Thursday 31 May 2012

News of the Day

“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”  - Henry David Thoreau

I saw this quote on Facebook this morning and it reminded me to be present in the moment.

I drive the same route to and from work every day, around Cowichan Bay, then through
some truly beautiful farmland, 

and window by my desk provides a sea view, across the water toward 
Saltspring Island.  Despite all this amazing scenery, I’m often so preoccupied 
that I don’t notice my surroundings at all.

Today I made a conscious effort to really see my surroundings and noticed:

-that there is nothing more wet looking than a wooly sheep standing in the rain,

-that mushrooms will pop up overnight, in perfect fairy circles, on even the most carefully cultivated lawns,

-and that my boss has pirate skulls and crossbones embroidered on the inside of the rolled up cuffs on the shirt he wore to work today.


I adore both of my red KitchenAid stand mixers and wouldn't trade them for the world, but this video, shared by SweetArt Supplies, of a work in progress by Michelle DiNardo of Un Amore, is pretty amazing. I love the instinct we humans share to make art from and with the most utilitarian of objects.

And while I'm on the subject of creativity, check out these homemade popsicles made by Cool Mom Picks and shared by SweetArt Supplies! I'm not of a fan of uni-tasker 
kitchen appliances (I would have a tough time justifying the purchase of a freezer designed to make one single popsicle at a time) but, after seeing these, 
I have to that admit that I'm tempted.

I spend a lot of time taking pictures so I always like to see the work of other photographers.  Lately, I’ve been enjoying the work of Vancouver Island photographer, Randy Hall.  Randy has recently started a new website, featuring his work.  There are some very beautiful images there.

And, while I'm on the subject of looking at things differently:

Inspired by Charm posted this instagram photo, with a note that he likes to eat the
bottom part first. I cut my muffins in half vertically so I get some of each. 
How do you eat yours?

Who needs lettuce to make a salad?  So many other things can be used instead.
Blue Kale Road made a delicious slaw from turnips and carrots.  
Think how handy this recipe will be during the winter months!

I know that lima beans don’t get much lovin’ these days but it's always good to
take another look.  This is a recipe you'll actually like
Eat ‘em up!  They’re good for you!

So that was my day.

What caught your eye today?
What did you see that captured your imagination?

Wednesday 30 May 2012

News of the Day

I've been thinking a lot lately about how I share information and conversation with my on line friends, and about how I can bring some day to day interest to my blog.  I decided I'm going to try a "News of the Day" post.  You won't find world events here, but you will find whatever shiny things my magpie mind has picked up along the way.  :)

It was rainy here today, but even wet days have a beauty all their own.  I do love our eagles, and they are very busy along the shoreline these days.  This one was flying so low that I thought his wing tips were going to brush the surface of the water!

Today I started my day with a little pancake love.    

Over the Big Moon shared a handy tip for making weekday breakfasts quick and easy. 

I indulged in a little bragging about my brother.  He's a Member of the Legislative Assembly and has been participating in BC's annual Bike to Work Week.  He lives in Duncan and has been riding all the way to the the legislature in Victoria, a trip that includes riding over the Malahat mountain (352 meters/1155 feet at the summit) every day!  Here’s what he had to say on Facebook this morning:

I'm a little tired after having done the Bike To Work Week from Duncan to the legislature every day this week. Down Monday, down and back Tuesday and down today. I will do down and back tomorrow for a total of six passes over the Malahat and 372km. On Friday I will do a round trip Duncan, Ladysmith, Duncan for a total of about 425km for Bike to Work Week this year. I encourage everyone to get on your bike and ride. Its good for you, good for the environment and its "One Less Car". Plus...It’s so much fun!”

You've got to admit that's pretty darned impressive!

Lots of nice people shared my work today.  Mama Chocolate was kind enough to recommend my Puffy Omelette with Cheddar and Chives on her Facebook page.  She's one of the hosts of Delicious Dish Tuesday, a fun linky party I participate in every week.

Lady Behind the Curtain, host of Cast Party Wednesday, and Printabelle, host of the Wonderful Wednesday Link Party, both chose my recipe for Roasted Asparagus and Butter Crumbed Eggs as one of their party features for the week. I'm honoured! 

I came across some excellent kitchen tips today.

I don't usually link to videos but the title of How to Julienne Carrots Without Losing Your Fingers made this one from Beyond the Peel hard to resist. :) 
Good knife skills make your kitchen time so much easier!

Here's another good one, from A Life Unprocessed, on how to make a perfect frozen banana.

The 36th Avenue posted a link to this quote, illustrated by Spiritually Speaking
on Facebook today. I like it a lot

SweetArt Supplies shared a creamy salad dressing from Mesa de Vida this afternoon.  The dressing, made with Greek yogurt and avocado, looks both tasty and nutritious.  I didn't make it this evening, but I'm sure to make it soon.

All in all, a pretty good day I think.  :) 
I hope all is well in your world too.


Gallery of Favorites

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Paid Post Promotions on Facebook?

There has been a lot of talk lately about Facebook charging to promote posts.  I've heard this kind of rumour before and it's always been related to a hoax, so I decided to investigate further.  

It turns out that Facebook has, indeed, been testing this concept in New Zealand but has yet to roll it out system-wide.  

Current Facebook metrics are set up so that only about 12% of any page's fans or friends actually see their posts.  Facebook determines what you see on your news feed based upon how many "likes" or comments a post gets.  

If Facebook decides to move forward with the paid post promotion concept, Facebook users - both business and personal - will be offered the option of paying a scaled fee to promote their posts to a wider audience than the percentage provided by the current metrics setup.  The larger the fee paid, the wider the audience that will receive the post.

This new “innovation” opens the door to a whole new kind of spamming.  It will allow anyone with a personal or business page who is willing to pay a fee to post their advertising material or promotions to the top of your news feed.  If you do not wish to see these paid “highlights” you must either “un-like” or “un-friend” the page or person who has chosen to purchase them. 

At the same time, the pay per post concept penalizes honest, hardworking business people and bloggers who have invested countless hours in building an audience.  If the model moves forward, you can be assured that posts that are not promoted will reach fewer and fewer people over time, as Facebook –who now views its users as products rather than customers – limits access in order to create a need to purchase this new product.

It seems to me that Facebook has totally lost the plot lately.  They’ve always foisted unpopular “improvements” on their users but, recently, the network has been plagued with technical glitches and characterized by a steady withdrawal of services and features that they, themselves, actively promoted only a short while ago.

Google+ has been struggling to establish a user base.  It hasn't caught on because users perceive it as overly complicated.  Bloggers are also leery of the platform because it ties their Picassa albums to their membership.  If you have a, or blog and cancel your Google+ membership, you lose all the images you've posted on your blog.  (A good argument for backing up your blog to an external archive!) 

As unwelcoming and complicated as Google+ is, it is looking more and more attractive to Facebook users, who are growing weary of Facebook's constant changes, glitches, and greediness.  

Perhaps Facebook is striving to ensure its own demise?  It  certainly looks that way!

I am, at this point, uncertain about where I’ll go from here.  If Facebook continues to be such a pain in the neck to use, or if it further limits my audience, I’ll be leaving it behind.  Will I continue blogging and seek other avenues of promotion for my work?  I’m not sure.

I'd love to hear how you feel about all of this.  What do you think about the recent changes on Facebook?

If you would like to read more about the paid post promotion test, you may find these links informative: 

Tuesday 15 May 2012

It's Chocolate Chip Day!

I’m so glad that I visit with my on line friends every day.  If I didn’t, I’d never have known that today is Chocolate Chip Day in the US!

I love me some chocolate chips and I know that you do too.  Here are three recipes from earlier blogs to help you celebrate.  Enjoy!