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First, Murder’s coffee posts are the only useful thing for the general public that’s posted on this here blog, so I forward it widely.
Second, I’ve been battling back and forth deciding what I was going to do with my coffee life out of concerns for time and volume. I have a blade grinder and French press, but I tend to reserve grinding my own beans and pressing for Saturday mornings when I have time to do it and I’m not planning on consuming as much java.
This has led me to search for the “best” off-the-shelf coffee to run through my Black&Decker 12-cup auto-drip coffee maker. I must admit that the coffees I’ve been trying are not the diner (and my dad’s) standards i.e. Folger’s, Maxwell House, Cain’s. But my goal is to find a palatable blend that won’t break the bank for a guy who starts his day with 8 coffee-pot cups a day.
My usual approach is to purchase whole-bean coffee and grind it in the store (a low-cost alternative to buying a bur grinder, although time=flavor loss), then bring it home and stash it in the freezer until consumption.
I have only tried one pre-ground coffe in my search.
So far, I haven’t really paid attention more than just general taste. I will be more specific and careful with my analysis in the future.
Seattle’s Best - Colombian (pre-ground): it was good for a pre-ground, but was slightly bitter and flat, tasted dried out
Trader Joe’s - South African Blend: very light and clear. This is a good blend for people who have a more sensitive palate or don’t like the way coffee tastes
Starbuck’s Vienna(?) blend - if you don’t like Starbuck’s, I apologize, but this has been the best thus far. It’s a rich blend that is barely bitter and full-bodied. I generally stay away from Starbuck’s stores if there’s an independent option, but I do like their beans for my own personal consumption, and I don’t know of a bean-roaster here in A2.
Meijer Store-Brand “Premium” blend - I’m still trying this one. I bought a huge bag of this coffee to serve as a utility coffee for guests since I will be hosting a weekly meeting in February. I have had only a few cups, but I’m not impressed with the brew as of yet.
I will devise a better scheme for evaluation that is more quantitative and includes prices for each product.
Please chime in.
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For you NBA fans and fantasy-league-aholics (I know, that doesn’t really roll off the toungue, does it?), via Slate, did you know you can watch any and all NBA games thanks to the “so-much for ‘Do no Harm’” Google? That includes Kobe’s 81 pointer? Alas, it’s $3.95 per view.
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To all my brilliant programming friends:
I’m looking for some cyber advice. I want to know if any of you know of how to accomplish the following task:
I’m starting to put a lot of my Homework and Quizzes for my Latin class on an online program called Quia. The kids just input the answers (multiple choice, fill the blank, etc.) and the program automatically grades them. There is a feature where you can insert positive feedback everytime they get a question right — like “Way to Go!,” “Word Up, Yo!,” or “Calcitrans!” (which means ‘kickin’ in the Latin lingo). As you can see, the possibilities are near-intoxicating.
Unfortunately, I have to enter a separate word or phrase into each question’s positive feedback box every time when composing the quiz. I would like to be able to automate this process. Is there anyway that you all know of where I could get a program that generates a “wordbank” into which I could insert a group of positive feedback words/expressions? Then my plan is that I could just put my cursor into the positive feedback blank box, press paste or something, and then have a random word from the “wordbank” appear in the blank. It would in the end save a good amount of time as well as making the positive feedback “experience” more interesting, fun, and varied for the students.
I appreciate any ideas you guys can suggest towards accomplishing this, or even if you think it’s possible.
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Review: The Solis Maestro Plus burr grinder
Solis of Switzerland just wants you to be happy. That’s why they make this burr grinder, recently on sale at Sweet Marias for $129, but now back at its regular price ($149). Once you’ve started roasting coffee and bought a french press, a Chemex, a moka pot, and a vacuum pot, there’s really no turning back: you’re going to need yourself a burr grinder.
Coffee pros like Mark Prince will tell you that your coffee is only as good as your grinder, and that your espresso machine or coffee brewer is just an accessory to your grinder. They’re wrong, though: I was using a Hamilton Beach blade grinder for four years up until recently, and still saw remarkable improvements in my coffee quality, as I worked my way up the coffee appreciation ladder. Despite this, I’ve always had lingering worries that I wasn’t achieving the coffee perfection I might be, and that the elusive perfect cup was just around the corner — a burr grinder away. Was I being held back by my grinder? Well, sort of. Read on. Read the rest of this entry »
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All that goodness is pretty much a sure thing since it’s based on the “infallible methods of Gematria”.
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This has to be the most retarded timeline I’ve seen in a long, long time, maybe ever. They were actually showing it on the front page of msn.com, though it’s no longer there, which is a good thing. It projects the future of human evolution, and some of the projections sort of make sense (even if one type of future human being is called the ultra-dorky sounding “Nunan”) - the problem is the absurd amount of time involved. I can kind of see trying to project a few thousand years into the future, but 1, 2, 3, 4 million years?!? C’mon — give me a break. And what’s the deal with the Cyborg human being projected 3 million years from now? The Terminator came from 2030 or whatever. It seems much more likely that we’ll see “cyborgs” within a few hundred years.
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The title of this post was going to be, “God I Wish I had my own Wikipedia Entry to Mess With”. That’s because I saw an article about U.S. Rep Marty Meehan editing his own Wikipedia entry.
I was about to dash off a post containing little more than the aforementioned title and article link, along with a brief mention that the fun part of using Wikipedia is that you never no who might have just come in and vandalized the entry you are reading.
As it turns out I have now dashed off those three things. So if you’re content with things as they might have been you can quit reading now. If not:
Read the rest of this entry »
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Alberto Gonzalez was across the hall from me at Georgetown’s law campus this morning, giving a speech defending President Bush’s purportedly illegal authorization of domestic spying. Students protested Gonzalez’s presence by standing up and turning their back as the Attorney General spoke. Here are some photos. I don’t have a problem with this form of protest, but I do have a problem with this: some students also held up a large sign, blocking the view of other interested onlookers.
As for me, I was the classroom across the hall, eagerly learning about what happens to the estates of a dead people when they leave no will. It was an awesome day, through and through.
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So every year, as Arrested Development’s season starts to wane, Fox threatens to cancel the show because of low ratings. Usually this scare tactict works - avid viewers tell their friends they better start watching the show. However, it hasn’t worked well enough. Once again, for the third year in a row, Fox is threatening to cancel the show and this time it looks final. Showtime is talking about picking it up for cable TV, but nothing formal is brewing and the clock is ticking. I’m scared. Watch the show.
By the way, have you seen the episode where George Michael gets a jet pack in the mail (season 3 episode 5)? It might be my new favorite.
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I think Brevin Knight (to the left) looks surpassingly sneaky in this photo — like a really athletic butler of some sort who dabbles in wearing eye shadow and performing as a streetside mime for kicks.
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The Sonics beat the Suns 152-149 in doublt OT at the buzzer, but who can care because Kobe scored 81 real points tonight against the Raptors and 78 [edit: 79] fantasy points. He hit 28-46 shots, including 7 of 13 three-pointers, and 18 of 20 free throws. Hey, and 2 assists ain’t bad either.
[edit: this is the second highest single-game single-player point total in NBA history]
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I have a friend who started a blog years ago whilst at college and now a company wants to purchase her domain name. Any idea what it would go for?
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I noticed earlier today that CVS/pharmacy calls the condom, or contraceptive aisle, the “Family Planning Aisle”. Isn’t that funny? Has the condom aisle always been called “Family Planning” or is this new/unique to CVS? I wasn’t buying condoms at 7am, but rather some bathroom planning products (toilet paper).
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I finally finished listening to every song made in 2005. Music is good.
Artist: Album (recommended songs)
Disappointments of the Year:
Beck: Guero (Go It Alone; Farewell Ride)
Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have It So Much Better (Outsiders; Eleanor Put Your Boots On; Well That Was Easy)
Damien Jurado: On My Way to Absence (White Center)
3rd Tier (good, but not great):
Gorillaz: Demon Days (Every Planet We Reach Is Dead; Feel Good Inc.; DARE)
2nd Tier(good, maybe great):
Sage Francis: A Healthy Distrust (Lie Detector Test; Escape Artist; Slow Down Ghandi)
Much, much … Read the rest of this entry »
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Who here likes doggie-doing-doggie humor that turns into pure commercial schtick? I, for one, know I’m raising my hand and I know you will too once you get a load of the 6th video down on this page called Dogs Get Busted. It’s some Thai version of a Bridgestone commercial, which proves again that foreign commercials are always better.
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The movie Snakes on a Plane didn’t have to wait until its August 2006 release date to become an Internet sensation (get your t-shirts here!)– and justifiably so. Yes, the movie’s premise is as preposterous as the title suggests. Here’s the synopsis:
On board a flight over the Pacific Ocean, an assassin, bent on killing a passenger who’s a witness in protective custody, let loose a crate full of deadly snakes!
Probably most hilarious though is the insistence of Samuel L. Jackson, the movie’s star actor, in keeping the movie’s idiotic title. When studio executives last year proposed changing the title to the colorless Pacific Air Flight 121, Jackson refused to go along: “Weâ€™re totally changing that back. Thatâ€™s the only reason I took the job: I read the title.” I can’t tell from the context whether he likes Snakes on a Plane because he also thinks it’s hilarious or because he seriously thinks it’s a good title.
Either way, today, the expression “snakes on a plane” has taken on its own meaning, suggesting ‘a simple existential observation that has the same meaning as ‘Whaddya gonna do?’ or ‘Shit Happens.’” For example:
Guy 1: (irate) Dude, you just ran into the back of my SUV!
Guy 2: (calm) Snakes on a plane man. Snakes on a plane.
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Scientists in Taiwan have finished the first stage of Doom Real! Now that they have designed pigs that glow green in the dark, they just need to make them bipedal, and install fireball guns. Once the Imps are ready, say the scientists, Barons of Hell shouldn’t be too hard to figure out - just add some steroids, nasty horns, and turn the fireballs green. The Scientists say that Hell should be roaming Earth by summer of 2007. I can’t wait. I’m already working on my BFG.
A local journalist asked one of the scientists if what they are doing is ethical. The scientist replied, “If we had more time I’d like to think about that question, it seems interesting, but as is, we only have a little over a dozen months before we are fighting for our lives against zombies and supernatural demons. Sometimes ethical inspection must take a back seat to preparing rocket launchers and plasma guns.”
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The Washington Post had an interesting article yesterday about the culture of Seattle, where civic-politeness prevails. Specifically, the article suggests how this culture affects Seattle’s sports teams:
When politeness marries pro sports, the synergy does not spawn winning dynasties. Seattle’s three long-standing major pro sports franchises — the Seahawks, the SuperSonics basketball team and the Mariners baseball team — have won a total of one championship.
I witnessed this phenomena personally at a Mariners home game, when the Orioles’ Ralphael Palmero hit some kind of record-breaking home run. (I can’t remember what record.) The supposedly hostile Mariners crowd gave the dude a 5 to 10 minute standing ovation– for scoring on the home team.
The article also includes some interesting statistics about Seattle, some of which seem questionable given Seattlites’ disturbing reading preferences. For example:
(1) Seattle’s per capita opera attendance leads the nation.
(2) Nine out of 10 Seattlite women claim to exercise at least once a week. (yes!)
(3) Seattle is the nation’s most literate city.
(4) Seattle has more bookshops, more residents with college degrees (damn!) and more coffee shops (yes!) than any other city its size.
(5) Seattle is the only city in the nation where it has rained for 87 consecutive days. (Okay, I made that one up.)
(Props to Ambika for pointing this article out.)