Tuesday, 12 September, 2006

Morning Coffee

Posted in Coffee!, Culinaria at 10:17 am by glpease

The Big Cup

I cherish the morning coffee. I can easily recall delightful childhood memories of the wonderful aromas of brewing cofee drifting through the house on the weekends, and coffee has been part of my life throughout the years. Most days, I can’t even imagine starting off without it. Hot and black, freshly brewed in the French press, a milky, soft café au lait, or a wonderfully rich, thick espresso based caffè latte, some sort of cofee is destined to be my perennial accompaniment to the day’s beginning. I’m not quite addicted; it’s not the caffeine that drives me, but the ritual. There’s something about the grinding of the beans, the brewing of the liquor, the preparation of the milk, the creation of the perfect cup that seems more important even than the drinking of the resulting beverage. It’s an unhurried, careful process that gives a moment’s pause before the too-often hurried hours that will follow. It’s a meditation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Saturday, 2 September, 2006

Yellow Diamonds

Posted in Biking at 2:53 pm by glpease

Up the hill, just rounding the corner, I saw it – a reflective yellow diamond-shaped warning sign, with “40” painted on in thick, black numerals. I instantly had new appreciation for my Volkswagen. Its four little cylinders could move its weight, and mine, around this bend effortlessly at the sign’s recommendation of 40 miles per hour, or 50, even 60, but here I was, barely making 5. Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday, 23 August, 2006

With Hard Tail and Rigid Fork

Posted in Biking at 2:40 pm by glpease

Ride!

A couple weeks ago, I dragged my old Trek Antelope, “The Beast,” out of the mothballs, where it’s been since I crashed it into an unyielding tree. The tree was fine. My right arm and my bike did not fare so well, and we both turned out with scars to show for it. Since “The Crash,” I’ve been riding bikes with suspension forks, and never really gave much thought to the old Trek. But, something got into me, and I figured it was time to sort it out and put it right. Over the years I’d ridden it, it had evolved into something of a Frankenbike, so in addition to the necessary repairs, I wanted to unify the parts a bit. Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday, 16 August, 2006

I’m On Hold

Posted in Internet, Rants & Raves at 1:48 am by glpease

Seriously. I’m on hold with Amerion for what I hope is the last time, waiting for someone from my soon to be ex- Internet “Service” Provider to answer. It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally reached my threshold, and it’s time to take action.

It started last week, when I got a phone call from a friend who told me he’d tried to send an email, and it bounced. I asked if he’d received the mail I’d sent him a couple days earlier. He hadn’t. The wheels began to turn. His was not the first call. I’ve lost more email than I’ll ever know, and outbound messages have gone missing, likely with equal, though unknown frequency. This has gone on long enough. Read the rest of this entry »

Friday, 4 August, 2006

The Reviewer and the Critic

Posted in Opinion, Pipes & Tobaccos, Rants & Raves at 1:51 pm by glpease

When you put yourself in front of the public eye, poised to be subjected to its scrutiny, if you’re going to survive the ordeal, you develop a thick skin and learn to take the knocks that come with the exposure. The occasional attacks come with the territory, and I can generally take it in stride. Once in a while, though, something just rubs the wrong way. That’s when a good rant does the soul some good. Read the rest of this entry »

Tuesday, 1 August, 2006

It’s For the Children

Posted in Politics, Social Comment, Tobacco at 1:56 pm by glpease

This article is, obliquely, about the anti-tobacco movement and their absurd smoke-screens. It may not, at first, appear that way, but it is, and you’ll have to read to the bottom to see how it plays out. But, here’s a hint: While they pummel us with fallacious studies about ETS, attempting to appeal to our parental instincts with their whiny and insidious “It’s for the children” rhetoric, a far greater threat to our kids’ futures is raising its head, and being almost completely ignored. Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday, 26 July, 2006

Single Trackin’, Baby!

Posted in Biking at 3:03 pm by glpease

Yeah. That’s what I’m talking about! Happiness is finding a fun trail 2.2 miles from home. Joy is when that trail is a cool almost-single track that has apparently not seen another bike in forever. I’m not quite sure if it’s a fire-trail, or just left over grading from some past construction, but it’s there, it’s accessible, and it’s mine to ride. Read the rest of this entry »

Tuesday, 25 July, 2006

What Are We Waiting For?

Posted in Pipes & Tobaccos at 1:22 pm by glpease

More and more often, I read about someone buying a few tins of a new blend, only to put them aside for “at least a year” before trying them. Certainly, I’ve always been an outspoken proponent of cellaring and aging tobaccos, of laying in a store of our favorite blends to enjoy for years to come, but the idea of buying something and not spending some quality time with it in its youth robs us of one of the great joys of aging tobaccos; we lose the opportunity to celebrate and enjoy its youth. Read the rest of this entry »

Wednesday, 19 July, 2006

George Bush Says … Stuff

Posted in Politics at 10:15 am by glpease

Sometimes, I’m amazed by what is considered newsworthy by the pandering press. The president says a naughty word, and it’s all over the wires. I heard about it on the radio, read about it in the papers, and would probably see it on the tele, if I could bring myself too rot my few remaining brain cells by switching it on. What’s the big deal? He thought he was off mic, and he expressed his frustration in a rather human way. Is this really news? Read the rest of this entry »

Tuesday, 18 July, 2006

Formula for a Great Bike Ride

Posted in Biking, Cigars, Coffee!, The Good Life at 2:07 pm by glpease

It’s really quite simple. Get out on the bike, and ride. No distance is too long or too short, just be sure to work a little, get good and sweaty and breathe hard. Get that heart pumping and clear those lungs out. Ten miles is a good start. Go into the hills, or stay on flat surfaces. On roads, on trails, or gonzo single-tracking in serious dirt – it makes no difference. Have fun.

When you return home, while you’re cooling off, brew a small French press of strong coffee. Today, it’s a wonderful Nicaraguan medium dark roast that I picked up at Trader Joe’s, of all places. (It’s surprisingly good. At least, this batch is. I have no idea how consistent their coffees are.) Put two or three scoops of vanilla ice cream in a pint glass (a proper Imperial pint glass if you have one, though the stingy 16-oz colonial version will do in a pinch), and add some ice. Pour the coffee over the top, and stir until it’s cold, cold, cold. Add more ice if necessary, and milk if desired.

Grab a great small cigar – this one is a Hoyo de Monterrey Margarita, a little 5.3″ x 28 beauty that’s been gracefully aging in my humidor for several years – I bought a couple hundred on some ridiculously cheap price when they were changing packaging. Light up, sit back, sip iced coffee and enjoy.

See? I told you it was simple.

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