Yelping It Up

Back when I had a BlackBerry, the first app I loaded after Dictionary.com, was Yelp. It’s been my go-to app ever since.

When Miss Mary and I hit the road for two weeks to catch up with Mark Baumer on his walk across America during July of 2010, Yelp never steered us wrong on food or lodging. Nineteen states and 4,600 road tripping miles is a good test of any apps mettle–Yelp passed with flying colors.

Yelp keeps your beer cold.

Yelp keeps your beer cold.

I’m still amazed by how many people I talk with who don’t know about Yelp. Come on people; get with the program!! Continue reading

Fridays Are For Music

The JBE loves music. Aspects of the JBE brand are embedded with and influenced by many DIY aspects inherent in music from both the punk and post-punk eras of rock music history.

I still listen to “what’s new” via streaming audio, most often, KEXP, based in Seattle, WMBR (based at MIT), especially Saturday’s James Dean Death Car Experience, and WFMU, one of America’s last free-form radio stations, what’s become an oddity in this age of corporate media consolidation. Continue reading

Hagiography, Civil Rights, and Martin Luther King Day

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a polarizing figure during his lifetime.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a polarizing figure during his lifetime.

This isn’t my regular posting day. I wanted to get something up, however, reflecting briefly on the day.

Today is the day when we mark the anniversary of the date of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. The day, an American federal holiday, is one that has two sides to it—one that involves hagiography and a twisting of history—the other addresses the ongoing struggle, one that King was a foot soldier in; that being human emancipation. Continue reading

How Safe Is Your Water?

Don't drink the water!

Don’t drink the water!

Bread may or may not be the staff of life. Water on the other hand is essential for survival. Like electricity, you never think twice about water safety until it’s compromised.

On Thursday of last week, a major American city of 300,000 had their public water supply compromised by a careless corporation. A week later, residents in some parts of the city are now allowed to drink the water. Still, there are more questions than answers forthcoming. Continue reading

The Action Button

Good ideas and solutions to problems are abundant. Everyone might be a critic, but often, criticism holds the kernel of a viable solution. The problem is that merely identifying a problem, or proposing a theoretical solution never results in fixing it.

There are reasons why. I’ve written before about how talking about an idea can actually run counter to implementing it. The age-old adage, “talk is cheap” is just that; talk requires nothing. It’s an idea, often poorly framed, without steps towards implementation. Continue reading

Sauerkraut is Life

My pedigree is one part German. As a German, I inherited a love of cabbage. My birth family, specifically my Opa, made sauerkraut. One of my treasured memories is being six or seven-years-old and watching Opa, my uncle Bob, and my father shave cabbage using a Krauthobel, or “Hobler,” adding salt, and waiting while it magically changed into sauerkraut. Continue reading

Skating Away

On Saturday morning, the thermometer near our mudroom entrance read minus 20. That’s cold! On Monday afternoon that same thermometer was reading 50 degrees, a remarkable shift of 70 degrees in two and a half days.

We are experiencing greater extremes and fluctuations in our weather. Both sides on the issue of climate change attempt to use this to score points in their favor. If inclined to trust in science, the data indicates that something’s up with our weather. Continue reading

You Can’t Handle The Truth

I had a post ready to go this morning. It was a post highlighting changes in the way we adapt to weather and events in our lives that are unexpected. Aspects of it dealt with something some call “learned helplessness.” There was an element of collapse involved. I guess I’ll leave that topic to others more qualified to write about it. This recent post referenced the idea that there was a time when “you could still talk about such things in public without being shouted down by true believers in perpetual progress and instant apocalypse, the Tweedledoom and Tweedledee of our collective non-conversation about the future.” That time is no more. Continue reading