December 22, 2009

For the Boy Who Would Be Snow King: review: Super Soft Lightweight 70% Bamboo 30% Organic Cotton Bamboo Fiber Bath Towel 460 GSM

For the Boy Who Would Be Snow King
Super Soft Lightweight 70% Bamboo 30% Organic Cotton Bamboo Fiber Bath Towel 460 GSM

Towels are the silent healer of six year-old boys who have more guts than arm. Julia showed me this one winter's day by wrapping around me the warm texture of heaven as sewn by the angels themselves. It is absorbent, thanks to the terry cloth-like weave, and served to dry me as well as swab my shame.

There was one way to be king of the hill, and a snowball was the tool. What they had flung in response to my weakly tossed effort I cannot say, but in the process, I found my jacket was not impermeable. No colder ice is there than the ice between a jacket and the skin on one's back. We fought a furious battle of snow of all colors, but now I was beat.

I started it, but they finished it. The incumbent king remained. In mercy, they let me pass to my home across the street to find solace in my room. With snow still frozen dripping from my chin, as my scarf hung limp in defeat, I shrugged low into the garage.

Young boys who are not true snow warriors (and those who are) with a thick terry cloth towel like these super soft bamboo towels will grow to be men. When Julia, my sweet friend who was waiting for the inevitable, handed me the towel she prepared in the dryer, water left my skin absorbed into oblivion. This is a big towel and I was a small boy. This difference was well-appreciated as my shivering chatter became laughter, as Julia and I both agreed about the folly of my audacity, believing I would be king of the snow hill.

When you set outside to face down snow knights, consider these as your post-snowslinging garb.


November 29, 2009

Chocolate Truffle Coffee Brightens a Tired Sunday Morning: Gevalia Dark Chocolate Truffle Ground Coffee, 8-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 3) review

Chocolate Truffle Coffee Brightens a Tired Sunday Morning
Gevalia Dark Chocolate Truffle Ground Coffee, 8-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 3)

After a late Saturday evening filled with considerable conversation, I awoke leery of the day. Weary and unready for daylight, I thought four cups would be enough to realize the world was still good, and they were. My home filled the sweet aroma as the coffee trickled from my machine, and the joy of caffeinated consciousness arrived in full force within moments of sipping. Sunday morning's mercy opened to the freshly ground kindness of Gevalia Kaffe: Dark Chocolate Truffle.

The beans were finely ground, and so fewer spoons of it were needed than for my usual preparation for drip coffee. It should be a suitable grind for espresso.

Darker than an unflavored coffee, the Gevalia presented a strong, completely chocolate coffee taste. Truly as advertised, it reminded me of chocolate truffles I buy at a shop in a train station. On its own, I found the coffee more intense than I prefer, though modest amounts of sugar and cream mitigated it into pleasure.

May your mornings be lifted by the alert fragrance and flavor of chocolate truffle coffee by Gevalia.


November 19, 2009

Coffee Mug About Coffee and Books and Food (All at Once)

Books are good food.
Wash them down with coffee.
Buy now

...just an ad to entice you to buy a mug so I can afford coffee...
Great Christmas gift for that coffee bookworm sort at work

November 04, 2009

I'm an Entertainer

Driving a long ways this summer, I borrowed a now very overdue CD from the library. It was a collection of Billy Joel's greatest hits, and included The Entertainer. Joel reconciles his job is not as a poet or anything noble. He is an entertainer. While he may be sardonically pointing at the corruption of his industry, the reality remains.

On one hand, I review, and I write. I take both roles seriously. How serious? If you have glimpsed at more than one page of my blogs, or at my website, you know I sing and dance. I don't write dour, thoughtful pieces. I write about humor, romance and childhood crushes. Or I muse about coffee. My goals are not about depth or breadth. They are about love and laughter.

I want traffic to my sites, advertising clicked on, and things purchased through I love to write, but I also love to eat, pay my bills, and drink very expensive coffee. So when I write, I am mindful of you. All of you? Each of you? I have an image in my mind who my audience is, though I keep finding out I am wrong. And, sometimes people tell me what they think I am like, how they envision me. That's fun too.

Christmas is coming, and I secretly hope the world's customer will first click on a link on my blogs before they buy. To do this, I need to entertain you.

I write to entertain. I love to hear someone smiled or thought wistfully of their own first love. I enjoy knowing I made you giggle, or go to Facebook to look up that sweetie from fifth grade. But  I am not writing in a vacuum. I, like Joel, know an audience is fickle. My reviews once attracted a nice base of interest. Now? The tides of interest have quieted. Some writers nail down the perfect piece for eternity, like Mark Twain or James Thurber. They are still loved. Those guys are a special breed though, and we work-a-day writers respect their great talent with dreams of emulating them. Popularity fades for most us. Magazines and books have quoted me, and yet, tomorrow, it all starts again. It is hard work.

Tomorrow starts today. The obvious paradox requires to imagine what will be interesting next year. This post will still be up. Will anyone read it once it is buried in the caverns of my archive? Ask me in 2010. Better yet, respond to this post.

It is worth it. I do make a few dollars, and, I love doing it despite how few they are. Even if no one reads my work, would I still do it? Probably not. I did this, though, when I made no money... several years, in fact.

The Entertainer (Live Version)

Billy Joel-The Entertainer

I am the entertainer,
And I know just where I stand:
Another serenader,
And another long-haired band.
Today I am your champion.
I may have won your hearts.
But I know the game,
You will forget my name,
And I won't be here
In another year,
If I don't stay on the charts.

I am the entertainer,
And I've had to pay my price.
The things I did not know at first,
I learned by doin' twice.
Ah, but still they come to haunt me,
Still they want their say.
So I've learned to dance
With a hand in my pants,
And they rub my neck,
And I write 'em a check,
And they go their merry way.

I am the entertainer,
Been all around the world.
I've played all kinds of palaces,
And laid all kinds of girls.
I can't remember faces,
I don't remember names.
Ah, but what the hell,
You know it's just as well.
'Cause after a while
And a thousand miles,
It all becomes the same.

I am the entertainer,
I bring to you my songs.
I'd like to spend a day or two.
I can't stay that long.
No, I've got to meet expenses.
I got to stay in line.
Gotta get those fees
To the agencies.
And I'd love to stay,
But there's bills to pay,
So I just don't have the time.

I am the entertainer,
I come to do my show.
You've heard my latest record,
It's been on the radio.
Ah, it took me years to write it,
They were the best years of my life.
It was a beautiful song.
But it ran too long.
If you're gonna have a hit,
You gotta make it fit--
So they cut it down to 3:05.

I am the entertainer,
The idol of my age.
I make all kinds of money,
When I go on the stage.
Ah, you've seen me in the papers,
I've been in the magazines.
But if I go cold,
I won't get sold.
I'll get put in the back
In the discount rack,
Like another can of beans.

I am the entertainer,
And I know just where I stand:
Another serenader,
And another long-haired band.
Today I am your champion.
I may have won your hearts.
But I know the game,
You will forget my name,
And I won't be here
In another year,
If I don't stay on the charts.

October 31, 2009

My Favorite Snacks (My Favorite Things parody)

My Favorite Snacks (My Favorite Things parody)
severe apologies to Mary Martin Julie Andrews who both sang the original beautifully, and to Rodgers and Hammerstein, who wrote it.

Cold beer and Cheetos, and pizza and peanuts,
Hot cappuccinos and chocolate til I chuck
Salted fresh pretzels, and sausage with mustard
These are a few of my favorite snacks.

Cream in my coffee and crispy fat bacon
Cookies with chips all through to the edges
Syrup on pancakes dripping with butter
These are a few of my favorite snacks.

Chili on hot dogs, piled high with cheese fries
Cereal straight from the box, next to the couch.
Greasy but tasty foods with plenty of sugar
These are a few of my favorite snacks.

When I'm a dog-tired, when I'm dead broke
When my team loses bad
I simply go to the fridge
grab a favorite snack
and then I don't feel so mad.

October 24, 2009

Tragedy of Leprosy and Human Scorn Unraveled in Beautifully Told Story: The Pearl Diver review

Tragedy of Leprosy and Human Scorn Unraveled in Beautifully Told Story
The Pearl Diver

"The Pearl Diver" is a difficult book. Leprosy is not part of most our lives, and much of what we think of may involve Jesus Christ's healing of the 10 lepers in the Gospel of Luke. The book is not about leprosy, but it is the context which drives the story. It is about being confined in flesh, the ever present and ubiquitous human condition.

Imagine a young woman diving with great skill to the ocean floor. The grace, beauty and athleticism just off the shore of a Japanese island alone is an image to carry a reader through each page. Author Jeff Talarigo finds the proper tone and pace so as to begin the story well. A diagnosis of leprosy changes this scene, and the woman quickly moves to a leper colony. Her family cannot handle the shame and disowns her.

Giving context to the story are 'Artifacts', something Talarigo uses as object/symbols. The technique works like a subtitle within a chapter like as with "Artifact Number 0596: A bar of soap." The soap represents cleanliness and purity. Miss Fuji, as the young woman is called at the colony, carves them into shells or fish, and in them briefly finds freedom.

The tone of the book is beautifully dour. It never ebbs and flows like the waves of the ocean dove into, creating emotional exhaustion for readers who want to leave the book uplifted. But leprosy in the 1940s is not a happy disease. The disease itself is hard, as is the social outcasting that packaged with it.

It occasionally leaves a contemplative place and falls into sentimentality, and arcs into cynicism as Miss Fuji reacts against one patient who describes her faith to her. The most tragic portion is when Miss Fuji falls into intolerance, and "wants to rip their skin apart," whenever someone religious talks about what they believe. At once she claims it is OK for some, yet is enraged when patients discuss their beliefs openly.

The world continues on without her, and it will continue when she's gone. She understands this, but isn't satisfied and pursues freedom.

Excellently written, if a bit monotonic, "The Pearl Diver" is more than moralism wrapped in an exotic context. It looks for, and arrives at deliverance.


October 14, 2009

The Genesis of the Butterfly by Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo describes butterflies perfectly, so to all the butterfly hunters out there, take hope.

The Genesis of the Butterfly
by Victor Hugo

The dawn is smiling on the dew that covers
The tearful roses; lo, the little lovers
That kiss the buds, and all the flutterings
In jasmine bloom, and privet, of white wings,
That go and come, and fly, and peep and hide,
With muffled music, murmured far and wide.
Ah, the Spring time, when we think of all the lays
That dreamy lovers send to dreamy mays,
Of the fond hearts within a billet bound,
Of all the soft silk paper that pens wound,
The messages of love that mortals write
Filled with intoxication of delight,
Written in April and before the May time
Shredded and flown, playthings for the wind's playtime,
We dream that all white butterflies above,
Who seek through clouds or waters souls to love,
And leave their lady mistress in despair,
To flit to flowers, as kinder and more fair,
Are but torn love-letters, that through the skies
Flutter, and float, and change to butterflies

Selected Poems of Victor Hugo: A Bilingual Edition

October 12, 2009

Excellent Graphite Never Fades, But Erases Unwanted Old Flames Well: review Dixon Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Black-Core #2 Pencils, Soft, Pre-Sharpened, 12 Count, Yellow

Excellent Graphite Never Fades, But Erases Unwanted Old Flames Well
Dixon Ticonderoga Wood-Cased Black-Core #2 Pencils, Soft, Pre-Sharpened, 12 Count, Yellow

At a cafe, I doodled on a newspaper with my Dixon Ticonderoga pencil. As a classic #2, the soft graphite was dark, thick and steady, working well on the dim white recycled newsprint. Against the cafe's smell of burnt coffee rested the subtle sweet smell of wood freshly sharpened.

In walked an extraordinary beauty. How many years had passed since I first saw her here? No, this isn't the time for that. She was here. That mattered. What happened 10 years ago needed to be forgotten. She smiled and called me over. "Nancy," I said. And then, more was said, with more smiles.

Three hours and a loaf of bread later, it was time to go. Nancy grabbed her address book and a pen. She asked me my e-mail address while adjusting her lipstick. She took my pencil and wrote 'Brockeim' in flowing black-gray letters with curves like waves, yet completely legible. She could have used a pen, I noticed. She didn't. I have not heard from her since.

May your Dixon pencils never fade, and the tips never break.


October 08, 2009

Coffee Love - A Blog About Coffee Passion

Coffee Love - A Blog About Coffee Passion

A new blog is up and humming. Its look and feel will change, but the content... all coffee, all the time. Pictures, reviews, videos, quips, even the occasional fact. It will follow my adventures in coffee drinking, sometimes with a tale or two, sometimes looking at... what makes coffee drinkers better than other people.

And for those of who enjoy reading about my romances of days gone by, and my vignettes and reviews, I'll still be here, and my daily Bits of Nonsense will pop of out the grinder almost every work day. My other blogs will continue with coffee-related content, but this one is all about this blessed drink.

October 05, 2009

I Am Not Paid... I Am Not A Shill

Reading this Washington Post article, and noting the comments I have seen through the years on my reviews on Amazon, I thought I should offer a full disclosure statement, subject to change...
I do not get paid for my reviews. I am not a shill. Sometimes (rarely), I get free products, but I don't review them all. I have no obligation (contractually or otherwise) to say nice things in a review. I get a few bucks a year from Google ads and mugs and things I sell, as well as through things purchased from Amazon when visitors click into my links. I never positively review a product I do not personally enjoy. There is no team of reviewers in Brockeimia. Just one.

October 03, 2009

6 Million Rank Man

Brockeim's 6 Million Rank Reviews

My Amazon rank is now touches a new level. Once, under 4,000. Now, 6 million+.

October 01, 2009

My Deliverer of Meals and Romance: Inexpensive Chopsticks Are Perfect: Disposable Wrapped Chopstick 100 Pairs review

My Deliverer of Meals and Romance: Inexpensive Chopsticks Are Perfect
Disposable Wrapped Chopstick 100 Pairs

The chopsticks' long blond legs reached with grace toward a grain of rice. Chiseled, yet delicate, footless and firm, the chopsticks steered into the now empty bowl where remained but one small remnant of an evening that began and ended well.

Now, all candles snuffed, and the last taste of wine was sipped from my glass, I looked at this grain. I smiled I maneuvered the chopsticks to pick out the final bit. Nancy had gone home, leaving with plans for breakfast at the coast with me tomorrow.

These are fine chopsticks, the kind found in many Chinese restaurants, and will do as asked. You will not go hungry using these utensils. Tonight, as I pressed the two tips together on each side of the brown rice, I thought that this one grain should stay another night. This was no easy task. The rice was still soft, and unwilling to find its way out of the bowl. Why struggle, I thought? The rice is no doubt happier where it is.

The dishes, I decided, and the rice, could wait for tomorrow.

May your meals be as satisfying with these chopsticks, useful for eating rice comfortably.


September 19, 2009

If I Were in the House of the Rising Sun, Excuses Could Be Made

She was that regrettable love, that love that is not love, but the sullen, dark mistake, the blackness in one's soul when desperation adheres itself in the bosom.

Most would be ashamed to have stop in this house of ill-repute, to saunter up to the bar and ask for what should never be named. Yet, I found some comfort there, as Paul Simon might confess.

A cappuccino, with hazelnut, at a McDonald's. Two bags of sugar. There are times many of us have walked where wisdom shook her head, and such have I today.

September 16, 2009

Gorgeous Carafe Sustains Beauty and a Rose, review Waterford Lismore Petite Pitcher

Gorgeous Carafe Sustains Beauty and a Rose
Waterford Lismore Petite Pitcher

One red rose sits in my carafe. There used to be water. That's dried now. So is the rose.

The glass is clear enough to see I removed the thorns. It is deep enough to hold enough chilled Riesling for a lingering dinner for two. One bottle carefully poured will be attractively displayed.

I poured four glasses neatly. Not a drop of wine lost. The thick crystal kept things as cool as possible, though, unfortunately, as did she.

The Riesling was as light as our conversation, though the excitement of the wine lasted longer. The soft angles carved into the glass flickered the candle's hues into her eyes, but all she saw was that she was leaving.

The roses stayed. She left. Explaining the rest doesn't matter. The carafe is beautiful, as was she. May your Linsmore pitcher hold more than a flower and a few glasses of wine.


September 15, 2009

Kipling's Masterful Storytelling, History, and Modern Mythology Come Together: The Jungle Book

Kipling's Masterful Storytelling, History, and Modern Mythology Come Together

The Jungle Book

Legends are made from legends. Rudyard Kipling dug deep into the tales of the jungle from his years living in India, and drew from them the kinds of stories that live forever.

"The Jungle Book" is more than how Mowgli, the man cub, learns to live and survive amongst enemies like Shere Khan. The intense mongoose vs cobra "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," also well-known, is here, as are several lesser-known and unrelated adventures.

Richly written, with details and contexts unfamiliar to Western readers, "The Jungle Book" lifts imagination and language beautifully. Poetic, and written in a literary style, it shines above most modern prose.

This is the stuff of afternoon stories read to older boys and girls. Young teens will while away rainy evenings, unwilling to part until finished. Sometimes scary and always exciting, Kipling also uses the book to teach lessons much greater than a jungle in India.

When chapters were first read to me many years ago, I listened gawk-eyed, listening intently for as long as my mother would read. I read it with different eyes now, but no less a young boy as I worry how Baloo will handle the Bandar-Log monkeys.

It isn't perfect. A few scientific details are fudged (wolf pack breeding structure, for example), but nothing that matters in the big picture. Kipling will have you in the palm of his hand, even though it was first published over 100 years ago.

May "The Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling be as amazing to you as it has been to me.

notice... as of writing this review, the book is free via Kindle.

September 10, 2009

Love Between Two Days

Tomorrow is 9-11. Yesterday, as I, and millions of others, noted, was 9-9-9.

Here, now... 9-10-09. Stuck between 9-9-9 and 9-11, it is ignored. Though neither a day of numerical nuance, nor tragedy, it is a perfectly good day. I mentioned this in a Tweet this morning.

At first, all I intended was a glib observation, but more thought had me realizing this is serious business.

9-11 represents the horrid murder of thousands at the call of an evil movement in the Middle East. Not only was the day filled with tragedy, but thousands of men and women have since died on behalf of Iraqis and Afghans who do not enjoy the immense freedom I do as an American. We get to debate health care, women's rights and whether or not the Ten Commandments belong in public places. Until Saddam Hussein was thrown out of office, none of this was achievable. It really still isn't, but our soldiers are working to ensure its possibility.

Yesterday, meanwhile, represents sheer nonsense. One day on the calendar with a tidy sequence of numbers with otherwise no importance whatsoever.

So what about September 10, 2009? It is important. Opportunities are no less, no more than either two days. It is a Thursday, and for most people, just as with the other two days, going to work is on the agenda. However bad unemployment is, a massive majority still have jobs. Of those who do not, unemployment and a government subsidy are providing a small income for most. It is a perfectly good day.

On any of the three days, loved ones will die, babies will be born, people will be hired, fired and tired. Someone will buy a winning lottery ticket. Someone will stub their toe and scream in visceral pain.

It is Today: Love
Most people, I believe, will not even think of this day as any different than any other day... it is, and it isn't different. But it is today. And, with today, as the sun rises in the east, and before we sleep, there is the chance to stand between silly nonsense and grave tragedy, and take the chance to love, to enjoy the day, and to do something spectacular.

May your day be bright.

September 03, 2009

A Cure for the Summertime Blues and Questions of Color: Wyler's Electric Grape Drink Mix review

A Cure for the Summertime Blues and Questions of Color

Wyler's Electric Grape Drink Mix 72 Envelopes

The summertime blues can be addressed with a glass of something purple. One August years ago delivered cruel weather, but an ample supply of Wyler's reduced its impact.

Forehead sweat condensated and gathered uncomfortably as Nancy and I sat on the driveway discussing why dandelions are yellow, yet the hollow stem bled white fluid. First grade would start in a few days, and yet such questions of life remained. We needed time, but the noon sun was persuasive. We knew what to do.

A crisp rip of the purple envelope provided access to the treasured dust-sized grains. One envelope is enough to dazzle a quart of plain water into the color of wine (we made it twice as strong). With a few spoons of sugar, and some quickly stirred ice cubes, we drank until full, able again to examine the meaning of a flower's color.

With a grapened smile, look toward the sunny day's heat with a cool demeanor. When Nancy grinned, her pleasure shone out brighter than the sun. May your summers be as pleasing with Wyler's Grape.


August 26, 2009

Morning Coffee Moves Me

Coffee is movement. Even sitting still, it moves. And when it rests, I move.

photo: Brockeim, 2009

July 24, 2009

Caribou Coffee... Shopping and Friendship

Picked up some coffee today at a Caribou nearby. There was a time I drank there daily, sitting with a book and laptop, or just relaxing by the fire. I would see old friends and acquaintances there: the piano teacher/philosopher hiding from his dreams, the recent divorcee is her 60s lamenting what she gave up, and the college kids with books they never read, but use as prop to look intellectual while they gab about things which matter more to them in the moment.

The coffeehouse gadflies are there too, like Cliff Clavin, but with less purpose (dear Cliffy was passionate about good mail delivery). They arrive, chatter about with other guests, and move on, never quite connecting with anyone but themselves.

Good friends are there too, and we lift a mug of whatever's brewing. We break from something else and renew our friendship over a bagel and coffee. We discuss projects, literature, art, and the latest goings-on in our lives.

Billy Joel - Piano Man (music video)

July 13, 2009

Coffee: It's What's for Breakfast: A commentary on the average man's coffee.

At a favorite cafe, I might order just one thing: coffee. I might add a bagel or slice of toast, but it is usually just a simple cup of coffee. Let's pretend nothing here: The coffee is not the same quality as in a finer coffee shop. The ambiance is what a diner's is... filled with everyman, from all walks of life. You get what you pay for, but this is the life of the average coffee drinker. They are not interested in syrups, whip cream, Kona, brown vs white sugar, pull technique, or any other factor in coffee or a coffee drink.

That's what you see. The average man's $1.50 mug, basic sugar and flavored creams. America drinks this everywhere. The brown cup is hazelnut, the blue is vanilla, and the white is plain half-n-half. The white envelopes are plain sugar. The blue envelope is some kind of non-sugar sweetener. I took the picture a week or two ago.

The job gets done. A basic coffee and a basic set of flavor options. Much of life happens at the table pictured above. I have met with friends, clients, vendors, old, new and potential.

It may lack the romance of a misty cafe in Vienna, but Vienna misses the romance of an intimate table in America's heartland. No Austrian accents or talk of Beethoven, but conversations about city politics, traffic and baseball teams fill the air.

What I See
A waitress who thought skipping college was the best choice so she could make quick money wistfully looks at the men in suits, wondering if they will notice her in her new sundress beneath her diner apron. The men in suits argue about the cost of real estate, only glancing at the girl who, at 19 is half their age not realizing she knows this, but is OK with it.

A few men in from a construction site working on the interstate rush in for a late morning early lunch, and eat too fast to notice any of this.

A retired man in a rich blue shirt with a golf logo reads a newspaper where he sits every day, and the waitress calls him Tom.

A young buck brings in a Bible and discusses its finer points with a friend, see the young waitress and tip her more than their meal was worth. That $20 will help her more than they know. An older waitress sneers at her, because she has given up hope. This coffee shop is her bitter life, and she is afraid the younger one will leave before her. When she was 19, she got those tips too, but did nothing with them.

All on a Monday. Tuesday will be much the same. The coffee is good enough.

July 06, 2009

Perfect for Shooting Free Throws in a Park with a Lovely Woman: Black Composite "Explosion" Basketball review

Perfect for Shooting Free Throws in a Park with a Lovely Woman

Black Composite "Explosion" Basketball

The Baden "Explosion" basketball didn't sit long after purchasing it. We bought it to use, and to labor we have put it. We brought it to a park just a ten minute walk away in early July.

Nancy and I shot for hours. I took ten shots; she took ten shots, neither of us gaining an advantage as we repeated this game throughout the late morning.

The Baden "Explosion" basketball bounced well as we tossed it between us. Perfectly balanced, it never went askew... always into her welcome hands as I made a pass.

Black, but almost navy blue, with orange lines, the ball rolled straight and true. With each revolution, the lines flickered like an old movie film. We stood mesmerized as we watched it settle in soft grass, ready to be shot again.

Whether the board deflected it, or points were scored, the game didn't matter. The shared smile, knowing we are shooting together, meant more than the tally.

A rain shower brushed by, but the composite leather basketball was unaffected. A few bounces, and a shot piercing the net was enough to shake off the dampness.

We have returned to that park a few times since, and will many times more. May your basketball bring you into the company with someone as beautiful as Nancy.


July 02, 2009

How to Make a Toasted Marshmallow Espresso

Coffee is good food. That's a known fact. Espresso, being a high concentration of coffee, is, then better food.

What else can be done? Make a toasted marshmallow espresso.

Whipped cream... that's the trick.

  • Heavy Whipping Cream. For one serving, try two-three fingers high.
  • Stewarts English Toffee Flavoring. A teaspoon is plenty.
  • Table sugar. I use two teaspoons.
  • Coffee ground for espresso. I used a Kona blend this morning.
What to do
  • Mix cream, flavor, sugar.
  • Whip until thick. I hand whip it with a small whisk in a coffee mug.
  • Pull two shots of espresso. Do this last, as you want the espresso as hot as possible since the whipped cream will cool it.
  • Pour shots into whipped cream.
Drink quickly. Tastes just like a marshmallow, with more caffeine.

June 04, 2009

T-shirt Explodes in Sales on Amazon Thanks to Review

There's a rumor that is going around that an unusual review on helped seriously spike sales of a t-shirt: (Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt, Available in Various Sizes). It is the one below, not the purple one. I made that.

I've heard it was the result, actually, of a news item looking at the t-shirt itself. I would prefer to think it was the review, but, I do not know. I'm including the review in question verbatim. What do you think?

9,693 of 9,775 people found the following review helpful:
Dual Function Design, November 10, 2008
By B. Govern "Bee-Dot-Govern" (New Jersey, USA) - See all my reviews
This item has wolves on it which makes it intrinsically sweet and worth 5 stars by itself, but once I tried it on, that's when the magic happened. After checking to ensure that the shirt would properly cover my girth, I walked from my trailer to Wal-mart with the shirt on and was immediately approached by women. The women knew from the wolves on my shirt that I, like a wolf, am a mysterious loner who knows how to 'howl at the moon' from time to time (if you catch my drift!). The women that approached me wanted to know if I would be their boyfriend and/or give them money for something they called mehth. I told them no, because they didn't have enough teeth, and frankly a man with a wolf-shirt shouldn't settle for the first thing that comes to him.

I arrived at Wal-mart, mounted my courtesy-scooter (walking is such a drag!) sitting side saddle so that my wolves would show. While I was browsing tube socks, I could hear aroused asthmatic breathing behind me. I turned around to see a slightly sweaty dream in sweatpants and flip-flops standing there. She told me she liked the wolves on my shirt, I told her I wanted to howl at her moon. She offered me a swig from her mountain dew, and I drove my scooter, with her shuffling along side out the door and into the rest of our lives. Thank you wolf shirt.

Pros: Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women
Cons: Only 3 wolves (could probably use a few more on the 'guns'), cannot see wolves when sitting with arms crossed, wolves would have been better if they glowed in the dark.

June 03, 2009

Lean and Spare: Twitter Talking

For the Twitter generation... there's a skill here. Below, I demonstrate, but the reality is that getting into a topic in 140 characters is no small matter. I worked on this, and know some of you experts can show me a better way.

Ngng sntncs n 140 krktrz tks n mprsv nlj v snds n wrds nvlvng thts&knspts rglr ppl cn gt w/o mn vwlz.Knt pst Wr&Pc bt kn gt pnt crs.Yr trn.

Count 'em. 139 spare spaces. One to... spare.

June 02, 2009

Someone Likes My Wooden Stir Sticks Review

Wood Coffee Stirrers - 1000 Count

Never met the fellow, and all I know about him I read five minutes ago. He mentions in his post (on his blog: Wooden Stir Sticks Review) that he enjoyed my review of wooden coffee stirrers.

He says, "This review became rather respectable in retrospect, but was very comedic when first encountered." I'm glad for his comment in both regards.

Naturally, I am pleased. It is a big world out there, and I know I have a few readers who e-mail me from time to time, but mostly, I do this in a quiet room, drinking a cup of coffee, away from that world.

He calls me a review artist. That's based, I imagine, on my own description of what I am trying to do. The art of writing within a defined context... in this case, reviews of products that are typically very utilitarian... is never easy, and I'll be the first to admit I strike out more than not.

As I posted in response on his blog:
How delightful… it is a long evening here at work, and there is someone, somewhere with a post telling the world that they liked my review. It made my day.

Steven Wright on David Letterman 1990

Anyone who has read my quips might see that I like Steven Wright. There is no comparison... he is better at what I do than me, and he does something different. His delivery is perfect. The video shows him on Letterman's TV show during his prime.

"Steven Wright gives another strong performance on Letterman. This clip includes the stand-up and interview segments."