Friday, August 31, 2007

A Sad Day

It's a sad day for two of my favorite vices. No, not this kind. The "they're not necessarily good for you but you like them anyways" kind.

First I heard that Alfred Peet, the founder of Peet's Coffee had died. Coffee is an acquired taste. Made properly, it has a powerful taste, whether a bit more sweet or a bit more bitter depending on the beans and the roast. I learned to drink it in a predecessor to today's fru fru coffee drinks, the mocha (basically 1/3 espresso, 2/3 steamed milk, plus chocolate; if you were feeling thin as I was at the time, you could get it topped with whipped cream). But going to college in Berkeley where Peet's was founded, I learned the difference between good coffee and the crud that gets served many places, and learned to appreciate a good cup of coffee black -- no sugar, no milk. Now that I'm addicted to the taste, the process of waking up with a hot drink, and particularly the caffeine, I can tolerate lesser coffee if that's all there is. But Peet's still has the best coffee. Not that Starbucks serves a bad cup of joe, but I think Peet's will always be my favorite. And Peet's was the inspiration for Starbucks, so it might not even exist if it hadn't been for Alfred.

Now I've learned that Michael Jackson (no, not that one) passed away. He was known as "The Beer Hunter", and hosted a TV series as well as authored a book by the name. Beer is also an acquired taste, and I admittedly acquired it well before I acquired a taste for coffee in college. I even worked in a brew pub / brew on premises for a while after I left Geoworks.

If I had to choose between giving up beer or giving up coffee,'d be a hard choice. But both the world of coffee and the world of beer have lost something.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

It's Good Stuff

I realized I haven't given any updates in a while. I haven't been getting tons done on the house, partly because of other tasks, but largely because of lack of energy. Much of what Kat and I have done recently is cleaning up the yard. The Oakland FD came around the other month to give the friendly reminder that we live in a high risk fire area. The yard was horribly behind in maintenance, so we've been weed-whacking, raking, pulling vines, chopping stumps, etc. to get things in line. Three big green yard waste bins filled, and at least three more to go. Probably four since I've almost filled the bin again today. But it's good stuff, that needs to be done.

I have done some work on the house. I installed an additional light on the front of the addition to help light the pathway at night. And I installed reading lights over the bed. Kat and I read a lot. Even more of late because the TV died. It died a couple years ago, the power supply or a nearby capacitor, or both, and I got it repaired. Given the cost of TVs these days, we decided it was time to finally replace it, as it was pushing 20 years old. The new TV has a gorgeous picture, at least when watching the amazing photography in Planet Earth. It's a 4 disc series narrated by David Attenborough, and has some breath-taking images from around the world. I highly recommend checking it out.

Somewhat less breath-taking, but still lovely, is the view in our bedroom showing the new reading lights. Alas, the one on my side of the bed has a bad switch, but they'll be sending a new one along shortly.