Jewl Of The Lotus

the sound that strengthens compassion in all enlightened beings. om mani padme hum.

 

Istanbul 2014

Last month Nate was invited to Istanbul to speak at a brand new conference, Istanbul Tech Talks. The company hosting the event was generous enough to invite the speakers to bring a guest, and so we journeyed to a land far, far away. It was a great time, overall. We met some great people....

 

2013 … Best. Year. Ever.

I’ve been saying it for a while now, but 2013 really has been my best year ever. So much has happened. So much has changed. I have changed. I feel like I’m a completely different person than I was one year ago. I don’t think I’d even recognize the me from two years ago....

 

Deer Valley 2014

For three consecutive years in a row now, I have oddly found myself returning to the strange state of Utah. Is it the case that once you enter, you will forever be drawn back? I do not know… but it’s getting a little creepy. In the past, Salt Lake City was my destination for...

 

Saugatuck 2012

Last Fall, I had the chance to stay a few nights in the cute little Lake Michigan coastal town of Saugatuck, Michigan. There was even time for a day trip up to Holland. Not pictured here: my favorite part of the trip – sampling beers at Saugatuck Brewing, New Holland Brewing, and Bell’s Brewing....

 

Curry Lentil, Pepper, and Bacon Seitan Soup

I kind of went crazy with the soups this week… Mostly because my throat’s been a bit sore for the last few days. This one actually didn’t help too much with that due to the spice from the curry and jalapeƱo! Oops :) Improv Score: 4/5 Curry Lentil, Pepper, and Bacon Seitan Soup 1...

 

White Bean, Kale, and Italian Seitan Sausage Soup

Here’s another great improv meal for you! Again, I’d recommend loosely following the recipe, but substituting ingredients as necessary. For example, if I’d had an entire onion – I’d have just used that, but instead I only had half of one, so I supplemented with a shallot and lots of garlic! Improv Score: 4.5/5...

 

Tempeh Bacon and Apple Curry Stirfry

I improvised a meal last night and it turned out pretty well, so I decided to share it here with all of you. Try it out and let me know what you think! Of course, you should try improvising too – if you find yourself without the exact ingredients! Note: Measurements and instructions are...

 

New York City 2012

Finally! I’ve gotten around to posting a few of my favorites from last year’s trip to NYC. I don’t think too much explanation will be needed, so let’s just get straight to the photos…

 

Project 365 – Days 30 – 40

Here’s a big set for you – the last 10 days worth of photos! Some are ok, some are horrible. I’m trying to find the right balance between not being an annoying all day photographer and still getting a good shot or two of something… Also… I swear I’m going to try and not...

 

Project 365 – Days 28 & 29

This weeks theme (so far): grit. Day 28 – Detroit. Day 29 – Life Happens.

 

Project 365 – Days 23 to 27

I have mixed thoughts on this newest edition of photos. A few of them came out alright, a few of them are pretty weak. That being said, I’m also not putting 100% into this project. It is just too time consuming and I have a lot that I want to do. So we’ll see...

 

Project 365 – Day 22

Today’s photo features one of Ginger’s once beloved toys – the decapitated monkey. Even though she doesn’t play with it much anymore, we keep it around as a reminder of her deadly and primal nature, and as a warning to all that this could happen to you… while you sleep.

 

Project 365 – Days 17 – 21

Here we go again… slacking off a little bit. Here’s another set of 5… or is it? SPOILER ALERT: There are only 4 photos in this post… :( Day 17 – The Wurst Bar in Ypsi had their one year anniversary party. This was the ridiculous bacon-wrapped PBR brat, topped with even more amazing...

 

Project 365 – Days 15 & 16

Here’s some food and drink for ya, or what we Michiganders like to call – the Joys of Winter. Day 15 – Cocktails. They were very good. Day 16 – BBQ at Work. I resisted eating all of it!

 

Project 365 – Day 14

Today, I snapped a few photos on the way into work (in Detroit). We ran into traffic on I-94 and so took Michigan Avenue into town. It’s pretty seriously decrepit. Buildings collapsing, everything boarded up, graffiti all over, trash everywhere… not much left aside from the strip clubs. And because she was being cute...

 

Project 365 – Days 9 to 13

Alright… so I’ve clearly been slacking off for a few days. This daily photo thing is actually kind of time consuming, not to mention a creativity challenge. Day 10 is particularly sad, as is Day 12. Part of the creativity problem stems from my newly adopted minimalistic lifestyle. Other Project 365ers often seem to...

 

Project 365 – Day 8

Today was the great day of the Hopslam – Bell’s very awesomely hoppy Double IPA. Two glasses were enjoyed at Ashley’s in Ann Arbor. It was a good night.

 

Project 365 – Day 7

1 week in. 7/7. Self portrait day. After effects fun.

 

Project 365 – Day 6

Today was one of those cold and wet winter days that leaves you wanting nothing more than a warm cup of tea, a fort of warm blankets, and the release of an emotional meltdown that never comes.

 

Project 365 – Day 4 & 5

Day 4. So, Detroit. Fine place, it is. Until someone bashes in your car window while you unknowingly enjoy a jolly good night in a nearby bar. And so to Detroit I say, with the help of my friend Steven below, “Eff you.” Twice. Day 5 It was a lazy day kind of day....

 

Project 365 – Day 3

“It’s so coooollllddd in the D” So, it seems my effects of choice for these first few days of 2012 are desaturation and vignetting. Today’s photo comes straight from the D (Detroit, for those of you who just aren’t cool enough to know). It was literally about 18°F out when I went to lunch...

 

Project 365 – Day 2

Day 2 – Going so strong I have two photos! First up, everybody’s favorite: Buddy Christ Second, a henna tattoo I drew on my friend – a failed Sierpinski triangle!

 

Project 365 – Day 1

One of my resolutions for 2013 is to take the Project 365 challenge where you shoot and share (at least) one photo a day for an entire year. This should give me a chance to continue developing my photography skills and will be a great way to document the daily happenings of my life....

 

My First Tattoo!

I finally did it! After 10 years of pondering and planning, I finally got my first tattoo. Surprisingly, after all that planning, I decided on it in a pretty well spur-of-the-moment move. It was the day after Thanksgiving. I went out to Ypsilanti for a late lunch and lo and behold – I found...

 

Joy & Jason’s Holiday Card Portraits

This weekend I had the awesome opportunity to try my hand for the first time at portrait photography – and you can judge for yourself, but I think it went pretty well! I read through some quick refreshers prior to heading out and browsed through some google images for pose ideas. We made our...

 

We bought a house in Ypsi / Ann Arbor!!

Wow, the last few months have been pretty intense for Adam and I. We went to New York City, Adam went to Portland, our summer weekends were packed, and WE BOUGHT A NEW HOUSE!!! That’s right, the day that we left for NYC – we also closed on our new house. We’ve left the...

 

Cuisine Theme Week No. 12: Moroccan

Cooking at the Kasbah Moroccan week is over and, overall, it was very successful! Most of the dishes I chose to cook were stews, not sure if that’s because those are the dishes I just happened to pick out, or because that is what the majority of Moroccan entries are. The only non-soup/stew that...

 

Cuisine Theme Week No. 11: Cuban

Memories of aCuban Kitchen Whew! Cuban “Week” ran a little longer than expected… it lasted a little over 2 weeks actually. A busy month slowed things down… and it turns out plantains take a long while to fully ripen. But it’s all over now, and was good for the most part. Not my favorite...

 

Cuisine Theme Week No. 10: Greek

The Complete Bookof Greek Cooking Man, this month’s cuisine week was pretty hard to keep going – more on that in my next blog post – but everything ended up really excellent. The recipes were all pretty basic, using a lot of fresh and flavorful ingredients. It was the perfect refreshing cuisine for the...

 

grandomizr – a jQuery group randomizer

Some of you might recall my last open source project – SlickQuiz. Well, I’m at it again. I’ve recently released my second open source project – grandomizr, through my company Quicken Loans. Quicken Loans launched an open source initiative just a few months ago which has been steadily picking up steam. I get bragging...