Archive | March, 2012

Rock Hall/Triple D Trip – Day One

28 Mar

What a great day – a dad and two sons, hittin’ the road.  We got out the door about 9:00 AM, and made it exactly two minutes away – to Starbucks.  Once properly caffienated, we motored.  Our first stop?  The South Side Diner and Soda Shop, Goshen, IN.

First a bit about motoring – last year about this time we bought the car we drive now, a 2011 VW GTI. This thing is wonderful for the motorsports lover/driver that also needs reality in the insurance cost, the price tag, fuel efficiency and practicality.  A  back seat like a limo, combined with a short overall length, wheels pushed way out to the corners for great handling, light weight, tons of power and VERY fuel efficient.  From Chicago to Goshen we averaged 34.5 MPG, and then from Goshen to Cleveland, a little faster leg in terms of road speed (78 mph avg), we got 33 mpg.  Fantastic.

Ok, so on to Goshen and the South Side diner.  Goshen is this nice little midwestern town – seems to be about the same size as the town I grew up in, Newton, IA.  Tidy town square, a business district with a combo of local retail, professional services, dining, bars, etc.

The South Side Diner is about 3/4 of a mile south of the town square on Hwy 15/33 in Goshen – Main Street.  It looks a bit like a train car at the front, and inside is pure vintage diner – black vinyl booths, laminate tables, authentically vintage marketing signs and local school spirit signage.  Goshen is close to Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, as well, so plenty of Fighting Irish stuff too.  The owner of the diner, Nate, is so proud of his place and couldn’t stop talking about it.  Once he heard we were on a cross country “Triple D” trip, he spent 10 minutes talking to us, telling us about his home made bread, their award winning pies, how he imports his hoagie rolls from Philadelphia, etc.  Wow.

When you walk in, instead of a typical greasy diner smell, we were met with the overwhelmingly wonderful smell of freshly baked bread and pies.  They had just pulled out a large sheet pan with 10 or more big loaves on it and were cooling them on the counter – they bake much of their own bread.

They are very proud of their Philly cheese steak sandwich, their chili, their pies, their liverwurst and bacon sandwich, and their bread.  I was so enthralled with the bread that I had to go simple.  We ordered – Alex got a Philly Pizza sandwich – a Philly cheesesteak with pizza sauce, Brian got a New Englander Burger, which was a burger on homemade English Muffin bread, and because I had to have some of that wonderful bread, I went simple -a grilled ham and cheese.  We added to that a basket of their special curly fries and a chocolate shake to share, in addition to our soft drinks.  The food started to quickly come out, and last out was the shake.  The Philly Pizza sandwich was immense, the burger less so, and my ham sandwich was stacked tall but not obscene.  My sandwich was incredible – I had the “Swedish” bread which was pinwheel rye and pumpernickle with a great crust.  Ham was carved off the bone of course, and the cheese was melted perfectly. Heaven.  Their curly fries are different – they are flat swirls of fried potatoes, and honestly, needed an additional fryer run for crispness.  The shake was wonderful – we had a chocolate malt and it was that perfect thickness.  We capped it all off with a slice of Lemon Meringue pie.  Wonderful – creamy, tart curd with a huge mountain of meringue.  The bill was all of $32.00 before tip – and as we were checking out, we realized we were part of 3 different families there doing the Triple D thing – a family going west from Hoboken NJ, and another dad and two sons headed east – though they were going to the football and baseball halls of fame, versus the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Onto the road again after a cheap fill of gas ($4.09 versus $4.40 in Chicago) and it was onwards to Cleveland.  We arrived into town about 6:00 Pm, checked in, got a drink at the free cocktail reception at our hotel (Embassy Suites), and then out to dinner.  Stop #2:  Geraci’s.  Geraci’s is an old-fashioned family Italian restaurant.  According to the Triple D segment, it is owned by an old couple in their 80s, and their daughter, in her 50s,runs the place. Didn’t see any of them there tonight.  A decent sized crowd was there.  We ordered a large pepperoni pizza, an order of their Chicken Parmesan and meatballs – the ChixParm came with a side salad, which I promptly ate up.  First out was the pizza and OH MY GOD.  This is seriously among the best pizzas I have ever had – it’s not thin crust nor deep dish – a crisp-bottomed crust that was nicely thin but not cracker like, thick chunky tomatoes, and the pepperoni was obviously hand-sliced off sticks. Their ovens must be really hot – the crust had a good crunch on the bottom, and the cheese and tomatoes were browned and caramelized on top, and the pepperoni was curled and browned.

Next was the Chicken Parm – again, OH MY GOD.  The sauce was thick tomato-basil sauce with a unique, meaty flavor. We found out the reason for that in a moment.  The cheese was special mozzarella that they have made for them, and the chicken had a wonderful crust with a bit of a crunch, and was perfectly cooked and not at all dry.  The final item to come out was the meatballs – we ordered one but they brought two.  These are handmade every day out of a mix of beef and veal, with a substantial amount of Romano Pecorino cheese, plus seasonings.  Then they are first roasted in the oven to brown them, and then they pour tomato puree with basil and onion over them – and cook them the rest of the way – and that’s when we found out the secret of the sauce!  It’s the sauce they make the meatballs with!  Everything had such broad and bold flavors, but perfectly balanced.  Fantastic food.  I would seriously make a trip to Cleveland from Chicago just to eat at Geraci’s.

After that, we’re just chilling at the hotel.  A wonderful day.  Rock Hall tomorrow!

A few pics below, will upload a Flickr album later in the week.

As you were,

Stew

At the South Side Diner:

Downtown Goshen:

Alex and is Pizza Philly

Brian and his burger

Lemon Meringue Pie

In South Side Diner:

Geraci’s

Pepperoni Pizza

Alex enjoying pizza

Brian with his pizza

Chicken Parm

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Trippin’ Triple D Style – Cleveland Rocks!

27 Mar

We’re rolling out this week with the twin sons A&B for a fun little road trip – just the three of us.  Spring break is always a bit tough for the Campbell family with Robin working for an accounting firm – we’ve managed to take just one family spring break trip in all the time she’s been there, but I try to get away with the boys every year.  In a fit of poor planning that I’ll never understand, the state universities in IL don’t line up their vacations with that of the high schools – so Joel was off last week, and A&B are off this week.

In years past, we’ve gone to Iowa to visit my mom in the hometown and hang out there – drink some beers and scotch with friends there, but, reality is there is not a lot for the guys to do out there.   This year, I decided to do something a bit different – we are headed to Cleveland to tour the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the day on Thursday.  That will be fun enough on its own – as my previous post noted, I am all about the music, and the music in my soul is Rock and Roll.  But, to further increase the fun quotient, we’re going to eat our way around the midwest “Triple D” style.

Then, after the RRHOF, we are headed to Dayton OH and the National Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB, plus an overnight visit to our Aunt Linda and Uncle Steve’s home – Robin’s aunt and uncle.  No Triple D locations in Dayton, though we will get local flavor on TWO meals there.

For anyone not in the know, “Triple D” is the show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on Food Network.  Hosted by Guy Fieri, they visit hole in the wall joints known for amazing local food – most of it ethnic, all of it awesome.  We have been to a number of Triple D spots already in the Chicago area and each is a unique experience with outstanding food, and normally at ridiculously inexpensive prices to boot.  We watch it religiously as it represents what we enjoy the most – finding funky, out of the way, unpretentious and amazing places to have incredible food.  As much as I enjoyed my business dinner at Smith & Wollensky’s last night in Boston, this is going to be even more fun, and more tasty.

Thankfully, there’s a lot more “fanboys” out there of Guy and Triple D than just me – and whole sites devoted to helping us Triple D fans tour the country and try the food for ourselves.  My favorite is FlavortownUSA.com – which is a guide/locator/directory of all Triple D locations – indexed in a number of ways – by air date, by geography/state/city, etc.  You can search by zip code, by state, by food style – someone put some real work into that site.  And their effort is my reward.  We’ve mapped out our route of travel by stomach – here’s a list of everywhere we’re going and when.  By the way, there’s also a YouTube link to every location’s segment on the show.  Again, someone did their homework here.  Without further adieu … (not to be confused with “wackadoo):

Lunch on Weds:

South Side Soda Shop & Diner
1122 south Main Street
Goshen, IN 46526
(574) 534-3790
YouTube:  http://youtu.be/withX9C85A0

This is a little diner/soda shop joint with great burgers and sandwiches, and well … shakes and sodas too.  Yum!

Dinner on Weds:

Geraci’s Restaurant
2266 Warrensville Center Road
Cleveland, OH
ph. (216) 371-5643
YouTube: http://youtu.be/SVb-ctwxMRM

Wonderful pizza/Italian restaurant on Cleveland’s southwest side.  All hand-tossed pizzas and the 80-some-odd year old owner is still tossin’ the pies, and her daughter runs the place with iron fists made strong by kneading pizza dough!

Thurs Lunch (Optional?)

Melt Bar and Grilled
14718 Detroit Ave Lakewood, OH
(216) 226-3699
YouTube:  http://youtu.be/0TtkfwFders

Assuming we leave the RRHOF museum for lunch, this joint features an All-Grilled Cheese sandwich menu.

Thurs Dinner:

Sterle’s Slovenian Country House
1401 E 55th Street
Cleveland, OH
ph. (216) 881-4181
YouTube:  http://youtu.be/kItZ9-L7AV4

German/East German comfort food – I hear the Chicken Paprikash is the express train to Flavortown!

Friday Lunch:
Skyline Chili
2805 Centre Dr
Fairborn, OH 45324-2670

Our only non-TripleD stop – we’re headed to Dayton for the Air Force Museum and we’ve gotta get some Skyline Cincinnati-style Chili.  I like mine Five-Way Style – Chili, Spaghetti, cheese, onions and beans.  Bring it!  Robin’s Aunt and Uncle have also promised a unique local meal that evening.

Saturday  Lunch

Triple X Family Restaurant
2 North Salisbury Street
West Lafayette, IN
ph. (765) 743-5373
YouTube:  http://youtu.be/GxqW4ereOfM

Ah, the Triple X – homemade rootbeer, amazing “steakburgers” (they were probably making them there before Steak and Shake even thought of it), and more, right on campus at Purdue University.  Amazing.

So, that’s the trip.  I’ll be blogging during the course of the trip as we roll along and posting pictures both here on the blog, and on Facebook.

Think I’ll get back to Weight Watchers next week.  LOL

As you were,

Stew

Earworms

26 Mar

Ok, before you go all EWW! on me – the definition of “earworm” that I’m talking about is the internal “iPod” in your head that plays the music that gets stuck there.  This morning, I’m coming to you live from American Airlines flight 876, winging its way from O’Hare to Boston Logon airport – currently at about 37,000 feet over Lake Erie.  As much as I loved being unplugged over the weekend, here’s one spot I like being “plugged in”.

Anyway, over the weekend, I had the pleasure of experiencing a singing duo that we’d never heard before – Jackopierce – it is an acoustic duo, sort of Jack Johnson/John Mayer meeting Loggins and Messina – that was a big hit in the mid-late 1990s in the Dallas area.  They’ve recently re-formed and are touring again.  My friend Professor Troutstream and his lovely wife Molly invited us to join them for the show and I had a really fantastic, “music to the core” experience – goosebumps, tears in my eyes, the works – all for a band I’d never heard before.  The Professor’s favorite song was Vineyard and I’m getting the goosebumps again just thinking of that song – it is the band’s “encore special.”

That said, the earworm that I got from them was Please Come to Boston – the David Loggins song from the mid 1970s – their rendition of it was stirring – they slowed the tempo a bit and because they are two very talented guitarists, one of them played the “straight” chords and the other was playing a wide variety of triads and other “up the neck” chords that added a huge dimension to the sound of the song. And … well, I’m flying to Boston this morning.  That song has been stuck in my head non-stop since yesterday morning.

Last week, when our “Jewish experiment” group met to define our future as a community (“B’Chavana”), we got to talking about what is important to us – and while this should be as no shock to anyone, music is clearly one of the most important things to me in my life.  The ability to listen, to play, to sing.   I said in our meeting, and I fully maintain this thought, I feel that G-d speaks to me in music.  The incredible wash of good feelings, of stress relief, of balance, of … well, every good feeling, has me convinced that it’s G-d speaking to me.  Our little worship community is very musically driven – there are a mix of folks in it that when we get going, it is not unusual to hear 4 and 5 part harmonies on our liturgical music.  And that music sticks with me – “earworming” as it were, for an entire week.

Late yesterday afternoon, we joined our Rabbi and his wife at their home for a music jam night – RavMarc is a guitarist par excellence, and we had other members there as well as a few other friends – most of whom have been a part of B’Chavana at one point or another – Rachel and her husband, Anita and Don, Renee and David and of course Robin, and RavMarc’s wife Susan.  We played a big mix of folk music with a few of my acoustic rock numbers mixed in for good measure – with the group just sitting in a circle and singing.  So good for the soul.  I went to that last night with my stress-knot in my upper back (I get a kin in my upper back right by my shoulder blade from stress), and honestly, wasn’t in the mood to go.  Had work and business travel on my mind.  Well, we played and jammed for an hour, and at the end of the hour, I had no knot in my back, a bit of sweat on my body, and all was good in the world.  I do feel like I was again touched by G-d – coming through me and taking my stress away.  I slept great last night, and feel great today.   My only regret is that I hadn’t worked out Please Come to Boston to play with this crowd.  The harmonies would have been exquisite.  Not as good as Jack and Cary from Jackopierce, but damn close!

So where does this lead me?  Well, of course, every time I play, I know I have to play more.  I need to work on my songs, get more music, memorize more, etc.  I need to really devote a minimum of an hour or more of playtime a week – it is good for me, and of course, it’s great for my playing.   And, well, it brings me closer to G-d as well.

A thanks to the Professor, Molly, RavMarc, Anita, Rachel, and all those that rocked out with me this weekend.  I needed it.

As you were,

Stew

Left without my own Devices

25 Mar

So if you follow me on Facebook, you know that this weekend, I participated in the Unplugging Day – this is a day, promoted by a website, ShabbatManifesto.org, a Jewish site, that promotes the ideas of celebrating shabbat given the speed of our modern world by “unplugging” – stepping away from the devices, the connections and computers for 24 hours.  I like it.

I had been thinking about it a lot lately – the political noise on Facebook has ratcheted up to a fine screech, and well, of course I’ve contributed to it, and it seems like more and more and more, everywhere you go, people have their noses in their phones, their iPads, etc. etc.  Yes, I contribute to that all the time too.  I read about this on Friday morning and decided I’d do it.   And, I decided to go whole hog – no laptop, no phone, no iPad.  I reserved the right to read books on the Kindle app on my iPad but that’s it, and went so far as to shut off the WiFi function on it in case I decided to read.   The phone went on my clock radio starting at 5:00 PM Friday (I have a docking clock radio), the iPad went on its charger and the laptop was shut off and put on its charger.
Friday evening, we had dinner with friends Leslie and Mike, Ira and Jill and Bill.  I had posted that I was doing this on my Facebook wall, and both Leslie and Bill immediately replied that they were going to frisk me when they arrived at our house for our pre-dinner cocktail hour.  And Leslie did!  And she didn’t find a phone on me – surprises of surprise.  Going to the restaurant was pretty sweet without the phone in the pocket – and I was stunned by how often and how widespread it was of folks looking at, fiddling with their phones in the restaurant.  Every table, pretty much all the time had at least one person with a device up and open, whether they were looking at something online, checking a date, showing pics around, etc.

I do have to admit to using Leslie’s phone briefly during the evening – we were talking about the resort Robin and I are going to this summer for my birthday celebration, and I showed her pictures from our previous trip, which are hosted on Fotki.com.  But only briefly – and Leslie wanted to blackmail me with the photo.  She did not, thankfully!

Saturday morning, I got up and left both devices on the chargers. This was going to be a bigger challenge.  I’m an early riser and my normal weekend routine is to have my phone, my iPad, my newspaper, and often, my laptop, all arrayed around me in my big easy chair while I enjoy coffee, read the paper, read other media online on my iPad, and post or blog using my laptop.  Robin jokes when she sees me like that that “I’m hanging out with all my friends.”   So, instead, I cleaned the kitchen, folded and ran laundry, cooked up a bunch of bacon for the family breakfast when they all woke up, went out and picked up  bagels and took the dog for a walk around the block.  All before 9:30 AM!  As the day got rolling, I got more busy and ran errands, did projects, etc.  All in all, a productive Saturday.   Didn’t touch the gizmos at all.

Officially, my “embargo” was over at sundown on Saturday, but I decided to extend the Facebook break until Sunday morning (this morning).  I spent about 20 minutes reading FB posts and finding it all to be the usual pointless noise, and gave up – I made one status update and one political post, and that was that.  I had a bunch of work to do in prep for my business trip today, got that done, and then the only real device time I spent was a bit of back and forth on two FB topics, and I finished a book on my iPad.

So, will I do this again?  Absolutely – in fact, I think I’m going to try to do it every Shabbat as much as I can.  At the very least, being “unplugged” from the computer and iPad forces me away from Facebook for 24 hours, and that’s good.  While my business is very much focused on social media, and therefore, I’m on FB all the time for business anyway, it is a welcome break.  Honestly, it forced me to evaluate some of the things I participate in on there and well, it will likely result in my culling my friend list quite a bit or at least doing a lot of unsubscribing.

Now, I can see the value of keeping my cell phone around – there were a few moments on Saturday when I was out running around where it would have been convenient to have my phone – I think if I repeat that, I’ll maybe bring the phone in the car, and instead of leaving it in the bedroom on the charger, will instead have it in the kitchen or family room, playing music – I did miss a few key text messages that would have been timely to see.

But moreover, it allowed me to actually have a little bit of a Shabbat-like focus on life without all the noise.  Shabbat is a time for inward reflection not outward broadcasting, for building the soul versus building the career and for studying Torah and taking a spirtual journey, rather than other activities.  In other words, it felt good to be a bit more Orthodox, a bit more of a Luddite – and park the gizmos for a day.

Last summer, when we went to Cancun on our vacation, the phone stayed locked in the safe, all day, every day.  We took them out once daily to call home, and I did check the weather on mine a few times, but other than that, I was disconnected.  And it was wonderful.  Yesterday felt like a miniature version of that.

So, give it a try.  I triple dog dare ya.

As you were,

Stew

It’s the little things – Springtime edition

20 Mar

Good grief I love spring.  I was talking to my pal Doug B on the train last week when this warm weather jag started, and we  both agreed that one of the reasons we love living in Chicago is spring time.  Other places “Spring has Sprung” seems to be the word – winter slowly abates, and spring eases in – sort of springs up.  Around here, spring hits with the impact of Barry Bonds smacking an incoming fastball out of the park.  Winter drags on and on and on, and just when you think you’re going to go bonkers, WHAM, there’s a 70 degree day.  Not a nice warm 50, but 70.  And even 80.

Most years, winter is a lot tougher, this WAS an easy winter.  While I did grow up in Iowa, and winters there ARE tougher than they are in Chicago, nonetheless, Chicago winters are tough.  Weeks on end of snowcover on the ground, grey skies, bone chilling cold, northeast breezes off Lake Michigan that peel the skin off your cheekbones and turn your ears into frozen poker chips.  And spring, or at least spring like this past week, normally comes in mid-April, not mid-March.  But when it does, you realize why you love Chicago and tolerate the winter – because the relief of Spring is so sweet.

Chicagoans also really embrace spring because we know the gift can be really fleeting.  It can be a beautiful warm day and all, but we know, lurking just offshore is miles and miles of ice cold Lake Michigan water.   All it takes is a wind shift from west to east or north, and the day will go from 75 degrees to 45 degrees in literally 15 minutes.  No smart Chicagoan goes to a May Cubs game without packing a jacket, even if the temp at game time is in the 80s.  It happens that quickly.  If you’re watching a digital thermometer at the time it happens, it’s like watching the countdown clock at NASA – 60, 59, 58, 57, 56 … crazy stuff.  Happened last week, as a matter of fact.

In no particular order, here’s a bunch of little things I love about the first warmth of spring:

– Crocuses:  These hardy little guys poke their blooms out of the earth with the first hint of spring warmth – they are the optimists of the plant world.  They put their blooms up like a middle finger to Winter – “Ha bitch!  Look at me, I’m blooming.  Just try and freeze me now!”

– People being OUT – everywhere you went the past two weekends, people were OUT – all of us in Chicago are so party-starved for fresh air and sunshine that when you get warmth like this, we are all out enjoying it – hiking, walking, sitting in the sun and reading, setting up the patios, outdoor cafes, washing the car, running the dog, etc.  No one, but no one wants to be inside anymore.

– Motorcycles and Convertibles:  Let’s face it, I’m a motorhead, and well, I like both of these – and both come out to play in the warm weather.  Now, I’d say that a lot of cycle riders going crazy as their insurance doesn’t cut in until April 1 or later, but the convertible drivers were out in force.  Drop the top, go for a ride.  Even if it is to the grocery store.

– Firepits and Barbecues – every evening for the past two weeks, the unmistakable aromas of burning wood and  sizzling meat has filled the air in Chicago suburbia.  Everyone was grilling, lots of people gathering on their patios around their firepits.   Smells like summertime.

– Birds – while the birds have been back for about 3 weeks now, nonetheless, I love walking outside on a spring morning to take out Sprite, or get the newspaper and getting greeted by a neighborhood full of Robins, Cardinals, etc. all “Tweeting” about the beautiful spring morning.  Social media at its finest.

–  Walking – let’s face it, walking somewhere when the wind is howling, you have every inch of exposed skin covered, you’re slipping and sliding, etc. etc., isn’t nearly as much fun as walking with the sunshine warming you and the warm spring breeze carrying you along.

– Summer clothes – Ok, let’s face it, I’m a male. I’m not talking about MY wardrobe here.   There isn’t a guy alive reading this that when you read “summer clothes” didn’t smile a bit to yourself and say “yup” … so let’s just leave it at that.  I’m not talking about polos and shorts on the guys.

And of course, most of all – that good feeling of “whew, we made it through another winter”.  I hear my friends all the time now talking about what’s next in their lives – when the kids are gone, when they’ve hit the financial/retirement goals – seems that all of them want to get out of Chicago and away from winter.  I’m not sure that will ever be me.  For one simple reason.  If I get away from Chicago winters, well, I also will be leaving Chicago spring.

Enjoy this welcome, ultra-early spring – we’re just a wind shift away from more winter.

As you were,

Stew

New Cooking Blog

10 Mar

Hi Y’all:

Started a new cooking blog today – Stew’s Brew Cooks.  Check it out at stewcooks.wordpress.com.

Since this space was morphing a bit into unexplored space, AND I have a few folks interested in me creating cooking content for their commercial sites, thought I’d morph the two efforts and create this additional blog.

Don’t worry, I’ll still be calling it as I see it in this space too.

Enjoy!

 

Stew

Hating Hate

5 Mar

This topic has been bubbling in me for a LONG time.  There is a toxic force that seems to be getting louder and louder in our society – and it is hate.  Hate comes in many forms – “big” hatred that fuels racism, misogamy, homophobia, etc.  Little hate – where people sort of confuse being passionate about something into something that is somehow bigger – for example how Sox fans “Hate” the Cubs, etc.  And more.  I’m not sure how to write about this, other than I know one thing:  I hate hate.

I’m sure my more conservative friends are getting their ire all up right now saying to themselves, “Oh bullshit – you hate Republicans and Conservatives every day on your Facebook wall.”  Actually, no, I don’t.  I do make a strong effort to call out BS, to disagree with positions, to make sure that I point out things that the Republicans are doing that the rest of us might miss (like the Republican state legislators in Indiana and Wisconsin, where one (IN), voted no on a resolution congratulating the Girl Scouts on 100 years of cookie making (or something like that) over something he read on the internet that somehow the Girl Scouts are a front for Planned Parenthood, and the other (WI) introduced legislation that would designate single and gay parenthood as child abuse.  But I don’t hate – I don’t say “I hate these people, I hate Republicans, etc.”  I disgree with them, but I don’t hate.

To me, the definition of “hate” is “the most intense form of dislike possible”, “to wish the worst on someone, something, etc.”  To wish someone or something dead.  That’s what it means to me – and that’s why I hate hate. I wish it were dead.  Hate is to demonize the thing you dislike, if you buy into the concept of demons and Satan.

Hate is what is fueling so much of our extreme political partisanship and rhetoric these days.  Hate is what caused the Holocaust.  Hate is what causes racism.  Hate is what causes the hatred of America in Muslim countries over our own Islamophobia, fueled of course by hate.

I think back on some of the kindest people I’ve known.  My dad was the kindest of all.  I would venture a guess to say that the word “hate” never passed his lips.  Were there things he disliked?  Yes.  Did he “hate”? Never.  Martin Luther King, I’m sure never hated. Neither did Mother Teresa.  Both were tireless advocates for change, for the little people, for those that the rest of the world was determined to hate.

On Facebook, there’s so many people that spew words of hate – and it’s ridiculous.  There’s a guy from my high school, who for some reason or another seems consumed by hate. He “hates” people from big northern cities, he “hates” opposing baseball and basketball teams, he “hates” liberals of course, and really “hates” our President.  This was a guy that, in high school, was one of the coolest, most positive people I had ever met.  Why so much “hate”?

Look, again, I am passionate for what I believe in.  I am a passionate liberal – I truly do believe that our country needs to take care of everyone and that Democratic policy is the right way for our country.  I do believe all of that.  That’s NOT was this post is about.  It is about trying to see if we can rid our world of hate.  Passion?  Yeah – and in fact a common dictionary definition of the word “hate” is “to feel intense or passionate dislike”.  I honestly though don’t “passionately dislike” anything except perhaps bananas but that’s because my stomach “passionately dislikes” them enough to violently expel them should anything banana land there.  I passionately promote what I believe.  But I don’t hate.

The Rush Limbaugh thing is an interesting exercise in hate.  Rush Limbaugh is the embodiment of the hate in our society.  He spends the 4 hours of his program every day trying to get people to hate what the Democrats and Liberals are doing in our politics, but spends almost no time promoting the positions of the Republicans.  You could argue that the social media effort I participated in this weekend, to pressure advertisers to end their support of him, over the “slut” incident was some form of hate. I disagree – instead it was an effort to stop a flood of hate that comes from him. Not once did I say I hate Rush, nor not once did I say that he doesn’t have a right to say what he says.  That all said, I did call for the world to denouce Limbaugh’s hate by contacting and Facebooking and Tweeting about the issue and posting how folks could participate in the process of applying pressure on his advertisers, to not sponsor his hatred.

Think about your words as you use them – don’t “hate” anything.  It is so ugly.  Feel free to point out when you think things are wrong – but then seek to point out how things could be right in a different way.  Let’s give it a try.

As you were,

Stew

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