Haven’t posted anything about coffee in a while

The “world’s strongest coffee” is now available in the US, but just one cup could spill you over the daily caffeine limit.”If you want to stand out, you need to be the ‘est’ — the biggest, smartest, strongest, or cheapest,” said Black Insomnia founder Sean Kristafor. “So when we wanted to compete in coffee, as a caffeine product, we had to be the strongest, but obviously, we don’t exceed the world guidelines.”

Source: Black Insomnia: ‘World’s Strongest Coffee’ Now Available in U.S. | KTLA

Random Musings for Groundhog Day

  • I’m not overly disappointed that Phil predicted six more weeks of winter. Aside from a few frigid days, this winter has been a letdown. I want some snow.
  • I will probably watch the Super Bowl on Sunday even though I will be angry when the Patriots inevitably win.
  • I will definitely watch the next episode of Black Sails to uplift my spirits after suffering through the Patriots victory. Unless of course they use a flashback to remind me that they killed my favorite character at the end of last season.
  • Despite having two whole days off work, I have not a read a single thing. That said, I have written over 2000 words in those two days and topped 12000 for the year so far.
  • I am proud of Black Rifle Coffee Company for standing up to Starbucks.

Coffee with dangerously high caffeine content may keep you up for 18 hours

I never really had a desire to visit Australia until I read this article. I knew they had dangerous wildlife, but I never suspected dangerous coffee. Challenge accepted.

Source: Coffee with dangerously high caffeine content may keep you up for 18 hours | Fox News

Coffee and Karma

I drink a lot of coffee. I can’t write without drinking coffee. Occasionally I even write about drinking coffee. I visit my local Starbucks at least once a day. The other day I noticed a flyer on the wall. I never look at flyers on the wall, but for some reason this one called to me. It was kismet. VetsWrite was the headline. It qr6ptiw7hbdmc69xhlkqadvertised a creative writing class for veterans at the public library. I snapped a photo and proceeded home to investigate further.

VetsWrite has a website and sponsorship from local businesses. The seven-week course is being offered by a fellow MFA and culminates in a public reading following Veteran’s day. Needless to say I emailed the organizer and indicated my intent to participate. It turns out she may need some help and asked if I would lead one of the sessions. Now I just need to decide which topic: conflict & plot, setting, POV & voice, or scene.

I believe all of this is undeniable proof that Starbucks is quintessential to my life.

Random musings for the weekend:

  • My nephew broke his arm. He needed surgery to install a couple pins. Just a few hours after surgery, his mom mentioned that he’ll have to drop soccer and baseball for the fall. His response: “You don’t need hands for soccer.” He is 5. What a tough kid. I should also mention that this discussion took place outside of Starbucks.
  • I watched The Martian again last night. Great movie.
  • The Roadies season finale is tomorrow. I hope it gets renewed for another season.

Starbucks introduces nitro cold brew at 500 locations this summer

Dear Starbucks, Please let Pittsburgh be one of these locations…



The Seattle coffee giant is hopping on the hot cold coffee trend of freshly tapped, frothy joe.

Source: Starbucks introduces nitro cold brew at 500 locations this summer

Death Wish Coffee Co. wins Intuit’s contest

Intuit gives away its 30-second spot to a small business every year in the Small Business Big Game contest. This year’s winner was Death Wish Coffee Company.

Source: Super Bowl 2016 commercials: Death Wish Coffee Co. wins Intuit’s contest – CBSSports.com

I’m very excited that Death Wish Coffee will get the exposure they deserve. I’ve been drinking it for years, and it is awesome. I just hope it doesn’t make it harder for me to replenish my supply.

Coffee and Motherboards

Coffee. Motherboards. The two have very little to do with one another except that they describe my Saturday in its entirety. One was quite disconcerting, the other, sublime.

quillMy laptop died quite suddenly for unknown causes earlier this week. This is a cautionary tale for all writers. Although it was only a couple months old, it died in its sleep with no warning.  I tried everything I could to wake it from its eternal slumber; I pushed every button, I cursed, I begged, and for a brief moment I nearly wept. As a last resort I headed to Best Buy in search of expert advice. “It’s the motherboard,” was all the guy at The Geek Squad could tell me. He then proceeded to extort $100 from me to save my files. As it turned out, it would take more like $250 since the motherboard was soldered to the hard-drive in some manner that all but ensured complete destruction of all the bits and bytes. I decided to roll the dice, since there was a chance all was lost already. I last backed up the files on 12/10. This is my warning to all writers: back up your files daily, or maybe even hourly.IMG_20160116_152008057

For the rest of the day, I mourned the loss of my words. I don’t remember them all, but perhaps they were the greatest words I had ever written. I decided to brew some coffee to soothe my writer’s lament. I poured some filtered water into the kettle and turned on the stove. I opened a bag of Starbucks small-lot coffee and set the grinder to medium-coarse. I retrieved the Chemex brewer and carefully placed the filter. As I did these things, I already started feeling calmer with the scent of freshly ground coffee in the air. The kettle began to whistle. I slowly poured the boiling water over the grounds and watched  them bloom. By the time I savored the first sip, I had begun to take solace in a few things: 1) The holidays were dry for inspiration, so maybe I didn’t lose too much, 2) the laptop was only a part-time scribing device; the desktop still functioned, and 3) I use a lot of index cards, journals, and good old-fashioned ink.

All that said, I hope karma is real and that my words are returned tenfold.

Here are some random musings about today:

  1. The Seahawks are ruining my lazy day of watching football. No one likes a blow-out. The Steelers had best deliver later today.
  2. I am deeply absorbed in a draft of Erica Crockett’s The Ram. You should probably befriend her and seek your own advanced copy.
  3. Clicking through the news, I saw a photo of the freed hostages stepping off a plane in Germany. It is almost 35 years to the day since I watched the last Iranian hostage crisis unfold (January 20, 1981). I don’t ever want to see another one.

UPDATE 1/31/16: My laptop was returned from the Geek Squad this week. I held my breath as it booted up. Much to my surprise and delight, all of my files were intact exactly where I left them. There was much rejoicing.

A World Coffee Shortage Is Inevitable

In the coffee-world, there’s been quiet rumblings of a shortage brewing for awhile now. And yet, despite the threat, it hasn’t hit quite yet—but that doesn’t mean it’s gone away.

Source: A World Coffee Shortage Is Inevitable

This is very troubling. I am trying not to panic. I am also beginning to consider if there are rooms in my house that could be converted into long-term coffee storage facilities. I have no knowledge of the requirements for long-term coffee storage facilities, but I intend to find out. I imagine temperature and humidity must be controlled. I will also need some security to protect the precious commodity. I should probably just use the National Archives as a standard.

Drinking coffee tied to lower risk of death

In a 10-year U.S. study, people who drank coffee regularly were less likely to die of many causes, including heart disease and diabetes, than those who didn’t drink coffee at all.

Source: Drinking coffee tied to lower risk of death | Reuters

I have a deep admiration for anyone who conducts a 10-year study on coffee. I am also quite pleased with the results. Of all the things I enjoy, I’m glad that at least one of them might be good for me.

New coffee offers same heart benefit as red wine, chemist says

A University of New Hampshire chemist says he’s developed a coffee that provides the same benefits to the heart as red wine.

Source: New coffee offers same heart benefit as red wine, chemist says

I’m really torn about this. My initial reaction was “Hell no, leave coffee alone.” But after further consideration, I began to think this could be genius. Perhaps they could start to infuse vitamins and minerals too. Then I could drink coffee as my sole sustenance.

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