January 29, 2011

Gutters and Trellises

Put a gutter on the shack.  Now it can collect stray rain into a barrel.  

Shiny White Gutter

January 24, 2011

Parzival - January 2010

I've recently been reading through Parzival, by Wolfram von Essenbach.  This book is the epic poem about Percival, written in the first quarter of the 13th century.  I'm reading a translation of the original German.  It contains many of the stories that make up the canon of Arthurian legend.  A fun read, though it requires a slower pace.

     I also recently received a copy of Decision Points by former President George W. Bush.  It will be interesting to see what kind of points were attached to the tough decisions of the previous presidency.

January 21, 2011

Coffee Rant - Casi Cielo

The jungles of Guatemala have brought us something special.   The beans are dark, like little ampules of browny darkness, containing lustrously viscousness inside.  They're fragile too; about one in twenty is partially pre-ground.  The grounded coffee delivers an extraordinarily smooth cup filled with luscious vegetable overtones.

This cup of coffee might be what early explorers of the new world were secretly searching for.

A cup of Cielo is an immersive experience, perhaps akin to crashing a plane into the jungle.  The canopy of the jungle swallows you whole; the plane disappears into the canopy floor.  Now, surrounded by unfamiliar sights and sounds, the jungle becomes a whole new world.  Bugs and insects are everywhere.  You hear strange birds.   Kookaburras, Toucans, and Macaws swirl in the midsts of your imagination, as large primates in search of bananas begin banging the cockpit doors open.

Rich vegetable, smooth... with a hint of Toucans

January 11, 2011

Coffee Rant - Kenya

The whole beans of this wonderfully anti-narcotic beverage have great visual appeal.  They're not too oily, and perfectly sized.  An existence as close to the ideal roasted coffee beans, in appearance, as probably possible.  They almost all look the same to me, anyways.  The ground beans smelled earthy and slightly acidic.  This is a good smelling coffee, and captures what I would assume a coffee should smell like, in essence.
Charcoal, the characteristic Starbucks over-roastedness, is the primary flavor of my brewing of this beany beverage.  The charcoal taste was akin to a flameout marshmallow.  When you're attempting to for that perfect golden brown roast marshmallow, and in your eager zealousness to find the perfect roasting distance, you go too far, and the puffed sugar cylinder bursts into flames.  At this point in the roasting process, panic sets in.  A mad fury to extinguish the flames, attempting to salvage the remainder of the sugary goodness leads to wildly fanning the marshmallow through the air.  There is a great propensity in this action for the marshmallow to disembark its roasting place, and become a flaming magic missile, bound for some other hapless marshmallow roaster.  Practice and patience can hone the panic phase of the burning  marshmallow... resulting in a quick and metered puff of air; extinguishing the greedy flames.

Hints of melted sneaker bottoms, freshly charred from running over a warm lavaflow.  Also, a beautiful earthy taste, like a mouthful of potting soil.