The Salem Film Fest Kicks Off Again

Yesterday was kick-off for the 2017 Salem Film Festival. A pizza party at Far From the Tree, which is located right near the Salem Police Station. That’s especially appropriate in the event someone enjoys the cider a little too much.

If you go to Far From the Tree and you’re not a fan of crowds, I’d recommend checking them out on a school night. There’s a soft atmosphere, low pressure, and during the school week it’s just as busy but not quite so crowded.

I think their main secret of success, aside from their sweet and tasty offerings (just cider, no food), is being so far from the heart of Salem. Getting away from the tourists and the “undesirables” qualifies it as one of Salem’s best kept secrets.

I hope to have pictures of the new shirt on this coming Monday. Keep an eye out for more and if you’re in the area, be sure to say hi.

Coffee Jello: Day Four

I now have two unique flavors of coffee: Candy Cane and Pecan Pie.

Okay, maybe not so unique, just not the standard morning roast that I normally drink. They may be too sweet for the average morning cup, but they’d be great for Coffee Jello.

Now my goal is to see if I should dissolve the Knox in the boiling water while it’s on the stove, as opposed to taking it from the stove and then trying to dissolve it. This may seem like a no-brainer to some but remember, I live in a constant state of awareness that I will never impress Gordon Ramsay.

I can barely impress the die hard fans of Clay Aiken when I admit to the world that I’m not as crazy about him as I was when he was starting out.

Thank You, Penn Jillette

I first learned about this wonderful treat from reading God, No by Penn Jillette.

God, No is a collection of anecdotes following the theme of the chapter, which is titled after one of the Ten Commandments with an accompanying Atheist Suggestion that improves upon the former. This was probably one of the most well thought out and reasonable explanations for one man’s conversion to atheism that I have ever read.

For the record, I have no plans to discuss my own spirituality here. But to people who are put off by the idea of atheism or people writing about it, the coffee jello is meant to give you a reason to read it beyond your misconceptions.

As someone who has always walked the line as to where I am on the subject of spirituality, it’s a refreshing change of pace to listen to the ideas and belief systems of another. And yes, even not believing in something is a belief system.

Even if you’re a hardcore Christian, Catholic, or person of Jewish or Muslim faith, reading this book won’t necessarily convert you. You may wind up learning more about a man who has been one half of a major cultural phenomenon in the United States, or maybe you’ll see something that reinforces your belief system.

Penn doesn’t try to change your mind or insist that by not doing so, you’re less of a person. And hey, whether or not my own sense of spirituality has been changed or converted, the one definite plus I have gained from reading this book is a treat that I will spend quite a bit of time trying to perfect:



Coffee Jello: Day 2

My first attempt wasn’t a total failure but the consistency wasn’t very strong after I moved it from the glass bowl to a plastic container. So either I didn’t leave it in for long enough, or there was too much space for the liquid to spread in. Also, I don’t know if the gelatin dissolved all the way.

Everything is trial and error but one thing is certain: Presentation is everything.

I’d like to get it cubed, if possible, because I imagine that the person in whose honor I have decided to make this would have cubed it. I don’t know and I’m afraid it would cross a certain line to ask if this was the case but in all things, cubed is usually a safe bet. If I can’t do it cubed then I’ll just cover up the result with a mega ton of whipped cream because it’s also the thought that counts.

That and I’d love for this to be my “thing” when I go to parties.

Coffee Jello

I’ve begun my experiments in the creation of coffee jello. I first learned of this miracle of modern science through the writings of Penn Jillette. I then went online and located the least labor intensive recipe and I also now owe a debt of thanks to a certain Rhode Island native whom I will be tagging shortly.

The other day, I bought the Knox gelatin and I made the first attempt at coffee jello, which went surprisingly well. Amazing what you can do when you follow instructions.

This weekend I will be undertaking a reasonably sized video project in which this coffee based food of the gods will be involved. Keep watching for more details.

Thicket Things

Here’s a proper shout out to my sister-in-law’s latest artistic venture. Pictures are worth a thousand words each, so I’ll post the Facebook page link where you can find contact information.

Thicket Things

If you like what you see, give her a shout. Like her page, share it with friends. But please don’t copy and paste the photos of her work without the expressed permission of the owner.

Jane Says, “We could use some help this year!”

Jane is one of the main forces of nature behind The Salem Film Festival in Salem, Massachusetts. And this year, she sent this e-mail around to all of the volunteers:

Hi Salem Film Fest volunteers!
As our 10th anniversary approaches, the SFF organizing committee is very excited that WBUR has agreed to be our media sponsor. This is a big milestone for us, and details are forthcoming.
A number of other special activities are being discussed, but we need some additional help. Namely, we need people with graphic design, fundraising and budgeting/finance experience. If you have expertise in one of those fields and can volunteer a little extra time to help make this our best Film Fest ever, please let me know as soon as possible.
The engine is in gear and the wheels are rolling. Come on aboard.
And THANKS again for everything you’ve done in the past.
I have no experience in either of these things. But if there’s a faithful reader out there who wants to add something special to their resume, this might be a great opportunity for you. Respond to this e-mail, or to my Twitter feed and I’ll forward any questions you may have over to Jane.
I don’t think graphic design work is entirely limited to people within the Salem/North shore area, but it couldn’t hurt to find out.