Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Long Thoughtful Hiatus!

Kind of like when a child has been scorned, I feel a bit guilty for my lack of commitment to keeping a consistent blog. Fear not, in my midst I have been quite busy, and have a few many stories to tell. In the past weeks, ... months, I have finished some long overdue work on my humble abode, married my other half, and if I didn't tell you, finished my BSBA at the University of Southern Miss. I've made a few new friends from my hometown and Tampa. Also, did a little globe trekking to the Caribbean. So, as I plan to have a solid few resolutions this coming New Year's Eve, I will definitely include the "box," as I'm nickname the blog for the time being.

As for tonight, I'm headed to an epic after Christmas, "Christmas Party." Look for a blog on this soon!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Liquid Hobbies!

     Hi Again!  It's been a solid month or two since my last post.  Since then, I've finally finished my most recent college degree and accomplished much more on my "house" project.  Speaking of my project, I've always had my hand in many things, per say.  Recently, my good buddy Kyle Marcellus was over and while perusing an endless supply of unusually filled beverage bottles, he discovered an old hobby of mine.
     In the great state of Mississippi, beer brewing, as most info as I can currently remember or find, is and has been illegal for a few years.  Along with Alabama, the only two states in the Union still left behind with archaic laws.  What to do MS?  I'll tell you.  Brew WINE!  Wine homebrewing in MS has been legal since the end of Prohibition.  Here's some good points on beer homebrewing-
     Wine homebrewing does have its limitations, unless you enjoy being investigated by the ATF, but then again, as long as you keep to yourself and are not trying to sell the tasty beverage, you should be fine.  By limitations, specifically total gallons per year if I remember correctly.  As for me, it has always been a simple hobby, meant for making wine for myself and friends at my home.  Also, something you create always is a good talking point, especially homemade wine.
     As a quick search on will describe, wine is an alcoholic drink made from fermented grape juice.  Technically, it's a little more in-depth, as you can see , Wikipedia can offer you the chemistry side of wine. 

     From a foodie's perspective, wine is a combination of a fruit, sugar, and water.  Eventually, the fruit will begin to deteriorate, and create yeast or fuel added yeast.  In a controlled environment, the oxygen helps the fruit deteriorate, creates the yeast, the yeast eats the sugars and creates carbon dioxide and the by-product that everyone loves, alcohol!  The CO2 heads off into the atmosphere and the alcohol stays in the fruit juices and water.  Wine is created!  Below is a picture of me in a later stage of Clarifying some Strawberry wine:

Before you get to this stage we remove the "mash" of sorts, and clarify the leftover liquid with raisins.  The raisins help to stop the fermentation and seem to create a preserving factor.  Soon after it'd be time to bottle.  Bottling homemade wine seems to be the greatest challenge.  Finding enough bottles or finishing off enough bottles takes time, money, and many many corks.  But when you do, the rewards pay off.  Below is a picture of my roommate Kyle Smith and I's spoils in college, after we had already been tasting.

This was a bit shy of 4 gallons, if I remember correctly.  If any of you plan to embrace wine homebrewing, check out  They're in Mobile, AL, but they even have specialty yeasts for higher ABW wines.  Check it out, and of course, I'll do my best to offer any help I can.

Till next time,

Happy Brewing!

M Carver

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Turning Wheels

     Hello readers!  I'm a student at the great University of Southern Mississippi; a student at the Hattiesburg campus.  As I live on the Gulf Coast, there's a couple hundred miles to drive each week.  So, that gives me a great amount of time to ponder life's "little things."  (Sidenote:  a good friend wrote a trilogy of blogs about the "little things" check it out here
     As I was driving, I began to think about makes people's wheels turn.  Everyone has their thing.  You know,  that action that you can go to at any moment.  That action that lets you drift away to your own personal nirvana.  It's that one moment, or moments, that allow you to regain your thoughts, or have no thoughts at all.  It calms you, and focuses you.  For me, one of these moments is driving.  I love to drive.  Specifically, I look back to the recent years when I had my motorcycle.  There was nothing like throwing on a leather jacket, a helmet, and putting earbuds in my ears.  Put some metal music on Pandora radio, and set out.
     I can recollect, there wasn't much room on a fuel-injected four cylinder engine with wheels.  I could stretch out so far by putting the tops of my feet on the rear passenger footpegs.  An extremely dangerous position, but by far the most comfortable on an hour long ride.  With amazing musical notes being forced into my head from the likes of artist like Rise Against, Breaking Benjamin, or Atreyu, the mood had been set.  The blood was beginning to pump and my heart was racing.  Once hitting the interstate, I would wind up that Lime Green Kawasaki ZX-10R.  It wasn't hard to reach 70 miles an hour in first gear when the bike could easy be spinning at 11k rpms...  Bumping third gear, I could feel the engine spinning like a large gyro beneath me.  I could barely hear the engine and exhaust humming through all the fast guitar solos and intense vocals.  The wind would cross the top of the windshield and blow around me.  At that point, I had enough adrenaline and serotonin pumping through me to fuel a party.  I had hit my nirvana. 
     Nowadays, the ZX-10R is someone else's.  I've missed that fine piece of machinery everyday since I saw it roll away on someone else's trailer.  I've replaced my two-wheeled addiction with a beautiful woman.  What can I say?  Times change. 

How about you all?  What do you do to make your wheels turn? 

On a side, I'll work on some visuals for new blog posts.  I learning to remember to take more pictures.

For now, that's all folks.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ok, Ladies and Gentlemen.  Here we go.  This is my first official blog!  So...

     Welcome to The Southern Soapbox!  I'm a coastie from south Mississippi!  I've been hoping and planning to eventually get this thing going for a while now.  My good buddy Kyle has been blogging for many years now and has inspired me.  Hopefully, I won't disappoint.
     First of all, you may be wondering,"Why The Southern Soapbox?"  Well, Mirriam-Webster Online defines Soapbox as "an improvised platform used by a self-appointed, spontaneous, or informal orator."  Blogger is my platform and I'm the informal orator.  Southern, because we're in the south, the DEEP South.  The, because this is THE Southern Soapbox.  Are you ready people?!
     Second of all, I will offer a firm DISCLAIMER!  This blog is for entertainment and informative purposes only!  I will attempt to give tried and true how-to's, reviews, thoughtless banter, and theories to make you think.  I'm going to be brash and direct.  I'll even venture to predict some blogs will be vulgar and rude.  Of course, that will be less of the time.  I'll do my best to be politically and religiously unbiased.  All in all, I'm shooting for a good read for you all.
     So, the plan is... I'm going to do the best I can to keep up with a daily or every few day post.  I'll get a daily topic week list together and publish.  Nice talking to you all.

As for now, That's all folks.