Thursday, November 23, 2017

Net Neutrality, Letter to My Congressman

Net Neutrality

I'm writing to my congressman about Net Neutrality because I think its removal will harm everyone.

The email sent to Congressman Doug Lamborn

Hello Mr. Lamborn,

This is an open letter that I'm also posting to my blog. I'm writing about the Net Neutrality vote coming up in the FCC.  I'm a writer who's written 28 books (Epic Fantasy and kid's books) and self-published them.  As part of my publishing, I spend vast amounts of time online to market and run other aspects of the self-run business.

While I understand that internet companies such as Comcast state that they need to remain competitive, the reality is that the removal of Net Neutrality will result in fees that penalize high usage.  This will become a struggle for those who have to choose between providing for their family and paying extra for a little more bandwidth.

In this day and age, to get a job, or start a company, you have to have internet access and spend extensive hours online.  Removing Net Neutrality would hurt the people who need it the most.

In addition, the internet has become a way for young minds to learn about the world both socially and academically.  I believe removal of Net Neutrality would stunt that knowledge and hinder advancements in humanity.

This is a time of unprecedented communication in politics and human rights.  The internet is the new means of discussing political beliefs and ideas.  While this appears to be a dumpster fire of an idea right now, I believe it is still vital in the progress of humanity and our understanding of each other.

These are just some of the reasons I ask you to please prevent the FCC from destroying Net Neutrality.

All my best,

John H. Carroll

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Recipe - Thick Chili

Recipe for thick chili

This is a recipe that's excellent for Frito pies and chili dogs.  My family loves eating it on spaghetti, which is surprisingly delicious.  You can eat it just the way it is too.

I've taken recipes from multiple sources, my mother, my brother, my mother in law, and refined them into a combination I really like.  When I was growing up, we would have chili every Christmas Eve, so making it and eating it brings back fond memories for me.

One thing I've learned over the years is the term Season to Taste. It's important to remember when cooking.  If you don't like the recipe the way it is, you are free to change it.  If you don't like the idea of minced jalepeno, you can remove it or substitute.  If you don't like garlic, don't add it, you heathen.  Green and red peppers are an excellent option too.

WARNING: There are vastly different qualities of chili powder out there. If you get a cheap bargain brand, you may want to add a little extra unless you hate anything even remotely spicy. If you get a high quality chili powder made with exotic chilies, you can always cut the amount you add . . . unless you like your face turning red and tears running down your cheeks.  Up to you.

(May be cut in half or doubled for your needs.  May also be frozen if needed)

Ground Hamburger, or Vegetarian Substitute: 2lbs
Ranch Style Beans: 5 cans
Stewed Tomatoes: (I prefer the fire roasted version by Hunts)
Chopped Onion: 1 ea
Minced Garlic: 1 clove or 1tbsp
Minced Jalapeno: 1 small jalapeno (optional)
Chopped Green Onion: 3 stalks (do not saute with other veggies)
Worcestershire Sauce: 3 tbsp
A-1: 3tbsp
Water: 1/2 cup
Chili Powder: 3tbsp
Cumin: 2tbsp
Onion Powder: 1tbsp
Garlic Powder: 1tbsp


1. Put Hamburger/Substitute in pot on medium high.
2. Immediately add Onions, Garlic, Jalapeno to cook with hamburger.
3. Once hamburger is browned, add beans and crushed tomato. At this time, I add the water, but I put the water in the cans and swirl it around to get all the juices out before adding it to the mix.
4. Add seasonings (Adjust to taste as you prefer), Worcestershire Sauce and A-1
5. Cook on medium heat for 1/2 hour
6. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1-2 hours.

Note:  My family is horrible at waiting until it's done because of how amazing the aroma is.  Technically you can eat after the first 1/2 hour, but chili is better and more flavorful if it's left to simmer.

These are the beans and tomatoes I use.


Happy eating!

John H. Carroll