'lil niller

I emailed and talked with Kevin Kreutner of DaVinci Gourmet today about moving forward on getting my mug on a bottle of vanilla syrup. I sent him a picture that I felt made me look not entirely like a doofus...hopefully I was correct in that decision. I guess I'll find out when a sample bottle arrives on my desk.



Dose of humility.

The 0 mph fall. It's in many a bicyclists' tales of the road. I had my first today. I was at the intersection of Fullerton and Clark while running some errands and just out having a nice ride to clear my head of everything from the past two weeks.

I was trackstanding at the intersection, waiting for the traffic to clear/light to change and for some reason I clipped out with my right foot instead of my left (which I usually do) to put my foot down. Next thing I know I'm on my way to the pavement. There's no stopping this when it happens. I became a pile of limbs entangled in an upturned bicycle. Luckily, I had some time to get up and make sure i was unscathed before the light changed. Additionally, there weren't too many pedestrians either to see my miraculous feat of skill.

I zipped to the next block and turned to some side streets to get my thoughts together before cracking up at myself.


I'm back

Mel and I got back on Thursday. I'm still catching up at work and digesting everything that's been happening. I'll update more later.

In the meantime, here's some press:

Sun-Times - they didn't try too hard, I didn't have any voicemails/emails
Chicago Tribune

Check bugmenot.com for logins.



It's the simplest things...

Vanilla ice cream, a nice pen, a single espresso. It's always the simplest things that are the hardest to obtain or accomplish. I was once again reminded of this when looking for a white dress shirt this evening with Melissa. I seriously tried on five or so shirts after looking at more than twenty before finding one that I liked. All of them had a similar look, collar, texture. When you finally find it, it's great.

I love simplicity.



The Hungry Hound

Reporter Steve Dolinsky does a segment on myself, Intelligentsia and Barista Competitions.

Check the article here...be sure to watch the video.



8 days and counting.

Well, 7 days and 2 hours.

This week has been a bit of up and down on the practice tip. It's really strange how you can have one idea in your mind for a long time and work on it, rehearse, practice until you think it's perfect. Then you show it to the world and you're brought back to earth.

Sometimes you really need to get knocked down to really know how to stand up.

I started out good, felt bad for a while, and as of now..I'm feeling good. We'll see how tomorrow pans out.



My syrup brings all the girls to the yard.

...or at least some yummy taste to my drink. Final touches on the sig bev tomorrow. I'm liking it. Now to just find my yin-yang. (Fritz, I will be sure to let you know when it is found.)



Just one more set, please.

Today was lived about 3 minutes 30 seconds at a time. Most of the day was filled with practicing my cappuccino portion of the presentation. I feel pretty comfortable again after changing it up. Fritz turned how I make my capps on its head, so I had to rewire my movements. After doing it over and over, I once again feel very comfortable with my capps.

Sig drink, ho! I feel a Saturday being wisked away by shots, steaming, pouring and serving sig bevs.




So, today I was asked by a local news outlet (I won't mention who) to participate in a blind taste test. Ok, fine. What's it about?

I would be comparing (blindly) Starbucks, McDonald's Premium and Dunkin' Donuts.

Let's pump the brakes for a minute here.
Yes, I'm happy and flattered that they are seeking me out as a reputable source for coffee knowledge to spread to the public. Yes, I'd love to help you out with a story about the Specialty Coffee industry. Do I really want to discuss the finer points of those three companies on television? Not quite 100% about that one.

I realize that I'm now a representative and sort of spokesperson for Specialty Coffee, but is that what I would be supporting or endorsing through this effort? None of those companies participate in or support the Barista Competitions. Yes, one, maybe two (who knows, maybe all three) of them do good work in coffee growing countries, but are they after the same goal as me, my company, or the SCAA/USBC/WBC? Does Intelligentsia get mentioned as a main portion of the story? No? How does that help them?

I fear that participating in this would accomplish one of two things:

1. The United States Champion likes McDonald's (or other) coffee. How does this reflect on the USBC or small batch roasters or other such supporters of great coffee?
2. I don't have anything positive or constructive to say, and it's spun as me being a coffee snob because the "everyman's coffee" isn't good enough for me.

Neither of those options are a good idea for me, and are highly possible scenarios to be portrayed in the segment.

Respectfully, I will be declining.

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