Wednesday, August 30, 2006

train wreck

is the best way to describe my foray into coffee roasting. Impatient at 9:40 pm I decide I *must* try out my new coffee roaster. This is a modified hand cranked popcorn popper. All the components arrived in a brown truck today. Making a long story short I got it so hot that I melted the plastic window and the beans nearly caught fire when I first tossed them in. So I have beans that are burnt beyond recognition, damaged equipment, and nothing really positive to say except...


I'm roasting coffee! I learned over a dozen things in this alpha adventure. I won't list them but I will say that the numbers on the thermometer are false as evidenced by bubbling plastic. Oh, and a high output camp stove is *not* the right means to deliver controlled heat. I thought that I would use distance from the stove as my heat control. This might have worked if I didn't start at what has to have been 700+ degrees.

For the record, I did take mental note the location of the fire extinguisher.

Tomorrow I bring the operation indoors where I seal off the kitchen and run the 600 CFM blower. *Then* I will have the power to tune the heat in an exacting way.

If anyone has ideas on how I can get a stick thermometer to read more accurately please chime in. Otherwise answer this: Why would a grown man take an old tyme popcorn popper and try to roast coffee in it when he has access to the finest roasted beans on earth?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

love for the marine layer

oh how I love thee. I anxiously await your return.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

sick & sad

Check this out

The last sentence is the sad part. "As an alternative to antibiotics"... like it is essential that the food industry use antibiotics. *Somehow* and how they can perform such miracles is just so amazing... somehow organic farmers have managed to produce meat without either antibiotics or this fancy benevolent critter-eating-malevolent critter. It's good versus evil yet again.

If I eat meat, I want it to be sprayed with these friendly critters and then coated with nitrates.... mmmm mmm goood.

Whenever I read something along this general topic of food technology, I'm always happy that I live a nearly pure organic and meat free existance.

There was a great [npr] story where the author focused on the traditional preparation of food, the way it has been done up until mid 20th century. The interesting spin was that he considered the convenience factor of foods lately to be, "taking away" from a fundamental joy of making your food from scratch. While we, as a society, have generally accepted the notion that we're too busy for that sort of thing, it's really not true. We simply choose the lazy option (myself included these past few months) much of the time. I've been peeling that one back, especially with the summer fruit & veg season in full swing. I've recently switched to bread found in the refrigerated section. These live breads are really amazing. They offer a complete protein and have an extremly low glycemic index...basically the total opposite to white bread or pizza dough. And it's beyond tasty... it's awesome. This doesn't add preparation time (which is good) but I lose the "joy of cooking" which is bad or good depending upon opinion. I'm happy to be eating real food with minimal processing. The ideal breakfast is two of these delicous refrigerated flour free english muffins + butter +marmite & a cappucino from *the machine* and I'm pretty much in heaven. Just don't spray any viruses on it... I'll take my chances.

Monday, August 14, 2006

still life

There's a chain link fence. Attached to the chain link fence is a placard depicting what will be built on the currently barren space. It's something modern, something tallish, something decidedly upscale. There's graffiti on the placard but the building can still be seen through the spray.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


The more I live, the more I am disconnected with all that is crap in this country:
  • I am disconnected from fast food & factory farms
  • I am disconnected from malls
  • I am disconnected from a car commute & requisite concern for gas prices. In fact I'd *love* to see them hit $9/gallon. Not right away, not in such a way that really screws over those just getting by but in an easily seen trend, say up a dollar every year. This would radically alter the economy in an ecologically positive way. & ... I'm quite sure of this one, our aggegate GDP would rise faster as a result.

The more I live, the more I am connected to all that is good in this country:
  • I am connected with indy and local sources of food & coffee... & super fresh eggs!
  • I am connected with the mountains, bike racing scene, & PDX culture
  • I am connected to my job via a ten mile bike commute
These are all the top of my head sort of changes. I'm not putting this out there to say, "Hey look how swell I am" because I'm quite sure that I impress few with my actions. I do this stuff for me, because I seriously feel ill whan I do otherwise. Speaking of feeling ill, I'm *out* of coffee beans and that's a serious problem which will be rectified at exactly 7am tomorrow. Fishew!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Buying a house?

Or selling one? This is a shameless plug for a friend. Zach Newman found us our home and did more work, and this is no exaggeration, than our previous 3 realtors combined. If you ever say to yourself that they don't deserve the % they get it's because they don't work like Zach does. So I'm sending this shout out to generate business for my man Zaaaaaach. He rules. If you find yourself in the buy/sell situation you really need to work with him.