Monday, January 21, 2013


I remember when a tomato used to be a tomato not a chemical lab experiment I just went to the backyard picked a dozen ripe tomatoes from the patch and everyone in the family had plenty to enjoy for breakfast with French toast. Delicious, nutritious, full of vitamins. If I buy tomatoes in the grocery store today I have to wonder what kind of chemical concoction the growers used to keep the bugs and the weeds away or perhaps to preserve the tomato for longer transportation. We are trying to control the microorganisms with toxic chemicals, and then ingest these toxic chemicals with the food. We forget that we also have a symbiotic relationship with microorganisms in our own body and the chemical soup  will negatively affect them. Man-made chemicals will pollute the billions of cells that form an intelligent web of life of you. The solution is to grow your organic food anyway you can, see examples on my site. Buy local, know the farmer you're buying from. Learn how to store food: Glass is always better than plastic. Keep your eyes and ears open and be responsible for your own health. Sign up to watch the 2013 tomato competition by leaving a comment. 

Written by: Attila Farkas

Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Hewlett-Packard, Kenmore, Frigidaire and the list goes on. Brand names and quality products, customer satisfaction, reliability, the total cost of ownership. These words used to mean something. You trusted them. Unfortunately, in this new age of global business, another list is emerging. Greed, profit ahead of customer satisfaction, lack of responsibility, the disintegration of loyalty and service, loss of transparency and honesty. I remember a time when if you have purchased a Volkswagen that was made in Germany or a Mitsubishi that was made in Japan or  Hewlett-Packard computer that was made in the USA you had a much better than average chance that the product will serve its purpose, and keep you happy for more than ten years. You enjoyed your favorite brand and bragged about it to your friends. A friend of mine recently purchased a Volkswagen was not made in Germany. Within three months he had to return it to the dealership over a dozen times because one by one everything went wrong with it. Another friend complained about a high-end electric stove that used to be a trusted brand but the new global manufacturing process rendered it obsolete in three years. It is irresponsible and unprofitable in the long-term to ruin a product's good name and quality by cutting corners and compromising quality during the manufacturing process. These practices will only allow other brands and countries to step ahead in the game of brand names. Millions of customers can share their experiences on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets. Fair warning for brand names: Keep your prices higher than the competition if you have to, but make sure you have a better quality product. Be proud of what you make and where you make it. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Written by: Attila Farkas

Do you listen to certain music that takes you back in time and gives you the feeling of childhood memories, dreams, aspirations, promises, and friendships? I am not a huge fan of Trailer Park Boys, but the opening music reminds me of my childhood. Running down from our farmhouse to the potato fields, passed the two giant walnut trees and after a two hundred meter run, rest up a bit on the riverbank and study the water for signs of fish. I remember the smell of freshly cut grass and the aroma of the golden ripe pears that had fallen from our only pear tree. We hurriedly picked up a few with my brother, Peter and made sure that there are no yellow jackets on them before we ate a few. They gave us the energy we needed for fishing with our bare hands under rocks in the river.
When I was a kid I never thought about pollution in the river because we had none. I have never worried about pesticides, or herbicides and other chemicals because we did not use any. It never crossed my mind that the healthy, clean, natural environment was the most valuable treasure a child can ever experience. We had wooden swords and castles made from cornstalks, our pets were rabbits and goats. If we wanted eggs for breakfast we had to go out and find some in the giant haystacks on the farm that the hens used as a nesting ground. We picked the potato bugs by hand from our potato patch because we didn’t want to use chemicals. Those childhood memories seem like fairy tales now from a distant past and I often tell my kids stories about our crazy goat that stole bagels and cigarettes from the local store and ate the bar of soap that we left outside. The stories about the homemade bread and butter that tasted better than anything you can buy in the store and the carrots that grew as big as half of your arm.
Instead of yearning and wishing, I have decided to give my kids some of these experiences even if I had to transform my backyard into a vegetable jungle. I have created a living fence that keeps our dog, Nero out built a tree house that backs onto a rooftop garden, where everything is organic. Even in a small backyard, we have had a thousand heads of lettuce, hundreds of tomatoes, countless cucumbers, lots of yellow beans, sunflowers, corn, sweet peas, and other organic vegetables.
Please let me know if you want to hear more about the crazy goat, or receive some organic gardening tips. I welcome your questions and comments. It is January 20, 2013. In about two weeks I will start planting hundreds of tomatoes seeds by the sliding window in the kitchen. I feel the gardening fever coming on and I can’t wait to get my fingers green...

Friday, January 4, 2013

Fishing Trip

There is something magical about going on a spontaneous fishing trip with no preparation or planning. The best fishing stories come from these trips when the biggest fish goes on the smallest kiddo rod equipped with six-pound test line that you have not changed in three years and now it can only hold three pounds. Maybe three, if you are lucky. When you eventually land that twenty-pound fish, after about fifteen minutes of very careful tug of war; you will feel like a champion.
Just because you have the best equipment, it does not mean that you are going to catch the biggest fish. I am not saying to carry around a tired, weak, “seen better days” fishing rod just to see if one of your kids will catch a world record fish with it, but wait… That’s exactly what I’m saying. Don’t always plan your fishing trips with a precision of a military assault. If you have only four hours to fish, spend twenty minutes on preparation and the rest on fishing, not the other way around.
While the above story is true, yes my son, Peter pulled out an eighteen-pound carp with a kiddy rod, six-pound test line, and a small hook; it pays to at least have a decent line on your reel. Nothing is more frustrating than a fish of a lifetime snapping your line. Fishing gear and preparation is important, however; fishing for me was always about collecting memories. Fishing is one of the last things we have that connects us with nature. Fishing can drag us away from our comfortable, artificial, fabricated life and bring us back to where we came from. Most people yearn for this connection and don’t even know it. That’s why the TV shows survivor man and river monsters became so popular. We have discovered a window into our past and looking through the opening that our TV provides, even if it’s not our reality. You know what? It’s easy to make it real. Just pick up a few fishing rods, pack your family, and go. Have your own mini survivor man adventure; meet your own river monsters. Even if the trip turns into roasting marshmallows because you have left the worms on the kitchen table and you don’t have any bait; it’s OK. At least you are enjoying some time with the family and provide your family cat with the opportunity to see if she can open the worm box, eat some of the worms, and smear the dirt and the remaining worms all over your Persian rug. The Persian rug that your mother in law gave the family for Christmas. This will ensure that from now on no Thanksgiving dinner will be boring, because after telling the story a hundred and fiftieth times some of the kids will still go and put their nose on the rug to see if they can still smell the worms. I love these accidental misfortunes, when no one gets hurt, you’ll have a good laugh and the spice rack of your life will have a new flavor called family fun. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Written by: Attila Farkas
The new evolutionary order!
Fishes, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, Mammals, Fisherman.
Is it a miracle of evolution that the two-legged creature landed at the end of the list? Not only human but also a fisherman. Or someone made a mistake and fisherman are not exactly the Crown jewels of history?
It depends on whom you ask. If you ask another angler, he will tell you that all fisherman are good people.
On the other hand…
If you ask Maria, my friend’s wife she might list fisherman closer to the prime mates.
She’d refused to learn the mysterious science of worm digging, fish cleaning and other vital skills like biting through the fishing lines with your teeth. She will never, ever touch the fish, dead or alive and keeping worms in her refrigerator = sleeping on the couch. For a week.
Last time my friend kept a dozen or so night crawlers in a yogurt container and put it way in a back behind the ready whip can that she has not used since she started dieting. But some brainiac decided to write an article about rewarding yourself as a part of dieting and she read it. Whipped cream covered strawberries were her reward after aerobics class. The aluminum foil covered yogurt container looked suspicious. She opened it. She screamed. Long and loud.
There are all kinds of newspapers, beer bottles and a few pairs of socks lying on the couch. Steve lives there now. In the basement.
If you are a real fisherman I know you’ve done your share of pre historic crimes.
Not sure if you are real fishermen?
Here is an incomplete list:
-You’ve read somewhere that large catfish are attracted to chicken guts. The butcher in the supermarket is your friend. He gave you four pounds. You left it on the sundeck in a plastic bag. Where the cat found it. Irresistible. She decided that the only place she can enjoy such a delicacy is in the living-room. On the  Persian rug. Where your wife found the cat in the middle of enhancing the colors of the antique treasure with the bloody red patterns of chicken guts. This was four years ago. And she still remembers the smell. Of course, she needs to share this information with the whole family, just before Thanksgiving dinner. Every year. It’s become a tradition.
No, this is not the worst…
Remember that rookie cop? His first case was in the city park and it started like a horror story…
There were no lights at the north end of the park, only what the moon provided and even that’s started to fade as the darkening clouds brought the promise of rain.
John Rhode has just finished his shift patrolling the streets of Seattle on a Bicycle and decided to go through the park on the way home. He pedaled in a steady pace on the sidewalk that was only four feet wide and the overhanging bushes made him ride in a  zigzag. He put his flashlight in a socket on the crowbar and that gave him enough light to see thirty feet ahead.  Grotesque shadows danced on the rough surface of the sidewalk as the light browsed through the leaves, twigs, and branches of trees. They looked like long fingered bony hands trying to grab the wheels…
The wind became stronger and the cool air has carried the smell of rain. The night symphony of frogs and crickets became quiet as the first heavy raindrops started to fall.
He’s just picked up some speed to get home before the storm when he saw the slow moving light off the road, deep inside the park. The light disappeared for a while then it’ has danced against the darkness without moving in any direction. Who would stay in a park in the middle of a storm? With a flashlight. .. It was suspicious. He’s stopped and leaned the bicycle against a tree. He turned off his flashlight, closed his eyes for a few seconds until they adjusted to the darkness. Very quietly radioed for backup, then with small careful steps sneaked closer to the light. He drew his gun and loaded a round into the chamber. He was maybe thirty feet from the scene when a dried twig broke under his feet, with a sound of a small cannon. He quickly stepped behind a large pine tree, froze. and held his breath.
The other stopped too. The flashlight searched through the woods than a few seconds later the mysterious person continued its work despite the rain.
The officer used the cover of the trees to go closer. He saw a shadow of a man and a shovel. The smell of freshly turned earth was unmistakable. He raised his gun and drew a breath of air before stepping out from behind the tree.
Meanwhile, Bill Callahan has repeatedly whipped the sweat off his forehead and wished that he hadn’t drunk four bottles of beer before he decided to dig for worms. He was on his hands and knees, this way his beer belly wasn’t in the way and he was poking at the ground with a tiny shovel. When he turned the rich soil he grabbed the mother of all worms the slimy creature must’ve been ten inches long. He proudly placed it on top of the others in a used milk carton., when his ears were bombarded with a human scream:
“Hands up! Don’t move!!!”
Bill’s whole body’s jerked upwards from the eardrum-splitting noise of the warning shot. He jumped backward as if an electric shock threw him up in the air. He threw the milk carton and the flashlight up in the air with the scream of a tortured prisoner jumped backward right in the middle of an n overgrown rose bush.  Either the dozens of thorns that wanted to become a part of his body or the charging canines that arrived with the backup were to blame but the four beers found their way out of his body through his pants.
Now three policemen were pointing their guns at him and the scene looked like a sitcom in the rose bushes.
When the officers had realized what happened it was too late. The embarrassment was already a future police report.
At this point, the mother of all earth worms has parachuted down from the trees and landed on Bills baseball hat. It started to crawl through the letters that summed up the situation: I’d rather be fishing!
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