Monday, October 24, 2011

No on Issue 48

We just returned from a few days in Washington, DC. I'm sure I've been to our nation's capital at least 10 times in my life. Each time I'm there, I marvel at how easy it is to get around using the city's Metro system. The system is color-coded, inexpensive, runs regularly, and features a friendly support staff more than willing to help the visitor figure out how to purchase a ticket or get from one place to another.
Each time we visit DC, we're amazed by the traffic. Cars are everywhere...from the interstates to the urban core. Locals think nothing of commutes lasting more than an hour. Gridlock seems to be at every corner. Stop-and-go is the only way to move on the interstate. And parking, if you're so lucky to find a spot, costs as much as a tank of gas!
As typical Washington, DC tourists, we never considered driving anywhere. Instead, we parked our car at the hotel in suburban Arlington and never touched it until it was time to go home. Why would we want the expense, uncertainty, and stress of driving around the city? It was so much easier to just walk to the Metro stop, purchase a ticket, get on the train, and get off at our destination. I'm sure when traffic and time were considered, no trip on the train took any longer than a similar trip would have taken by car.
As Cincinnatians consider Issue 48, I hope voters realize the true implications of this issue. Whether or not you're in favor of the Cincinnati streetcar that will run initially from Downtown Cincinnati to Findlay Market, a "Yes" vote would prohibit "spending any money on a system of passenger vehicles operated on rails constructed primarily in existing public rights of way"...until December 31, 2020. In other words, a "Yes" vote will prohibit any spending, public or private, on any sort of public rail transportation system that may be developed for the next 9 years! A "Yes" vote will handcuff Cincinnati so that no alternative means of transportation can be considered until 2020.
Imagine the traffic. Imagine the time wasted. Imagine what might be invented in the next ten years. Imagine what Cincinnati might miss. Imagine going backward instead of forward.
I urge you to vote "No" on Issue 48. Let's keep Cincinnati moving...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Taking the Mystery out of Kabocha Squash

Today we added a new stop to our delivery route, and I met a wonderful woman who I'm hoping becomes a satisfied, long-term customer. We were casually discussing Daisy's Delivery, and I was explaining how the price list is updated and emailed each Monday. My new friend asked if the items on our weekly price list change often. I replied that the majority of items stay about the same, but as the seasons come and go, we also see some varieties of our fresh produce come and go. I told her how we had recently started carrying some of our fall squashes, like Kabocha Squash. At the mention of Kabocha Squash, she had a bit of a puzzled look on her face, but I assured her that she wasn't alone in being unfamiliar with Kabocha...and we preceded to talk about how it's fun to try new foods. We even joked a little that it might be fun to add a "mystery item" to our weekly price list in order to convince customers to "think outside the box." Wouldn't it be curious, for instance, to get a vegetable in with your delivery order that's a little out-of-the-ordinary and requires some creativity in the kitchen...

I confess that Kabocha Squash was new to me as well a year or so ago. However, we did some research and found a simple recipe for delicious Oven Roasted Kabocha Squash. The most difficult thing about this recipe is cutting the squash into wedges as the skin, though edible, is rather thick. After that, it's easy to just add a little salt, pepper, and oil, and roast until the squash is soft.

So as you head to Findlay Market this week, think about trying something new. And as I'm planning for next week's email update, I'll be thinking about a "mystery item." What do you think? If a "mystery item" on our produce list was $2, would you be daring enough to try it?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs=Inspiration

:( Steve Jobs
I got the news from my daughter at college...a simple text message on my iPhone. Even though the news was expected, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, was dead.
As I began to read the tweets, posts, and articles about Steve Jobs, I thought back to 1985...Barry and I were living the DINK lifestyle (dual income, no kids). He worked at Cincinnati Milacron and I taught public school. Our days were predictable; money was available...and then, everything changed.
Barry brought home our first computer...a Mac. He apologized for buying something so unfamiliar and so different from what he had used at work; however, he explained how user-friendly the Apple computer was and how I'd learn everything I needed to know in just a few days. With that, off we went into the world of entrepreneurship...first in the homebuilding business and most recently, adding a second business in fresh produce. We couldn't have done it without our Apple and Mac products...and maybe we couldn't have done it without the inspiration of Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs is credited with all kinds of technological innovations. What's sometimes overlooked is his role as a model for everyone interested in business.  He surrounded himself with good people, encouraged innovation, stayed true to his goals, and dared to dream. I have no idea how influential Steve Jobs was on a daily basis at Apple, but I do know the man could sell and was a master at marketing. Every time he took the stage to announce a new product, I wanted that product...whether I needed it or not. I admired his style, relaxed yet so sophisticated. I admired his communication skills and the simplicity of his products...and I even admired the packaging of the products.

And "one more thing"...
Prior to the Mac revolution, anyone in business was portrayed in the vein of Ward Cleaver...straight, boring, and representative of "the establishment." Thanks to Steve Jobs, it's now cool to be in business.

P.S. I'm a Mac.