Greeting Image of Me

irst, I wanted to send this message sooner, much sooner. Although the things i did before definitely raise questions about my priorities, i don't think meaningful correspondence can be rushed. Is it too late to wish you a happy lunar/Chinese new year? As you know, i don't do social-media websites. This electronic correspondence is my opportunity to share pictures and ideas with people i care about. Today, I write from Little Havana, a neighborhood in Miami known for it's Cuban roots. It's a nice place to relax, enjoy tropical weather, practice Spanish, and evade the winter.

Bike en route to MiamiBeach
Downtown MiamiLittle Havana

In July of 2016 I flew back to the United States to promote my website ( http://cryptobiz.directory ) at the HOPE conference in Manhattan. I attend this bi-annual computer hobbyist conference since 2008, and it was there in new York city in 2014 that i was inspired to make my own website.

Cryptobiz at HOPERMS signs my laptop

Although i have mixed-feelings about Richard Stallman (because he has not published any software in more than a decade yet he continues to talk endlessly about it), I'm still a fan of the Free Software Movement, and i felt lucky to have a chat with the guy as he signed my laptop.

I'll be honest, the thing with the website didn't turn-out as expected. I thought that when my herculean feat of computer engineering which includes several world's-first features came to the attention of the technical-media i would become rich and famous and gain millions of dollars to spend + influence. However, it's still a rather obscure website. And, even Vice Media doesn't care to reply to my email messages.

In fact, my limited success has pointed me away from the field of computing and encouraged me to do some deep thinking. I realized that I've filled my head with computer technicalies to the exclusion of other worthy pursuits. And, I've decided to reverse this personal trend; as one might say, I've been wearing some new hats.

Chef hatGrapes and Wine

I've succeeded in shifting the direction of my career towards the field of culinary endeavor, and im proud to say that working with food has been a very fulfilling and enlightening experience. I will share what i learned:

Generally, the recipes that i prefer have no more than five ingredients (not including spices). Alot of the instruction found on-line and in contemporary literature is produced for the purpose of establishing the author as an expert; they tend to be overly complex. Another issue is the ingredients, for example, cinnamon depending on origin can be spicy or sweet. A recipe may call for 1/2 a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, but one should taste the cinnamon first to decide how much to put in the dish. And, grinding the spices yourself in a mortar and pistil makes a YUGE difference.

While looking for an instruction-set for making rice wine, i stumbled onto an excellent youtube-chef named Maangchi. Here is a link to her rice wine aka Makoli/Makgeolli video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO2s1TavdAE. Rice wine alone is not as appealing as beer or wine from grapes, but it's a true white wine (not kind-of green and mostly transparent). It tastes delicious blended with a banana:

Rice-Wine Smoothie
12oz    Makoli rice wine
1         Ripe blended banana
1         Table spoon crushed pecan on top

I would be lying if i told you that throughout this stage of life there has not been a dark cloud hanging over my life caused by the loss of friends to death, conflict, and marriage. I recently learned of the death of my very good childhood friend. I can't help feeling responsible, at least partially implicated, because we spent a great part of our formative years together. Things would have been different if i had acted differently, or if i was there. I have a new perspective. Tomorrow is not a guarantee: the moment is all one has in life. Consequently, I try not to defer words or actions to a later date; seizing the day, night, or whatever time is available. Today,  I'm less eager to say good-bye because i understand it could be the last farewell.

Balloons carried away on the breeze

Best Wishes,
Joe Awni

P.S. If you have questions about making rice wine, e-mail me and i will send you sample, tips, and the nuruk.