Bela Fleck with Co Symphony.
Nothing sadder than a tangled Newton’s Cradle.
so folks might remember that great experience I had with First Descents last year working with young adult cancer survivors. well, Terri, a participant on that trip, has passed on to me a request for help with someone she knows in the Denver area. please read her email below and see if you might be able to help out or know someone who might.
I wanted to run something by you, in case you know anyone who might be able to help. I just got off the phone with a 3-time breast cancer survivor/friend who lives in Denver and she is moving out of her current place at the end of April and starts a house sitting gig around Memorial Day weekend. She has a friend to stay with for part of the time, but do you know anyone who has a spare room or couch where she could crash for a week or two? She’s absolutely lovely and has had a rough time getting on her feet financially after the 3 cancer episodes. I would love for someone to help her have a short term roof over her head. I think a week to ten days would make all of the difference.
so I geeked out a bit on trying to make better coffee this weekend and now I regret it a bit. for the longest time I’ve ordered 5lbs of coffee at a time from Cafe Mam, this nice co-op in OR that roasts some organic, shade grown, fair exchange coffee from Chiapas. I’ve had a drip coffee maker and its got the hotplate not the thermal carafe… so I’ll admit I’m a bit dated on my methods of brewing and on my sources.
Much like the explosion in craft beer and foodie culture, there’s an equal explosion in the fine details of making a better cup of coffee. I, too, want a better cup of coffee. the question is, is it worth it?
there’s a french press, there’s the aeropress, there’s pourover… all touted as being superior at extracting the subtle flavors of the artisanal beans grown on some specific hectare of a very poor country. there’s different grinds for each of these, there’s the grounds to water ratios (better have a scale to measure it all out) and so here’s where my dilemma comes in: while I may want high quality coffee, I also want the ease and convenience, and I want a large quantity of coffee. I decided I’d like to try and stick with drip because of the convenience and the quantity brewed at each time. I hunted around on the internet and found the Bonavita 1800 which was one of the few drip makers that heats water to the recommended 200-205F and its got a drip-head designed to wet all the grounds not just the spot directly under the dripper. And I went with the thermal carafe because there’s also a recommendation to not let coffee sit on the warmer too long either. While I liked the brew portion of the Bonavita, I was not happy with the carafe. it kept coffee warm for 20-30 minutes but certainly not the advertised 2hrs.
I had also purchased a Bodum burr grinder in the hopes of making fresh ground coffee each morning. fresh ground, right? yeah! I have had a lousy old blade grinder for awhile that grinds poorly and has inconsistent ground size and is messy to boot. I found this Bodum that had as one of its selling points that the grind container was made of boro-sillicate that should help reduce the static electricity and cut down on all those jumping grounds. perhaps its our altitude and the dryness but, for pete’s sake, on my first try I had grounds flying allover the counter and I knew that my aspirations had outpaced my practicality.
the Bonavita with the thermal carafe got returned, as did the Bodum grinder. I might still give the Bonavita with a glass carafe and hotplate a try (purists be damned!). I have now come to the conclusion that the word grinder implies messy. I dont know if I can tell enough difference between ground this morning and ground last week. perhaps my concession here will be to purchase smaller batches of coffee more frequently.
now I’m back to square one and drinking coffee made with the french press and pondering a new drip maker. sigh.
this also makes me consider palate training. ya know? like all these descriptions of coffee or beer or wine have adjectives like cherry, cacao, tannins, undertones, musky, and when I try them I feel rather like a doofus, “yum. good.”
A mountain gorilla (Africa - BBC)
I;ve got to learn to have patience with my old dog. my old dog must learn to have patience with me.
I really love the zombie baby, or is that a zombaby?
(Source: mindlessnate, via nerdbabies)
so we went to see Reveal the Path, a bike “touring” movie from the makers of Ride the Divide and my overall reaction can be summed up as “meh.”
the scenery was great but the shots of the actual riding were not too spectacular. the shaky-cam filming was distracting to the point of nausea inducing. the individuals were trying way too hard to be philosophical about the multicultural aspects and the open-mindedness of their travel through these other countries and it came off to me as -Dude, you’re sponsored and half the time you’re not even lugging your own gear around. and then there’s the fact that it was a bunch of guys and there’s this “gee, thanks honey for letting me go play around the world while you take care of the menial task of the home”
for me Ride the Divide was a great movie- there was motivation in the characters, there was a competition, it was more about the individual’s struggle to push beyond their limits… Reveal the Path seemed to just be some guys lucky enough to go ride in some beautiful places with some cameras following them around. meh.
the Rye beer turned out pretty good.
brewed an IPA yesterday.