Tape Delayed Tweets

Ok, because the whole twitter thing is just like blowing up and stuff, I thought it would be a good idea to live tweet from the hurricane here in Concord.  Little did I know we were going to lose power so quickly.  Luckily I saved all of the tweets, and have them on tape-delay tweet for you all now.

  • Got my PB&J ready waiting to see if Sandy is tougher than Irene.
  • All these reports don’t sound too scary for NH.  #goodluckjerseyshore
  • 1st limb down.  Now it’s a party!!
  • Poll question:  Who wins 1 on 1 – Ditka vs a hurricane?  #bearsbearspolishsah-sidgebears
  • Oh snap! 4:00 and powers out! #sowhythe”eff”domostoftheneighborsstillhaveit
  • Jon Sadowski is at Rite Aid.  #candles!
  • Getting dark. Time for glow sticks.
  • Raver baby!
  • Parenting tip of the night: candles + toddlers= not good #RepublicanPrimarydebate
  • Waiting for something else to happen out there, but only see windy rain and darkness.
  • Having no electricity and my entire family asleep has really given me a moment to pause and appreciate the simpler things in life, like tweeting by candle light, and has me really thinking whether all this connectivity is worth the energy when civilizations have lived for like hundreds of years without facebook or twitter.  #crackedthecodetoallowmytweets1500charactersinsteadof150bbaaaaalllllliiinnnn!!
  • AAAAHHHHH!!!!! The gorillas!! Someone call 91



“American Bread” Review

If you enjoy reading about the adventures, joys, and tribulations that come with extended road trips, read this book.  If you or a loved one has had life-changing medical issues, read this book.  If you are doing some soul searching and/or faith exploration of your own, read this book.  If you are looking for some insight into whether international microfinance can be used as a vehicle to enact social change through shifting societal modalities while increasing the awareness of global insight within an emerging market, don’t read this book. “American Bread: Chronic Lyme Disease and the Tao of the Open Road,” Nick Vittas’ literary debut, is pure heart.  Nick has been battling Lyme disease for 14 years, and this book provides insight into how one man copes with life-changing events.  It is an intricately assembled collection of stories from his days as a punky cah-lidge kid at UMass – Amherst, his navigation through the early years of his diagnosis, and his adventures on the road when he was finally healthy enough to drive cross country twice, and through Mexico.

A book that combines travel stories and spirituality (two of my favorite topics of discussion) this well is a very hard find, but what sets Vittas apart even further is his ability to extract lessons from seemingly mundane or unfortunate happenings.  Frolicking and joking with neighborhood kids in LaMadrid, Mexico.  “Car trouble” in the Bay Area.  Sitting in the basement studying pre-recorded NBA games (on a VCR nonetheless).  These and many other situations become the vehicles for Vittas to apply the philosophies and attitudes he cultivates, through mediation and readings, as his acceptance of his condition evolves.  His painstaking attention to detail allows the reader to truly feel his frustration with Lyme disease and occasional desire to stomp his feet and scream, “Enough!,” to focus on their own breathing while he describes his first meditation, and to curse that damn Oakland weather.  His description of the constant battle of being present in the moment versus focusing / worrying about some hopeful event somewhere in the future is also something everyone can relate to on some level.

While this book has many soulful, honest moments, the travelogues have the ability to make anyone’s feet itchy.  Lobo and the patron saint of recklessness combine their efforts to create some seriously insane situations which Vittas sounds very grateful (in hindsight) to have been present for.  The joy he finds in traveling, and the companionship of his buddy cannot be contained, and the reader can’t help but feel the love, too.  Costa, Linda, Belli, and a cast of others also appear throughout the book adding color to Vittas and Lobo’s adventures across the US and Mexico.  As the book progresses, and rough early days of his diagnosis are explained, even the grumpiest reader’s spirits are lifted as they see how far the author has come physically.

This book is versatile and is a must read for anyone who reads.  It will leave you full of wanderlust.  It will make you laugh.  It will make you focus on your breath.  It provides food for spiritual thought.  It is simply a well written book by a dude who has been through a lot, and shares his experiences in a clear and honest way.

 “American Bread: Chronic Lyme Disease and the Tao of the Open Road” is available on Amazon.  Click on the image of the book to the left for more information.



A Solution Worth Remebering

As technology continues to evolve, improve, progress, or whatever adjective you care to use to describe it, many unintended problems arise that may not sound awful, but really are.  As land lines become more and more scarce, so do the opportunities to call your cell phone when you can’t find it.  If you are home alone, or with people too young to have cell phones, losing your cell phone right before leaving the house can be frustrating.  With nothing to call your phone, you are at the mercy of luck, or your ability to retrace your steps, to recover the phone.  Luckily, I have solved this problem.  The only tool required is a computer an internet connection.

Ok, do a search for “Amazon contact” and you will be routed to the customer service page.  You have to act like you have a problem with a recent purchase (like maybe your copy of American Bread: Chronic Lyme Disease and the Tao of the Open Road by Nick Vittas, available by clicking throughout the link on the right). So it will ask you how you would like to be contacted: email, phone or chat.  Amazon does not have a 1-800 number, they ask you to enter your number, they call you, then put you through to an operator.  When you can’t find your phone, go to this site, fill out the required fields, have customer service call you, and voila, your phone is located.

This is not a self-serving post or a cheap attempt at getting anyone to click through the link on the right, because no one is buying anything (but by all means, definitely do so when making ANY purchase on Amazon.com) .  I just thought I would pass along a modern solution to a modern problem.


Click Through the Link!!!

So the whole time I’ve been home with the girls, I’ve been trying to find ways to make money some way, some how.  I read SO MANY articles and blogs saying things like, “Sell your stuff on eBay / craigslist.  Ron from Chelmsford started going to yard sales and second hand stores, made a few sales, and went from living in a cardboard box to a 5,386 sq ft palace in six months.”  I thought this was the root to shoot.  I’ll post this and that on craigslist, get a half.com account and get rid of all those old text books and paperbacks (still available, by the way), and we’ll be eatin’ steak all winter!  Bullshit.  That’s all the fairy tale of making money selling shit is.  I’m sure Ron and all his American Pickers-watching buddies are loving life (wait, I actually love that show).  Riches did not come pouring in through this line of work.

I have, however, found a way to kill two birds with one stone, or maybe the phrase “accomplish 2 things with one click” might be a little better, don’t want any bird blood on my hands, unless it’s one of my own chickens, and then I wouldn’t use a stone, probably use the ol’ cone, and wear gloves, so there’s be no blood on my actual hands..  SO, I am enjoying this writing / blogging thing and have enrolled in the Amazon Affiliate program.  By coming here and clicking through the link labeled “AMAZON HOMEPAGE” to do your Amazon shopping, the staff here at Firecat Central gets a small percentage of your purchase.  This will not cost you the shopper anything more, you simply just go to this site and click through the link on the left and it will help us out immensely.

Also, right below the Amazon link is a link to a book one of my (and maybe even your) friend Nick Vittas wrote, “American Bread: Chronic Lyme Disease and the Tao of the Open Road.”  My full review of the book is coming, but if you click on the image or title on the left, it will bring you right to the Amazon page selling it.  He’s a great dude.  Buy the book.  Do it.  Now.  …..no seriously, right this very instant…. Well, since your being pokey, make it 3 copies just for lally gagging.

Now that this is established, the pressure is on to get writing and keep new stuff up there.  I will have at least a post a week and am trying to mix it up as much as possible regarding the topics.  Thanks in advance for checking my site out.

…and if anyone knows how to contact Ron in his secluded castle, ask him if he will want to advertise his second hand empire here.

Come together, RIGHT NOW!!!

Something’s been bothering me.  I thought that right when I started blogging, I would be able to eloquently state how I feel about the world in a unique way.  I’m stuck.  I am bothered about a ton of the same stuff “everyone” else writes about on their blogs.  There is too much money in politics.  This recipe will make preparing insert favorite dish much easier.  Corporations have way too much influence on our daily lives.  Simplifying your life will help you feel better.  People just need to unplug, man, get back to what life is like really about, and stuff.

Anyone who has a friend on Facebook with a blog or spends any amount of time on Reddit has heard all this stuff before.  How can this be said any differently?  With so many media options, it’s easy to simply surround yourself with one point of view, or one style of writing, ignoring anything that isn’t of interest.  Is this the new shared experience?  Is having no shared experience a shared experience in and of itself?  Is being frustrated with constant connectivity something that is beginning to unite us?

Ah ha!  I have a uniting theme!! Any time I am in a political conversation that lasts more than 10 minutes, I mean ANY, there is undoubtedly mention and agreement about how disgusting and corrupt and stoopidly stoopid the amount of money thrown around is.  While our broken political system is racking up debt and filling the 24/7 media barrage with noise, it is also becoming a rallying point for most level headed people on both sides of the aisle.  The constant media barrage has also created other points of interest.   I have found agreement on the ineptitude of politicians in general, (other) people are narcissistic and clueless about others because while they are telling everyone they know what they’re cooking for dinner they fail to look at the road and see the dad running with his two girls and the double stroller in the crosswalk and almost run him over and look up and say “sorry” and go right back to typing, bias in the media (which way is up for debate) , farmer’s markets are cool, and most recently, the replacement refs (insert joke here).  I might be making this up or in my own little world, but I feel that our shared experiences now are all negative in tone.  I have no idea what to say or do or plan or anything, but I wish this was not the case.  I know blogging about how people should just see things my way or eat the food I eat or vote the way I vote won’t really change anyone’s outlook, but it feels good to get it off my chest.  If only everyone else could do it as level headedly as me.

Next week: 8 tips on how to write a level-headed blog post that brings people together.  If you miss it, you’re a bad person and probably a terrible writer and/or reader