mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Titanic)
Let us begin with Saturday, October 2nd and Michelle's CENSOREDth birthday. New Autumn mugs, a new Autumn travel cup and scones from Starbucks were my contribution. At Jami's request to "buy mommy a present", we left Michelle to nap and I took him to the mall (a rare father-son outing) and thence to Yankee Candle for some autumn candles and a new decorative plate. He and I bounced around the mall, shared a pretzel and a Sprite for lunch, and took in the sights. We went to PetCo and bought fish for the aquarium. We had a good time. When he's not fighting with his sister, he's a lot of fun to hang out with. (The same goes for Katie, if you were wondering, autism and all.)

You must be as tall as this sign to ride this ride... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Titanic)
Let us begin with Saturday, October 2nd and Michelle's CENSOREDth birthday. New Autumn mugs, a new Autumn travel cup and scones from Starbucks were my contribution. At Jami's request to "buy mommy a present", we left Michelle to nap and I took him to the mall (a rare father-son outing) and thence to Yankee Candle for some autumn candles and a new decorative plate. He and I bounced around the mall, shared a pretzel and a Sprite for lunch, and took in the sights. We went to PetCo and bought fish for the aquarium. We had a good time. When he's not fighting with his sister, he's a lot of fun to hang out with. (The same goes for Katie, if you were wondering, autism and all.)

You must be as tall as this sign to ride this ride... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
I posted a rather negative review of my experience at the coffee house last night. I stand my it: my experience as a performer was made less than positive by the staff. From a reply to a comment on the previous post,

I don't mind playing for free. Let's face it, Independence isn't the coffee house capital of anything, [the coffee houses are] all struggling for cash. I don't object to "tips and drinks" when there are actually drinks made available and, perhaps more importantly, I'm made to feel welcome, neither of which was the case last night. Given the economics of a latté, I could not have consumed enough espresso and milk to make a discernible dent in my usual fee, but it would have softened my attitude greatly.
 
However...

I was pretty wiped by 1:00pm yesterday after a trip to the zoo with lots of walking among other things, and that could have colored my experience. If they treat their customers well - and the coffee, to their credit, is very good - then it's your call. I'm not asking for a boycott or anything, or even for you to be angry on my behalf. I was just kvetching, and I'm done now.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
I posted a rather negative review of my experience at the coffee house last night. I stand my it: my experience as a performer was made less than positive by the staff. From a reply to a comment on the previous post,

I don't mind playing for free. Let's face it, Independence isn't the coffee house capital of anything, [the coffee houses are] all struggling for cash. I don't object to "tips and drinks" when there are actually drinks made available and, perhaps more importantly, I'm made to feel welcome, neither of which was the case last night. Given the economics of a latté, I could not have consumed enough espresso and milk to make a discernible dent in my usual fee, but it would have softened my attitude greatly.
 
However...

I was pretty wiped by 1:00pm yesterday after a trip to the zoo with lots of walking among other things, and that could have colored my experience. If they treat their customers well - and the coffee, to their credit, is very good - then it's your call. I'm not asking for a boycott or anything, or even for you to be angry on my behalf. I was just kvetching, and I'm done now.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
 With a sore throat firmly in place, I slept without my CPAP mask: the constant inflow of cool air just makes the throat even scratchier and I don't want to spend the night coughing into my mask. I'm really feeling a difference today, sort of all-over, unpleasantly tired.

Saturday's performance, and misc musings about Englewood... )

In any event, I have another performance at SBCH this Friday night, at 8:00, assuming my throat is better by then. We'll know by Wednesday, I think.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
 With a sore throat firmly in place, I slept without my CPAP mask: the constant inflow of cool air just makes the throat even scratchier and I don't want to spend the night coughing into my mask. I'm really feeling a difference today, sort of all-over, unpleasantly tired.

Saturday's performance, and misc musings about Englewood... )

In any event, I have another performance at SBCH this Friday night, at 8:00, assuming my throat is better by then. We'll know by Wednesday, I think.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
An open letter to the engineers who design home espresso machines:

My understanding of an espresso machine is this: it makes espresso, natch', and it steams (presumably milk, but one never knows). The overall purpose is for the average Joe like me to make coffee-based drinks like lattés and capucchinos. 

Kvetching to follow... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
An open letter to the engineers who design home espresso machines:

My understanding of an espresso machine is this: it makes espresso, natch', and it steams (presumably milk, but one never knows). The overall purpose is for the average Joe like me to make coffee-based drinks like lattés and capucchinos. 

Kvetching to follow... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
"Let me show you an expresso machine!"

The voice, brimming with the promise of sales pitches yet undelivered, was calling to me through the shelves at Macy's. We'd gone to the mall to search out a new espresso machine, and the model offered by Macy's was, to be kind, unsatisfactory. I said so, loud enough to be heard, apparently. As I moved to walk away, he called out to me:

"Let me show you an expresso machine!"

He was thirty-ish, white, earnest, wearing the universal uniform of sales reps everywhere: khakis, a white polo shirt, a goatee, and an uncertain panache. He was standing over a Tassimo - one of those single-serving coffee makers that uses a proprietary pod system and brews a pretty good cup. It is not, however, an espresso machine. (For that reason, among others, I would never buy one.)

Michelle, seeing the predatory glow in my eyes and knowing what's coming, takes the children and retreats to Minimum Safe Distance.

Only seven more shopping days till Christmas... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
"Let me show you an expresso machine!"

The voice, brimming with the promise of sales pitches yet undelivered, was calling to me through the shelves at Macy's. We'd gone to the mall to search out a new espresso machine, and the model offered by Macy's was, to be kind, unsatisfactory. I said so, loud enough to be heard, apparently. As I moved to walk away, he called out to me:

"Let me show you an expresso machine!"

He was thirty-ish, white, earnest, wearing the universal uniform of sales reps everywhere: khakis, a white polo shirt, a goatee, and an uncertain panache. He was standing over a Tassimo - one of those single-serving coffee makers that uses a proprietary pod system and brews a pretty good cup. It is not, however, an espresso machine. (For that reason, among others, I would never buy one.)

Michelle, seeing the predatory glow in my eyes and knowing what's coming, takes the children and retreats to Minimum Safe Distance.

Only seven more shopping days till Christmas... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
 A Little Girl's Cell Phone

I made a little girl's morning.

On my way to work, I stopped at the local coffee house to get my morning latté and a bit of breakfast. While at the end of the counter waiting on my drink, I noticed a little girl - she must have been four years old - also standing at nearby with her mom. She caught my eye, and I smiled at her.

She was playing with a toy cell phone. She walked up to the counter and put the toy on it. She laid it longwise, parallel to the edge.

Okay, yes, I know this game. I took out my cell phone and laid it on the counter, crosswise. I caught her eye. I looked at my phone. I looked at her phone. I mimed a sudden awareness of my mistake and hastily turned it longwise. She smiled, big. A delighted, engaging smile that took in her whole face. A smile that started at the eyes. A smile with awareness.

At that moment her mom's drink arrived, so it was time to put the phone away. Her little girl jeans' pockets were too small for the phone: it took both hands, but she got it in there. As she turned to leave, watching me, I took my phone and, eyes locked with hers, dropped it neatly into my jeans pocket.

She smiled all the way out the door.




An obvious difference

Yesterday, the coffee shop was packed. Each table was full and there were at least a half dozen people waiting at the counter. The drive-thru was backed up into the street.

The barista making my coffee was a young woman. Her frock was mostly clean, with a little staining around the cuffs.  She filled the frothing pitchers only halfway, careful to adjust the steam so as not to overflow. The water in the basin for the cleaning rag was a little cloudy, but still see-through. The counter in front of the machine shined. My latté, however, was made with skim-milk, not the way I ordered it.

This morning, a little less busy. I walked in, right to the counter, placed my order.

The barista was a young man in an over-used, under-cleaned frock. There was milk everywhere: you could barely see the counter in front of the machine. He filled the pitchers nearly full and turned on the steam full-blast. The water in the basin for the cleaning rag wasn't really water any more.

My latté was perfect.

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
 A Little Girl's Cell Phone

I made a little girl's morning.

On my way to work, I stopped at the local coffee house to get my morning latté and a bit of breakfast. While at the end of the counter waiting on my drink, I noticed a little girl - she must have been four years old - also standing at nearby with her mom. She caught my eye, and I smiled at her.

She was playing with a toy cell phone. She walked up to the counter and put the toy on it. She laid it longwise, parallel to the edge.

Okay, yes, I know this game. I took out my cell phone and laid it on the counter, crosswise. I caught her eye. I looked at my phone. I looked at her phone. I mimed a sudden awareness of my mistake and hastily turned it longwise. She smiled, big. A delighted, engaging smile that took in her whole face. A smile that started at the eyes. A smile with awareness.

At that moment her mom's drink arrived, so it was time to put the phone away. Her little girl jeans' pockets were too small for the phone: it took both hands, but she got it in there. As she turned to leave, watching me, I took my phone and, eyes locked with hers, dropped it neatly into my jeans pocket.

She smiled all the way out the door.




An obvious difference

Yesterday, the coffee shop was packed. Each table was full and there were at least a half dozen people waiting at the counter. The drive-thru was backed up into the street.

The barista making my coffee was a young woman. Her frock was mostly clean, with a little staining around the cuffs.  She filled the frothing pitchers only halfway, careful to adjust the steam so as not to overflow. The water in the basin for the cleaning rag was a little cloudy, but still see-through. The counter in front of the machine shined. My latté, however, was made with skim-milk, not the way I ordered it.

This morning, a little less busy. I walked in, right to the counter, placed my order.

The barista was a young man in an over-used, under-cleaned frock. There was milk everywhere: you could barely see the counter in front of the machine. He filled the pitchers nearly full and turned on the steam full-blast. The water in the basin for the cleaning rag wasn't really water any more.

My latté was perfect.

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
A tip, should you ever take it into your head to make your own cappuccinos and lattés:

The drink should have a stronger flavor than the container it is served in.

McDonald's has now managed to dumb down coffee. A drink of coffee and milk in combination that tastes of neither, particularly, but is in fact rather bland.

Now, before you gasp out, Dear God how did our friend sink so low?, it should be noted that I did not purchase said "coffee drink". Rather, it was purchased for me and since the one essential ingredient is there in full force - caffeine - and as I am rather in need of such, I didn't turn it down.

It's not bad. It's just not all that good.


mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
A tip, should you ever take it into your head to make your own cappuccinos and lattés:

The drink should have a stronger flavor than the container it is served in.

McDonald's has now managed to dumb down coffee. A drink of coffee and milk in combination that tastes of neither, particularly, but is in fact rather bland.

Now, before you gasp out, Dear God how did our friend sink so low?, it should be noted that I did not purchase said "coffee drink". Rather, it was purchased for me and since the one essential ingredient is there in full force - caffeine - and as I am rather in need of such, I didn't turn it down.

It's not bad. It's just not all that good.


mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
So here I am, drinking really strong coffee, waiting for two things: for the furnace to kick off and the kids to finally settle for the night. When those two things happen, I'm going to record.

I've wanted to lay fresh tracks for White Hills of Home1 for a long time, and while I'm at it I might sketch out my newest song, titled for now Prairie Departure2.

For the coffee, I mixed two varietals, both Millstone: Columbian Supremo and Mayan Black Onyx. It's not bad - kinda bitter, which I'm in the mood for, but with a nice aroma and finish. I'm going to switch to Roasterie eventually, but old habits die hard. Well, that, and Hy-Vee is the only place close that carries it, and we don't shop there as a rule.

I've put a strip of carpet as a sweep under the door to the "freezer" room, closing the gap and putting an end to the breeze that was coming under it. I'm hoping that will address where the cold air's been coming from so my office will finally benefit from the space heater. Fingers crossed.

1 No, it's not online anywhere that I know of. Well, one place, if you know where to look :)

2 Not done yet, therefore, not online anywhere. It won't stay that name either.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
So here I am, drinking really strong coffee, waiting for two things: for the furnace to kick off and the kids to finally settle for the night. When those two things happen, I'm going to record.

I've wanted to lay fresh tracks for White Hills of Home1 for a long time, and while I'm at it I might sketch out my newest song, titled for now Prairie Departure2.

For the coffee, I mixed two varietals, both Millstone: Columbian Supremo and Mayan Black Onyx. It's not bad - kinda bitter, which I'm in the mood for, but with a nice aroma and finish. I'm going to switch to Roasterie eventually, but old habits die hard. Well, that, and Hy-Vee is the only place close that carries it, and we don't shop there as a rule.

I've put a strip of carpet as a sweep under the door to the "freezer" room, closing the gap and putting an end to the breeze that was coming under it. I'm hoping that will address where the cold air's been coming from so my office will finally benefit from the space heater. Fingers crossed.

1 No, it's not online anywhere that I know of. Well, one place, if you know where to look :)

2 Not done yet, therefore, not online anywhere. It won't stay that name either.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (yorick)
The smell alone is intoxicating, like the heady aroma of moonflowers mixed with roasting pecans mixed with wood smoke...

Roasterie...gooooood...

It may look like a coffeemaker, but it's actually a DNA resequencer.
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (yorick)
The smell alone is intoxicating, like the heady aroma of moonflowers mixed with roasting pecans mixed with wood smoke...

Roasterie...gooooood...

It may look like a coffeemaker, but it's actually a DNA resequencer.

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