Ingenious Ingenues

Every time I start to feel better about myself for not writing the “Great American Novel®” by the time I was 24 (or not finishing my app or recording an album), life comes along to remind me that talented youth have – once again – trumped me & trampled on my dreams.

Cases in point: Jake Bugg & Lorde

Both teenagers from outside the U.S.
Both getting tons of airplay (satellite play?) on Sirius XM 28 (The Spectrum)
Both with a creative output that puts mine to shame.

Hey, but I got this here nifty blog!

Enough of the pity partying, here are their songs.

Jake Bugg “Lightning Bolt”:

Lorde “Royals”:

Maybe I’ll order one of those new Ouya game consoles (on sale today) and teach my kids to code a game. Paying it forward, y’all!

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Coffee Talk

References to Linda Richman & the Holy Roman Empire notwithstanding, it’s a great time to be a fan of good coffee.

I wasn’t really a big coffee drinker until sometime between when my son was born in 2007 and when our third child arrived in early 2010. Something about being outnumbered by children and having to remain awake & alert during the Winter did me in and I switched from my normal morning Chai and went whole hog to coffee.

Java.
Mud.
Joe.

Always without sugar, cream or anything else.

Black (and not just for Closers)

My Mom has always been a big coffee drinker and I never recall her putting any sweetener or dairy product in her cup, so I opted for the same approach.

What started as a regular trip to Dunkin Donuts soon became Starbucks and quickly morphed in to me becoming in charge of the office coffee pot.

When that proved too much work I acquired a french press and brought my own raw materials to work. Still Dunkin Donuts, I just made it a little stronger.

Then for Christmas of this past year Jenn got me an Aeropress. There was one at the startup office where I worked last year and I was intrigued by it (but always a little gun-shy to use it myself). Turns out you can make a killer Americano rather quickly and for all the strangeness of the device itself, it’s actually super simple.

With this additional new coffee hardware in my possession I have taken to trying a lot more different blends & grinds of coffee. I know I need a better coffee grinder but I’ve even taken to buying whole bean coffee at Costco simply because it puts me more in control of the entire process of making my daily cup (though, mostly, I grind & brew with Aeropress only on the weekends).

Having exhausted the range of coffees available to me in bulk quantities – and after hearing about Tonx from several blog & podcasts I follow – I decided to get their free trial started. Unfortunately I started my free trial about a week too early, thus missing out on their recent Father’s Day deal where I could have gotten another Aeropress at a discount. Oh well.

The coffee itself was fantastic though. It was roasted on June 2, 2013 and Jenn & I both had a cup that Saturday, June 8, 2013. Coffee roasted less than a week prior to my consumption. In my home. At a grinding and brew strength of my choosing.

We live in the future.

What follows is a gallery of my Tonx/Aeropress process to get from beans & water to, eventually, “pushing a tonx“.

A few notes on how things went:

  1. Having an electric kettle is really great for this kind of coffee brewing. Special thanks to my Mother-in-Law for gifting her old one to me
  2. I think I’d like a Burr grinder instead of my electric one. Don’t want to introduce any burnt/charred flavors if I don’t have to. Maybe this one?
  3. I’m not yet convinced that doing a “Reverse Aeropress” is a good idea since I like the ritual of the Americano as opposed to “coffee” but what do I know?

I still need to start my subscription – likely just 6 oz. of beans every two weeks – but from what I tasted, Tonx is definitely for me.

I can’t wait to start trying more ways to enjoy my weekend coffee-drinking.

Until the next cup!

UPDATE: Maybe I should have checked my privilege & faux-coffee-snobbery at the door by reading this article first (h/t to @mat)

Promoting Pi

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know that, recently, I’ve been doing a ton of running during my lunch time. The vast majority of this running is done on the campus of the North Avenue Trade School on something – I kid you not – called the “Pi Mile“.

Only at Tech.

Naming schemes aside, it’s not a bad run around campus. 3.14 miles (right around 5k) encircling the perimeter of the campus, it’s actually a great way for this Bulldog to see how the other half lives.

Here’s a PDF map of the trail along with my latest running route of same (as of yesterday):

Pi Mile 5.28.13

Track Length: 5.4km
Altitude Range: 50m (Min Height: 277m ~ Max Height: 327m)
Total Climb: 123m | Total Descent: 79m
Address: 30313 Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia
Latitude: 33.7814290
Longitude: -84.3920590

Powered by GPSies.com · Developed by Bikes.org.uk

Immediately after I finished my run I bumped in to a co-worker getting lunch delivered to campus. Not one to have a long discussion while sweaty (which I’m sure she appreciated) I quickly thanked her for her compliment on my afternoon running & described (briefly) the Pi Mile. She seemed proud of my accomplishment and happy to have the knowledge of the trail.

Not 200 yards later, on my way in to the building, I saw a fellow runner doing some post-run stretching. He too gave me a nice compliment about “seeing me running and it got me inspired” and I launched in to another spiel about the Pi Mile.

I can’t tell whether or not I was just high from the run or the compliments, but I’m a little concerned at my zeal for talking up anything related to Tech. That’s a bit concerning.

What isn’t concerning is spending your lunch time running around a college campus in beautiful late-Spring/early-Summer weather. It’s just too bad there weren’t any attractive co-eds to be found. ;-)

Muppets, Found on FFFFOUND!

Sometimes surviving Hump Day means you have to post a bunch of Muppet comics images.

It’s clear there are two artists here, but I don’t know either one and I’m not up on the Muppets comic books at all.

I honestly just liked both interpretations of Animal, though Fozzy sitting down with Marc Maron is choice too.

Happy Wednesday!

Animal Drum!
Animal Drum!
Animal!
Animal!
Fozzy Banana Phone
Fozzy Banana Phone
Fozzy WTF?
Fozzy WTF?
Beaker's Brain
Beaker’s Brain
Bunsen's Gun
Bunsen’s Gun