Comments and Commenting (Feedback is appreciated)
Human nature dictates that we, as human creatures seek praise in many forms. Sometimes it’s just a simple smile we seek and sometimes it’s that big trophy cup to put on a mantle…clichés like ”you get more flies with honey than you do vinegar” are plentiful, as well. Constructive criticism can be quite helpful, particularly when there is a consensus of opinion, versus some individuals subjective input. Constructive criticism can be quite helpful, when it is, in fact, constructive. It is important to note that for that successful interchange to happen, the provider of the appraisal should not bring ego, vanity, or self-motivation to the table; and, the recipient of the constructive criticism should come to the same table stripped of any defensive nature, have an open mind, and be willing to acknowledge that change is a never ending happenstance of life. OK?
So, in the blogging world, a blogger is interested in constructive feedback, and, yes, praise, too. Consequently the blogger is faced with some decisions regarding how they might obtain some of that feedback. Also in the blogging world, there exists a standard that says you have an option of allowing comments to be placed on your articles, by your readers, and in many cases, a “thread” of comments develops and opens a, sometimes, healthy chain of editorial regarding the article.
When I first started “Comfort (Able) Foods”, I utilized the commenting option that was embedded in my blogging software template. Unfortunately, most of what was being commented on was being provided by spam surfers attempting to infiltrate the site with their links to their trade sites and, quite often, also unfortunately, many of these spammers pointed to sites that supported and touted pornography. “Comfort (Able) Foods” is not that kind of site. Dammit. It’s about comfort food. There are plug-ins (software utilities) that are supposed to filter spam comments, but I have yet to find one that isn’t resource hungry and doesn’t make my blog act quirky. So, I turned off the commenting; I continue to keep my eyes open for a good spam filter; and, from time to time, I yearn for some feedback.
Feel free to comment: black/white, good/evil, up/down, and, yes, even democratic/republican. You know, I am one of those that say, nowadays, if I want to find any disrespect, I don’t have to go very far. I’ll go through the drive thru of any fast-food restaurant. Before I even get to give them my hard earned for an unidentifiable meal that has been sitting under warming lights for a little while, there it is, some disrespect. Or, go hang out a home improvement store for about 10 minutes, it won’t take long.
Anyways, I am constantly on guard against the declination of today’s social values. I think one of the wonderful aspects of writing about and sharing of comfort food recipes is that it might help, somewhere, somehow, a collection of human beings endeavor to interact, preferably around a kitchen table somewhere; and share warm, comfortable things with each other, including food. I’d like to know how you feel about this. What do you do to engage with your fellow species members and interact with foods that give everyone comforts? What foods do you go to when you, usually subconsciously, feel the need to find some comfort, by whatever metric you use to define the nature of the comforts you seek?
Please send any comments you might have, any opinions you may want express, or, any recipes you may want to share, to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks! Happy Cooking!
I just got an email from my friend Eddie at Soy Vay and he informs me that Walmart is planning on phasing out his product, including Veri Veri Teriyaki, from their offering. (This awesome Teriyaki sauce is featured in my 3-2-1 Peanut/Satay Sauce)
Eddie asks: “Please consider calling 800-WALMART (800) 925-6278 to request these items stay on the shelf there! It would be doing us a huge favor.” I did it right after I got his email. You have to do some button-surfing to get to the right menu but you can ultimately get to talk to a live person.
Walmart had communicated to Eddie: “Tell them call 800.WAL-MART. These complaints ACTUALLY make there way to the buyer’s desk via the VP of grocery. It is the system set up by Walmart to verify whether or not they’ve been cutting too deep on their assortments. It’s the only way as of right now to make the consumer’s voice heard.”
Also, when you get to the right person (who was very courteous to me) you will need the UPC number for the product and it is as follows: 8817792159
I also went to Walmart’s corporate website (http://walmartstores.com/) and filled out a contact form regarding brands and included the UPC and they routed it to the corporate office and to my store here, locally.
I usually don’t get into too much of a panic over too much, it’s a moderation thing, right? But, this one has got me a little anxious. Please help…let your voices be heard…Thanks!
Dave (and Eddie)
(This post was originally published in late 2008 in a community type blog. My dad, God bless his soul, finally lost his battle to cancer on February 21, 2010…and he still is my hero…)
Quality of Life
I work for an organization that has treatment centers all over the country and in that business they talk a lot about “quality of care”. My Dad has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and he is truly my hero in how he has been doing through all of it, but, at some point in the conversations the word “chemotherapy” creeps in and is then shortly followed by the term “quality of life”. I have, until recently, been involved in production and manufacturing for most of my working life and certainly understand the concept (and process) of “quality control”.
So, the other night Michele and I had just had some bratwurst for dinner and I was putting away the ketchup and the mustard from the dinner table. When I picked them up they had both been in an upside-down position on the table in all of their highly advanced technologically perfect packaging. That is when the thought struck me that said; “Do I really need all of this newly created packaging stuff that has infiltrated our lives?” I mean really, and I sincerely don’t want to sound like an old fart here who is just reminiscing.
It wasn’t that long ago that ketchup came in a glass bottle and you could count on it being difficult to pour and many people were able to display their distinct personality traits in the way that they approached this bottle and either successfully, or unsuccessfully, were able to get the product to exit to their plate. Now we are presented with the perfect pour. Anybody can do it! I’ll never forget the embarrassment I felt when my waitress first had to demonstrate to me the necessary squeeze to get the ketchup past that integral little rubber diaphragm that now sits just inside the “nozzle” of the ketchup bottle. A four year old can do it and do it with a fairly high level of accuracy and without having to display any of those nasty personal tendencies that might creep into other activities of daily life.
My Jell-O used to only come in four flavors. Raisins? They were always in a box, 2 sizes, the little one that was a treat to get in my lunch bag (it was a brown paper bag, by the way), and the other size that Mom kept for adding to the oatmeal cookies. Don’t get me started on oatmeal. There used to be only one kind in one container. Pouches where there used to be boxes, boxes where there used to be cans, and cans where there used to be bottles. I do not even want to get started on bottled water. Hydration, my ass! Back in the day we used to call it “thirsty”.
Now, there are ice cream cups for my dog, butter that’s in a spray bottle, peas that cook right in the bag they came in, and wine in a box! When we were growing up, Mom would make the frozen-concentrated orange juice just about every morning and she knew exactly how much more water to add (just a splash, a.k.a. a “blurp”) after the third can-full to make the pitcher of juice pour out evenly into seven juice glasses. Have you walked by the frozen-concentrate juice section in your food store lately? I imagine that there are some folks that would not even know what you were talking about if you asked them that question.
Ah well…I think for the most part, most of this is OK. I don’t obsess about it but I do worry from time to time about that whole “instant-gratification” thing. And I do wonder, too, about these advances that can improve my bottle of ketchup but have yet to find the cure for cancer.
Until next time…Dave