Archive for July, 2014

A few posts ago, I wrote about a Vegan meetup group event going on throughout Jacksonville.

I’m not going to be sad if you don’t remember that because you are going to hear all about it now.

It was a blast & we used the hashtag #VeganMob on our social media sites so people could follow along & enjoy pictures of the awesome food or other cool stuff everywhere the mob ran around to.

It wasn't too tough to find us, we were the ones with the good food.

It wasn’t too tough to find us, we were the ones with the good food.

The mob started at Sweet Theory, an awesome vegan bakery that does a lot of other allergy-conscious pastries & cakes nestled in the Riverside neighborhood.  They’re fast approaching their second year open & the business doesn’t seem to stop.  That’s probably because they make the best cinnamon rolls this side of California.

DROOOOOOOOOOOOL.

DROOOOOOOOOOOOL.

Yes, there’s that.  So good & if you want coffee, they’ve got that too.  Also, vegan ice cream–try the sundae, it’s huge & delicious no matter what pastry you top it with.

After that we ran a few blocks to Grassroots Natural Market, a cool grocery store/juice bar near the five points area of Riverside.  One of the workers took us around & showed a lot of the veg-friendly stuff that they had stocking the shelves(which was a lot).  We even saw Katie Perry around the store!

Well, it was more of a big name sighting than anything.

Well, it was more of a big name sighting than anything.

After Grassroots, we ran around the corner to Tapa That, a cool little restaurant that set up a ten dollar vegan buffet just for us!  They made up a mixed green salad, some “cheesy” potatoes and a faux eggs & sausage dish that I pretty much had to get seconds & thirds on.  At that point, the mob had grown in size to about twenty five people, give or take & I’m pretty sure we did some damage to the buffet.

Just a casual conversation...

Just a casual conversation…

...where some of us wear napkins.

…where some of us wear napkins.

I'm the guy that just takes pictures randomly & never tells anyone.

I’m the guy that just takes pictures randomly & never tells anyone.

I probably could have just grabbed a few plates at a time, but who needed to fill up so soon?

I probably could have just grabbed a few plates at a time, but who needed to fill up so soon?

As soon as the buffet was decimated, we ran over to Moon River Pizza in Murray Hill, some of the best pizza in Jacksonville & a cool joint to hang out at.  There have been some times that I just eat an entire pizza by myself & then feel bad about it for hours(well, not morally bad, just have a stomach ache & a need for a food coma nap).  Julie got a pizza & just had everyone pitch in instead of getting a pizza per person.  I had been instructed to bring some back home, so I got a large pizza as well.  The best part of it all?  It was free veggie toppings for our group!  Have to love that.  Or else.

Seriously, we aren't serious.

Seriously, we aren’t serious.

...and here we have a plate that needs to be occupied by a piece of pizza....

…and here we have a plate that needs to be occupied by a piece of pizza….

The stop after Moon River was Chamblin’s Uptown, a deli/coffee shop/book store that is in the center of downtown Jacksonville.  They made up a cool menu for us with some seitan or veggie wrap choices, a whole bunch of side dishes & then a sampler with the choice of three wraps at a special price.  As always, the staff was really accommodating as well & took great care of us.

It's just a day full of stars.

It’s just a day full of stars.

I really have to stop eating wrappers.

I really have to stop eating wrappers.

Well, Hail Seitan it is.

Well, Hail Seitan it is.

It had started raining back at Moon River, but what’s a little rain when there’s a farmer’s market at the beaches that is open rain or shine?  The Beaches Green Market has been operating for a while now at Jarboe park & has vendors that sell produce, hand-made pasta, pickles, trees & bushes, and Dig Foods.  Dig is a cool concept in the fact that they like to make food as close to living as possible, making it immensely more healthy & beautifully complex, even though the ingredients are so simple.  I’m in love with the fact that they work this market because it brings them out to the beach & that’s what we need here, is some awesomely delicious, righteous vegan chow right around the corner!  Murphy’s always up for a picture too!!

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Got rain? Not a problem, veggies make you tough!

How can you not love this stuff??!!

How can you not love this stuff??!!

We had planned to show people around a community garden that was right behind the market, but with the rain keeping steady, we opted to head right on over to Lillie’s Coffee Bar in Neptune Beach.

Lillie’s is a local favorite when I’m on my bike & need to stop to relax & draw or read.  It’s just a comfy spot & the crew is really nice.  Plus, they have tempeh & avocados.  I could eat those every day!

The coffee is tasty too.  Well, you know, coffee bar & all.

The coffee is tasty too. Well, you know, coffee bar & all.

The last stop was the Green Room Brewing, but they were absolutely packed(because they are so great), so we went to another place & relaxed on a covered patio.  The rain was still spitting at us & the group had dwindled in numbers, but it was a fun food filled day & we should definitely do that again!

Plus, I had leftovers for almost a day!!

Chamblin's wrap + Dig Food's hummus = so much awesome you can't believe it.

Chamblin’s wrap + Dig Food’s hummus = so much awesome you can’t believe it.

On to the best album of the year!

splash-banner-preorder

Rise Against has been streaming their new album, The Black Market, on iTunes for a week now & I don’t think I’ve stopped playing it when I’m around my computer.  The whole album is just so awesome and the songs are so different & innovative from what Rise Against has done in the past.  Everything is still a fast-paced freight train starting with “The Great Die-Off,” going through the first couple of singles “I Don’t Want To Be Here Anymore” & “The Eco-Terrorist In Me,” rocking through several catchy songs to an acoustic ballad called “People Live Here,” & ending with “Bridges,” a song to end on that makes you want to hear what’s next already.  Overall, the album is very well balanced & I think it’s going to be on repeat in the car on the road trip to Ohio later this month.  Get online, check it out & it comes out July 15th.

Dogs will eat anything & EVERYTHING.  Even a whole loaf of garlic rosemary sourdough bread that is far back on the kitchen counter.  At least they know what’s tasty.  Unfortunately, there were several trips outside immediately after we came home & discovered the bread was eaten.  Little Baby Alec Baldwin looked like he swallowed a bowling ball & Cinder looked as though we were so disappointed in her we might have to let her go(that won’t happen, don’t worry).  Those trips outside were some of the smelliest trips I’ve ever had with the pups & they even eat beans on a daily basis.  Here are some pictures.

Me photobombing them was probably the catalyst.

Me photobombing them was probably the catalyst.

She's so sad that she's so full that she's so happy.

She’s so sad that she’s so full that she’s so happy.

This won't end well.

This won’t end well.

Weeble wobbles wobble but they won't fall down.  No, I'm not fat-shaming him, shut up.

Weeble wobbles wobble but they won’t fall down. No, I’m not fat-shaming him, shut the Hell up.

So leave bread on the top of the fridge if you’re smarter than me.  Which you are.  I can tell that because you are reading this.  Also, you’re very handsome/pretty.  Again, because you’re reading this.  Now go outside & have a fun day!

Seeya!

 

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I hope you like pictures, because there’s a lot of them on this post.

Not of my hair though.

I read something about a “No-Poo” hair washing technique & was kind of moving in that direction anyway.

I decided to shed the typical shampoo & conditioner to avoid a lot of the chemicals & animal byproducts that are in them, keep those same chemicals from gunking up our water systems, make lab testing on animals a thing of the past, and to save a little bit of money in the process.

That, and I just heard that it was healthier for your hair.

In January, I started using two mixtures for washing & conditioning.  The washing mixture was a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water.  The conditioning mixture was a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water.

You’ll understand my concern if I had initially thought that my hair was going to explode off of my scalp with the help of the carbon dioxide that would undoubtedly be produced rapidly by the two mixtures coming into contact with each other.

That didn’t happen fortunately.

What did happen was a bit of a mess the first week, the naturally-occurring oils returning slowly to my hair.  What happens with most shampoo & conditioners is that they strip your hair of these oils & then you are often left with more of a mess than what you initially had.  For what?  Hair that smells like a natural scent that was derived from unnatural sources.  Looking at the ingredient label of a shampoo bottle is a lot like reading a Stephen King novel–scary, long, and it makes you have to think(especially when it comes to the six-syllable chemicals).  Most people don’t look at the ingredient label though, and just buy what a celebrity says to buy on television.  It makes it easy when their beautiful, not-at-all maintained hair can look that good with a product they would only touch from outside the bottle.

Anyway, the experiment went on for three months & my hair got better & better.  The manageability got better, the feel of it was nicer, and I could shower anywhere with the help of a person’s kitchen stuffs.

After three months, I went without the mixtures, just rinsing with water & every so often using coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner(back to the natural smell part of it all).  If you don’t like coconut oil, you’re a prick & I don’t know what to tell you on how to give your hair a better smell other than to use some sort of fragrance oil.  Actually, lavender oil is nice too.

I LIKE TO SMELL LIKE FLOWERS, OKAY?!

In any case, it’s been six months and then some, and a seemingly menial change has made it impossibly easy for showers.

The last post I mentioned an urban adventure where I walked about ten miles, just kind of getting lost & looking at some cool sights that I wouldn’t otherwise see on a trip driving.  I would bore you with the typical minute-by-minute dribble, but I don’t really think you want to read “left, right, left, right, left, left, trip, fall, right, left…”

So I’ll just throw some cool pictures on here & hope that you think they are cool too.  It’s a walk through West side Jacksonville to downtown, so there are many different types of neighborhoods & sights to see.  Again, I encourage everyone to get lost & just take an adventure day, if not do that every day.

No compound here, folks....just your average, run-of-the-mill hou...GETINHERE!!!!

No compound here, folks….just your average, run-of-the-mill hou…GETINHERE!!!!

The shed in the back was pretty cool too, I wonder what's in the....HEYYOUISAIDGETINHERENOW!!!!

The shed in the back was pretty cool too, I wonder what’s in the….HEYYOUISAIDGETINHERENOW!!!!

I'm perplexed at how this one will work out.  I marked out the information, that wasn't just senseless graffiti.

I’m perplexed at how this one will work out. I marked out the information, that wasn’t just senseless graffiti.

Cool murals on tattoo shops.

Cool murals on tattoo shops.

...on all sides of the building.

…on all sides of the building.

I....I couldn't have been the only one to read this wrong.

I….I couldn’t have been the only one to read this wrong.

I love people that garden their yards.  Makes so much sense.  Tasty, tasty sense.

I love people that garden their yards. Makes so much sense. Tasty, tasty sense.

SO MUCH TASTY SENSE!!

SO MUCH TASTY SENSE!!

I don't know if it's a thing people do, but I had to have passed a dozen discarded tea bags in the street on my journey.

I don’t know if it’s a thing people do, but I had to have passed a dozen discarded tea bags in the street on my journey.

"Oh, what's that officer?  Nothing, just laying on some train tracks trying to get a picture."

“Oh, what’s that officer? Nothing, just laying on some train tracks trying to get a picture.”

Something about cool, old, abandoned houses makes me want to go inside them.

Something about cool, old, abandoned houses makes me want to go inside them.

Cool fountain in front of a cool house.  Cool.

Cool fountain in front of a cool house. Cool.

I see these stickers all over town.  Good publicity for Harvey Dent.  Or is it?

I see these stickers all over town. Good publicity for Harvey Dent. Or is it?

I swear, there are like five squirrels on the other side of this tree.

I swear, there are like five squirrels on the other side of this tree.

What's a walk through Riverside without some Sweet Theory?

What’s a walk through Riverside without some Sweet Theory?

Sun through some Spanish moss in a giant tree.  Love it.

Sun through some Spanish moss in a giant tree. Love it.

I love this.  I'd feel really bad if they misspelled a word though.

I love this. I’d feel really bad if they misspelled a word though.

Old, abandoned, & condemned buildings are cool too.

Old, abandoned, & condemned buildings are cool too.

Quiet little homeless camp by a bridge.

Quiet little homeless camp by a bridge.

All kinds of randomness in the fire pit here.

All kinds of randomness in the fire pit here.

IMAG2970

Getting into the graffiti part. If you look closely, there’s a guy sleeping by one of the pillars beyond the symbol.

IMAG2972

ooooooooooooooooooo

ooooooooooooooooooo

ooooooool.  Now run before the cops think you did it.

ooooooool. Now run before the cops think you did it.

Only a couple blocks left.

Only a couple blocks left.

Waiting for the sky rail.

Waiting for the sky rail.

Cool views from above on the sky rail.

Cool views from above on the sky rail.

Jumped off of the sky rail, jumped onto a bus right before it took off.

Jumped off of the sky rail, jumped onto a bus right before it took off.  The man with the neon shoelaces will be eating a hard-boiled egg soon.

SEE?!  The wheel is not his, but he yelled at me while I was reading to stop someone because she had lost it as she was getting off of the bus.

SEE?! The wheel is not his, but he yelled at me while I was reading to stop someone because she had lost it as she was getting off of the bus.  Seems logical.

A member of the species douchebaggus, yelling at the bus driver because she wouldn't let him off at a place that wasn't a bus stop.

A member of the species douchebaggus, yelling at the bus driver because she wouldn’t let him off at a place that wasn’t a bus stop.

Someone needs to fire the inspirational letter guy.

Someone needs to fire the inspirational letter guy.

I have no idea who Dalaw is, but they are remembered on the sidewalk.

I have no idea who Dalaw is, but they are remembered on the sidewalk.

I told you, a lot of pictures.  Cool stuff to see though & always fun adventures.  It’s a great way to spend a day off, just wandering around, grabbing a coffee & a loaf of bread at Community Loaves(I sadly didn’t get a picture there, but expect a ton of them in the future, I LOVE that place!), walking, eating doughnuts at Sweet Theory(Love again), walking, walking, walking.  It’s a nature hike in an urban environment, if you don’t plan it(which I am a fan of doing on these types of excursions).

That’s about it for me this week, we are recording another podcast today & the vegan meetup event that I wrote about a few weeks back is coming up this Saturday the 12th, so there should be some fun stuff coming up soon.  Everyone have a great day/week/timespan, and there will be more stuff coming soon!

Here are the promised pictures of the pups.  If I had a wallet with pictures in it, these two would compose pretty much all of it ha.

In aerodynamic mode.

In aerodynamic mode.

It's a pillow on top of a pillow!!  Yay!!

It’s a pillow on top of a pillow!! Yay!!

I think he'd be perfectly at home in a cave.

I think he’d be perfectly at home in a cave.

Resting after tennis ball fetch time.

Resting after tennis ball fetch time.

More tennis ball fetch time.

More tennis ball fetch time.

Seeya!!

A friend of mine named Julie & I sat down at the coffee shop that we usually frequent and made people sitting around us uncomfortable.  We are really new with this, so feel free to give us some tips in the comments section.  One of those tips should be for me to sit a little closer to the microphone.  The other could be a name for the show or something.  Check it out & enjoy!

http://www.juliewatkins.tv/blog/podcasting-is-the-new-unemployment

 

I’ll be back with a new post with a recipe & that urban adventure through Jacksonville next week!