Tweaking Blogspot

Okay. Links are up.Changed the template to be easier to read

Fiddled with the Title header.

Now for an explanation of the title.

It is from Walt Whitman. In the preface of Leaves of Grass.

It needs a whole table of its own right here, but that is on the to do list.

How to make a great cup of coffee

The following advice is probably the most important thing that I can impart to you.

1. Use only filtered water. If you can remove the metals and the chlorine from the water, you have already taken a great step in making a better cup of coffee.

2. Next step. Take some time, effort and money and purchase and gold coffee filter. Melitta and several others sell them. I bought mine at Cost Plus but I am sure they can be found nearly everywhere. Paper filters remove the oils and with it the flavor of a lot of the coffee. Plus you are throwing one less thing into the trash with each pot you make.

3. Grind your own beans. Canned or pre-ground coffees lose their flavors very quickly. In the course of several hours your fresh coffee will be nearly flavor less. Buy fresh Arabica beans. Stay away from the name brand ground coffees, as they are a blend of Arabica (flavor) and Robusta (cheap) coffees.

4. Use a decent coffee maker!. Don’t skimp on the coffee maker. Make sure the water is heated to degrees and the warming pad won’t cook the coffee after it sits for more than about 20 minutes. Braun and Black and Decker both make great coffee makers that are recommended by Cooks magazine and Consumer Reports.

5. If you have gotten to this point, you are ready for the next step, roasting your own green beans. Unroasted coffee beans can last for a couple of years. They are half the price of roasted beans. And for the cost of an investment in a coffee maker (about $79.00 or so) you can have the absolutely freshest cup of coffee that you can imagine.

Roast, grind, brew, enjoy.

There are other tips for the more advanced. Store brewed coffee in a carafe or thermos to keep it from cooking on coffee maker burner.

Try using a French press for an intense cup of Joe. (Their only draw back is that often they make only two or three cups at a time, are hard to keep it warm and if the boiling water is too hot you may have ruined the roast before you even get a chance to taste it.)

For more:

Sweet Marias

I Need

Job Hunt

So, the job hunt is looking up a bit. In the past few weeks, I have been able to send out more than a resume or two a week. There are actually job positings! Although in this market that means some fierce competition, but I think I can at least claw my way to the top of the pile.
Sent off three resumes to Nextel this week for three supervisor positions. And several more similar positions were sent off last week. Not my dream job, but I am qualified, so might as well give it a shot.
I have about three weeks of paid unemployment benefits left. Short of getting an extension (which I can’t apply for until the money is gone) the first job that comes along will be my new career. So reach out to your favorite psychic and send me a note on what is in the future, for I can’t fathom it.

Let’s Begin

Okay, this is a sign of my mind. I was walking the dog this afternoon, like I do most every day – promptly at 4:10 or so. I checked the mail as part of that routine and received my bimonthly unemployment check – the hard gritty evidence that my plan “B” isn’t working.
Anyway. As I return home from walking the dog, I discover that aforementioned check is not in its assigned coat pocket.
AAAck. A minor panic.
I quickly deposited the dog and rushed outside to retrace my steps. There it was – right next to the dogs preferred. “poo” station. Ugh. It must have fallen out when I retrieved my doggy doo doo bag to scoop up the malicious mess.
That disaster was barely averted.
Nothing left to do today except deposit check, cook some dinner and settle down for some Buffy the Vampire Slayer action and a trip to Smallville.

Dirty secret

I dig the Bee Gees and have spent a greater part of the last two days jamming. Jamming I say. Jamming to the hit makers.
Last night I watched Compay Segundo on Ovation as well as a show on Afro/Cubano music. Enthrallling.
He was 90 years-old when it was filmed about five years ago and he was singing, dancing, playing the guitar and actually ran out onto the stage for the encore. Boy, to have that kind of energy at that age. Wow. If you haven’t had the chance to see the Buena Vista Social club from producer performer Ry Cooder, take some time to do that. Great music and gives some pause to what the world has missed out on during the Cuban embargo. There is much more to Cuba than cigars and Ricky Ricardo.
This weekend I installed Mozilla on my system and replaced it for the Opera internet browser. I cruised around and found some nifty add ons, like mouse gestures and it has made the internet surfing that has beocme my time wasting past time even more fun and interesting.
I tried messing around with some proxy servers and anonymizer software the make myself “invisible: while online,but it seemed a bit annoying so I uninstalled.
Recently I have re-discovered Chess. Over a year ago, I purchased a chess software program (Chessmaster 8000 from Milton Bradley) for the computer but never really gave much thought to it. But with my time available, I started to take advanage of its feature-rich options and am learning chess. Which is great fun. For Christmas, Sage bought me a shot-glass chess set and we played a few weeks back. She is fairly good and that experience motivated me to study up on the game and develop some strategies and planning philosophies to take my game up a notch or two. But if you have ever played shot glass chess you know that it isn’t really about strategy. It is about getting your opponent drunk, which often means playing give-away chess.
It is perhaps a better use of my time to learn chess than sitting around playing some brain-numbing video game. However, it is a game that indeed will take a lifetime to get the hang of, that is for sure.