You and your spouse have been selected from an impressive, elite list of candidates to serve as judges for the first-ever Drews Silver Ladle (and silver pie pan) Competition.
On Saturday February 22 Culinary Artists from the Drews family will compete for coveted prizes in the category of soup and pie and you have been selected as "surprise celebrity judge". It is your discriminating palate that has elevated you to this lofty selection.
Please see the announcement below that was sent to competitors a couple weeks ago:
(Continues after Announcement)
ANNOUNCING THE FIRST ANNUAL DREWS SILVER LADLE AWARD
Winter sucks but it's the perfect time for soup so test your culinary skills in a fun, family competition and help crown the first Drews Silver Ladle winner Saturday February 22. Whether your specialty is chowder, bisque, stew, broth, consomme, gumbo, chili, gazpacho, vichyssoise or plain ol' soup - bring it to Lynne and Jeff's and you could be the big winner.
When the bowls are clean, we'll move to dessert and the competition for the first annual Silver Pie Pan trophy for the best pie maker. Fruit pie, cow pie, cream pie, pot pie, mud pie - - we don't care! Bring it and you could be the winner!
Keep in mind - bring your own garnishes - if your soup needs cheese or onions or croutons, supply it. If your pie calls for whipped cream or raspberry sauce - bring it. You should also bring your own ladle because no one has that many ladles! Since we hope to have several soups and pies, you needn't bring a lot of any one thing. Be prepared to take leftovers home.
Plan your arrival between 5:00 and 6:00. Competition will begin promptly whenever I decide.
Let me know by return email if you'll be joining us --- and if you know, tell me if you'll be entering the soup or pie competition.
The Invitation (continued)
Did you see rule 4 ... the one about "special guest judges"? That's you! Judges will also be a SURPRISE so I ask that you NOT tell any of the potential competitors about your appointment. By return email, please let me know if you are available. Surprises, being what they are, require you to arrive AFTER the competitors, so plan to get here about 6:30 or so. We will do our best to arrange for VIP parking near our home. Keep in mind that a snow event of almost any size could cause a postponement so keep my phone number handy.
Hope you can make it and please --- protect your palate for the big night!
Dear Mr. Drews,
We are fascinated by the Drews Silver Ladle competition, especially the potential for the 'reality' market, one which is wholly under served in your neighborhood demographic.
We are also humbled by your consideration, although I note that not a single person of normal girth was selected as judge. Was that a requirement?
Nevertheless we are honored by your invitation and accept with enthusiasm.
I thought I would update this post with what really happened before I placed the order. "Best laid plans" and all that...
I'm going to order an iPad Air this week. That is a surprise because I had my mind made up to replace my iPhone 4S with the new 5S. It's been two years and; while the 4S works just fine, the 16GB of memory requires attention every month as I shift around the 320+ apps that I own. The apps I use at least once a week number about 40, but it is never the same 40 month to month. So the 16GB needs to be increased. LTE would be a big improvement over the 3G I have now, too.
But since the iPad Air was introduced on October 22nd, the equation has changed because my iPad2 is much more valuable to me than the iPhone simply because it can do everything the iPhone can do except make phone calls. Actually it can do that too, but it isn't very satisfying. My iPad has replaced my laptop about 90-95%, and nearly every month some app is upgraded that makes the iPad more useful and and the laptop just that much more last century.
So I plan to get the iPad Air with 128GB of memory and cellular enabled. Say $1,000 with tax. Why?
Well, right now, as I write this, I am at my favorite coffee house typing on my wireless keyboard, whose case forms a stand for the iPad. I just took a picture of the setup, see above, with my phone which will let me open and edit the pic on the iPad if I need to. So mobility and super-portability are one reason the iPad Air is pushing a new phone to the side.
I don't have a Retina display and I'm not sure that I will really make use of it. But the LTE and 8 times the current memory will save time and increase mobility even more.
9 hours of battery life will be nice, but I rarely have an issue with the battery in the iPad2, although it is often at 10% when I put it to bed at night.
Honestly, once you get used to using a tablet, a laptop seems very limiting except for that 5% or so that a tablet just can't do. A tablet can't do CAD; it can't edit our website; it can't give you a flawless Word doc or Excel editing job. I encounter one of these needs about twice a week.
So it boils down to a decision to upgrade the most valuable (to me) part of my tech world. The real decision now is what to do with the iPad2 since at 2-1/2 years old it has plenty of life left.
...and then my son called. The power button on his phone stopped working. He researched the fix and decided it was too risky to do on his own and too much to invest in his iPhone 4. It turns out that besides using the power button to completely power down occasionally, he needed to turn off the phone to prevent "butt dials" and other battery-draining, inadvertent activities.
Since I was planning to update my phone also at some point in the coming months, I changed priorities. My son found a software work-around in the accessibility features, but it meant having a floating button on the screen all the time. So I set about selecting a color and amount of memory (Space Gray and 32GB) and bought the phone first.
Once the iPhone 5S was settled in, I ordered the iPad Air - but...with just 32 GB of memory. I admit that saving $200 was part of the decision, but what made the decision palatable was that memory management with iOS 7 and the A7 chip takes up less memory!!!
I am very happy with both purchases. The only thing that doesn't work as well on each device is the one or two second pause when re-opening an app. With iOS 6 multi-tasking was nearly instantaneous. iOS 7 has a slight delay that is the trade-off for better memory and battery management. This is really minor, and an even faster processor will decrease the pause to 'imperceptible'.
So there you have the real story. Next time I won't write about intentions as though they have already happened.
Dear Department of Transportation:
Do you have winter where you are? Do you have potholes and ’D-cracking’*? I want to share a powerful secret with you. This secret will magically expand your maintenance budget. It will make your road projects endure much longer. Your stakeholders will love you. Your neighboring DOTs will be jealous of you. The secret is shockingly simple; and simple to implement. The secret is just one word: TAR.
TAR is not an acronym. Tar is a black sticky stuff. Tar is pretty cheap. Here’s how to use tar.
When you have a joint in concrete paving, tar it.
When you have a crack in concrete paving, tar it.
When you fill a pothole in concrete paving, tar its perimeter.
The beauty of tar is that just about anyone can do it. You just pour it into or onto the joint. You might have to do it every year, but it costs a fraction of re-doing the repair or replacing the concrete.
I hope you are as excited to learn this secret as I am to share it with you.
Your humble servant,
Rick Wolnitzek, Architekwiki
* D-cracking is the phenomenon where the bottom of a concrete slab deteriorates from freezing and thawing of water entering through a joint or crack. The deteriorated area resembles a ’D’ as it works its way toward the surface of the slab.
I recently applied for and received Emeritus Architect status in the state of Ohio. Curiously, the board of registration sent me a confirmation letter with a wallet card.
What is the purpose of a wallet card? I mean in 2014, not 1914.
I became registered in 1974. In the intervening 40 years I have been asked to prove that I am, in fact, an architect exactly zero times. No one has ever asked for ID, much less a wallet card. Which looks like it would take about an hour to forge. But there is no need to forge one because no one cares.
Somewhere, sometime there must have been some serious shenanigans going on.
I’m pretty sure the idea of registering architects only predates my own registration by about 30? or 78! years. (Whoa, looked it up. Illinois in 1897.) So what was going on back then? That was 25 years after the Great Chicago Fire. I’m guessing that after rebuilding the city there was a glut of architects. Maybe registration was intended to weed out any (future?) riffraff.
But wallet cards? Who was policing the architects? Or was this just some legislator’s idea? (You may have heard that Texas architects must now be fingerprinted! What are you Texans up to?)
Kentucky, my ’home’ state, didn't jump on the registration band wagon until 1930. KY offers a wallet card if you want to download one. I have never carried one.
Anyways, if you happen to know more about this practice, I/we could stand the enlightenment.