Wednesday, April 27, 2005

bad coffee

When travelling...

Other than, oh I don't know, missing my family, the one thing that hurts my head most of all is the bad coffee. It's really not that hard to make a decent cup. It doesn't cost more really. It's a simple application of quality standards for technique, ingredients, and machine tuning. Put another way, all the proprieter needs to do is care and try just a little.

I've been making drinks out of my machine at for about two years and I surpassed all but the very very best shops after only a few months. This timeframe would obviously be compressed to mere days given the volume of drinks that go through a commercial establishment. You'd think that at least 1 in 5 people behind the coffee bar would just work as hard as they can to build the best possible drinks. You'd think they'd do it purely to take pride in what they do. Hell, I've witnessed the toll-booth collector making sure the bills are all pointed in the same direction. Can we please spread the coffee culture beyond Portland/Seattle (& that boot shaped country)? I mean really, should the rest of the country suffer at the hands of Starbucks? Do it for the children.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


Charlie, "...The End"
Ben, "again!"
Charlie, "But we've read 'Chicka Chicka Boom Boom' THREE times already!!!"
Ben, "Read it four times?"

He's a demanding boy. Clever but demanding.
Traveling all week. The blog is closed. The cafe is closed. OK... the cafe is only serving Chai. See you next week.

Friday, April 22, 2005

i know

i know what people want... pictures. sorry

too lazy and too busy for the moment. so alas, text will have to suffice.
Acronym for the day: mods - Middle Of (the) Day Shoppers... mods.

The mods are an ungainly group. The mods touch all the vegetables and always... ALWAYS pay by check. Said check always, always requires something extra written on it because it's missing data. And mods NEVER bring their own pen. Why would they? They wouldn't... because they're mods. Avoid shopping when the mods are out and about. Sure 5-7pm primetime shopping is hectic but at least everyone's competent. They know the drill. People don't block traffic with their carts and quickly scoot past your field of vision when you're choosing the correct salt-and-vinegar chips or the best olives to go with that bread. And they quietly excuse themselves for doing so. Perfect. It's a fabulous dance and nobody's stepping on my toes.

And the pizza's fresh.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

This one goes to eleven

The community cafe has gone beyond traditional whole milk and is now proud to announce non-homogenized "cream on top" whole milk. This takes drinks to a new level.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

One and a half

Our house turns one-and-a-half today. This afternoon I completed half of the full bath ... so we now have 1.5 bathrooms. Happiness is not having to navigate stairs in the middle of the night for a glass of water. Next I'll tile up the shower and then it'll be fully functional.

All of this slows to a near stop because tomorrow is day one of my new job. I'll be busy and spent in the near term.

btw, The NE Cup-&-Saucer restaurant has the best home fries in town. word.

Monday, April 11, 2005

E Lec Tricity

The bathroom is wired. Literally. I got to say that there's nothing quite as scary as being anywhere near the main electrical lines heading into the house at the breaker box. That's where you have no safety features of any kind. It's just you and the endless amperage of the grid. Yikes. You know all went smoothly given I'm here typing this blog update.


Sunday, April 10, 2005

Riding Ben's namesake because we missed him so ;^) Posted by Hello

The only tech section (& it was pretty tame) Posted by Hello

Riding for two Posted by Hello

Perfect weekend

If you know us then you've certainly heard the waxing about a weekend riding here or a weekend camping there, etc. But THIS weekend was the mac daddi to top all weekends.

Lets go back two Tuesdays ago to get the whole picture. The first conference call of the workday went smoothly enough. The next conference call wasn't as nice. It seems the company was downsizing and I was part of that action. I took about ten minutes to assess and then got back to work. The nature this work was strangely similar to the earlier part of the morning. I sent emails, I placed calls, I did some research. It was as if nothing changed except the clients.

Fast forward to the drive out to our resort destination. The Volvo is packed with gear: Bikes, skis, snowshoes... we're ready for whatever's out there. The one thing that is missing is Ben who is being taken care of by friends for the weekend.

After creeping through the slow traffic, my mobile phone rings and my stint at unemployment comes to an end with a verbal offer. The company is superb, the people are brilliant and they're happy to have me continue telecommuting from Portland. This great news is the icing on the cake. We're ready for our first weekend away from the boy (that's over TWO YEARS) with absolutely zero stress.

With all of the activity choices available, what do we choose to do the whole time? Did we ski? snowshoe? Bike? {Bike bike and bike... of course.} Perfect weather, idyllic trails that have a rhythm and flow unlike anything else. The trail designers built this specifically to maximize the pleasure of biking through endless curves over and over and over and ... local lore says that the trail is made smooth every night by gnomes. It's true.

That plus just regular things that non-parents take for granted. Seeing a movie, having dinner... so simple yet so wonderful when unincumbered by the kid. Our accomodations were swank and the 100 degree soaking pool post-ride was just over the top perfect.

Thinking big picture... the weekend allowed us to stop and think about how everything is coming together. A really great job, a place to live that feels like home, and a family direction that feels right... everything is looking pretty sweet right now. Oh, and the chickens, that's the best part of all: free eggs. Forget the rest of it, it's the free eggs.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The trio. Sadly the white one ducked behind but she got a solo photo earlier. Enjoying the new digs. Posted by Hello

THAT'S the whole point of this entire thing...right there. That's it. Posted by Hello

In you go --->>> Posted by Hello

All grown up

Not Benjamin... the chickens.
The yet-to-be-named birds are living large in the coop. They migrated from the incubator to the coop in a dramatic ceremony. The grand ceremony consisted of me picking them up and gently placing them in the coop. This followed by the ceremonial food & water followed by the ceremonial food scrap toss. Benjamin got into the game with his own tossing of the food.

Maybe we'll put in a webcam in there. The purpose would, of course, be data collection. We'd monitor worm activity and make note of time of day and which bird got the worm. Then we could finally put that age old expression to the test.

[no you're not getting a hint. If you don't know the saying then well... hmm... looks like you're stuck then.]

photos to follow