History vs. Philosophy

Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.

– Margaret Thatcher
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Two companies, similar products, different styles, same city.

Whenever I can, I like to buy products made right here in the U.S.A.. I have found several companies that I keep going back to, two of which are based in San Francisco – Waterfield and Rickshaw Bagworks. Coincidence? I doubt it. I think one successful entrepreneurial spirit inspires another.  Quality demands quality competition. Both companies believe strongly that producing on a small scale produces uncommon quality. Both companies believe in using quality materials, like high-grade waxed canvas and heavy-duty YKK zippers. Now, Rickshaw and Waterfield may both produce quality bags and accessories, but they do not exactly vie for the same target demographic. Continue reading

Rickshaw Velo… commuter, carry-on, utility pack.

Months ago I promised a review of my new Rickshaw Bagworks Velo Backpack. What happened? Life.

Sometimes life takes over, we get busy, and the next thing you know I realize that I can’t quite call myself a blogger if I am not, in fact, blogging. But, today that changes.

So, the Velo.

veloWhat can I say? Since July, since “life happened”, I think I have carried it with me every day. 

We flew across the pond and visited Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and the Nederlands together.

We carried thousands of dollars of cameras, computers and tablets together.

We weekended in Michigan and Chicago together.

We commute to work carrying grade book, papers to grade, a laptop (sometimes two), a tablet (sometimes two), and all of the accessories I need for a day at work.

And the verdict… I love this bag. I do. I wasn’t sure I would when I opened the box, but love happened.

So, what do I like about the Velo?

Shiner Bock Holiday Cheer Turkey Chili

It’s a chilly October day.

Leaves are changing from green to yellowish-orange; soon they’ll be red and falling.

Farmers are in the fields harvesting; fields have turned from verdant populous green to wispy brown stray sticks and stalks.

The interior decor and scents change from Summer at the lake to Fall in the country.

Weekends are football, football and more football: Friday high school, Saturday college, Sunday NFL.

Wines are trending red, in place of the light Summer whites; cider and hearty beers replace light.

I love this time of year!

Today, simmering on the stove… Homemade turkey chili, but not just any turkey chili. Hearty, flavorful, low-maintenance – much like myself.

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Homemade chili with skillet cornbread.

What makes this chili so great? It’s easy. It’s got a kick. It’s quick. It’s adaptable. Isn’t that enough?

Skillet Cornbread

Buy a cornbread mix; mix it up. Heat the oven to 400° with a cast iron skillet inside. While it heats, brown the meat, begin cutting the peppers and onions. When the oven is ready, remove the very hot skillet, pour the batter in the skillet, put it back in the oven, bake for around 18 minutes (until golden brown).

Chili

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