Welcome to my first website. Just so you have an idea of who I am, here are a few things I believe in:
I am a blood and platelet (apherisis) donor. This is one of the most simple things someone can do to help others in need and it doesn't take anything but a little time (and blood). I have type "O negative" blood, which means that I am a "universal donor" and my blood can be given to anyone, regardless of their own blood type in need during an emergency. I have been giving on and off since I got out of high school, and started giving in earnest and donating platelets since my father died of cancer. As I understand it, a side effect of chemotherapy destroys platelets and chemo patients need platelet transfusions to replace them. This is a very worthwhile cause, in my opinon, and I'd highly recommend you at least try to give blood once. It can make a difference to someone in need. I give at LifeSouth Community Center in Birmingham. It's kind of like the Red Cross, but the blood you give goes to people locally. LifeSouth centers are located all over the Southeast. Find out more about giving blood and platelets here
I am a NRA Life Member! I believe strongly that the Second Amendment was created not for sports and hunting, but to enable the average citizen to protect themselves from the type of government we gained our independance from! If you think this is nuts, then you need to read your history! Join the NRA here!
On a more frivolous note, I am something of a condiment connoisseur, and have some specific thoughts on ketchup, hot sauces, and more. Is there anyone who doesn't believe that Heinz Ketchup is the best? I can stomach generic stuff when at a restaurant if I have too, but man, what a difference there is! I recently heard on a SIRIUS radio show that Publix store brand ketchup tastes so much like Heinz that it must be made by them and I intend to try it out when I get a chance. While we are talking about this, PLEASE DON'T REFRIGERATE THE KETCHUP! Yuck! Who wants cold ketchup on their fries or burger?
Now when it comes to hot sauce, don't dare serve me Tabasco when I ask for hot sauce! Tabasco is fine for those who love it and when you really want some heat on food, but I just don't think it has much flavor (with the exception of the Tabasco Jalapeno sauce in the green bottle!). I much prefer Frank's Hot Sauce, Louisiana Red, and Crystal hot sauces. (there are many other similar sauces to these three) These all have flavor and are hot without searing your tastebuds. I believe Frank's is reputed to be the original Buffalo Wing Sauce.
And what goes better with spicy foods than beer? A few years ago my wife bought me a Mr Beer kit so I could try my hand at brewing my own beer. It has proven to be very fun. I have thus far made four batches, first a pale ale, (OK, but unremarkable) then a Bewitched Red Ale much like Killian's. My neighbors went nuts over this, so I made another batch right after the first was gone. The latest recipe is my favorite so far. It is called Honey Maibock, and it is a light spring time beer. This is different from the others in that I tossed in a whole cup of honey to the fermentable mash, and it was also the first time I used hops (Tettnanger). The result was a mildly sweet, light, pleasant beer that I really enjoyed. This is admittedly sort of a "shake and bake" way of brewing, but it is fun and a way to learn for the beginner. If you like beer and have the time to experiment some, I'd recommend trying this. Update: For the 2010 Christmas shoppers, KMart has started to carry the basic Mr. Beer kit and refills in their stores. I think it's $50 for the basic kits, which will make two batches.
On a completely different subject, I like to tinker and make things. I believe I got this desire from growing up with a Rocket/Missile engineer for a dad. My dad was always tinkering around in the garage, and once bought a used Mazda car just so he could take the rotary engine apart. I believe he did a paper on rotary (also called wankel?) engines while in school. Here are some pictures of some of my better documented projects.
Why I won't do business at Toys R Us anymore: A few years ago my mom bought a CD player and CDs for my daughter from Toys R Us. Coincidentally, my mother in law also bought a CD player for my daughter and she happened to like it better (it was flashy & covered in rhinestones). Now my mom, who is very thorough, provided us with receipts of the kids gifts "just in case". When we went to return the CD player & CDs for in-store credit. We were told "NO". Apparently they changed their policy so that electronics, music, games, etc. cannot be returned after 15 days for ANY reason.
Now let me be clear: These items were still in the original packaging, we had receipts, and I was willing to accept store credit for something else. STILL "NO" was the answer. I was furious beyond belief. So it is now family policy that we won't buy anything from these idiots if it can (and almost always can) be had elsewhere. DON"T BUY FROM THESE IDIOTIC PIRATES!
Traditional and Primitive archery is something I became interested in a few years back. Here are some of my bows (link). I think what got me interested in this is watching Byron Ferguson on TV. Byron Ferguson (link) is an Alabama man who is a spectacular shot with the longbow. In fact, one of the classic all time greats with a bow and about the greatest bow hunter ever is Howard Hill, also an Alabamian.
After learning to shoot, I started building my own bows, first smaller ones for neighborhood kids and friends children, then larger ones for myself and others. Here are some pics of bows I have made (link) And here are few archery related leather items I have also made (link)
2. Slick Deals