Sunday, November 30, 2008

Apple ][ plus

An important, though often overlooked part of Thanksgiving is the challenge of killing time before the meal is set to begin. This year, I spent a good part of that time with an old Apple ][ plus I unearthed from my mom's closet. I intercepted it on its way from my high school to the rubbish heap about a decade ago. They were throwing it away because it was completely obsolete then. I knew I could still get some fun out of it, and I sure had fun with it on Thursday.
The Apple ][ plus was in production from 1978-1982, which means it's about as old as I am. It has a built-in capacity to understand the Applesoft BASIC programming language (which I happen to have taught myself, geek that I am, while in the 5th grade). This arcane knowledge came in handy when trying to get it to do something useful, like play Frogger.

It runs completely off of 5 1/4 in. floppy disks. (It has no hard drive.) I could only find one disk: the one that was still in the drive. It had three games on it, but the menu program to select the games had some corrupt data and wouldn't function.
Thankfully, I remembered enough of the old BASIC to type in "BRUN FROGGER" and in no time I was as happy as a frog in traffic!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Train Surprise

We went to my home town for Thanksgiving and visited both of my parents. When we got to my dad's house, for whatever reason Gibbie decided to go straight upstairs. What did he find waiting for him but a Lionel model train! We all had a lot of fun making it go and getting it to unload its cargo of logs. Apparently it will have an expanded track the next time we come. Thanks grandpa Bill!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Emergency Espresso Blend

We ran out of espresso at the shop this morning. Before when this has happened we've used some of the dark roasted Guatemalan that we always have on hand for cold press. It's kind of icky as a shot, but it's dark enough to cut through 14oz of milk in a latte and still taste like something. This morning though, I just didn't want to do that to my customers.

We've been pulling some lighter roasted Costa Rica as a single origin espresso lately. It has some nice flavor complexity after the initial brightness wears off. It's good as a shot, but doesn't stand up to a lot of milk so I couldn't just start using it as our main espresso.

So... what if I mix them? I tried blending equal parts Guatemalan and Costa Rica and threw in some Kenya we had on hand for extra sweetness. Instantly I had an emergency espresso blend to take us through the morning until our bean delivery arrived!

It's not what I would ever choose to drink as an espresso, but I'm pretty pleased with how well it worked considering what I had to work with. (For what it's worth, Michelle preferred it in Americano form over brewed coffee.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Green Eggs and Ham

Gibbie and I were reading Green Eggs and Ham today. It reminded me of my favorite rendition of it, done by the Rev. Jesse Jackson:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fall Vacation

It was a few weeks ago now (ok, so almost a month) but here's some pictures from our fall vacation to Battle Lake, MN.

(If your flash isn't up to speed, here's a link to the album.)