A Day Away (mostly) From Technology and No Cooking Dinner Tonight and a FuelMyBlog/TSheets.com Contest!

A Battlefield Away

We didn’t take time to get out of the car and shoot photos on this trip, so what I got was all just “drive-by”

You’re never too far from a battlefield when you head out on the road in the Washington, DC metro area. That was what we did today. Late last night my friend and I decided that we would finally see sunlight and have beautiful temperatures and that it was finally time to take that drive we have been talking about. So, we headed out from Leesburg at 10am and took a leisurely drive south to Fredricksburg, Virginia. We needed to stop in at a motorcycle shop so that he could look for an accessory he needed and Fredricksburg was where we needed to go.

It was a serene 87 mile trip each way on back roads

I hadn’t been to Fredricksburg before so I was looking forward to seeing what was out there. It was like most other places in the rolling hills of Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland … pastoral scenes with memories of the Civil War noted on roadside signs, on street signs (i.e. Jeb Stewart Lane) and on restaurant awnings and antiques store signs that dot the quaint main streets.

Whenever I am in this part of the country I wonder what happened on the ground I am walking on. I know battles did not take place on every bit of land around me, but it seems as though the history is still pulsing below my feet. It’s beautiful country and the fences, wooden and stone evoke a sense of history. I am not a Civil War buff by any means. Hell, I grew up in New Jersey for crying out loud, but I’ve lived in this part of the country most of my life now even with all domestic and international relocations and there is still so much to discover.

I did not see a date marker for this structure, but it was clearly very old

We ran the errand that needed to be taken care of and I didn’t think much about JTV. I had planned to make a pasta dish and a vegetable for dinner and knew it would not take much preparation, so I focused on having a good time in the real world and enjoyed the company, relaxation and sun.

There was no thought of who was broadcasting, what was going on in rooms, worries about where many of my 2D friends have disappeared to and why I don’t hear from some, although they are around. I told only one brief Justin.tv story and we finished a discussion about Justopia.com and that was that. I did not want to bend his ear about this stuff anymore. I often feel like I am wearing out my welcome with talk of Justopia with the few friends I have let in on my Justopian life. So, all in all it was an 11 hour day far from any technology other than my cell phone and the orange dashboard of his car.

Dinner Made for Me for a Change! πŸ™‚

Salmon Burger and Pasta

When we got back to “D”‘s house, we headed right to the kitchen and we whipped up a quick, but good dinner. There wasn’t a lot left in the fridge/freezer and pantry, but he came up with salmon patties and some pasta and garlic and romano cheese. The salmon was done on the grill, and I made the pasta. We started with come cheese, crackers and grapes and in about 20 minutes had a pretty healthy meal out on the deck. It made me really wish I could have a grill out on my balcony.

This fire put off a fair amount of heat up close


Eat and Run

I felt badly, but had to run right after we were done eating. It was getting late and I had to get home to fire up the computers and get the show on. We walked out to my car and low and behold, the lights were on! Uh oh. Not good. Apparently just the parking lights were on, but of course after almost 11 hours, it was enough time to drain the battery. The jump didn’t take long and I was on my way home. I made in the front door right at 9:00 — showtime. But I had nothing in mind to cook. I got the broadcast streaming on both the stove cam and the counter cam and we were in business.

I made dozens of cookies, but only baked up six. I decided to drop and freeze the remaining dozens to be cooked at a later date. It’s nice to have them in the freezer and to be able to bake them off as the craving or company hits.

Schedule

I am watching/listening to tonight’s broadcast while writing this post and I can hear a lighter, cheerier, happier lilt to my voice. I think getting out into the fresh air and the change of scenery was a much needed diversion. I am going to have to make a point of doing this much more often in the future.

And speaking of the future … as I mentioned during the broadcast last night, I am going on vacation for a few days next week. I am heading west and do not plan to broadcast. I will probably do a little bit of blogging once or twice, but hope to be a prolific photographer and to return with scores of photos to post which will most likely not be all about food! πŸ™‚ It’s time to break up the monotony of food photos on the blog.

So to be clear, I will not be broadcasting on:

Wednesday, April 30

Thursday, May 1

Friday, May 2

Saturday, May 3

I have not made a final decision, but I may broadcast on Sunday, May 4. I will let you all know next week.

And one final note … I received mail about a FuelMyBlog contest that is running and thought I would enter before closing today’s post. As you know, I put up a FuelRoll widget a couple of weeks ago and although it’s not getting much attention, they are having a contest in which the winners will receive an iPod. The focus of this contest is a site called TSheets.com. Now, being a call center jockey for 12 years, I am very familiar with Workforce Management and this is what TSheets is all about. Their application turns any PC — Windows or Mac — into a time clock. Pretty cool, if you ask me. I am very familiar with TCS and a Blue Pumpkin enterprise solutions, and from the little I perused the TSheets site, it looks like a great app for the small business owner. It may well scale for larger enterprises, but I haven’t taken a long look around just yet.

The contest requires that you either sign up for a TSheets account (which I of course did so that I could test out the site) πŸ™‚ and/or that you answer the following question:

What do you do during the first 5 minutes of your workday?

Not being in the call center world at the moment, the response is quite different than what it was when I was at AOL. I am not around any kind of online communication all day other than looking up stock on the corporate Williams-Sonoma site nowadays. It’s quite a departure from my “past life.”

Now when I get to work I head back to the break area and don a familar green Williams-Sonoma apron, clock in and head to the floor to see what products are new or what displays have been changed or added. Since I’m only working a few shifts a week, things are always different when I get there. And depending on the activity in the store I either get right to helping customers with their kitchen needs, working on new displays or cooking up something DEElicious for samples. I get to be in culinary heaven at work.




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