Nov. 21st, 2016

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (music at the coffee shop 2)
If you have to drink instant coffee - and at the office, that's the best option since my coffee grinder died - then you can do a whole lot worse than Starbucks' Via. It's almost indistinguishable from a regular old brewed pot, and while spendy, it's worth it.

I was shocked this morning when DataGuy asked me how The Machine was coming along. I sent him a link to a YouTube video where I give the overview, a sort of "so, this is my current hobby" and he shared the link with MoneyGuy. I'm not sure why, but it caught in both their imaginations. As I was chatting with DG about it, I was again struck how much fun I'm having with the thing.

It's just been one problem after another, to be sure, but I'm under no deadline except my own and so I can take my time with each one that comes along. My deadline is that I Really Want This Machine Done, and that's good motivation. It's allowing me to be creative without pressure, to problem-solve without oversight. It's one of the reasons I started writing software twenty-five years ago: mental challenges, logic puzzles, problem solving...

and coffee.

In my experience, you can't have one without the other.


Nov. 21st, 2016 10:54 pm
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (music at the coffee shop 2)
The way to shop at thrift stores and bargain bins is to be willing to look and not find.

I visit the Liberty Savers about once a week. It's on the way home. I go in with a mental shopping list of things I want: a coffee grinder; a new two quart saucepan; a heavy frying or sauté pan with a metal handle that can survive going from stove top to a 500° oven; t-shirts in good shape. I peruse the women's belts looking for interesting buckles and hardware, even entire belts I can markup a little and sell on the website. I walk out with something (or a few somethings) every third or fourth visit. Last time, it was three brand-new t-shirts, same brand and generously sized, in three colors I wouldn't normally wear but can dye. I'm going to hit them all with the same color and see how the different base colors affect the finished product. Bonus. They were two bucks apiece. 80% off retail.

Anyway, I do the same thing at Hy-Vee. There are always one or two baskets at one end of the checkouts with markdowns, closeouts, clearance items, and unsellable, wouldn't-touch-it-with-a-ten-foot-coupon crap. I usually don't find anything, and I'm content with that. Today, though, was a rare find, especially considering my last LJ entry.

Two bags of pre-ground Starbucks Pike's Peak Roast coffee for $5. Unopened, unmarred so far as I can tell, with an expiration date of several days from now (for my purposes, then, still good), I bought one and left the other, knowing I couldn't possibly get to the second bag before it went completely stale.

I'm willing to look and not find, because when I do find, it's something good.

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