Friday brunch

Your life is as big as you live it. Eggs, crispy pork ribs, Frank’s red hot, and guacamole.

This is the start of a blogging experiment. While the longer form pieces on food and cooking will be over at Spoon & Knife, the rest of the food I make – all the day-to-day stuff, the weeknight dinners, etc – don’t need a full post and didn’t have a home.

Well, they did have a home. On Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, and Tumblr. My bad smartphone photography gets around, y’all.

So, I’m changing coffee corner. The same pictures come here, but I’ll come tidy them up with a little more commentary and information. Sort of a lagniappe between set pieces on S&K.

Subscribing to the Chronicle – Visual Edition

I’m surprised and thrilled at the response I’ve gotten to my last post about why I feel it’s important to support your local newspaper (for me, the Houston Chronicle).

Because I’m also getting to know Haiku Deck on the iPad more, I’ve recast the last post as a presentation below. Enjoy.

[EDIT: Like I said, I'm learning. It makes a lot more sense if you view the deck on the Haiku Deck site, which includes the slide notes, which is the last blog post. Click here to see the full presentation.]

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

I subscribed to the Houston Chronicle today. Here’s why.

So, I now subscribe to the Houston Chronicle. All-digital edition – saving a few trees, but as I thought about it today, it was important to me that I do, and important I explain why.

First, I believe there is still a strong need for accountable, responsible, ethical journalism. People who break the news fast, but as importantly accurately – and can follow up and get in-depth where required. This doesn’t come without a cost, and if I value it, I should be able to put money into that. Note – this is different from expertise. I expect reporters to be competent, but I don’t expect them to be authoritative sources on their own.

By contrast, I also value the vast and rapid information network that I have in social media. This is good for alerts and fast dissemination of information – but that same speed means that, on occasion, an incorrect truth spreads like wildfire, and a later retraction doesn’t garner the same attention.

I see a need for both to exist – but while one is powered by the commons, the other requires focus, which means investment, and that won’t come through “everybody else’s” input.

Second, I realize bias and misconduct is ever present in journalism as in any other field. We can all cite examples – Rupert Murdoch and News of the World. Jayson Blair. I’m not naive enough to think that just because there is a code of ethics and accredited degrees in journalism, there won’t be this kind of conduct. However, I still believe that the vast majority of the profession are competent people with good intention and human flaws.

Please keep separate fact-based journalism from opinion-based commentary. I think commentary can play a role in deeper debates on issues, but is often overused – with great effect – to build ratings and rapport with viewers/readers.

Also, facts aren’t immune from bias. Recently, I saw five headlines reporting on the same facts of the same judicial outcome – and they were divided on whether this was guilt or exoneration.

In order to combat this, I – as a reader and intelligent human – am responsible for keeping up with various sources. Social media and traditional media. Multiple sources on the same story. No, I don’t do a good job of this every day – I’m as busy as the rest of us. But, I’m supporting my newspaper because I believe that variety and source is valuable.

Finally, my newspaper has one other quality that matters to me – it’s local. This is our paper. Stories can come in from international, national, state, or city sources, but the crew at the paper put together a set of stories that matters to me as a Houstonian. And they do it every. single. day. I’m not going to get that focus from some of the big media empires like Time, Newsweek, CNN, or Fox News. That comes from my local news folks.

So, there you have it. I’m a proud, environmentally friendly subscriber to the Houston Chronicle, and here’s my reasons.

Introducing the “Food I Cooked” series

The last post was a test for the “Food I Cooked” series. Basically, I often have the very best of intent to write up and post about the food I cook. And more often than that, I don’t. I do try and snap a picture of my food for my own notes, however, so I’m testing the fastest way to edit and post that picture. Let’s see how this goes.