Everything is borrowed

A quirky blend of engaging words, intriguing photography, and bright graphics, offers inspiration and unflinching advice to help you be a successful, humble, modern gentleman. In offering pointers for achieving a surprise for your mate or a bucket list experience for yourself, Oscar Valdes (Fourteen Robots Publisher) wants you to live life on a larger, classier scale. Do you need to know how to make a delicious salsa, put up a hammock, or earn extra money without burning out?


This short but impactful book supplies the answers and imparts lessons Valdes (Fourteen Robots Publisher) has learned so far in his interesting life. With a focus on accountability and perseverance balanced by suggestions for creating fun, taking time for yourself, and stretching your budget, EVERYTHING IS BORROWED challenges you to make the choices of a gentleman and gives detailed tips for a more enriching life, from making the perfect Michelada to taking better photos.

Buy from iBooks $0.99

Buy the softcover book $35




How to flip a jetski

‘You can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.’ In this, his second book of stunningly artistic and quirky photographs, Oscar Valdes takes us on a mesmerizing journey with little more than his imagination and an inspired aptitude for capturing that perfect moment in time. Punctuated throughout the book are great little everyday sayings we can all relate to. From basic manners, to tips on what could survive a full cycle in your washing machine, there is something to inspire us all. Write them down, photocopy your favourite and stick it on your study wall, or simply read the book every time you need some inspiration or help with getting through life’s trials. There is something for all of us in these quotes and photographs.

Buy from iBooks $0.99


The Ultimate Micro Brewery

Home brewing, that is, making your own beer at home, is an increasingly popular activity for many people. There is an absolute wealth of information, supplies, and equipment to be found on nearly every high street, and of course the internet.

Hardly surprising in this age of advertisement driven sales, where often the manufacturing costs of a particular beer are dwarfed by the advertising budget of many of the large breweries. Giving rise to a common complaint of bland, overpriced beers with little, or no taste.

So lots of people are turning to home brewing to regain the quality and taste of old. You have control over every stage of the process, and of course these days it certainly doesn’t hurt that your finished product, as well as being tasty, is considerably cheaper than the mass produced varieties.

Beer has been with us for thousands of years. It can be traced back at least 6,000 years when the Mesopotamians were known to have drunk a fermented bread mash. Via various routes it eventually arrived in Northern Europe. From where it rapidly spread all over the civilised world.

Early fermented drinks, made with grain, the early forerunner of our modern beers, made use of honey as a source of sugar. These drinks were always referred to as “ale”. The term “beer” did not come into common use until much later.

Most early ales were brewed from malted grains such as barley, oats, and wheat. They were simple beers. The addition of such ingredients as hops, which we now think are pretty much indispensable were only introduced in the early 1500’s when Flemish settlers broght over their recipes, which rapidly proved popular.

Until then many early recipes would contain such ingredients as saltpetre, tree bark, and all manner of root vegatables. The main purpose of many of these ingredients would be to offset the often “rank” taste of the brew. Obviously were it not for the alcoholic content nobody in their right mind would drink it!

Every large household in those days would brew their own beer. It generally being safer than a lot of the untreated water, was drunk by all. They would have a brewing day once a week, producing much stronger beers than are currently made commercially and were made in quite large quantities, stored in casks.

From the late 1700’s onwards small breweries started producing beer in commercial quantities, brewing excellent, good drinking beers, which were deivered to ale houses within a fairly small radius. Over a period of time, with the increase in population and improvements in transport links, many of these small breweries either amalgamated or were taken over. To be replaced by fewer, larger breweries, making a lot less types of beer.

And so we now see a swing back, consumer driven, to a lot more “micro breweries” producing a much smaller quantity of beerFind Article, but providing the variety and taste that people want. The ultimate micro brewery being of course the home brewer.



Family Party Ideas

Plan a night filled with family fun games with this uniuqe family dinner idea.  This is perfect for a family party that can be repeated on a regular basis and enjoyed by the entire family.


Seasons bring about many changes, not just the weather.  During the winter, it is cold outside. It is dark when we leave our house and dark when we return. The sun abandoned us, or so it seems, and so does our energy.

Summer brings about late nights and busy days.  Extra-curricular activities seem to be at an all time high.  Social obligations, as well as planned family functions, are also squeezed into our schedule.

Even if you are busy or not-so-busy, there is always some down time that requires an activity.  Sometimes a need arises because of the energy level of our children, at other times there is simply a void that parents need to fill.

Regardless of the reason for an outing, when the urge or necessity of an event is present, the question becomes:  what to do?

When kids are young there are only so many things we can do, as families, that doesn’t cost a small fortune or are conducive to young children.  Plus, we don’t always want to entertain our children by commercial means.  Parents want to instill in children that happiness comes from many sources, but mainly family and friends.

Another issue many of us have:  Too many times we promise to get together with the special people in our lives.  We often put it off until guilt overtakes us.

If you put those two issues together, (the need for an outing and being with family and friends), you have an opportunity to start a tradition that is good for all!

Look at how a lot of us feel in the winter:  How many of us dread getting ready for an event? We really don’t want to go but we have to. Yet when we get there, we actually have a very good time and are quite happy we went. We all go through those feelings, but more often in the winter. We just want to get home, change clothes and plop on the couch. Not surprisingly though, that rarely makes us feel better.

During the summer, time slips away and we slide on things that we later feel guilty about.

So, why not just plan a night and start looking forward to creating fun?

Plan a family dinner party!  Pick a group of friends. Or start with one or two friends and ask them to invite a friend or two. Have a get-together night.  Enjoy a cookout or make a big pot of chili, buy some tasty bread, cut up some celery and have dinner. Plan some family fun games to play while enjoying the food and each other’s company. Keep your dinner ideas simple and easy to prepare.  Remember, the trick is to enjoy your company, not wear yourself out.

Ask if anyone would like to host the next family dinner.

Pick a date, right then and there. Then, pat yourself on the back.  You had a great time, your kids had a great timeFree Reprint Articles, you made the people most important to you a priority and you taught you kids that friends and family are a source of enjoyment that is priceless without being pricey!



How to Instagram

1. Don’t sell. Don’t portray yourself as a salesperson. Social media is meant to be for sharing exciting posts.


2. Share other posts and give credit where it’s due. If there’s music in the post with video, mention the artists and title of song if possible. Even who edited the video if someone other than you. Tag anyone portrayed or mentioned in the post. Search for those people before beginning the post creation so you have the right username for everyone involved.


3. Write caption first, then tags at the bottom of your caption. You have 30 hashtags allowed to post. In the beginning stages, use this to its fullest. Be aware of banned hashtags. Do not use unrelated hashtags.


4. Use location. This increases visibility by 20%.


5. Avoid extended captions unless it’s necessary or if your audience expects it. Considering Instagram focuses on images, most users will not read through the captions.


6. Attempt consistency on the style of posts. Maybe all black and white. Maybe all smiling faces. Consistency helps the followers know what to expect.


7. Post at least three times a day minimum. The more posts, the better. Keep the posts positive, informative or intriguing. Consider taking photos with a pro or semi-pro camera. People notice the quality, and you’ll get more interaction overall.


8. Faces get more likes than inanimate objects. Smiling faces get even more likes. Crowd having fun ranks high if the photo is high quality. Famous faces get even more likes if you’re in the type of industry that surrounds celebrities.



How to escape

Disclaimer: I didn’t run away. I have no experience in escaping. I’m not planning on disappearing, but if I did, this is how I’d do it.

Imagine this. You’re laying on the hammock, smoking a cigar, having a drink right next to your mobile home. You have a new job in which you control your schedule and whether you work or not. You are the boss. People always say you only have one life to live, but they never specify how many identities you can have. This plan is your chance to start a new life with a clean slate and no trace of your previous life. The following are some of the precautions to accomplish this plan effectively.

1- Never mention your plan or share any hints of leaving to anyone. Live your life as usual as you plan. This step takes time to prepare, and it’ll be worth the patience. Don’t even tell family or friends. The idea is to disappear without anyone knowing why or how.


2a- if you want to stay in the states, you’ll need a different ID. Make sure when you browse the internet that you do it in a library or public computer, instead of your own. Look for services that offer fake IDs and get one from the state(s) you’re interested in residing.


2b- if you’re leaving the country, you’ll need to get a passport with the fake ID. Pass through a neighboring country that you’re planning on staying for good. The neighboring country is the bridge to your end destination.


3- Save enough money to buy your bus/home with cash and use your fake ID if needed. When you buy it, furnish it and prepare it for the day of your escape. You can store it with a family (not yours) that has land and pay them a small monthly rent. Look for a small town nearby. This suggestion helps you avoid using ID and attract any suspicion. This step takes a while too so hang tight, save enough cash and don’t put it in a bank. It’s recommended to place the money where nobody can find it but you. Sometimes within a wall or behind a frame are famous places but nowadays overlooked. An old pair of boots or wrapped in clothes you don’t wear would be other options.


4- Find work that can be done remotely from your mobile home. You’ll be leaving everything behind including your bank accounts, credit cards tied to your name and your car. Everything. Don’t let anybody think you ran away by clearing a bank account or overspending on a credit card. Don’t spend anything out of the ordinary during your plan of escape. Live a healthy life until you’re ready to hit the road after work.


5- Purchase a non-smartphone or if you want a smartphone, get one that’s pre-paid and not tied to your name or address. If you have a laptop to work remotely, you’ll likely not need a smartphone. Save some money on that and stick to a computer for income.


6- Create new email accounts for your remote work and computer. You’ll need to format your laptop to make sure all data and tracking for your current name have disappeared. Leaving without a trace is not an easy task if you’re planning on using technology so you’ll need to make sure anything that can track you and let someone else know you’re alive gets deleted.


7- Don’t do it! Instead of draining your energy in hiding from the world that surrounds you, focus on fixing your current one and start enjoying it with your real name. If you feel you need to move, go for it. If you haven’t been honest with someone and you feel like you’re not entirely happy, talk. Speak up! Don’t be afraid of the outcome if you’re fair and reasonable with yourself.



The best father day gift

Fathers day in 2018 lands on Sunday, June 17 and despite many other websites telling you to buy the perfect gifts for dad, I have one solution that won’t cost you anything.


Give him a day off


The reasoning behind this is simple. Dads do not need gifts, they want time. We don’t want another tie, we want to minimize our belonging and experience a bit of fresh air, or a cigar with a favorite whiskey at hand. You could give him a bottle of 12-year-old scotch but he probably already has one. There’s always room for another cigar or a bottle of whiskey, but that’s just a teaser to wanting a day off to enjoy these. Us dads are constantly concerned about how to provide and provide enough for our family, it’s an everyday struggle and a long-term investment that never ends. We want to pack all the activities possible that will someday provide a chunk of our kids’ college or the possibility of giving moms the option to stay at home if they wanted to. You’ll have to command us to take the day off. We won’t stop working unless you take away our laptop, command us to go have a smoke and a drink, cook us a nice steak with our favorite trimmings and lay on the hammock you bought us last year.


Want to give a little extra? Fix him an Old-Fashioned or a Negroni.


The Negroni Recipe

“The Negroni is an iconic Italian cocktail, made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, garnished with orange peel. It is considered an apéritif”. – Wikipedia


Old Fashioned Recipe (from Serious Eats):

  • 1 teaspoon (5g) superfine sugar (or 1 sugar cube)
  • 2 to 3 dashes bitters (Angostura is traditional and works well; Fee Brothers’ Whiskey Barrel-Aged Old Fashioned Bitters are better)
  • 2 ounces (60ml) bourbon or rye whiskey.
  • Orange peel and/or cherry, to garnish (optional)



5 worst website business practices

The internet is full of significant and valuable information. There’s also many hooks and sales techniques that here at Fourteen Robots loathe from other sites. These techniques are meant to record your email to get you to subscribe to their newsletter, or deliver more information to you. They’re trying to keep you on their site for a bit longer to avoid high bounce rates. Without much more intro, here’s the list of things that we suggest you stop doing to start gaining more readers and keep them coming back.

  1. Hover over pop-up: This creates a pop-up as your mouse hovers over the top towards the address bar or the back button. The pop-up requests your email or asks you to sign up to receive valuable information. This technique gets very annoying as you already decided to leave the site. It’s a well-known sales tactic that relates to “are you sure you want to miss out on this awesome deal I have in store for you?”
  2. “Continue to the site” link: I’m going to call out Forbes.com for doing this. Every time I click on an article, the first thing that I see is what looks like a curtain behind what I wanted to read. It’s like saying “Before you read the article you chose to read, here’s something we want to show you.” The Quote of the day even shows up when you go to Forbes.com with a link to “Continue to the site.” Find an alternative to avoid any disruptions or extra clicks.
  3. Subscription pop-up in the middle of your reading: You’re reading this great content, you’re learning something and in comes this pop-up asking if you’re interested in receiving more great to your inbox. Stop the interruptions and let us read in peace. I’ve steered clear from these sites as soon as I’m done reading the articles.
  4. Slow page loading: This issue is the main reason people leave your site and create high bounce rates. Slow page loading shouldn’t be an issue with high-speed internet readily available in most homes, but unfortunately, it’s still an issue with high traffic sites. This problem is mostly due to the number of ads with gifs, videos, and images not optimized for the web. Please make your site load fast a priority. If you encounter this on our site, please don’t hesitate to let us know and we’ll get right on it.
  5. Page 2 to keep reading the same article: Some sites focus more on ads than content, and we get it. You’re trying to monetize with more impressions than actual ads that take more effort to attain. We know why you decided to go with his technique. However, when we come across these sites that make us click on a second page to keep reading or to see the next photo slide, we click away. It’s a waste of a readers time, especially when we’re looking for fast chunks of information or entertainment. Clicking and waiting for the next page to load is not something that a visitor should experience. The internet is not a magazine, put all your content on one page or gallery, and you’ll have us coming back for more next time you post new content.


To keep this site positive, here is a list of five pages we keep going back to that deserve a good mention. We hope we get a mention from them sometime too, but it’s ok if we don’t.


  1. uncrate.com
  2. coolmaterial.com
  3. thisiswhyimbroke.com
  4. notcot.org
  5. inspiretomake.com



How to best spend your Memorial Weekend

My family and I know that “Old Glory” does not wave by accident. We have lost loved ones to war. Memorial Day is special.

Memorial Day is for remembering the sacrifices made by others – for us – for our continued freedom. But I believe the day should also be used to create new memories.

Having lost family to war, I believe I can put this particular holiday in perspective. It is a day, in fact, an entire weekend, for us to accomplish two things: remembering and appreciating the ultimate sacrifice made by others and exercising those won freedoms in a way that creates fond memories with those we still have to love.

Memorial Day should undoubtedly be more meaningful than only a three day weekend or mini-vacation. It is a sacred day of remembrance, but it should also be a time for the living to celebrate each others company while time permits. I especially like to surround myself with family and friends on this day, or even on this entire weekend, to celebrate what we (still) have because of those who gave their lives.

Memorial Day was born out of the horror of war – first the Civil War – and now for all those who have departed as a result of the war. The purpose of this holiday may seem to be fading from some peoples’ consciousness. Is it now only a three-day vacation? Is it merely the unofficial start to summer and the barbecue season? Is it an excuse to go shopping since many businesses promote Memorial Day sales? Has the original meaning of the day been lost?

My family and I know that “Old Glory” does not continue to wave by accident. We take time throughout the Memorial Day weekend to remember the fallen. We go to the cemeteries and place the flags. Old Glory flies at half mast at home. We tell stories, some sad – some happy, about those that cannot be at our family party. We remember them with reverence.

We also remember my first husband’s last words as his Cobra helicopter was on fire and about to explode: “Tell my family I love them. Tell them to live for me.”

So, my family and I celebrate our freedom – and life. We live our lives together. We do this best by being together and enjoying great recipes and the food they create.

One of the things my family and I do is talk about how to support our troops today. We put together a “care package” or two or three or four. We send the packages to soldiers somewhere in this world. We don’t care where they are stationed or what branch of the service they serve.

As one soldier wrote recently, “All soldiers need the simple knowledge of one thing; someone must want them to come home. If a soldier has that, he may be able to make it through anything!”

After the package(s) are wrapped and sent, we do as ordered by our missing loved ones – we celebrate with food and beverage and memories – and we create new memories to be enjoyed forever (see link below). What a gift they have given us!

Now You Enjoy! Live your lives wellScience Articles, celebrate and remember. These Memorial Day Recipes will help guarantee you and your family a memorable day.