Fried Green Tomatoes

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Shop around. Be open-minded. Have possibilities open. I don’t want to tell you what to do, but I am the asshole, here. I, for the first time, consciously came across Green Tomatoes at a grocery store and purchased two of them. And could only think of the movie title, Fried Green Tomatoes, that I never have fully seen nor ever liked as a kid. My sisters and mom loved that movie. But, what the hell is a green tomato!?! And what the hell is a fried Green Tomato?!?! And they are delicious?!?! WTF 🙂

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Now, how can I prepare these Vegan and delicious at the same time?! Let’s try two different ways. And I am hungry. I had a few good beers prior, during and after to ensure lively creative flow. I feel like pasta and a sandwich. I felt like riding a bicycle hard and far this last weekend, unfortunately Illinois.

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Now, for any newbie (imaginary) readers, I build upon existing ideas. And that my (imaginary) readers is greatness and sustainability with creativity – a true ivity doggivity. Dog give a tea? I’ll dig deeper later.

Fried Green Tomatoes ingredients:

  • Green Tomato, sliced thicker
  • Batter (Cashew milk, Salt/Sugar/Pepper, Corn Starch)
  • Breadcrumbs/CornMeal mixture

Slice. Prepare batter and mixture. Dip accordingly. Bake.

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Grilled Daiya w/ Fried Green Tomato ingredients:

  • Fried Green Tomato, baked
  • Daiya, mmmmmmmmm
  • Bread, good (Bread:)
  • Earth Balance

Vegan butter Bread. Seer inside sides of Bread. Add Daiya. Start melting process. Construct sandwich. Seer. Grill if applicable. Enjoy.

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PBS = Plant-Based Sauciness ingredients:

  • Cashew milk
  • Eggplant, roasted and diced w/o skin
  • Green peppers, diced & sautĂ©ed
  • Garlic, chopped & sautĂ©ed
  • Sugar/SeaSalt/Pepper
  • CrushedRedPepper
  • Daiya
  • CornStarch

Heat. Mix. Blend. Thicken.

Fried Green Tomcatta ingredients:

  • PBS, warm
  • Noodles, cooked, drained but not rinsed & warm
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Fried Green Tomato

Construct.

It is so easy to create, for me. It is so hard to make time to put into words to share. I hope everyone has a wonderfully safe weekend!

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FlipMyBits

For months now, I’ve wanted to track my walking. I document everything else in my life, why not track it all. I wouldn’t mind tracking my sleep, also. I’ve attempted sleep-tracking before and it is extremely hard and not so accurate. I somehow brainstormed the idea of getting a FitBit. It was probably a commercial that I saw while watching the kickass Chicago Cubs dominate some other baseball team. And it clicked like a spark igniting a giant fire cracker. I ordered the FitBit Charge large in blue early in the morning on April 25th, 2016. It was a Monday. I was influenced to want to change my order to the HR the moment I realized that they were the same price. I assumed it would be a simple change.

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And the ordeal started. The order has been processed and the order could not be changed. The order also could not be canceled. I called hours after placing the order and, I believe, called somewhere overseas. I am just a big idiot and have a wishful and hopeful mindset of how business’ should be ran. I was under the impression that I was calling to the american business, just a building where the FitBit team worked and did all of their business. I’m all about people working and I am all about equality among everyone except St. Louis Cardinals fans (I’m kidding, but seriously). However, these nice people with not the best English probably make a fraction of the average minimum wage here in the United States. And I am against that! Greed is what is WRONG with this world and ultimately the cause of me wanting to move to MARS.

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The customer service team did OK. They gave me false promises and lagged any type of fast paced solutions. I had to refuse my package, which wasn’t guaranteed to be refused by the USPS, so I paid to ship it back to make sure it would get back home and to get what I truly want from this company. That is finding a solution to get what I want only because it’s common sense to me and I have initiative to get the product that I want. Otherwise, who knows what would get done or resolved.

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I tracked the return and it was delivered by Monday May 2nd, 2016. I called overseas and attempted to speak with a nice lady who spoke below average English. I had to receive an email, only because I called?, to prove that I returned it with a tracking number and all of that good stuff. And no response. I called again and was told that the order was going to be changed to the correct item and shipped out. In the back of me head, from side to side and wrapped fully around my brain smothering the oxygen completely out of my head, I knew something else was going to be a problem. And I received an email stating that I must be issued a refund. I emailed back stating that that was OK. Most of the time when calling the hold time is greater than 10 minutes. I kept checking my barely positive checking account for a refund and did not notice anything. I called after work last night around 8:45 pm and spoke with a very polite gentleman who claimed it needed to be processed through a different department. The company probably handles the funds in the USA, you know because of the greed. I am not seeing a refund today. I’m getting pissed off. I’m gonna tweet them and demand management. Right now I am in a chat demanding management.

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Sense of urgency is ideal for strong business tactics. FitBit is all about giving them a moment and making you do their work.

Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:38:47 AM CDT): Hi JEFFREY, my name is Hector N. How can I help you?
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:39:51 AM CDT): i need to speak to management
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:40:25 AM CDT): i am getting angry and need to speak to management
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:40:29 AM CDT): I’ll be happy to help you
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:40:40 AM CDT): Can you let me know what is the issue
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:40:43 AM CDT): i need to speak to your boss
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:41:16 AM CDT): i am going through a giant ordeal trying to get the product i want
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:41:59 AM CDT): #10315667 i believe is the case number
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:42:24 AM CDT): Thanks
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:42:31 AM CDT): Allow me a moment please
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:42:37 AM CDT): yep
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:46:25 AM CDT): After checking on the previous cases you give us call yesterday right
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:47:07 AM CDT): yes, i’ve been given false promises and a lagging result
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:47:20 AM CDT): The agent that speak to you yesterday already escalate the case to the department that handle this refund cases
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:47:25 AM CDT): this shouldn’t be going into a month long process
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:47:50 AM CDT): i tried changing my order hours after placing it
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:47:57 AM CDT): this is now week two
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:48:20 AM CDT): Since we don’t have any exchange program we can’t give you the the Charge HR for that reason is that we need to follow the refund process
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:48:41 AM CDT): i couldn’t even cancel my order hours after placing it
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:48:54 AM CDT): Also we only have 30 minutes to cancel the orders
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:48:56 AM CDT): i paid to ship it back to you guys
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:49:12 AM CDT): why is this my fault
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:49:17 AM CDT): Can you give me the tracking number for the return
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:49:30 AM CDT): it has been sent and you already have it
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:49:36 AM CDT): I’m not saying that this is your fault Jeffrey
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:49:41 AM CDT): that has been confirmed twice
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:49:57 AM CDT): why am i getting the short end of the stick here
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:50:20 AM CDT): should i want to purchase the correct product if i ever get refunded next month
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:50:40 AM CDT): So we can confirm that the package is at our warehouse please provide me with he tracking number of the returned package
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:50:50 AM CDT): it has been confirmed twice
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:50:59 AM CDT): you guys have the product
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:51:04 AM CDT): and i emailed tracking
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:51:18 AM CDT): why should i have to continue to do your work
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:51:48 AM CDT): i already had to pay to refuse it to ensure it would get there
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:52:08 AM CDT): After checking on the previous cases that you provide me i didn’t find any tracking number
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:52:12 AM CDT): bad business tactic there “just refuse it”
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:53:02 AM CDT): What carrier do you used to return it?
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:54:49 AM CDT): USPS same as you
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:54:56 AM CDT): i emailed the screenshot
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:55:18 AM CDT): so you guys don’t have anyone in charge?
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:55:32 AM CDT): i’m not blaming your customer service
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:55:49 AM CDT): i’m blaming the guys in charge
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:56:14 AM CDT): I understand and i really apologize for this matter
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:56:14 AM CDT): i feel like they are trying to steal my money
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:56:26 AM CDT): We are checking this now allow me a moment
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:56:35 AM CDT): but i cannot speak with anyone in charge
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:57:05 AM CDT): your customer service has confirmed that you have it twice to me
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:57:30 AM CDT): this has been a two week ordeal
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:58:01 AM CDT): i gotta take time out of my days to be on hold for 10 minutes to be told various different things
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:58:37 AM CDT): or to chat with you. i need to have something resulting from this ordeal
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:58:41 AM CDT): Thanks Jeffrey
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:58:47 AM CDT): it shouldn’t take this long
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 8:59:25 AM CDT): I will start the the process for the refund
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:59:30 AM CDT): i was told yesterday that my order was changed and going to ship
Me (May 4, 2016 at 8:59:54 AM CDT): but it’s my fault that you guys can’t do that
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 9:02:16 AM CDT): As our warranty policy doesn’t allow us to exchange trackers, the only way to do it is giving you a refund
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:03:20 AM CDT): i’ll receive my refund next month? why was i given a false promise? why am i given this rollercoaster of emotions?
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 9:03:35 AM CDT): I already process the refund for 138.07
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 9:03:43 AM CDT): This takes 7-10 business days
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:04:02 AM CDT): bullshit
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:04:13 AM CDT): let me talk to your boss
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:04:18 AM CDT): do i need to call?
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 9:05:15 AM CDT): Allow me a moment then
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:08:33 AM CDT): the quicker the better
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:09:00 AM CDT): sense of urgency, a timely manner is much appreciated
Hector N (May 4, 2016 at 9:09:29 AM CDT): I will transfer the chat now
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:09:46 AM CDT): thanks hector, sorry you had to read my rants
Edwin (May 4, 2016 at 9:10:10 AM CDT): Hello JEFFREY, my name is Edwin. How can I help you?
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:10:32 AM CDT): i am extremely upset and angry with your business tactics
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:11:13 AM CDT): i placed an order and attempted to change/cancel it hours after being placed
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:11:28 AM CDT): and now it’s going to take a month to get my product
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:12:15 AM CDT): why can i not purchase the correct product with my money that you guys have???
Edwin (May 4, 2016 at 9:12:17 AM CDT): I’ll be happy to assist you with your Fitbit inquiry. please allow me a moment while I check your information and previous conversation with Hector.
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:12:29 AM CDT): are you in charge?
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:13:02 AM CDT): i need results today
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:13:17 AM CDT): if i need to go further up the ladder, that’s fine
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:13:33 AM CDT): i need to get it done now
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:13:52 AM CDT): what’s gonna compensate my damn time
Edwin (May 4, 2016 at 9:13:54 AM CDT): Yes, Sir I am a supervisor from customer service and I’ll do everything in my hands to assist you.
Edwin (May 4, 2016 at 9:13:57 AM CDT): please allow me a moment
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:14:52 AM CDT): i’ve only been waiting two weeks
Edwin (May 4, 2016 at 9:16:17 AM CDT): upon checking the information in my system, I have confirmed that a refund was already processed. It is for the amount of $138.07
Edwin (May 4, 2016 at 9:16:35 AM CDT): It should take 7-10 business days to credit back your money.
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:16:36 AM CDT): but i have to wait 7-10 business days?
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:16:58 AM CDT): and then i need to order the correct product which will take another week
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:17:15 AM CDT): and you’re wanting to leave me unhappy
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:17:26 AM CDT): i need to speak to your boss!
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:18:07 AM CDT): immediately please
Edwin (May 4, 2016 at 9:18:09 AM CDT): That is correct, that is the process we need to follow from now since we processed the refund. .
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:18:20 AM CDT): who is your boss?
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:18:27 AM CDT): do i need to call in?
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:18:53 AM CDT): who taught you guys to do business?
Edwin (May 4, 2016 at 9:18:57 AM CDT): I am the only supervisor in charge and as I mentioned I have all the tools available to assist you with this matter. Since we processed the refund , it takes 7-10 business days.
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:19:20 AM CDT): so i’m supposed to remain unhappy
Edwin (May 4, 2016 at 9:19:20 AM CDT): you can place a new order in the meantime, however, the refund is going to be done soon.
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:19:42 AM CDT): i’m probably not going to reorder from you guys if i remain unhappy
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:20:07 AM CDT): those are my fitbit funds that you still have and can’t get to me
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:20:52 AM CDT): i am not spending more money when i still think you guys are stealing from me
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:21:05 AM CDT): how do i know that i’ll be getting refunded
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:21:11 AM CDT): i don’t until i have to funds
Edwin (May 4, 2016 at 9:21:52 AM CDT): You are getting refunded, please keep this case number for your references. Case# 10508498
Edwin (May 4, 2016 at 9:22:08 AM CDT): You can also use this confirmation number: TUFRH655E
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:22:15 AM CDT): which i’m extremely unhappy about and now i have to spend more time trying to find a different brand because you guys can’t do proper business
Edwin (May 4, 2016 at 9:22:58 AM CDT): Thank you for your time and patience with this process Jeffrey, Is there anything else I can assist you with?
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:23:04 AM CDT): do you know how much time i’ve invested in trying to fix this problem of you guys not knowing proper business
Edwin (May 4, 2016 at 9:23:30 AM CDT): Sir, we are following the correct processes, you return your product, we process a refund, we cannot exchange it.
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:23:39 AM CDT): and again you’re trying top leave me unhappy
Edwin (May 4, 2016 at 9:23:44 AM CDT): after you receive your refund you, can place a new order.
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:23:51 AM CDT): not with you guys
Me (May 4, 2016 at 9:24:14 AM CDT): i need a company who can do proper business

I was left unhappy and forced to wait.

I need AVOCADO.

April Illinois Cycling Attempt

I’m not sure if it’s just Illinois or if it’s the entire midwest. The weather and magnitude of wind has progressively gotten worse and more intense just over a few years. I’m really getting fed up trying to maintain a hobby and lifestyle of cycling in Illinois. And the key to good longer rides is to remain comfortable, whether it be dry, cool and warm enough. It is extremely fun to ride with the wind, but a cross wind or head wind will take a toll at your (my) mind and your (my) body. It is easier to put up with bullshit on a short commute to or from work, but the long rides will never be perfect in Illinois.

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I’m going to try and put this month of April frustrations in terms of cycling into words, if possible. In early April, I rode in barely above freezing temperatures counties away from home while the wind happened. The wind happened and destroyed. This wind was so strong. It was swaying trees as if they were rubber and shattering them like twigs in a lawnmower. And the very next day, I rode straight into the wind and it was so difficult and draining that it took me an entire day to travel what should’ve taken 5-6 hours if someone could’ve flipped the off switch to the wind.

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I’m not a weak person, physically, but that weekend riding took it all out of me mentally. I did not ride for six days. Six days off of a bicycle is way too long for me. The weather became more normal and I just went about my business, riding a little here and there. Mostly commute rides until my next weekend off where I attempted bigger rides. The wind that Friday cut my bigger ride short and was followed by bike problems ending my ride horribly short. The next day I rode with a friend and grabbed a few beers. It was a good ride and a good day until that person bit the dust pretty hard trying to ride over cleanup attempts of tree debris from the crazy wind weekend that I rode through counties on the I&M Canal.

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The next week in April consisted of commutes with some of those commutes taken the long way. I went for a joy ride, maybe two. I worked my ass off and spent some time at the bike shop.

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This last week of April has been cold. It has also been windy and extremely uncomfortable. I’ve been commuting strongly and was planning a long ride today, April 30th, to end on a strong note. Nothing will literally dampen outdoor fun like cold rain. I may get out just to get out, but cold rain makes any kind of ride pretty short.

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Either Illinois is by far the worst state in the USA in terms of politics and weather or it’s a conspiracy of weeding out the good residents by spraying chemicals into the atmosphere to control the weather like the lucid drugs they feed these Illinois politicians to make sure Illinois is a horrible state outside of Chicago.

Or is this an accidental effect from putting chemicals in the atmosphere from factory farming resulting in this intense Climate Change. Is it windy in the West? Is shit just hitting the fan everywhere and scattering more shit everywhere only spraying that shit farther and farther every time. Is it a cycle of shit? How long before we are knee deep in shit? I want to move to Mars.

I’m ending this month on a salty note, but hard fought, mentally draining and painful kilometers.

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#RideOn

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Super Tahini

I love Ramen Noodles and always will. I will never eat the seasonings they provide, but the noodles are quick, easy and tasty. Not to mention the cost effectiveness of these noodles. Depending on where I purchase these, I can economically buy numerous servings for cents, while disposing the tiny sealed packages of ever denseful MSG and non-herbivorous contents.

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Mogwai SCRAM

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I love making EZ Chinesey out of Ramen Noodles. I usually include the recipes in my LBâ“‹ (Low Budget Vegan) recipes. I did not include this recipe complexity in my LBâ“‹. I’m sure it is rather inexpensive. And insanely explodes with flavor and awesomeness!

Super Tahini ingredients:

  • Tahini
  • Earth Balance, heated & melted
  • Sesame Seeds, roasted
  • Tofu, extra firmly crumbled & slightly toasted
  • Wasabi Powder
  • Brown Sugar
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • SeaSalt/Pepper
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sriracha

Mix well and heat at super simmer and do not scorch.

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 I added frozen Broccoli and Cauliflower to boiling water before adding the Ramen Noodles to the water for 2 minutes. I utilized Scallions and Cilantro by adding as raw as possible after draining and straining. AWESOME STUFF!

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Quinoa Asparagus

I’ll never stop blogging of the awesome creativity that arises from spontaneity. Approaching things with an open-mind and allowing change makes life easily coped to reach greatness and stress-free scenarios.

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The level of creativity after a couple of good beers is comparable. But, please, blog responsibly. Big beer manufacturers do not want you to enjoy a surplus of their mind-altering beverages. They do not want to make a lot of money.

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Bicycles.

Video

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Bicycles.

Dairy&Cycling

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Bicycles.

Queen

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deftones

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Quinoa Asparagus ingredients:

  • Quinoa, black 🙂
  • Pepe, pasta
  • Asparagus, roasted
  • Tomato, julienne sliced
  • Earth Balance, mmmmm
  • Seasonings, to taste

Roast Asparagus. Cook Quinoa and add Pepe towards the end, turning off heat. Season and add to a bowl to mix with Earth Balance.

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Serve.

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Have fun with your food and please, keep an open-mind! GO BLACKHAWKS!

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Simplicity Enthused The Cat

Positivity isn’t as common as it could be. I’m not sure it is a trait or mindset that can be taught, but it can be heavily influenced. Negative Nancy’s bring people around you down.

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Optimism is an overall wishful and hopeful train of thought that often is a silent motivator helping others around you better in their own mindset. It ultimately is a trickling domino effect that affects more people than most would think.

One big factor illuminated from the Vegan lifestyle is the vastness of positive energy superfluously everywhere. It is automatically prevalent from the lack of murder and torture involved in the fueling of our bodies. Pessimism naturally occurs when genocide is greedily taking place for literal sloppy consumption. Not only will it take years off of your life, will it make your body feel bad and look bad. Continuation of this murderous lifestyle will give you diseases on your diseases. Over the years it will turn you into slaves to drugs. You will be dependant on drugs that have their own side effects creating a domino effect for the worse. And the pharmaceutical companies own you and a good chunk of your money until you die an early death.

Please, if you are a male and wish to enjoy yourself, don’t forget to ask your doctor about Cialis or Viagra to get it up because a carnivorous lifestyle takes away your manhood. Taking these drugs because you are now a drug addict, means you might have sudden eyesight loss or sudden hearing loss. It could also give urination problems due to enlarged prostate.

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If only it were as clear to others as it is to Vegans who have evolved to find the correct loophole that truly is the way life is supposed to be. Disease-free, murder-free and life-full. I’m gonna quit ranting for the day and get into some food. No animals were harmed in the process of writing this blog.

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Mac N Cheese = Macaroni & Cheese = Vegetarian w/ animal cruelty and torture

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I have prepared and consumed a few different batches of ‘MacNcheese’ in the last few months. All were Vegan and all were absolutely edible. However, I did not fully document ingredients and pictures as well as I could have. I do know they all involved a bit of Daiya, a bit of Cashew Milk and Noodles. The possibilities of other ingredients are endless and infinite as great as our universe. I even used Avocado in one batch. I used whole Cashews in another. I made forkless MacNcheese in Burrito form.

HAVE FUN WITH YOUR FOOD.

Thinking Outside Your Head

By far the best way to get exactly what you want and exactly what you think you get is cooking and preparing food from as scratch as possible. It is the healthiest way to go about life. Unfortunately, it is hard to sometimes fit into routines and it definitely is time consuming. Ever since throwing myself (arms wide open) into the consumption of the Vegan lifestyle, I’ve been constantly reminded of the time and hurdles that take place in this lifelong journey. Not that Vegetarian is any easier. It truly is, being able to eat cheese and dairy. There is not much of a challenge, nor is it truly bettering yourself or the world. Vegetarianism is the start to hopefully enlightened by the sense of what truly matters in this world.

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Nothing will benefit life more than what you put into your body. Animal products kill people and murder innocent lives, genocide-style, to feed greed. Nothing is destroying our planet more than the gluttony behind animal consumption, meat and dairy. Good for you for being Vegetarian. I hope all Vegetarians succeed over that hump and obtain that sense of what is going on. I came across this speech with a little help from The Vegan Zombie.

Gary Yourofsky Speech

Furthermore, in certain areas it is extremely difficult to live the Vegan lifestyle at a faster pace than cooking all day. I’m sometimes a lazy son of a bitch and when you don’t have motivation to prepare awesome food to refuel, you have to dig deep sometimes, you have to brainstorm, you have to think outside of your head. You can’t always trust what mom & pop restaurants put in their food, but with my experience in mom & pop Italian pizza, I just know that Italian Pizza is made from scratch as cheaply as possible. I’m talking about the dough. I’d put my life on it that all Italian pizza dough consists of flour, salt, yeast, sugar, oil and water.

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I have, since being a child, been fighting an addiction. This addiction is impossible to overcome. It is a pizza addiction. Vegan pizza is delicious, but involves preparing. I have been ordering (delivery) Vegan pizza from a ma & pa Italian Restaurant. It is a Veggie pizza without cheese. They’ve never messed up and it is awesome to have that option in my Vegan fuel arsenal. I’ve been dreaming of a Subway option that might actually fill me up. Their Veggie sub, Vegan-style, is delicious, but I need three or four to fill me up. I partook my first Subway adventure yesterday.

Before I forget, I wanna bitch about Netflix. Netflix is occasionally good, but usually bad. The selection sucks and it is dumb with its algorithms to recommend things “smartly” to watch. My favorite movie, Field of Dreams, has never been on Netflix. I recently found an awesome movie away from Netflix completely in American Flyers, also starring Kevin Costner. I have created a joke to myself and cycling about ‘going the distance’.

Field of Dreams trailer

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American Flyers trailer

It took some digging, but I did find the newest awesome cycling documentary today on Netflix. And followed by another just super interesting documentary.

Inspired to Ride trailer

The Barkley Marathons trailer

I love cycling, but I do love adventure more. Adventure gives someone unparalleled challenges. Easy things are boring. Boring is easy. Cycling adventures are my favorite.

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I hiked down to a Subway and hiked back with my sandwich. It was a footlong on toasted whole wheat bread. This sandwich consisted of just Veggies. It had lettuce, onion, tomato, olives, spinach, jalapeño, cucumber and Love.

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Doc Mustard ingredients:

  • Mustard
  • Sriracha
  • Chipotle
  • OnionP/GarlicP/Pepper
  • Ketchup

Subway Adventure ingredients:

  • Subway Vegan sandwich
  • Vegenaise
  • Doc Mustard
  • Tofurky

 Empty Veggies into bowl. Add Vegenaise & Doc Mustard and mix. Fill sandwich with Veggies and add Tofurky.

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Enjoy.

Local Brew Review

(Good) Beer is much like a bicycle ride. They vary from good to bad while diving deeper into the good and the bad, some are ridiculously awful and some are just about perfect. Inside the good ol’ Illinois Valley, are two current breweries that are producing beer. Both, Radium City and Tangled Roots, have their headquarters in Ottawa, IL. Things are looking up for the Illinois Valley, quite possibly for the first time, since the early 1900’s. Nothing is more of a heartbeat to the Illinois Valley than the beautiful Starved Rock State Park, located just Southeast of Utica, IL. This park is unique and stunningly beautiful being beautifully shaped by prehistoric flooding. The landscape around Starved Rock is amazing, as well. Nothing will come close to being as dense of beauty in such a (somewhat) small area as Starved Rock.

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Hearts/Wires

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Riding bicycles even at barely moderate level, consists of great ups and intense downs as literal as spinning so quickly to move so slow to climb steep elevation and descending in your drops with insane speed, tucking and straight rolling. Things do not always go your way. Sometimes your bicycle breaks. Sometimes you wreck. Sometimes you have a great ride. The wind always blows.

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I&M Canal

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The Illinois Valley has great history and The I&M Canal is still in use by nature and outdoorsy enthusiasts, exercising or just wandering. As constantly riding on this towpath, I can clearly complain of the upkeep of the Illinois & Michigan Canal, but I am biased while continuously utilizing it.

Starved Rock State Park

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I’m a modest person, however, I have enjoyed many of beers in my lifetime from all over the world. I know good from bad. I know unique from normal. I will not try and bullshit a review as if I have the nose and palate of Superman. Radium City makes good beer. Tangled Roots makes good beer with a higher lever of experimental qualities. Both brewing companies are given a push from me as if they were trying to ride a bicycle without their training wheels for the very first time. Eat, drink and love LOCAL. If you cannot do that, get the fuuuuu out.

I had a bad ride yesterday, yet strangely good. It was funny. I wanted to ride 100+ miles. The wind was strong and I couldn’t do it. My shoes were losing a screw to my right cleat. I was faster than a tractor. I chased a loose dog. I drafted a tractor to beat a bit o’ wind. I was chased by that same dog and his friend. Adrenaline motivation takes place when trying to out-sprint a fast dog(s). I have noticed that if you slow down and communicate with them, they do not assume you are a toy and mostly obey. I became lost and when I found my way (not even where I wanted to be) I could not get my shoe to hold one of my screws embracing my cleat. I took the screw out and threw it in my pocket.I have ridden like this before only to have a ride-ending flat tire. I found out this route would not work and immediately realized that my shoes screw came loose. I could not unclip from the right. I took my foot out of the shoe and tried moving my cleat the degree to disengage from my Crank Brothers pedal. Being a brand new pair, it wouldn’t budge. I spun my shoe free. My ride ended short as my cleat was (and still is) stuck on my pedal.

Today, I hired a dude to come ride with me. I do not own any friends. I payed him in Tangled Roots beers. We were heading back home when he biffed it hard and he could not continue. Luck comes and goes on this I&M towpath. Is it your day or is it mine. #RideOn #GoodPeopleDrinkGoodBeer

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Cycling Weekend

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I have never wanted to be a professional cyclist. It is and always has been my hobby. It is and has been my lifestyle for some time now. I am not a racing type. I love going fast for fun. I love long rides for fun. I love the pride developed from accomplishing more difficult rides with my own rule and degree of victory. It is truly a win-win system. I am so lazy, yet conscience of realism, that I do not plan my rides as much as I could because I do know that anything could change at any point in any ride. I am not one of those cyclists who ride only in perfect weather. I enjoy the grind. I somewhat planned a cycling adventure this last weekend and my legs have never burned as immensely intense as they do now with every step. I originally wanted to ride into Southeastern Cook County via trail from Western LaSalle County and ride back  to Joiet over 163 kms (100 miles) before heading home the next day with a light(er) 105 km ride home.

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I wanted to ride between 275 km (171 miles) to 300 km (187 miles) Saturday and Sunday combined. I originally planned the bigger ride on Saturday and coming home with a laid back homeward headwind adventure on Sunday. Saturday’s wind currents in Illinois were sickly brutal and horrifying. The skies were falling. They were coming down. The average size trees standing tall all around the Illinois & Michigan Canal usually sheltering the towpath from weather and from the element were falling apart as if handfuls of medium to large pebbles were slingshot into the trees from every direction shattering the trees as if they were glass, but somehow allowing this glass to bend ridiculously before shattering.

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The Sky Is Falling

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I survived the strong winds with a freezing windchill with the decision of dressing warmer and more appropriate for a snow flurried Spring day. The winter cycling shoes were a clutch choice in also being waterproof. Not only did I have to dodge broken trees falling, did I have to move around small branches to actual downed trees and the flooding muddy chaos was prevalent everywhere. There is this dirtiness along the I&M Canal which is a black hole abyss. And when you sense the freedom and opportunity after crawling out of this darkly debris detailed butthole, the possibilities are just about endless. It is dark, mountain-ish and swamp-like. I chose to switch days completely and avoid the more satan-ish winded and battle the much better hellish breeze the next day and cut my Saturday much shorter. I also made my Sunday so long while even cutting that day shorter than planned as well. I made it as far as Will County.

I picked up some brews, enjoyed my Vegan lifestyle with a few Lightlife Smart Dogs. I found some Lightlife ‘brats’ and was super excited until realizing they were only Vegetarian and not Vegan. I ate, drank and rested for the upcoming big(ger) ride. I had to donate a pair of shoes and a shirt due to lack of space to fit my Bontrager OMW shoes in my pack. They are beastly. I did not ride as North as planned because I could not find the correct route and decided to head back a bit short hoping to make up distance later.

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And then the headwind started. I immediately realized how difficult this was going to be. I peddled, I jumped over trees and beer motivated my way home. I was outside for 12 hours and was on my bicycle for 7 hours. Overcoming a difficult mental yet physical feat gives room for more in the future if your (my) brain will allow it.

I have mastered the ‘art’ of stretching your (my) phone life to its max. I utilize the airplane mode on my (your) iPhone 6 always and sometimes while listening to music, taking pics and videos. If I need to connect with the world, I turn airplane mode off and in literally one second, I am connected. I arrive home with 71% battery life after 12+ hours. My Garmin Edge 1000 had around 17%. I turn the Garmin wifi and bluetooth off the entire ride and it conserves battery life awesomely.

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It was an extremely satisfying adventure, but took hard work, hard play and dedication. I cannot wait to have another weekend cycling adventure. I have obtained true bicycle confidence in my Trek Darth Vader. With various upgrades this bicycle is a tank and can handle just about anything.

Saturday Ride

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Sunday Ride

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#RideOn

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Fingerlinging Good

I wish my ten fingers and ten toes were ever-growing Fingerling Potatoes that grew without a sense of feeling just as fingernails and toenails do. Every once in a while a good trimming and consumption is needed in this somewhat twisted fantasy, Jeffrey Fingerling Hands.

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I grew up watching Robin Williams in various movies and will always be a fan of his. I named a sauce, Robin Dilliams, in honor of his talents and hilariousness. He also rode bicycles, so it is only right in this snow-blog, shaken vigorously only spraying 2016 Chicago Cubs champagne bubbles everywhere instead of false snow inside, world I have created.

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Robin Dilliams ingredients:

  • ‘Butter’, Earth Balance
  • Dill Weed, chopped
  • Sriracha, cock sauce
  • Lemon, juices – no seeds, no stems
  • Pizza sauce, or tomato sauce
  • Corn Starch, for consistency
  • SeaSalt/Pepper/BrownSugar

Heat, mix and love.

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Rice ingredients:

  • Basmati Rice
  • Split Peas, green
  • Carrot, diced
  • BayLeaves/BrownSugar/SeaSalt/Pepper

Cook.

  • ‘Butter’, Earth Balance
  • Tofu, extra firmly crumbled
  • Parsley, chopped

Mix.

I rode to the store on my muddy Trek Darth Vader for Tomatoes. It looks more like Spring, it was just super chilly today.

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Fingerlinging Good ingredients:

  • Robin Dilliams, heated
  • Rice, heated w/ Bay Leaves removed
  • Spinach, sliced
  • Dill, chopped and a nice looking branch for garnish
  • Oil, just a little
  • Garlic, sliced
  • Cashew, whole & raw
  • Fingerling Potatoes, red and golden
  • Lemon, juices no seeds nor stems
  • Sriracha/BalsamicVinegar

Sauté, strongly with Lemon/Sriracha/Balsamic added towards the end.

  • Tomatoes, red and yellow cherry/grape
  • SeaSalt/Pepper/OnionP/GarlicP

Add ingredients and season while simmering for a bit.

I constructed a Plant-Based amphitheater of flavorful texture where flavor battles texture in an exploding cherry tomato eruption of plant genocide fury. Battles which heighten senses in a disarray as intense as a LSD high might.

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The foundation started with sliced Spinach and quickly to anchor the butchered Spinach was the damp Tofunated Rice embedded with Split Peas and Carrot still wet with Earth Balance.

I constructed the domed roof with massive blackened Fingerling Potatoes creating a solidly unbreakable structure and some lovely decor of Cherry Tomatoes to help the spectators feel at home.

The wonderful infrastructure is finished and held together with Cashews and Garlic. No amazing accomplishment is final without splashing a little color and a flag to truly represent what this all means. Robin Dilliams covered roof and exterior pillars stand tall with an enormous flag flapping in the gusty breeze at the very top symbolizing non other than Dill.

The End

I leave you with this awesome jam:

Ghosts of the Midwinter Fires