Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Coffee Ceremony.

Mug: Hand-thrown ceramic bowl from Portugal. Two-tone glaze (inner bowl glaze made by swirling the liquid glaze around in it before firing). Notice the small handles for grasping the bowl to drink from. Can be adventurous to drink out of if too full (notice the half-fullness).

Coffee: No adventure. 100% Columbian Supremo beans from CM. Made just slightly weaker than usual (notice the transparency).

Note: The bowl (and a matching companion) was a gift from an old friend in a previous life. It was for several years part of the Communion Set we used at Christ in the Wilderness Eucharistic Fellowship at Thanks-Giving Square in downtown Dallas. It served as either a lavabo bowl (for the priest to wash his hands in prior to the consecration of the elements), or as a ciborium (the vessel in which the communion bread was placed prior to consecration). It also saw use holding ashes for Ash Wednesday services at Thanks-Giving Square chapel.

It was used by several priests, four bishops, and one archbishop (George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, then head of the Anglican Communion and the Church of England).

It's also suitable for the morning coffee ceremony at the Summer House, a ceremony that forms part of the Daily Office.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Just say know.

Mug: Not a mug, but a beautiful hand-painted ceramic spoon cradle from Italy.

Ten pills I am taking at this time to fight off the signs of decline in this mortal coil. Allergy medicine, hypertension medicine (these two are prescription), ibuprofen, antihistamine, mucus dissolver (these three are temporary as I fight an upper respiratory viral infection), multi-vitamin, zinc tablet (for a happy, healthy prostate), joint improver (possible holistic quackery), and a baby aspirin (to ward off heart attacks).

This is a prime example of why the "Just say no to drugs" campaigns always fail. We are a drug addicted, pill-popping culture. Know the enemy.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Staggers and the jags.

Mug: Not a mug. Six ounce "juice" glass with the ribbing on the inside of the glass.

Coffee: Not coffee. One ounce of George T Stagg unfiltered, uncut bourbon whiskey, with an ice cube.

Note: George T Stagg is a limited release 144 proof "wheated" whiskey from the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Crash and burn.

Mug: The ubiquitous specialty advertising made-in-China mug. It's of an acceptable design. The gold foil logo on the navy blue glaze is very classy looking.

Contents: None.

Note: This mug came from Nashotah House Episcopal Theological Seminary in Wisconsin. I got it on one of my two summer sessions there. I have been using the mug as a toothbrush holder, but it took a fall this week and shattered. Good for nothing now, and much like the Episcopal Church, it too has been relegated to the waste bin.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Old White Cracker.

Mug: White ceramic variation of a classic diner/navy mug with decent characteristics: rugged, good body grip, good volume, a handle that's easy on arthritic fingers, and a nicely rounded lip. It is made in that country with the largest number of Christians of any nation on Earth... China.

Coffee: "Country Fixin's" brand "premium" blended coffee, as served in a restaurant with breakfast. Decent enough coffee, but too weak. Probably what the average American would consider "good coffee" (I'm sure they've done lots of market surveys to make sure of that), and most certainly what the demographic market for this restaurant chain would consider to be good.

Note: This was served with a heart-stopping "Country-style" breakfast at a Cracker Barrel Store on I-35 in Buda, Texas. The breakfast was good (two eggs, two biscuits, hash brown casserole, grits, and a hot-link). I liked it.

Dining (and yes, shopping) at the Cracker Barrel probably stands as proof that the Mrs. and I are now officially grandparents. We've got a three year old grandson, and a 15 month granddaughter, but somehow eating at the Cracker Barrel seemed to crystallize the concept that I am a grandfather: a curmudgeonly middle-aged white cracker nearing retirement age. I guess I'll soon join the Spit 'n Whittle Club down at the courthouse and spend all my time talking about how much better things used to be. Oh, wait, I'm already doing that (the talking part).