13Months is undergoing a re-design. Don't be alarmed.

I liked many things about the former layout, but I think I can improve it.

This current look is temporary until I am finished.

Surviving the Recession: Bread and Water Party

I have a great idea.

Don't despair in the economic downturn; revel in it.

I submit the following idea: Bread and Water Party

The host or hostess provides the water.

The guests bring bread to share.

It's as simple as that, but, before you roll your eyes, read on.

The party idea is inspired by Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream. At the shop in Grandview (and probably the others, too. I haven't paid too much attention), they offer free water. Not just plain water, mind you, but cucumber-infused free water.

That got me thinking about all the ways one can flavor water with fruit and veg. Boom. Idea.

The host/ess of the party should serve flavored water. Here are some recipes.
Cucumber Water:
Get a pitcher
Put ice in the pitcher
Fill the pitcher with tap water
Slice a cucumber
Add cucumber slices to the pitcher
Serve and enjoy

Lemon Water:
Get a pitcher
Put ice in the pitcher
Fill the pitcher with tap water
Slice a lemon
Add lemon slices to the pitcher
Serve and enjoy

Lime Water:
Get a pitcher
Put ice in the pitcher
Fill the pitcher with tap water
Slice a lime
Add lime slices to the pitcher
Serve and enjoy

Watermelon Water:
Get a pitcher
Put ice in the pitcher
Fill the pitcher with tap water
Slice a watermelon
Add watermelon slices to the pitcher (just use a few. Eat the rest)
Serve and enjoy

General Melon Water:
Get a pitcher
Put ice in the pitcher
Fill the pitcher with tap water
Slice a melon
Add melon slices to the pitcher
Serve and enjoy

Mint Water:
Get a pitcher
Put ice in the pitcher
Fill the pitcher with tap water
Add mint to the pitcher
Serve and enjoy

That's just the beginning. You could add anything you wanted, but, in my opinion, once you start adding sugar, kool aid, tea packets, etc. it ceases to be a water party.

Now for the bread.

I don't recommend guests just bring a bag of Wonder. Why not bring a nice sour dough? Or banana bread, or challah, or even monkey bread.

Now, go have a Brad and Water Party with your friends and family! Let me know how your party goes in the comments!


Nila's Big Day

Shock of shocks, I've updated Nila's blog.

Here's a sample:


And Then We Came to an End (of Homemade Yogurt)

The yogurt experiment of 2009 has come to an end.

Below you'll find the results of my endeavors in yogurtery.

Positive findings:
  • It's really easy - 10 minutes of work and 12 hours of waiting (most of it spent sleeping). Read more here.
  • It made me feel like I was pretty cool - How many people can say they make their own yogurt?
  • It only costs about $4.50 for half a gallon of yogurt - I had to buy milk and some starter yogurt. Future batches would only cost as much as the milk I used.
Less-than-positive findings:
  • The second batch was a dud - That means no starter yogurt for the third batch. I have to buy everything again. Another $4.50 and half a gallon of inedible yogurt.
  • The batch only lasts a week - I think that would be fine if Angie and I were also eating it and not just Nila. Before I started working so late - and sleeping so late as a result - I would eat about 1/2 a cup each morning in a smoothie. I don't do that anymore. Nila's the only one eating yogurt everyday. So I spent $4.50 for the week. We normally spend $3.50 on Nila's yogurt for the week.
  • Nila doesn't eat as much of the homemade - I think it's because there isn't any sugar in it. I added fruit puree, but it's not the same. She was eating the lowest sugar store-bought brand I could find already.

With that, I decided that 12 grams of sugar each morning was a small price to pay to get Nila back to enjoying her yogurt in the morning rather than suffering through half as much as she'd normally eat.

Yo Baby wins this round.


I tasted the yogurt once more before throwing it all away. It didn't taste too bad, so am straining it as we speak.

I strained the first bit. Now, it looks and tastes like a fine Greek-style yogurt.

I will have the same problems above; no one will ever eat all of this yogurt, but maybe it isn't a bust after all.



I made two new foods this week: yogurt and hummus.

You can see my yogurt recipe at 7 Simple Things.

Last week I made hummus with this recipe:

  • 2 cups of cooked chickpeas
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • mix it all in a blender

This week I made some more hummus and I changed things up.


  • 2 cups of cooked chickpeas
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of fresh homemade yogurt!
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste (heavy on the pepper)


  • mix it all in a blender

The second recipe is far superior to the first.


Towing Rage

On Saturday night, Brandy came to visit and tell us all about her trip to Brazil. I made pizza and Angie made a strawberry dessert. We laughed, we cried. The usual.

While we were socializing, Shamrock towing came and took Brandy's car away. Her crime was not having a parking pass for the neighborhood.

We should have learned our lesson when Sis' car was towed about a month ago. We did not.

Brandy had to call Shamrock. They quoted her $133, so I motioned for the phone:

Me: The sign says $90 towing fee plus $12 storage fee. That's $102. Why is
it $133?

Jerk Lady: There is a $25 administrative fee plus tax.

Me: Administrative fee? That's not on the sign. I demand that all fees be
written on signs.

Jerk Lady: It's Ohio Revised Code.

Me: Which one?

Jerk Lady: Look on the sign.

Me: No, I will not. You want to charge me $25, you should know the revised
code. What is it?

Jerk Lady: Look, I'm not the one who parked where I shouldn't have. The
code is on the sign.

Me: You don't have to be a jerk, lady. If I have to pay, I'd like to know
the code. I need to speak to your manager.

Jerk Lady: She's not in. You have to call Monday.

Me: What's her name? What's her number?

Jerk Lady: Her name is Manager. You can call this number.

Me: Oh, I will! And I will tell her all the jerky things you said to me. I
have written them all down so that I can quote you verbatim! You have met your
match this time.

Oh, yes I would fight the administrative fee with every breath I have!

That's what is called impotent rage. I was mad at the property management company for its stupid parking rules, I was mad at the towing company for towing Brandy's car, I was mad at Jerk Lady and her stupid $25, but mostly I was mad at myself for knowing the stupid rules and ignoring them.

I was furious. I mean I couldn't think of anything else.

I took Brandy to get her car and, as I drove home alone, I thought of ways to alleviate my feeling of rage. I came to a simple solution.

I called Jerk Lady - we could probably just call her Lady now - back and apologized to her for being a jerk myself. She didn't deserve to be the recipient of my anger. It's not like she gets to keep the $25.

It worked, too. Once I did the right thing, I felt better; no more impotent rage. I went home and went to bed without another thought about towing or administrative fees.


U.S. Detention of Asylum Seekers: Seeking Protection, Finding Prison

From Human Rights First.

When refugees fleeing persecution seek asylum in the US, they are detained in
jail-like facilities, and without basic due process safeguards, as detailed in a
new HRF report. The report also outlines ways to improve this process that are
more cost-effective, just, and humane.


AngieMeekerdesigns is Open for Business (Again)

It technically never shut down, but we're looking to expand.

If you don't know, Angie and I have hung out our shingle on the web - our e-shingle if you will.

Over the Summer in 2008, Angie started designing web sites for local businesses and non-profits. She's been very successful designed great-looking websites at a very low cost (which I keep trying to get her to raise...)

When she started working full-time in November, she slowed down a bit, but we've decided to push forward. I mean, we've got a great product and Angie has mad skills. Why not stop wasting her talents in a regular 9 to 5?

So, to that end:
In addition to that, Central Ohio Crime Stopper's site will be undergoing a very exciting redesign in the coming weeks. An already great site will get even better.