Category Archives: General

I call Seattle my adopted American home town because I visit it so much. My sense of direction get better each time I visit, but I still use a fuzzy logic called:

I don’t necessarily know where I am going but I certainly know when I am lost.

One of our long-standing family traditions from our Scottish side. Is the coal at New Year’s Eve. Commonly known as the  First-foot.

In our family home we run outside on to the porch with a bunch of noise makers and the enter the house via the other porch door in the new year.

Over the years we have all done it. One year we made the family dog Toby do it tying the coal to a bag to his collar and the calling him from the other door.

We haven’t done the tradition in years but my nephews were up this year and my youngest nephew Oxford wanted to do it with me.

It was kinda a fun to rekindle an old tradition I haven’t done in over a decade.

Giving the Gift of Kiva

The Kiva Logo
Helping out the poor $25 dollars a time.

I was introduced to Kiva by Christine Rondeau. She tweeted out a link to Kiva micro loans some years ago and peaked my interest.

Since I visited Colombia some years back and I really like Colombian Coffee I decided to help Elkin a Colombia Coffee.

It was all payed back months before it was due. I was happy to help and went on to re-invest in a phone accessories store and a smaller grocery store.

Other friends Flynn O’Connor and Jeremy Felt got into the game and donated to Ibrahim and his beer and stout business.  Two craft beer affectionados helping out another worlds away.

On Mothers Day I though of giving the gift of Kiva but getting my parents involved was a little harder then I originally though.

They are generous people who regularly donate to charities and such. But the concept of micro-finance, crowd funding and field parters was all quite new and they didn’t understand if it was a donation or a loan.

So we put it off for a couple months and while we were out for dinner one night I explain what micro finance was and how this was empowering people who couldn’t even the smallest of loans for there business. How they weren’t taking on the entire loan but a portion and how they were payed back and then they could loan it out again.

Lastly I tried to explain field partners to them. This was actually quite difficult because my folks though we were actually donating to Kiva.

They were still somewhat unclear how the whole processed worked mainly the loan part and they repayment terms…  But one thing my stubborn mother taught me well was be determined and don’t give up… Well I didn’t…

On Christmas Eve of 2013 I saw my dad on a charity website asking him to donate. I asked why he didn’t try a kiva loan.

Antonieta and her store. photo credit:  Kiva
Antonieta and her store. photo credit: Kiva

We sat down and I showed him my profile and then I showed him how you could pick someone, anyone. He suggested we find someone in the Philippines. We decided on Antonieta and her little store.

My father also made a second loan to Victor a chicken farmer from Peru.

I was so happy that they finally understood the process and decided to give it a try.

My mother who was the most skeptical of the enter process said.

“I wish them the best of luck in there business venture, but if we don’t get the money back will consider it a donation” I was glad to see such a turn around from her as well.

I also decided to give my brothers wife Michelle a Kiva Gift Card and she though it that was one of the most thoughtful gifts and can’t wait to pick who she can help out.

Post Script: I have asked Kiva about the interest rate that there field parents apply to the loans as I hear they can be quite high. Will keep you posted on my correspondence.

Contributing to open source along with client work at the same time is harder then I though…

But once the contribution has been made it’s so rewarding… 

I love mockups… Even if they don’t get used it’s a great way to think about things.

~ Tammie Lister on Mockups in conversation regarding Featured Content UI for WordPress.

Fail Safe Fruit Fly Trap

Photo of Fruit Fly Trap
Cover it cling wrap and poke a dozen holes in it large enough to let a fly in.

This post couldn’t be more off topic for this type of blog. But with a number of friends tweeting and talking about fruit flies I figure it was worth a post.

Here is a sure fire way to get ride of the fruit flies. Nothing works better. I have done this three summers in a row and it works every time. Also it can last days or weeks without fail or need of changing.

  • Get a Wide bottom Tupperware type of container.
  • Purchase Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) with the ‘Mother’
  • Cover in Plastic Wrap and use Elastic to keep the wrap tight.
  • Poke at least a dozen holes in the wrap and make sure the wrap is tight.
  • Put it near the fruit if you can’t smell the Apple Cider Vinegar neither can the fly.
Photo of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar was used with good success.

I have tried a few different versions of this using different liquids and nothing worked as well as the ACV apparently they want the ‘Mother’ and will do anything to get it. You can find Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar at most health food stores. I went to Safeway looking for ACV with the ‘Mother’ and the floor clerk looked at me strangely and didn’t know what I was talking about…

Leave it overnight you will have half a dozen. I also I slosh the liquid any time I saw a fly to make sure they died a timely death.