Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Book Review: Emergency - This Book Will Save Your Life

After 9/11 author Neil Strauss got a little paranoid and in
Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life you get a front row seat on his journey to preparedness. You'll get an autobiographical description of his efforts to secure a second passport and take courses in guns, knives, hunting, fishing, tracking, motorcycles, CERT training, CPR and first aid, urban survival, emergency management, and EMT. As a reader you won't actually learn any of these skills as this is not a how to book.

The driving force behind all of this is his belief that WTSHTF (when the shit hits the fan) that society will break down and it will be every man for himself. This is why the author spends over a year of his life adding skills and experience just in case the worst happens.

The interesting part of this journey is that the author doesn't quite end up in the same place he envisioned when he started. Case in point when he started taking courses on emergency management and EMT he was doing it so he could use his uniform and knowledge to "bug out" easier WTSHTF. However, what he found out is that he liked being part of something when disaster struck.

That is the message I'm taking from the book. When bad things happen it is better to pull together as a community rather than degenerating into every man for himself.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Apparently I Brew Coffee All Wrong

According to the folks at Chow I brew my morning coffee all wrong.

Well I do grind my own beans to keep the coffee as fresh as possible it just isn't feasible to turn on the grinder at 6am with a 4 year old sleeping upstairs.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Use Tea to Flavour Coffee

Rather than buying those flavoured coffee beans the folks at Lifehacker suggest throwing some herbal tea in with your grounds. I'm going to have to try this with some peppermint tea.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

MAKE: Your Own Espresso

The wonderful people at Make magazine have made some free pdf's available that show you how to make your own coffee roaster, espresso tamper, and temperature control. These projects are for the serious coffee nuts and makers.

Make editor in chief, Mark Frauenfelder, appeared on the Martha Stewart show on Monday to demonstrate these inventions. Once you click on the link look for Inventions 1 in the bottom left to bring up Mark's segment.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Coffee in a Can

From Boing Boing: The Japanese think of everything, including coffee in a can. I can't possibly imagine how this could taste good but it adds yet another reason for me to want to visit Japan.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Book Review: Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #1

Okay I'm about a week behind reviewing this book as my local comic shop got shorted last week on this title. Regardless, I received my copy this Wednesday amidst news that the book was going back for a second printing. Which is incredibly good news for this book that I sincerely hope it finds it's audience.

One of the things I'm concerned about is that people will overlook this book as a kids book when in fact it is more accurately described as all ages. For the die hard Marvel comic book fan you will find that the events and characters fit into continuity very well but it is still accessible for those of you picking up a comic for the first time.

It is also well worth noting that the cover art by Montreal's Karl Kerschl and interior pencils by Ig Guara are fantastic. Too often books like this get stuck with second string artists.

The book opens with a description of the Infinity Gems, an artifact of immense power that must be found before someone accidentally destroys the universe. Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four has tracked one of the gems to the moon where he meets with Inhumans who live in the oxygen bearing blue area of the moon. Just go with it. It is then that the Inhuman's dog, Lockjaw, finds one of the Infinity Gems and embarks on a quest to retrieve them all but first he must assemble a team of Pet Avengers!

Thankfully while assembling his team they avoid the typical super hero troupe where heroes meeting for the first time mistake each other as villains and fight. Lockjaw brings together Throg (Frog Thor), Lockheed (dragon), Redwing (falcon), Hairball (cat) and a mystery sixth member together to search for the missing gems and hilarity continues.

Easily the break out character of the first issue is Throg the Frog Thunder! I had a great time reading all of his dialog in a cross between a frog and old English accent for Anna my four year old daughter. After we finished reading the book I asked her what she thought to which she replied, That's a great comic book Daddy!

So there you have it, a great read that is enjoyable by young and old alike. But you don't have to take my word for it. You can read this 12 page preview on-line then rush to your local comic shop and demand a copy of Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers.


Starbucks New Marketing Strategy

Starbucks unveils new print and on-line marketing campaign. The key point seems to be, not all of our coffees are $4! Which is true as my beverage of choice the tall non-fat latte runs $3.15. For the very cost conscious coffee drinkers ask for a "short" coffee. It is their 8 ounce coffee size that is not displayed on the menu which costs less then the "tall", 12 ounce, "grande" 16 ounce and "venti" 20 ounce drinks.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Just a couple of video's of Anna enjoying cake:

Free Iced Coffee Anyone?

A week from now on Thursday May 21st, Tim Horton's will be giving away a free small iced coffee between noon and 5pm. Iced coffee's are not usually my thing so someone will have to let me know what it's like.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

You May Not Need that Cup of Coffee

The NY Times thinks that you may not need that cup of coffee. Apparently you can achieve the same level of alertness by taking a placebo.

Well Mr. NY Times, I'm here to tell you I don't need that cup of coffee but I do want that cup of coffee and I could quit at any time. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Friday, May 1, 2009

Coffee Buzz Review

About two weeks ago I approached the fine folks at Kisky about getting a review copy of their iPhone application, Coffee Buzz. Happily Katie at Kisky got back to me with a promo code for Coffee Buzz.

I've been using it for about two weeks now and I can say that I'm pretty impressed. The user interface is nice and clean and the application doesn't do a lot but it does it well. Coffee Buzz can be used to find local coffee shops by accessing the GPS chip in your iPhone. It does it quite well, better in fact than other apps like Where. It even finds the Tim Horton's here at work.

It also has a tight integration with Twitter and allows you to select which type of brew you are drinking and tweet it and your location along with a short message. The only thing I don't like, and it is a minor quibble, is that tea is not one of the 10 built in drinks.

At $0.99 it is a useful app for coffee and twitter addicts like me.