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Friday, May 31, 2013

Foodie Fridays: Food Porn

Wikipedia defines food porn as: "glamourised spectacular visual presentation of cooking or eating in advertisementsinfomercials, cooking shows or other visual media,[1] foods boasting a high fat and calorie content,[2] exotic dishes that arouse a desire to eat or the glorification of food as a substitute for sex.[3] Food porn often takes the form of food photography and styling that presents food provocatively, in a similar way to glamour photography or pornographic photography."

Food porn for the masses rose out of websites such as instagram and facebook. 

Anti-food porn now exists in the form of tickld members (and other websites) where the activity of photographing and informing friends, family, and strangers about your meals is laughed at and is a shameful practice. 

There are many reasons why someone you know may have posted food porn.

What can you do about food porn addiction?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Author Thursdays: SoCNoc

The Challenge:

SoCNoC – or Southern Cross Novel Competition is the writing challenge for the Southern Hemisphere, and anyone else who wants to join in.  The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days.


The Rules

The Goal:

Though traditionally one would start a new novel and finish it* in the month, I have chosen to finish a novel I have already started. I hope that combining my already 23k words with the 50k I will write in June, I will have a complete novel! As my writing habit is to edit as I go, the novel will be already partially edited!

It takes a village to create a monster. Can one young girl’s sacrifice break the spell or will the whole town be consumed by his voracious anger?


Every girl and boy in the village of Frey has been afraid of the beast of the forest for as long as they can remember. It was only ten years ago that he fell into the well of loathing and was consumed by the town’s rage. He made his home in the forest and every year the townspeople sacrificed one of their own to appease his anger. The girl who helped pull him out of the well ten years ago has been chosen as the next sacrifice. Will she be the one to break the spell or will the whole town be consumed by his voracious anger.

The progress:

3/20/13: 720 words!
3/24/13: 2150 words!
4/26/13: 12.4k words!
4/29/13: 16k words!
5/03/13: 18k words!
5/08/13: 20k words!
5/12/13: 23k words!

The Outcome:


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wildlife Wednesdays: Birthday Geocache

Unique Geocache Idea #36928

My friend found a cache where there was a birthday card inside. It is a wonderful idea! To sign a birthday card and then when that "log" is full, it gets to be given to someone for their birthday. 

Here are some links to birthday themed goecaches:

His premise is that  "You must leave something you would put in a birthday card"

When you type in "Birthday" you get 330 hits!

And one you are supposed* to log on your birthday!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Toiling Tuesdays: More Education?

Online Classes Go!

I've decided I want to further my education in any way possible. I've been reading books about writing and the publishing industry and working on my platform as an author. I recently took a bartending class and got my mixology certificate. 

I found some hot deals on Groupon for some intriguing classes such as the Web Development Class, Accounting and Bookkeeping Class,  and Online Business Management and Marketing Class. If you are looking for smoking discounts on online courses then Groupon is a good place for you to start. I can't wait to try some of these and learn something(s) new!

In the meantime, though, my ultimate furthering education goal is to take electrical engineering classes. 

Fundamental courses that are required of all non-EE degree holders are:
  • EE 215 "Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering"
  • EE 233 "Circuit Theory"
  • EE 235 "Continuous Time Linear Systems"
  • EE 271 "Digital Circuits and Systems"
  • Programming skills at the level of CSE 142 "Computer Programming I" and CSE 143 "Computer Programming II"

    Any engineers out there have recommendations?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Miscellaneous Mondays: Making a Drink

My Extensive To Do List 2013

Duck Fart
          I'm sure you have made one at some point. Some call it a New Year's Resolution. Others call it a bucket list. I refer to it as a to-do list because I always finish what's on my to-do list (or I amend the list).

          I was going over my extensive to-do list and I had noticed that I had completed one of them!

learn a karaoke song in each genre
choreograph and do flashmob
write and perform a song
learn no me digas que no
learn the evolution of dance
chinese lessons
bartending school
cake decorating
latin club - latin music
bowling league
(a few more personal to-do's that I'm not publicly sharing)

Recently I completed ABC Bartending school's 32-hour course. I had a great time and learned a lot! I came out with extensive knowledge of drinks, alcohols, etc. I also received a certificate of completion in Mixology after passing a somewhat difficult test. I met new and interesting people from all walks of life and overall had a blast. I would highly recommend this class. I even did some homework/research on my own ;)

Chocolate Cake shot


Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Anybody looking for a bartender? I'm available :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Author Thursdays: Attention Authors!!!

Goal of this meeting is establish at least one time a week to meet with location for the first meeting and to establish some/all goals of the group.

Meeting will consist of:

1. Introductions
2. My ideas for the direction of the group
3. Meeting times and places
4. Anything else?

Meeting Place Requirements: Local, wireless access, outlets

1. Maple Valley Library
2. Maple Valley Creative Arts Center
3. The Spot
4. Big Apple Deli
5. 9th Hole Grill
6. Original Pancake House

What I want from MVW:

1. A local writing environment geared toward authors of prose (and poetry) that encourages writing and publishing.

2. A writing buddy

3. Networking with local authors/

4. A group with writing events now and then such as workshops, speakers, signings, a column in the local newspaper, readings, etc

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Toiling Tuesdays: Blanket Form

I'm so tired of filling out that ridiculous impersonal blue and white application form. I had the idea to just get a copy, fill it out and copy it. This way I can bring their own filled out form for them and not have to keep re-filling it out every time I applied for a job where I wonder if they even read it.... Would save me loads of time and annoyance plus it might show my creativity/innovation/time-saving skills.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Miscellaneous Mondays: Thought

I feel overwhelmed by the underwhelming importance of day to day life

I've been reading the book Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America's Independent Businesses. It is quite fascinating and makes me sad, the kind of sad where you shake your head and purse your lips and quote from Futurama. But it's really difficult and near impossible to change behavior and the thought behind shopping at the Big Box Businesses. For one, they provide comfort in familiarity. Sometimes I go into a local business and I'm overwhelmed by my ignorance of the appropriate sequence of events. Do I stand here or there for service? Do I ask or will they come to me? Can I touch things? Is it okay to ask for a sample? Every time you walk into the Big Box you know the sequence of events and it is comforting that you can count on the same actions repeating themselves with familiarity.

I can instantly find the nearest Big Box and google recognizes the search, even if it's vague. I type in grocery store or restaurant and google displays so many well known and instantly recognizable names as well as some that are unfamiliar. Do I know that they have what I'm looking for? Perhaps not. Maybe some of the local stores aren't even within instant searchable terms. I feel like the ignorant child that when asked, where do apples come from says "The store" without a second thought and doesn't even connect the dots between tree and store to apple in hand because all that child knows is the apple from the store.

But the book points out that there is a cost, rather many costs to supporting these Big Box Businesses. They swoop in with bells and whistles when the going is good and swipe business from the local independent stores. Healthy competition right? Wrong. The Big Box Businesses undercut the local economy, siphoning money, resources, good jobs and benefits, tax revenue, and more from the local government/city and if the going gets tough they leave, creating a loss within that society. What does the local city do when a Big Box wants to move in? They welcome the business with open arms and subsidies, believing in the fake promise of growth and progress spouted by the schlubs in the industry. Yes, there is growth and progress, but only for the Big Box and the investors sitting in their cozy homes hundreds and thousands of miles from where that local Big Box is being built.

The Big Box commands so much force but where are the checks and balances? How do we keep such a beast in line? We can't because there will always be that desperation to cling to any shred of leftovers the Big Boxes throw our way, be it donations to charities, jobs, tax revenue, or empty promises that will be forgotten in ten years time when they move on to bigger and better profits elsewhere. Don't be that 'elsewhere' and take a stand for your local business.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Socializing Sundays: A memorable date

How to make a date memorable

1. Give it a unique twist
2. Put in a lot of effort
3. Have your efforts be appreciated

Friday, May 17, 2013

Foodie Fridays: The Best Things in Life Are.. Rhubarb

In our garden the rhubarb grows wild. It is like the cockroach of the plant world because nothing will kill it. With such a free-growing bounty at our fingertips we should have food for days but alas rhubarb is one of those plants like zuchini that only has so many known applications. 

Rhubarb is a very bitter/sour root (the leaves are toxic so stay away). It is most delicious when dressed up with sugar and cooked to soften. 

For more information and a plethora of recipes involving rhubarb, visit:

Here are two recipes I followed with a twist. For the rhubarb love knots after I was done I put them in the freezer and made rhubarb popsicles! They were delicious!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Author Thursdays: Taglines

Who Are You, Really?

A phrase to place on your business cards, your email signoff, basically anywhere.

I wanted a phrase that spoke to how I wrote my first book. It was -loosely- based off of a dream I had but all I could come up with were:

“From dreams to words to reality”

“Author and Poet, dreaming words into reality”

“Making reality out of dreams”

I decided that they sounded too much like goals/aspirations/dreams versus vivid visions midst slumber dreams. Therefore I changed my tactic to something entirely different...

“Putting the moonwalk in my resume since 2012”

What do you think?

For more examples and information regarding taglines, visit:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Socializing Sundays: Little Gifts To Show You Care

Flowers, Chocolates, and Teddy Bears

These three items have been a standard in stereotypical gifts for a loved one to show that you care. How is it exactly that there is a 'standard' for the one unique person you care about? Surely all recipients are not the same? 

As a gift giver you need to show that you care about the person and not the consumer holiday. What does the person like (and it could very well be flowers, chocolates, and teddy bears) and how can you show them that you care about them in particular? 

I like chocolates but I despise boxed fancy chocolates because I am finicky about what I like and they always contain flavors I do not like. My chocolate favorites include confections like kit kats, twix, and haagen daz ice cream. 

I do not even like flowers, unless they are edible. If you are going to give me a living (once living) plant then it very well be edible. I have yet to receive any but I would most appreciate a tomato plant or a bouquet of tomatoes than a bouquet of something 'pretty.' 

I used to like teddy bears but I do not appreciate them any longer, now that I'm an adult. I think - gasp - they are useless and a waste of space. If I wanted a waste of space I would get a trophy. 

Great gift ideas come from knowing the other person more intimately, knowing what would surprise and please them. Don't be generic, because the thanks you get will also be generic. Be original because your gift recipient is unique. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Foodie Fridays: Case Study of Paprika

Brown rice, fish, green beans, dill, black pepper, paprika

To me herbs have kind of been a mystery. I grew up with the standard basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, dill, and black pepper. Of all the many others I am not familiar. It is time I learned about them. Starting with paprika. Paprika is a wonderful herb because it is a bright and distinctive powdery red. It tasted decent on my fish. It comes in many varieties since it is made by crushing dried peppers. To my understanding it is high in Vitamin C. To note it is a wonderful word to pronounce. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Author Thursdays: Email Signoff

In the book Get Known Before the Book Deal by Kristina Katz details many little tidbits to follow to get known before the book deal. One such suggestions is to include a signature in your email. Katz points out that the average person sends out many many emails and by including a little tidbit (as an author, about your new book, about your blog, etc) you can garner more attention for yourself or your writings. She suggests changing up this signature every couple of months to re-bolster attention.

Email signature should contain:
-link to blog/website/web presence
-what you want the reader to do... (follow your blog, check out something, etc)

Sample signature, i.e. mine:

Rachel Barnard

Author, Poet & Dreamer
T: 425-273-1195

Putting the moonwalk in my resume since 2012

Ever wanted someone to write about how awesome you are? How you are so cool you can lick your own elbow? How, when you were five you could recite the alphabet backwards while standing on one foot? The 100th follower on my blog, will get a special blog post dedicated to them as well as a signed copy of the novel Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wildlife Wednesdays: DNF Geocache and duckies

Ten little duckies and a momma and poppa duckie

44 DNF's and 126 Finds for the Coulon Island Cache. I didn't have much time to spend looking as I was on my way out on the lake itself. This is a high muggle area and difficult for much more than that because it is a nontraditional container! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Toiling Tuesdays: What Do I Bring to the Table?

What do I bring to the table?

- I am reliable

- I like to do a good job

- I am creative

- I am productive

- If I know what the end solution needs to be and I understand the problem, I have the ability to figure out that middle part and get from the problem to the solution.

What kinds of things do YOU bring to the table? 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Miscellaneous Mondays: Privacy is a Privilege

Is Privacy our Right or Our Privilege?

I do not have the privilege of keeping my personal information private. Granted, I gave away some of that information willingly when I joined the internet social media phenomenon. However, nowadays I am not privileged to make those choices. Did I join facebook and provide email address and personal information to the site? Do I provide personal information to other users on my page? Yes. Nowadays, however, I do not have a choice. How can this be, you ask? Simple. 


Girl walks into a bar. 

"Are you hiring?" The girl asks.

"Of course. If you go online to our website and click on the employment tab you will find the link to our application process and once you fill that out and send it in, our hiring manager will review it." The employee responds.

"Can I give you a resume now? Can I speak to the manager in person?" The girl asks.

"Um. No. You can only fill it out online. That's the way the process works." The employee answers.

"Okay. Thank you." The girl responds.

Okay, so this may not happen at a bar, per se, but it does and did happen to me quite a few times. Doesn't it show how industrious I am that I WALK INTO THE ESTABLISHMENT to apply? I mean, wouldn't you weed out some applicants if you simply had a policy that each and every applicant had to walk in the door to apply? I blame regulation....

So, back to my privacy issue. I go online to fill out the application  Short of my social security number (and some applications want even that for "background checks" I am giving out any and all information regarding who I am, who I was, and who I will be. Information on the internet is always there somewhere. They may claim that my privacy is retained and that they won't use this information in any other way except in the application process but there is still the possibility of information leaks... Never heard of them? Yeah, that's what I thought. 

Identity theft is an issue but I'm not privileged enough to be able to guard my personal information like I guard my valuables. 

Not only are there the direct website job applications that ask - and require- personal information but also websites such as,, etc that you WILLINGLY and PUBLICLY proclaim certain personal information tidbits. Who's invisible now? 

But it's all worth it, right? To get that job? Figure me this, I have applied to hundreds of jobs (mostly online) and some in person. My information is floating all over the internet like plastic in the ocean. No matter how much I try to clean it up, the ocean is so vast and the particles so small it is an impossible task. The plastic is there FOREVER! What do I have to show for all this eternal lack of privacy? I have several lengthy excel sheets detailing all my efforts trying to find a job. I'll tell you what I don't have: a job. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Foodie Fridays: Adventure in Ice Cream

Ah, Haagen-Dazs, you exceed my expectations once again!
If you have taste buds you will like this ice cream

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wildlife Wednesdays: Nature's Geocache

Where do the Birds Go?

No birdseed in sight

Spot the Bird's Nest

Check out the geo-egg!

Bird's Eye View to the ground