Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Off topic, but topical.

Plate: (or paten) "HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM ... With these words spoken by the priest, the Catholic is taught the wafer of bread turns into the true body of Jesus. HIC EST ENIM CALIX SANGUINIS MEI ... and with these words of the priest, the Catholic is taught that the wine turns into the true blood of Jesus Christ. So Catholics are actually taught that the priest has it in his power to transform bread and wine into God!" ...copied off the internets.

From that (hoc est: this is), the Protestants, Calvinists, and Puritans coined the term "Hocus Pocus" to refer to witchcrat and magic, and to denigrate Roman Catholic sacramental theology... ignoring thereby the words of Christ, "This is (hoc est) my body."

Contents: Snickers.

Happy Halloween.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Untruth in Advertising

Mug: This is a mug I got when I was the Principal/Creative Director of a now defunct small ad agency. Untruer words were never set in type.

It's a bad mug, too. More like a soup mug than a coffee mug. The wide and shallow design allows the heat to dissipate too rapidly. The mug handle is too small: I can just barely get two fingers through there, which (combined with the width spreading the fully loaded weight horizontally) causes the mug to have an unbalanced feel.

I haven't used it in almost 18 years, but I saw it recently in a box of stuff I was throwing away and pulled it out for a laugh.

"P.M. Summer: Marketing Genius." A genuine laugh riot.

Coffee: Continuing with the home-roasted Columbian. It's even better today.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

And now for something slightly different.



Utensil: I've long wanted to try roasting my own beans at home, but the coffee roasters I saw cost between $150 and $400. Out of the question for my use. But I recently read on the internets that you could roast your own coffee beans using certain types of hot-air popcorn poppers. The air-popper I've used for the last twenty-odd years is one of those. Four ounces at a time. So yesterday afternoon, I took the plunge.

Coffee: There is a coffee-shop/beanery/roasting house near me called White Rock Coffee. They happily sold me (but not without some confusion) a pound of Columbia - Valle del Cauca Supremo unroasted green beans. The coffee ended up quite nice, but I'll reserve comment until I get this roasting thing down a little better.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Blessed Mug.

Mug: I brought this mug back from my summer studies at Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary in Deerfield, Wisconsin. I spent my time in an old cinder-block dorm pretty much to myself (which considering the history of Nashotah, wasn't all bad... I think the showers are haunted). I found this old mug from the Refectory in a cupboard in the dorm commons, along with a bunch of other abandoned mugs and utensils. I purchased a new mug and performed a swap.

That's Nashotah's seal in gold foil on the mug. Very handsome. This is an American-made mug from the W.C. Bunting Ceramics Company (still in business), and probably dates to the late 1950s. A very nice mug. Good shape, nice tactile experience, holds enough coffee to call it a mug (and not just a cup).

Coffee: Back to the remnants of the Columbian today (finished it off).

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bottoms up.

Mug: The favorite, again. The standard by which all others are compared. The champ. The best. The no longer available Waechtersbach natural slip glaze coffee mug. I once painted the interior of my duplex this color. I jokingly called it PMS-MUD (Pantone Matching System - Mud color). I am this color.

A change. Picked up a pound of locally roasted Certified Organic, Fair-Trade (as opposed to Free Trade), Nicaraguan coffee beans at Central Market. It's a nice "change up" from the standard, although it remains within the same spectrum of coffee types.

OT: I watched "V for Vendetta" last night, the movie adaptation of the graphic novel. It has its moments, and is worth a watch.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Don't worry. Be happy. Drink lots of coffee.

Coffee: The usual Columbian. Today is coffee-buying day, so maybe I'll try something different when I'm at Central Market this afternoon.

BTW: There was a report released yesterday that de-caf coffees still have some caffeine in them (I knew this), and if you drink 15 to 20 cups of de-caf coffee a day, you'll get as much caffeine as if you drank one cup of regular. Danger!

Mug: A new one. It's another German-made Waechtersbach, but it has this just down-right goofy, caffeine-jacked, happy face on it. WAKE UP and smell the coffee, apparently.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The day after yesterday.

Mug: Another morning on the deck. This mug is from a set of dinnerware that Catherine and Riley got as a wedding gift (on their registry) from Crate & Barrel. Very nice shape, with great tactile qualities. Japan or China, I'm not sure which. The exposure's dark due to my wanting to use natural lighting.

Columbian Bucaramanga Supremo, that I picked up at the H.E.B. yesterday. The Base holds firm. Good stuff. I had to drink it fast because the kid's coffee maker uses a heating element to keep the coffee warm. This results in burned coffee pretty quickly.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Coffee flower pot.

Mug: This mug came from the gift shop at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin (I've seen the same mug in the gift shop of the Dallas Arboretum, branded appropriately). Obviously, its design is meant to imitate a terra cotta flower pot. The matte finish glaze succeeds in achieving its objective.

I'm using this untensil on the back deck of my daughter and son-in-law's house in Kyle, Texas. We (Linden and I) are here waiting for Catherine, Riley, and new baby June Anne to come home from the hospital (all's well, they just wanted to keep her an extra day for observation).
One of the difficulties in staying in other people's homes is coping with different utensils, or the lack thereof. This mug is my favorite in their collection.

Mystery coffee. It might be a Columbian from H.E.B. (tastes more like the "Breakfast Blend" many stores like to dispense), but it's a little past its prime. I've been told by SWMBO that I am to make a trip into town for groceries. While there, I will pick up a pound of a Columbian Supremo, either from the H.E.B. in Buda, or from a Central Market or Whole Foods in Austin.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Way We Were.

Mug: An early Starbucks travel mug. Remember these? This style of mug arrived on the scene around 1980. It has a keyed lid/splash-guard on top that "screws" in, and a sticky foam-rubber bottom so it won't slide off the dashboard of your Suburban as you wheel into the carpool queue at the local elementary school. This design clearly predates that great American automotive innovation: the cupholder.

Functionally, this design has many drawbacks, but it was a breakthrough. Obviuosly, the possibilities were endless.

Coffee: Guatemalan Antigua, medium roast, medium grind, double strength. This is a coffee that is VERY similar to the Columbian Supremo beans that I enjoy. See, even when I change, I try and resist change.

Monday, October 02, 2006

It's Greek to me.

Mug: This mug was a visitors' gift at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Dallas. Chinese made iron stone. Church-Visitor cups are usually pretty tacky (my own home church is a perfect example...and no, I won't show you an example). These cups are actually quite nicely designed. Good graphic, inspiring mission statement ("Proclaiming our Redeemer with shouts of joy!", if not actually realized in their worship style), and useful information (when, where, what). Very nicely done.

Coffee: Getting low on my "base" coffee. Tasted a little stale this morning. Time to grab some fresh beans.