It Was About Life - And Coffee

candlerSeptember 24, 2005

Good Morning, All. I'm having difficulty reaching the former subject I started about coffee. I guess 86 (or was it 87) was the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak. Anyway, thanks for all the good advice. That subject heading will eventually go the way of those started by many of us on THS - "When we're forgotten we cease to exist".

In my gainful employment days I kept a sign above my desk. It said "Hangeth in there!". It was minor encouragement most of the time but had a stronger meaning at others.

I hope everyone is doing well. Gene

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Gene, ever since the iVillage takeover, there's the occasional technical problem with getting into these forums. Maybe that's why you couldn't access the other thread. Anyway, glad to see you figured out another way to get here. :o)

As for coffee, it seems that within a few days I've run out of all those lovely bags I had sitting in my freezer for weeks and weeks! I'm down to Italian Roast, Half Caf and decaf French Roast. Time to schedule a visit to Intelligentsia: every Tuesday it's $2.00 off on any one-pound bag of beans. There's a pound of Star & Crescent in my immediate future...

Right now I'm sitting here listening to the tour busses idle as they wait for passengers at the Sheraton across the street. How can something that sits still be so #$!! noisy!?? Later this morning I have a sales meeting at my real estate office. I ROTFLMAO over the fact that I work in same building as corporate headquarters for Playboy! No, I never see bunnies running in the hallways. lolol In fact, I never see anyone who looks as if they "belong" at Playboy. But it does conjure some amusing pictures in my head. lol

I was over-the-moon happy to see that my wonderful friend is featured in a glorious three-page profile in the October issue of O(prah) Magazine. It starts on page 75. Here's a link where you can read an excerpt.


Here is a link that might be useful: Wesla Whitfield: Phenomenal Woman (she is, she is)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 8:42AM
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Good Saturday Morning, Karen - It looks like you and me, doesn't it. I don't have much of a life and know this. I find a friendly voice and/or site and don't move around very much looking for other forums.

I'm sorry about the noise. I can identify somewhat with your problem. My wife and I moved to the country in 1965. Gravel road, cattle and horses, roaming dogs, and everything. In 1970 Interstate 40 was built and nothing but tractor trailer noise. Fortunately for me but unfortunate for the builders there has been two fairly large houses put up between me and I-40. There's to be a third house build within a year or so. This lessens some of the road noise.

I read the Wesla Whitfield story and heard part of a song. My ISP only runs at 28.8 to 32.2 and will not buffer songs quickly enough to enjoy listening. The story was encouraging and sadening. A stray bullet at 29? I wonder if they ever found who shot. I'm glad you brought her to my attention.

I'm in the process of trying four more coffees: Java Estate; Sumatra Mandheling; Hawaiian Kona; and Kenya AA. I've drank the first and last. My personal rating is 4.5 and 6.0. I've determined I need to get away from the house and visit stores that might sell gormet coffees. I paid over $17.00 for 12 ounces. Shipping was around $7.00.

That's funny about no bunnies at the Playboy headquarters. At least you don't have to push your way through a lot of lookers that might crowd walkways.

This pop up iVillage thing might eventually slow down or stop my THS viewing. But before that happens I'd like to send you an email through their system to pass along my email. I like to hear what you have to say. I thought iVillage was a virus because it affects my system like one. I've run spyblockers and antivirus with no help. Their pop up ad completely stops my system from being able to access forums. I ask questions more than talk, such as I'm doing now. For instance I moved a three foot snake from my mountain log house. It was climbing up. In the reptile forum they told me what it was and information about it. And, at times I have questions about building, computers, and a lot of stuff. But, if I can't get THS to activate it's more frustration than anything else.

Thanks for the reply, Karen. I wish you well. I'll continue to try to find one of Ms. Whitfields songs I can listen to without buffering interuptions. By the way, there's a person named Eva Cassidy who reminds me of her. Eva died young, around 24. I think she was from England. Her vocal range and style was very impressive. Someone in Vancouver found her songs and put them into a couple of CD's. The one I have is called "imagine". It's one of my favorites.

Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 10:05AM
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Somebody on this forum (can't remember who) asked if Chicago-based Intelligentsia coffee beans were available at Whole Foods nationwide. I was at one of their retail stores last week. The salesperson told me that her company is currently exploring the possibility of expanding nationwide.

Cheers! :o)


    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 8:26PM
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Good Morning, Karen and Others. Let's say you and I decide to establish an on-line retail coffee company. We come up with a name; a web site; nice packaging; and decent selling wording and techniques. We contact roasters all over the world; get the best price to supply and do our packaging; and we are in business. Right? I'm beginning to think this possibility is more common than many think.

In doing my coffee thing I'm continually gaining and modifying opinions. I mention the foregoing scenarios because I think we can wind up with the same coffee from different retailers and under different names. It happens every day in the world of electronics and the like. Why could it not happen to coffee. My current personal bottom line is that to get a decent sampling of coffees I feel one must deal with companies that are tried and tested. It has taken me a year to come to this decision. Like I've said it's a personal one.

On un-coffee topics, I still take my little red Miata out on occasion. We're beginning to have cooler weather in the mountains. I keep the top down anyway, keep the windows up to turn back air, and turn on the heater. It's still fun to get out. I think I've sold my mountain place. I just got burned out working on it. I suppose I'll stay at my house where I've been for 40 years (still in the mountains). That's what happens with age.

I hope Whole Foods comes to the Asheville area. It may already be here because there's a lot of new places around. I looked at the Intelligentsia web site and will make an order when I finish up the coffees I have (I usually have about five or six different ones).

Regards to all, Gene

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 9:08AM
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Following up on my post may not seem the proper protocol but since The Single Life is almost dormant no one will read it anyway . The sale of my mountain log house went through. I didn't have to sell it but it was a constant responsibility. I feel better not having to worry about pipes freezing and so on. But, when I think of sitting on the deck; it being so quiet on can hear a pin drop; and looking at a 50 mile view; mixed emotions creep in.

There's a Ridgerunner Miata Club in my area. I think it covers Western NC, Eastern Tennessee, and Northeast Georgia. I've only recently joined. I get interesting e-mails and I hope to come out of my shell to one day go with them on an outing.

I'm still with about a half dozen coffees. I'm still wondering about all coffee. For example, I had Sumatra from distributor one and rated it about a 7. I had Sumatra from distributor two and rated it about 6.5. Then, I, again, had Sumatra from distributor one and rated it about a 4.5. Apparently the beans were improperly roasted and still had a green flavor.

We're changing over to standard time tonight, huh. If you have battery operated smoke detectors be sure to put new ones in.

Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 10:24AM
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Okay, I'm back with more coffee talk. :o)

For those of you who are addicted and live near a Trader Joe's, this is a grand time indeed! They just got in about 4-5 new coffee beans. So far I've tried the Australian Fancy and the Ethiopian. Both are wonderful. There's also one called Winter Dream, I think. Seems to be their version of a Christmas coffee. It has spices in it -- I think I tasted cinnamon and something else. Interesting, but I prefer unflavored coffees. Sadly, TJ's coffee prices have risen so much that they are now about as expensive as (gasp!) Starbucks.

Gene, have you decided what you'll do with the proceeds from the sale of your home? I vote for spending some of it on gas money to go on an outing with your fellow Miata owners. My mother just had two minor fender benders in about four weeks -- neither one was her fault (honest!). So I'm giving her long-distance advice on shopping for a new car. New to her, anyway. I'd like to see her go for something like a 2-3 yr-old Chevy Malibu. Decent mileage, big enough but not too big. But she'll probably go right back to another big honkin' Chrysler. Oh well. Her money, her life. :o)

Happy Turkey, everyone.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2005 at 7:56AM
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Gene and Karen

Fellow coffee lover here.

AND I LOVE MIATAS! OMG...Gene, you have a RED one? I tell myself...some day, some day.

Right now I have a 1974 orange VW Bug. I love her too! She's got a "car bra", so my boys told me she was a "Ladybug". LoL

This board may be slow, but I just found it, and we'll see what we can do, huh? It is what you make it. Even tho not many are posting, doesn't mean they aren't reading.......HEY YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Bookmark   November 23, 2005 at 11:04AM
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Hello, Karen, Jean and Others. I'm still winding down on a few other coffees but I received Tchibo Exclusive; Jacobs Kronung; and Dallmayr Prodomo. These are German. I tried Dallmayr. As I've said before I think I've killed my taste buds. I can't tell a difference between that and many others. It was smooth.

I am on a well that has a light iron sediment. Still, that's my primary water to drink or whatever. I still have my Mr. Coffee 10 cup (joke) drip maker. I mention this as a background to say for my afternoon coffee I use three level tablespoons of coffee for twenty ounces of water. I find this acceptable. I tried four level tablespoons and it was pretty strong.

Coffee or not, very recently I developed a bladder problem. I've given up on the afternoon coffee for a while. I miss it.

I'm sorry about your Mother's accidents, Karen. The car she is driving seems heavy enough to protect her. Maybe we all should have those type. Speaking of cars, y'all, I bought a 1994 Lexus LS400. It had 98,500 miles and looked brand new. I'm having a few its problems worked on. I haven't driven my Miata for a while. It just doesn't seem right if one can't have the top down. I get e-mail reports from the Ridgerunner Miata Club. They have a monthly meeting and I think I'll go to the December one.

Jean, I've always like the Bug. I'd say your's looks very classy from the description. I'll bet it is fun to see the recognition factor. I do that with my Miata. My brother bought a new Solstice and got a thumbs up from a senior lady at a mall in Ft Myers. Since the lady, he, and I are seniors I asked if he was sure it was the thumb.

Thanks for the response. I hope you folks had a fine Thanksgiving and that you are looking forward to what's coming. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 8:42AM
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I had a great Thanksgiving. Spent it with my oldest son, my niece, her DH and young son.

I love coffee.

I usually only make latte's on the week-end, so that it's a special treat.
My favorite? Sugar free hazelnut.

Gene, yes I really enjoy seeing the "recogniton factor" as you called it. (I like that!) When I drive by, and see kids hitting each other, and pointing, well, I know it's all my fault. LoL
And, small children in parking lots just HAVE to get their parents attention to show them. It's really cute. I usually wave.

I'd still love a Miata tho! LoL Red, of course, with a black top.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 11:03AM
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Gene, here's something fun that you might like to add to your coffee repertoire. Toddy is a unique, and absolutely divine, coffee flavor. Not flavored as in "hazelnut" or "cinnamon." Just a metnod of brewing the beans to produce a unique flavor.

I used to get iced lattes at Seattle's Best Coffee made with toddy and steamed whole milk. Some of the best-tasting stuff on earth. Below is a link to a site where you can buy your own toddy maker. I don't have one. But maybe, if Santa is really good to me.....


Here is a link that might be useful: Toddy Maker

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 9:34AM
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Howdy, Folks - Today is December 8. In two weeks our daylight time will start getting longer. Yes, it will also be the beginning of the dreaded winter. But, with more daylight one can see the roads a little more clearly or watch the snow falling for a few more minutes.

I've been drinking Mexican Altura (I think). At the beginning I had my doubts and would have given it about a 3 or 4. But after a few days I jumped it to a 7. It is especially good with a meal.

We all have personal opinions, don't we. When it comes to drinking coffee by itself I prefer mild. A strong coffee by itself hurts my stomach. With a meal I prefer a fairly strong coffee. With a stand alone desert I prefer one a little stronger than that.

I'm stlll trying to use up coffees before I start on the ones from Germany. I'm down to about one serving of Brazil Cerrado. Although not personally rated very well I suppose I'm too frugal to trash it. Of the German, Dahlmayr is the only one tried so far. It's smooth and mild and would do okay for stand alone drinking.

Yes, I miss the mountain place I sold. As most in this forum can relate, at times we just get tired of making decisions. I had kicked this around for over a year. I did talk to my three adult children. They prefer not to get involved in such major decisions.

I've begun to accept being by myself after almost five years(widowed). Still, on that same line do you ever just wish someone else would make coffee; someone else would turn on the dishwasher; someone else would put in a load of clothes; or someone was sitting in the room with you to whom you could comment about a daily happening, a news story, or whatever.

Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 8:58AM
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" you ever just wish someone else would make coffee; someone else would turn on the dishwasher; someone else would put in a load of clothes; or someone was sitting in the room with you to whom you could comment about a daily happening, a news story, or whatever."

Absolutely. Being alone in life can really suck rotten eggs when you're looking for the above, and it's not there. But it sounds as though you've done the only thing you could do: you've gone forward. You've tried to make meaning from this new phase in your life. Congrats for trying. There really should be a higher value placed on simply trying, don't you think?


    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 2:10PM
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Gene, Have followed your coffee journey through the past several months and have found it very interesting. I love coffee, drink way too much of the stuff, but will never be a coffee connoisseur. I splurge for a pound of Starbucks dark French Roast now and then - sometimes buy beans and grind them using a little B&D grinder someone gave me years ago. Use a Gevalia coffee maker (the one with the glass lined carafe.)

I'm making arrangements to spend a few days up in the NC mountains in January at a place called the Inn at Iris Meadows in Waynesville. I hear they make fantastic coffee. If I learn any secrets, I'll be glad to pass the word!!!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 7:59PM
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Good Morning, Gerry, Karen and Others. Gerry, I'm not familar with the Inn. There's a lot of fine places in Haywood County (had my mountain place there ). Waynesville is a "just the right size" sort of town. I imagine you've been in the area before so little reason to speak of it's merits. Most often when I drive out I head in the Waynesville direction rather than Asheville. I find the traffic less of a hassle.

There's a coffee place called Panacea Coffee House Cafe that I enjoy. It has character and promotes a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. I also like Maggie's Galley (not at Maggie Valley). It's in a log house; has decent food; and decent prices. Also, Bogarts is okay.

I play golf at Maggie Valley Country Club fairly often. And, I play Waynesville CC maybe one a year. The weather in our area for almost the past couple of months just has not been conducive to golfing. It looks like I'll have to head toward the Santee-Cooper area. One of my golfing friends goes there regularly. He says the courses are great.

I've finished all coffees except the German. I've started on the Dahlmayr (sp?) but with two others it's time I changed.

Whether I've mentioned it or not lately I've not been grinding my own beans. At my coffee testing onset in October of last year I thought it would make a difference. Now I'm not so sure. I mentioned earlier maybe I've killed my taste buds. At times I can't distinguish any difference between the same coffee which was preground as to buying the bean.

On a personal note I've finished getting the kinks out of my Lexus LS400. It's a fine riding car and I hope it will last. I have $9,500 in it and it's a 1994 with 99,000 miles. Typically, I looked in yesterday's paper and saw a 1996 for $10,500 with 91,000 miles. Isn't that the way things go.

I can't help but look at Christmas or any special occasion with my fair share of melancholy. I'd like to be festive but people are different, are they not. Those of us who have lost someone very close, such as a spouse, parent, child, sibling, and others, have their heads filled memories that generate mixed emotions. We try our best to remember the good times because we want to be happy. It may work for a while but, as quickly as not, sometimes reality kicks in and we fall like a rock.

I didn't mean to finish this note on the down side. I do wish the best to everyone and hope all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Now, just where did I put those Christmas cards?

Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 11:06AM
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Dear Gene and All other coffee fans:

I am in the market for a new coffee maker and would appreciate anyone's opinion who would care to weigh in . I looked at the appliance forum with little success - people get into espresso, cappucino, french press, etc. I just want a plain old, good old coffee maker that makes good, hot coffee with limited bells and whistles. I just remodeled, well, gutted and replaced my kitchen and my old Mr. Coffee was never too good to begin with. It won't pause & serve (I and need that first cup before it's finished brewing - makes me crazy to wait) and the coffee it never hot enough - I usually put it in the microwave for 30 seconds to get it hot enough. I would like to get something that looks nice but not into super fancy. Just a nice, dependable coffee maker that makes a good, hot cup of plain coffee. I guess I never developed my palette for fancy brews but I don't think I would roll out of bed if I didn't have my coffee to look forward to first thing in the morning. Would appreciate any input on the subject.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 9:24PM
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S.A. Rose, I've heard lots of people rave about Bunn. Haven't tried it myself -- I'm a grind it fresh/one cup daily kinda gal.

Gene, happy holidays to you, too. Maybe you could find some volunteer work to do on Christmas Day? For example, delivering meals to those who can't get out, working at a homeless shelter, etc. It's a way to do something helpful. It also will temporarily take your mind off some of the sad aspects of the holiday.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 9:51AM
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Oh,so we're talking coffee eh? I have the best freakin machine ever invented. Don't hate me 'cuz it cost a lot tho, because I redid my kitchen and saved a bunch of money by buying a floor model refrigerator, and have a relative who got it for me wholesale. It's the Meile coffee system,(not the one that takes those prepacked pods) and it grinds, prebrews, then brews a fresh cup in 60 seconds. I use costco coffee, which I buy whatever regular roast they have that day that the bags are still hot from the roaster. I beleive that's the key...fresh beans fresh cup .....tastes great. And all I have to do ( now that I busted my A** rehabbing the kitchen and paying for it by myself) is push a button.But it is truly a pleasure, a simple luxury that gets the day started off just right.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 9:34PM
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Good Sunday Morning, Everyone - Holidays are generally tough on me and I try to crawl into a shell until it's over. Yes, I do see the children and grandchildren but then jump back to my shell. I hope all had a good one and the future is bright.

Santa brought three coffees: Starbuck's Italian Roast beans which I've never tried; Caribou Expresso Coffee beans; and Caribou Reindeer Blend beans. I've been using the Expresso. I give it around a 7.5.

Of interest a TV segment said there's two types of coffee beans. Arabica (which does not necessarily come from Arabia is the better of the two. Then there's Robusta which is close to the bottom and commonly used by conglomerates.

You and I have talked of keeping coffee and coffee beans fresh. Here's another which comes from Caribou. Store the beans in an opaque, airtight container at room temperature. They go on to say that even under the best circumstances the beans will begin to loose flavor once exposed to air. Has anyone done this? Where did you get your opaque container that can be made airtight?

I have not gotten further along in my German coffees than trying the Dallmayr Prodomo. The Tchibo Exclusive and Jacobs Kronung have not even been opened.

I make notes as to questions on coffee makers; types of coffees; and recommendations I see in our forums. I still have my basic Mr. Coffee 10-cup. I still examine makers at stores. I still think there's better coffee out there although I've had some that I rank almost an 8.

I might have mentioned I took insurance off my Miata and have it tucked away in the garage. I'll bring it out of hibernation in May or June. I've finished everything on my 11-year old Lexus LS400. It is probably the most comfortable and easy driving car I've ever owned. I have about a month coming up of straightening out paper work which is never fun. While I'm at it I have boxes and boxes of old paper stuff which needs shredding. That in itself takes more time than one would think.

I wish everyone a great 2006. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 11:48AM
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Hey Gene. Glad to see you're back among the living in this shiny new year! Not sure exactly what kind of opaque bag you're referring to. We have Caribou Coffee here but it's been years since I bought coffee beans from them.

As far as bean storage, I've settled on keeping beans in their original packaging, tightly closed and stored in my freezer. Everything lasts for months. I've always suspected coffee companies recommend storing at room temperature because beans *will* go stale faster. The faster they go bad, the faster you'll have to buy more. Get it? ;o)

These days my favorite is Trader Joe's House Blend. It's a mix of Columbian and Sumatra. A nice, hearty flavor with a hint of a syrupy tang. Hmmm. Reminds me of those wine snobs: "A hint of currant with an impertinent soupcon of peach." lolol

I hear you on the paperwork thing. I'm looking at that same dreaded task. I'll have about four tax returns to prepare for 2005. Well actually, my accountant prepares them. But my task is always to sort the receipts and add up all the totals. It's one of my absolute most hated things to do. Right up there with going to the dentist. Here's hoping it's a less painful process. lol


    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 8:32AM
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Hello, Karen and Others. I sometimes envy people who can make an impact with a few words. I may have read it yesterday or today in THS. Who knows. The person was referring to the life each of us is living. He/she said "It's not a dress rehearsal, folks!". Yes, we will have varied interpretation, will we not. At my age it is almost scary. I think of my life more than living it. Rather than number crunching and shuffling papers I need to be on the 6,000+ area of the Parkway and enjoy what I see. The Parkway gets closed a lot during the winter but when it's cold and open you're the only kid on the block, so to speak. In my younger years it would have offered serenity but these days I appreciate the beauty. Yes, we are not in a dress rehearsal, folks. The time it took to do what you did today cannot be recaptured. It's gone forever.

And now about coffee! Karen, my thoughts went to an opaque air tight jar that would hold about a pound of coffee beans. If I ever find a coffee I care to stick with I may try that method. In the mean time they're in the freezer. Didn't you suggest that? I like Sumatra and Columbian. I can understand why that's a favorite.

That was funny about the wine snobs. Well, why can't we become coffee snobs. We can drop a new add-on name here and there and we'll be speaking French, too.

I told my partner-brother I have our venture on Quicken except for depreciation schedules. I said I've done my part. The rest was up to him. At least I think it's funny.

Regards to all and let's try to remember what was said at the beginning. Gene

    Bookmark   January 16, 2006 at 8:15PM
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