, and by that, I don’t mean that it’s necessarily a better one!

Maybe I'm just too old fashioned, but what is next; a sexy negligee while cutting the front lawn? The only more extreme place you could go from there is full-blown public nudity. Now there’s an image that is probably enough to scare most of us!

I’m not trying to be a prude; honest I’m not. But really, what was she thinking? Common lady. Put some clothes on, real outdoor clothes, before walking your dog. Bedroom attire doesn’t count. Save the housecoat for “in the house.” You just about made me spill my coffee on my favourite chair! That would not have been cool!

That’s the way I see it anyway. Peace.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Grayum, Flickr Creative Commons