Coffee Wars

Dear Coworkers:

OK, fine, you officially win the coffee war. I’m flying the white flag.

Whereas my workplace is pretty chill overall, one major source of contention around here is the coffee. I am the only one around this place who drinks proper coffee. I like my coffee so strong you could cut it with a knife. Depending on the coffee I use anywhere from 1.5x to double the recommended amount of grounds and I don’t put anything in it either. The darker and fuller body the better.

As for everyone else in the office? I swear they’re so used to weak ass shitty coffee that I have to dial it back for their sake, but I don’t understand how they would know the difference with as much cream and sugar as they put into it. Nonetheless, they still complain when I make coffee that it’s too strong, even when to me it seems weak!

Well okay, I guess you win. You want to play that game, I’ll play it. I’ll just buy me a hot hold container for me, brew my coffee first thing in the morning and you can have the damn coffee maker the rest of the day to brew your brown tinted hot water. I concede the war to you.

Now can we all just get along? You have your weak ass coffee, I have my real coffee, let’s just be happy.

Unless you want to learn how to really enjoy a fine cup of coffee, then I’d be glad to share and teach you. Offer is always on the table.

Sincerely yours,

Your coworker who drinks proper coffee.


Concerning “Freedom”

As today is Canada Day for our northern neighbors and Wednesday is Independence Day in the US, I can’t help but make a few political and/or philosophical remarks regarding the week. I posted these on Facebook and I’m sharing them here for you to reflect on. The following represent my views only and shall not be taken as a personal attack on anyone. You are free to chime in with your own views and debate me and each other, but keep it civil.

Just a little bit of philosophy for everyone to contemplate on a week where Americans and Canadians will both be celebrating so-called “freedom” or “independence.”

Are we truly free? Is there really such a thing as freedom? Not really. Regardless of what part of the country or world we live in, we were all born into slavery. Slavery to what you ask? Slavery to our biological imperatives – hunger, thirst, self-preservation. Slaves to our daily pains and sufferings. Slaves to those illnesses we either happen to have coded into our genes or to those illnesses caused by pathogens or some other outside force. Slaves to our own existences. Slaves to mother nature or one’s choice of god, whichever you prefer to think of it as.

So what, again, are we celebrating? Existence isn’t freedom. Existence is anything but. To borrow some terminology from professional lawyer and amrchair philosopher Gary Mosher, existence is “gladiator war.” It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. We will only ever truly be free when we all return to that void from which we came – the blissful state of oblivion where not only will we no longer be in pain or suffering, but we will have no memory of any of our pain or suffering as we will not be conscious.

Now is that to say there’s nothing to celebrate? Absolutely not. Whereas, as David Benatar pointed out, it is true that “the quality of even the best lives is very bad – and considerably worse than most people recognize it to be,” it is also true that some lives are much better than others. If one is to consider oneself lucky at all (which I would also dispute – the truly lucky ones are those who will never be brought into existence), those of us born into developed countries are in fact lucky as we will never know the greatest depths of pain and suffering. We don’t know what it’s like to be starving children in Africa. A vast majority of us will never experience smallpox, ebola or a host of other illnesses that those places without access to vaccination or sanitation will experience.

So instead of celebrating the false notion of freedom or independence, just celebrate the fact that if you had to be brought into existence, it could be a hell of a lot worse. Just don’t sugarcoat it and call it “freedom,” just know that, again quoting Benatar, “a charmed life is so rare that for every one charmed life there are millions of wretched lives.” The charmed life that many of us have in developed countries has less to do with the specific developed country we’re in and more to do with just being in a developed country in general, hence the notion of patriotism is flawed. We might have it relatively good here, but there are dozens of other developed countries we’d have it just as good and maybe in some ways better, but again, better being relative. Truly best would be never to have existed at all.

End ramblings/ponderings for this week.

Song Lyric Sunday 7/1/18 – Games Without Frontiers

This week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme is game(s). Well okay, this one was a total no-brainer for me. This one song I love popped immediately into my head and here it is.

This song actually refers to a popular European game show which ran from 1965 to 1999  (and the original French title of the show appears in the lyrics as does the British title of the show). In this show, teams from competing countries would participate in skill-based challenges, which the song also refers to in the verses.

Here then is the song “Games Without Frontiers,” a 1979 song by Peter Gabriel (written by himself):

|: Jeux sans frontières : | (x4)

Hans plays with Lotte, Lotte plays with Jane
Jane plays with Willi, Willi is happy again
Suki plays with Leo, Sacha plays with Britt
Adolf builds a bonfire, Enrico plays with it

Whistling tunes we hide in the dunes by the seaside
Whistling tunes we’re kissing baboons in the jungle

It’s a knockout

|: If looks could kill,
They probably will
In games without frontiers
War without tears : | (x2)

Games without frontiers
War without tears

|: Jeux sans frontières : | (x3)

Andre has a red flag, Chiang Ching’s is blue
They all have hills to fly them on except for Lin Tai Yu
Dressing up in costumes, playing silly games
Hiding out in tree-tops shouting out rude names

Whistling tunes we hide in the dunes by the seaside
Whistling tunes we piss on the goons in the jungle

It’s a knockout

|: If looks could kill,
They probably will
In games without frontiers
War without tears : | (x2)

Games without frontiers
War without tears

|: Jeux sans frontières : | (repeat ad nauseam)

A bit of an unconventional song, but Peter Gabriel was totally unconventional anyway. Whatever the case, hope you enjoyed this one. Catch you all next week!

Wine Review – 1916 Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Today we are reviewing a wine. I haven’t done many wine reviews on here but I’ve been asked to do more so I’ll try to make a conscious effort to do so. Today’s topic is this 1916 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon of a 2012 vintage.

This bottle I found at a local grocery store on special, but don’t let that fool you. It’s not a cheap wine by any stretch. My research has pointed to me to Espier Estate in Victoria, Australia as the mastermind behind this wine but the back of the bottle says “Our Cellars” in Hopland, CA so I’m utterly confused, as can be seen here along with the ABV. Maybe someone more knowledgeable than me  can educate me on what exactly this is.

Pours a deep red as a good Cab should. Ample lacing when swirled. Aromas of rose petals, blueberries and black cherry. The black cherry carries over into the initial attack which gives way to a jammy plum note and just a tinge of dark chocolate. Warm, peppery finish with oaky undertones and an ample amount of tannins. Medium to heavy body with a long warming aftertaste.

An excellent wine, it would go well with a heavy dinner or, as I had it for this review, paired with a full bodied Maduro cigar such as the previously reviewed Blanco Liga Exclusiva Maduro. Rating: 4.5/5.

I Did It…

This is a follow up post to my previous post about contemplating playing out again.

So I decided I might as well give it a shot in that I don’t have much to lose. So I prepared a set list (30 minutes), brought my guitar with me this morning and decided to just go for it. What’s the worst that could happen? A repeat of the last time?

So after a few drinks to calm my nerves TFF/H&O concert tee and “Davy” Dukes clad me took the stage still nervous as hell. Here we go.

Well this…strange…thing happened. I made it through unscathed. The crowd was small so that might have been part of it but I didn’t get booed off the stage again. I got some small ovation but nothing big. The crowd was too small to gauge but maybe it’s better this time?

In any case, I have a bit more confidence that I can take with me. Maybe I’ll be back next month when they do it again? We shall see.

Now though? I’m breathing a sigh of relief that I broke the ice again. Baby steps right?

Help Me To Decide…

So an opportunity to put myself back “out there” might have just presented itself to me.

A little backstory that some of you all know: back in my younger days (read: graduate student days in Idaho) I was a very active musician. I played two to three venues per week – mostly just open mic nights but some paid shows too. I enjoyed it for sure and was a great outlet.

That was until I moved back to Texas and tried that. I guess none of the venues I had available in Abilene were conducive to it. The first venue I played at back home just wasn’t into me – so much that the first one I attempted to play at I got booed off stage. That was in 2012.

That incident left me wondering if I really sucked as badly as I perceived to. I never had the most confidence anyway. Was the crowd in Idaho just “being nice” and tolerating me? Or is it just the difference in crowd and taste in music? Whatever the case it really fed into my self-doubt and shut me down completely. It’s been six years and I still haven’t played another show since.

Alas, it is possible I now have a more suitable venue for my style of music. There’s this little pub/bookstore place (odd combination I know!) just down the road from my office that attracts quite an eclectic crowd – one that might be more into me. They just started doing open mic nights but on Saturdays. I already drive 60 miles one way to work 5x per week so I wasn’t about to make that drive on a weekend, but they are moving it to Thursdays.

Given that and the generally positive feedback I’ve gotten when I cover my SLS submissions, I’m thinking this might be my shot. I’ll never get past my mishap if I don’t put myself back out there. That’s just a fact, and I don’t want to have a case of the “shoulda-woulda-couldas” later on.

So dear readers, help me to decide – help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure. Should I go for it?

Welcome to Sunday Social

Let’s all congregate at Rachel’s blog for our weekly get together.

Rachel McKee~Illuminated Literation

Sunday Social is a place to mingle, collaborate, and share our blogs. Sunday Social is one more place where you can share a post that maybe didn’t get as much feedback as you were hoping for. Sunday Social is a place to meet new bloggers.

This weekly post is a “wild card” of sorts. There aren’t many rules but I do ask that you follow a few guidelines.

  • Give honest, constructive feedback, but always be courteous.
  • If someone takes the time to comment on your post, please return the favor and check out their endeavors too.

How do you participate?

It’s very easy.

  • Copy and paste the link to your blog or a specific blog post in the comment section below.
  • Give us a little blurb about your blog, the feedback you are looking for, or if you are just hoping to meet some new blogger buddies.

Voila! That’s it.

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