Thursday, December 19, 2013

Annoying Phone Calls

GONE!

Offshore telemarketers need not worry about the provisions of the National Do Not Call List because they cannot be prosecuted for calling us. We have had our phone number for nearly six years and still get calls for the person who had our number prior to us. Either some law firm or a collection agency asks for an individual whom we explain is not at our number. SIX YEARS!

With only Caller ID we must check the display to decide whether or not to answer a caller. It does not take long to tire of the call interruptions of a ringing telephone. Ignoring a call might result in a voicemail message that will get deleted as well. Soon enough we feel that we are tethered to our phones.

A couple years ago we discovered the Digitone Call Blocker. wOw… did it ever deliver on its promise to block unwanted calls. Even the testimonials from users of the device were strongly positive. Within a few days of using our Digitone we understood the supportive praise it received.
Now… in January the new Digitone Call Blocker Plus will be available. Beyond having a larger block list it offers some new features that make the upgrade purchase worthwhile. We will now block the undesirable exchange within an area code, allowing other exchanges in that area code to ring through. Name ID blocking will be excellent for entities that use multiple numbers for the same name ID. A few other new features will make the "Plus" model a desirable item.

When the new model becomes available for shipping in January we will receive an e-mail from the manufacturer. I suspect that there will be initially a high demand that could create back-orders. Nonetheless, the Digitone Call Blocker Plus will be worth waiting for.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

My Best Friend Ever

My home is crushingly lonely. My best friend, sweetheart, and lovely wife passed away last Friday, November 1, 2013.  We had been together for forty-seven years.

In our "elderly" years we realize the day we must pass is approaching. Shirley and I had discussed that on several occasions, as well as what we preferred for our final disposition.

Our youngest son posted on his Facebook page about Shirley's passing. He has received tons of comments from those who loved and respected Shirley for the wonderful person that she is.

Tomorrow there will be a small, family-only viewing. Afterwards Shirley will be cremated and eventually I will possess her ashes, which will have been placed in a very nice box.

A traditional funeral can cost between $7,000 and $10,000. This includes the burial plot, digging the grave, and a headstone. Caskets are costly and embalming is a must when there will be a formal viewing and funeral service.

The short, family-only viewing does not require embalming. It seems senseless to spend five hundred dollars for embalming when cremation is the final step in disposition.

We will have three certified copies of the death certificate which add to our total cost of less than $1,400.00. That is an amazingly economical price for final disposition, a process that we cannot avoid. Nor would we want to.

For those who are curious about planning for traditional methods I recommend a web site that provides "Consumer Information."

On Saturday, November 16, 2013 there will be a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. in the LDS Chapel at 1021 East Pioneer Avenue, Redlands, California.

Rest In Peace, my sweet, lovely Shirley.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Silicone Earbuds

Part of the fit for earbuds is to use the best size. The above-pictured set of small, medium, and large come with the Bose In Ear Headphone. My ear accommodates the medium size quite nicely.

Problem is, the earbud detached from my bluetooth earphone and went missing. Regular checking on Amazon finally came up with a reasonably priced replacement. Under $4 with free shipping is great.

My first bluetooth device was the Jawbone with its $100 price tag. It boasted military-grade noise cancellation. The Jawbone's earbud was always loosening from my ear canal and the attachable loop option made for an uncomfortable fit. Eventually I somehow lost my Jawbone device. It was time for a replacement.

I was at the Apple retail store on other business and decided to check out the bluetooth headset offerings there. When I saw the Bose with its silicone earbuds I felt that those should be perfect for a good fit.

w0w… what a surprise when I noticed the $150 price tag. I had had past experience with Bose sound quality, so I bit the bullet and parted with my money.

The Bose In Ear Headphone proved to be a smart choice. I was pleased with both audio and fit. And finding this set of earbuds on Amazon has made me a very happy person.

Be assured that good electronics in these such devices can be had for around $45. Samsung is a good example. I have never tried to wear a brand outside of Jawbone and Bose, so I cannot speak for their comfortable fit.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wallet Drop: World's Least Honest Cities

Among sixteen major world cities each had twelve wallets dropped as a test of honesty. 



The city with the lowest rate of wallet return was Lisbon, Portugal. Only one of the 12 wallets dropped there were returned. And that was by a couple visiting from the Netherlands. In Helsinki eleven of twelve wallets were returned.

It is important to understand that in some cultures it is considered acceptable to keep found money or property. Sort of "it was meant to be" as a transfer of ownership. Whether Portugal is among such cultures is unknown to this blogger.

I like to think that I would attempt to find the owner of money or property that I found regardless the value.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Quiet Dinner… Or Not

My wife and I are in our retirement years. Occasionally we go out for dinner and have a few restaurants we especially like. What we find disturbing is how often people seated near us speak so loudly.

One exception is Stuart Anderson's Black Angus Restaurant. The booths have high backs and sides that isolate, if you will, those seated at each table. The acoustics are wonderful. We believe that Black Angus attracts those who want a quiet dinner. Those patrons are rather quiet to begin with.

There are a few eateries we avoid entirely because we have found them to have lots of ambient noise. It seems that most all the patrons are speaking loudly. Poor acoustics could certainly be part of that undesirable "ambience."

A couple other places we like can provide a quiet setting now and then. Yet, too often there will be a couple sitting in the booth next to us, or a table away, and at least one of those two will speak so loudly to the other that patrons two and three tables away can hear what they are saying.

I could not care less about hearing why someone's daughter is having a shotgun wedding, and all the problems pleasing the bride-to-be, and difficulties with the planning, etc., etc, ad nauseam.

I guarantee that anyone directly next to my wife and I cannot hear our conversation. Until our food is served we definitely discuss things. We can hear one another, no one else can. We would never be so rude as to require others to listen to our verbal intercourse.

That is our contribution to the quiet mealtimes of others at dinner. Unfortunately there are those who have no concept of a quiet dinner. It is as though some individuals believe that a restaurant is where people are expected to speak loudly.

Are we right to expect quiet surroundings, or are we simply out of touch with the times?

Sunday, September 01, 2013

The Parody Shirt the NSA Doesn’t Want You to Wear

Our country is not as free as the U.S. would like everyone to believe. The government has shut down the sale of a parody t-shirt based on violation of logo and name usage. Forget that copyright protections do not extend to parody.

More and more the U.S. government looks like a fascist regime and less like the leadership of a free country.

I can only hope that many of these t-shirts were marketed before the offer got shut down.

(Reference)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Text a Driver … See Your Day in Court

 Texting Distraction
Accident Due To Texting Distraction

Investigation into a terrible accident indicates that the driver received a text around the time of the accident. You are responsible for that text. If you live in New Jersey this could spell "big trouble" for you.

"…if the sender of text messages knows that the recipient is driving and texting at the same time, a court may hold the sender responsible for distraction and hold him or her liable for the accident.

'We hold that the sender of a text message can potentially be liable if an accident is caused by texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted," the court said."

It is only a matter of time before any and all prosecutors will go after those who have texted at the time a driver has a terrible accident.

My smart phone is a wonderful convenience. I have lost count of the number of times I have pulled to the curb and stopped for texting. I do not need the inconvenience and expense ($1.000.00 deductable) of an accident.

What about you? Are you careful not to text while driving?


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mobile Deposit Glitchiness

Other banks were advertising mobile deposits long before Wells Fargo made its app available for my iPhone. I eagerly downloaded the free app; yet, hesitated with the next couple of checks. I worried that my deposited money might not be as readily available as a check deposited at the ATM.

So, finally, when I did use the app I photographed both front and back (properly endorsed) of a check and followed through with the deposit action.

Immediately a dialog box alerted me that a photo was not clear and that I should redo the mobile deposit process.

The images that I accepted after snapping each photo WERE clear on MY display, and the check image fit within the marked margins on screen.

I did not attempt to redo the process; instead, taking the check to my bank's ATM.

So, I have the mobile banking app on my iPhone. One of these days I will try it once again. Maybe after an app update is released and installed on my phone.

My son has an app from a different bank and uses mobile deposit routinely.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Uninsured next year? Here's your Obamacare penalty…

"To try to ensure that people sign up for coverage, the Affordable Care Act carries complex penalties for those who remain uninsured that could cost them hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. Some 6 million people could be hit with these fines in 2016, forking $7 billion over to the federal government, according to the Congressional Budget Office." (Reference)

The penalty will be way less costly than a year's worth of monthly premiums. Yet, the uninsured will be paying for a dead horse. In other words, the penalty payment gets nothing for the person who pays it.

Anyone due a refund at tax time, who is not insured, will see the penalty deducted from their refund amount.

"Among those exempted include: undocumented immigrants, Native Americans and those who earn too little to file tax returns. Also, people who would have to pay more than 8% of their income for health insurance and poor adults who live in states that are not expanding Medicaid also aren't subject to the penalty. The uninsured can also file for hardship exemptions." (Reference)

Luckily, my Kaiser Senior Advantage plan, through Medicare, should remain relatively unchanged. That premium is approximately $100 per month, Nonetheless, simply getting blood tests carries a $30 co-pay per lab visit. Seeing my doctor carries a $20 co-pay per visit.



.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Tasering Can Be Lethal

"Non-Lethal" no longer seems to fit the description of tasering devices used by law enforcement. Regardless of the small percentage of tasered subjects who die, the issue is a serious one. One death is too many.

Taser development began around 1969. The device is also known as a "stun gun." Over the years the laser has been touted as a life-saver when used by police in lieu of a gun to stop a fleeing suspect. Still, why do deaths occur?

It seems that re-tasering is involved with stun gun-related deaths. When the initial tasering fails to stop the alleged criminal how many retaserings should be allowed?

This is a difficult situation when the alternative to the stun gun is a gun with bullets. That seems more potentially lethal.

Should the term "non-lethal weapon" be replaced with "alternative weapon?"

Papua New Guinea Nebilyer Valley Peaberry



"The rich volcanic soils of Papua New Guinea contain significant amounts of volcanic ash, resulting in soils with a remarkably high concentration of organic matter. The result? Coffee beans with exceptional body…"

This will be my next choice if it is still available in six days.

At this time I cannot find a lower cost for good coffee beans than that at Old Bisbee Roasters. They roast the beans for your order at the time they receive it. Then, while still warm from roasting the beans are packaged and shipped. When purchasing two or more pounds per order the shipping is free. As well, the method is USPS Priority Mail.


Sumatra Ika Mandheling

The Blue Mendheling is delicious this time around. I am enjoying a cup currently. I have become spoiled by specialty coffees to the extent that I cannot enjoy restaurant coffee. Perhaps the restaurants use ground Robusto, lesser quality, beans.

Coffees from Old Bisbee Roasters are always 100% Arabica beans.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The Sun's Magnetic Field is about to Flip

"It looks like we're no more than 3 to 4 months away from a complete field reversal," says solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University. "This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system."

What does that bring? A few years back I had read that a solar magnetic field reversal would bring down our electrical energy grids. Now, there is nothing mentioned about any devastating result.

Will birds fly north for winter rather than head south? Not likely, but fun to mention.

http://science.nasa.gov is the place to find information about our solar system, our galaxy, and our universe.

The referencing article for this post is at http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/05aug_fieldflip/

Saturday, August 03, 2013

OC Deputy Is Accused of Pepper Spraying Teen's Pizza

"An Orange County Sheriff’s deputy is facing jail time after being accused of pepper spraying a teen's pizza without his knowledge during a traffic stop last year, prosecutors said.

"Juan Tavera, [is] a six-year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at the time of the alleged crime…" (Reference)

Was the teen disrespectful; thus, prompting the deputy's response? Why would a six-year veteran of law enforcement commit such an act?

Thankfully no one became morbidly ill. Yet, all who ate the pizza got sick from it.

Should we assume that the deputy acts out in similar ways on a regular basis? When law enforcement is charged with protecting and serving, covertly pepper-spraying a pizza seems to be the antithesis to protecting and serving.

People in law enforcement wonder why they do not get the respect from the public that they feel they deserve. As we know, respect is earned. The general disrespect that gets exhibited today has largely been earned as well.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Doubling McDonald's Salaries Would Cause Your Big Mac To Cost Just 68¢ More

"…if McDonald's executives wanted to double the salaries of all of its employees and keep profits and other expenses the same, it would need to increase prices by just 17 cents per dollar…"

" …fast-food workers across the country [are striking] for a $15 per hour minimum wage. Workers are also protesting for the right to unionize without fear of retaliation. Protesters are holding strikes in seven cities over a four-day period…"

(Reference)

I would gladly pay 68¢ more for a Big Mac if it assured workers were earning a fair wage and getting improved work conditions. A single mom working a second job at McDonald's deserves that, IMO.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Court of Public Opinion has a Hung Jury

The trial is over. Next week the judge will render a verdict.

Manning's defense claims he had no intention of aiding the enemy, only to expose U.S. wrongdoing in war actions. The prosecution paints Manning as a traitor.

It is said that if Manning goes to prison Wikileaks will release information that the U.S. wants kept secret.

Next week's verdict is coming. The populace is divided in opinion on whether Manning is a good or bad person.


Monday, July 22, 2013

SunTek Carbon XP Film

On the back door windows and rear window is the darkest tint, generally referred to as "Limo." SunTek Carbon XP film is the superior tint that reflects around 50% of solar radiation. The cheaper films do not have such capability.

In California the front door windows, by law, must allow more than 70% of light pass through. The film with that lighter tint also has the solar heat reflection; however, the majority of California vehicles with tint have a darker film on the front door windows. Law enforcement seems to look the other way on this issue.

I chose this darker tint for front doors, being told it was the most popular shade. One can still see occupants in the front seat during daylight.

My original tint was lighter and was the less expensive type, judging on how it failed to block solar. That would have been all right, except the rear window film started forming bubbles. Prior to the bubbling it was quite attractive. As well, the front driver-side film was splitting at the bottom of the window. (Ugly)

Had I opted for the economical tint my price would have been $160. By choosing the SunTek Carbon XP film my cost became $379. The rep behind the counter at Tint Factory demonstrated the difference in films using a heat lamp. The choice was a no-brainer to get the benefit of SunTek. Suddenly the price difference seemed worth the benefit difference.

Now I am pleased that I had decided to replace my window tint. Yes, the passenger compartment heats up in triple-digit temperatures; yet, the steering wheel does not become too hot to touch. Cool-down using the AC is now faster.

If you are in the market for automobile window tinting, be sure to check out SunTek Carbon XP film.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ice Tea Fad or Forever Hooked?

I have been drinking tea in preference to soda pop. All the fast food places offer ice tea along with their other beverages. I opt for the tea lately. I truly enjoy it.

WalMart will get a visit from me today. Mr. Coffee Ice Tea Maker is in stock, and will cost only $20. Some people use their regular coffee maker to brew tea. However, there is a steeping setting on the tea maker.

Luckily I enjoy tea without adding sugar. (I avoid artificial sweeteners.) A friend made ice tea using a Mr. Coffee Ice Tea Maker last evening and I saw the steeping action by simply lifting the lid while the tea was brewing.

A three-quart pitcher is included with purchase and that can fit into the refrigerator quite handily once the tea has been made.



I found Pure Leaf Tea at my market. The unsweetened has 0 calories; yet, the Lipton website indicates 8oz of Pure Leaf Unsweetened Tea contains 31mg of caffeine. A little pricey for convenient availability. Now I shall have a very economical ice tea supply.

I wonder if WalMart offers a decaffeinated tea. And would it taste as good as regular?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Predatory lionfish now a confirmed invader in the deep Atlantic

Scientists have confirmed that the hardy, Indo-Pacific fish that has invaded waters off the US East Coast and the Caribbean is now living deep in the Atlantic, possibly imperiling smaller fish there.

"Studies have shown that at least 40 species of fish have dropped in number since the lionfish was introduced to their Atlantic environment…"

Mankind has introduced animal species into locales not indigenous to them. The result is endangerment to native species, upsetting a balance that had once existed.

"Scientists have traced the lionfish, native to the Indo-Pacific and the first exotic fish to invade the Caribbean, to the aquarium trade between oceans in the 1980s. The fish were likely released into the ocean near southern Florida."

"The Reef Environmental Education Foundation Fund sells a cookbook devoted to lionfish recipes, as well as a list of local restaurants that serve lionfish."

Is it just a matter of time when we see "steak and lobster" on menus being replaced by "steak and lionfish?"

(The Story)

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

New Twinkies will double their shelf life…

       "Hostess won't disclose the change in the recipe that allows it to extend the shelf life." (Reference) The original 26-day shelf life now extends to 45 days, almost doubled. I am afraid to ask what makes the difference. We may not want Twinkies if we find out.

       Twinkie lovers must be exceedingly thrilled about the return of Twinkies to grocery shelves. I have never been a Twinkie lover; yet, based on the outpouring of complaints when they went away, this was a highly popular item.

       "The new Hostess, which is owned by a joint venture between Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co., was purchased for $410 million in March." (Reference)

       Are you happy to see the reformation of Hostess brand?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Specialty Coffees

Guatemalan Huehuetenango 




Ethiopian Nigusse Lemma Natural Sidamo


The Huehuetenango is pronounced "way-way-tenango." I have ordered this Guatemalan coffee several times in the past. It brews up into a tasty treat.

Sidamo is new to me. Because Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee I expect this will be a good choice.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Beware Monsanto

Monsanto has genetically modified corn to prevent its herbicide, Roundup, from destroying the corn crop when the Roundup product is applied to kill weeds.

"Indeed, within the scientific community and educated public alike, there is a growing awareness thatRoundup herbicide, and its primary ingredient glyphosate, is actually a broad spectrum biocide, in the etymological sense of the word: "bio" (life) and "cide" (kill) – that is, it broadly, without discrimination kills living things, not just plants.  Moreover, it does not rapidly biodegrade as widely claimed, and exceedingly small amounts of this chemical – in concentration ranges found in recently sampled rain, air, groundwater, and human urine samples – have DNA-damaging and cancer cell proliferation stimulating effects." [Reference]

We who consume the Roundup resistant vegetables are also ingesting some glyphosate [poison]. Monsanto consistently lies about the safety of its genetically modified crops. Farmers can increase crop yields  thus, increasing their bottom line without regard to consumer safety.

Today's consumer is more sophisticated, and willing to resist Monsanto's efforts to foist its products upon us. Adequate safety testing of genetically modified foods is severely lacking. And strong labeling requirements should be mandated by law.

Presently the consumer has no protections against Monsanto's wrongdoings.

Set up a free account with GreenMedInfo to receive important information regarding this issue and other health concerns.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a saturated fat. At first blush it seems smart to avoid consuming coconut oil because it is not polyunsaturated. (The saturated fats in coconut oil are not hydrogenated, an import factor.) However, there are some surprising benefits that this oil can provide.

Dr. Mercola says it best.


The many benefits of coconut oil are finally reaching the mainstream.
Benefits like:
  • Promoting your heart health
  • Promoting weight loss when and if you need it
  • Supporting your immune system health
  • Supporting a healthy metabolism
  • Providing you with an immediate energy source
  • Helping to keep your skin healthy and youthful looking
  • Supporting the proper functioning of your thyroid gland
Did you view the video?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Specialty Coffees Ordered


Priority Mail shipping means order arrival in 2 days. That is good timing because I have a couple days worth of coffee beans that I have truly been enjoying.

These two (pictured above) are new arrivals at Old Bisbee Roasters. All beans are roasted at the time an order is accepted, then shipped right out while still warm from the ovens.

When two or more 16 Oz. packages are requested the shipping is free to the customer, and always sent by USPS Priority Mail.

I read the descriptions of each coffee rather carefully to determine whether I am likely to enjoy the taste of that particular bean.

As I have mentioned previously, I use a burr mill grinder for a consistent grind overall. The trick is to grind only the beans for the coffee being brewed.

I might add that I can no longer enjoy coffee at a restaurant due to the superior flavor of specialty coffees. Yes, I am spoiled.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Yearbook: Cutest Couple

N.Y. high school names same-sex couple as 'cutest' in yearbook.


Originally, the school required the choice for cutest couple to be that of heterosexual partners. Apparently, a majority of the student body felt that that a gay couple was best for that year's nomination for the yearbook.

Pressure (described as an "uproar" by students) on the school brought about change in the selection rules. A majority of the student body voted for seniors Dylan Meehan and Bradley Taylor. We are not told the number of couples that were up for consideration.

The choice for this segment of the yearbook in no way dilutes or changes the value the yearbook offers to the student body.

Personal choice in relationships is seen here as a matter to be respected by others. A strongly positive statement is made when negative criticisms are not played up to create contention.

There had to have been other cute couples up for consideration. We can only offer our hopes for the continued positive relationship among all coupled partners.

(Referenced Story)

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Frankenfish

It was only a matter of time when genetically engineered (GE) animals would follow GE vegetables into the food market. Check out this horrific example.

GE salmon will breed with wild trout, creating a hybrid species. How are the salmon modified?  Atlantic salmon receive a gene from from pacific salmon that causes the fish to grow faster. Another added gene from an eel make this modified salmon grow throughout the year. Scary.

Many corporations have taken the "GE-free Seafood Pledge" which means they will not carry GE salmon.

Thankfully there are watchdog groups that keep an eye on practices that would otherwise go relatively unnoticed by the consumer.

Understandably, the food producer can increase yield, which boosts its bottom line. However, this gets done without due diligence in regard to health effects for the consumer.

Would you purchase seafood from a store if you knew it had been produced through genetic modification?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gourmet Coffees

The specialty coffees shown here have come from Old Bisbee Roasters in Arizona. There are numerous "fair trade" coffees whose flavor and aroma are exquisitely delicious.















Saturday, May 25, 2013

Burr Mill Coffee Grinder

Here is the Mr. Coffee Burr Mill coffee grinder. It replaces my Cuisinart which gave me about 6 years of dependable service.

There are two types of coffee grinders: burr and blade. The burr mill gives a uniform grind of the beans which provides more aroma and flavor than beans ground by the blade method.

The $40 price tag seemed reasonable (about ten dollars less than getting a Cuisinart locally). Internet purchase of the Mr. Coffee brand is around $35; however, once shipping and handling get added it does not make sense to go that route. I picked mine up at Target and was back home rather quickly to brew my morning cuppa.

While the grinder is an important part of the equation, due diligence must be given to bean selection. Arabica beans make the best tasting coffees (according to experts). Beyond that it is a matter of taste. I like Sumatran as well as a Uzuri African blend. I sometimes experiment with other beans.

Do you grind the beans for your coffee brewing?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Legal Limit


"This week, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended all 50 states decrease the blood alcohol content threshold for drunken driving from 0.08% to 0.05%." (Reference) NTSB's vision is to reduce the number of alcohol-related injurious and fatal automobile accidents.

A CNN Opinion writer notes, "Five drinks [within one hour] raises your [blood alcohol] level to .10%." We can calculate that an average size person would reach a blood alcohol level of 0.05% by imbibing two and one-half drinks.


Question: statistically what has been the blood alcohol range among drunk drivers who have caused an injury or fatality in an alcohol-related car crash.


"In the early 1980s, when grass-roots safety groups brought attention to drunk driving, many states required a 0.15 BAC rate to demonstrated intoxication. But over the next 24 years, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other groups pushed states to adopt the 0.08 BAC standard, the last state falling in line in 2004.


"The number of alcohol-related highway fatalities, meanwhile, dropped from 20,000 in 1980 to 9,878 in 2011, the NTSB said." A greater than 50% drop in fatalities is magnificent. None-the-less, the law of diminishing returns is at work here. Moving from 0.08 to 0.05 should not bring as drastic a drop.


Most important is the issue of increasing the use of checkpoints on our roadways to facilitate finding drunk drivers. Taking more drivers off the road when their blood alcohol is above the current legal limit will be highly effective. I would like to see comparative statistics with just a 50% increase in checkpoints use.


An opposing viewpoint.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tillamook — Native Americans and Cheese


The North Oregon Coast was originally home to the Tillamook Indians. Today, this area represents the production of Tillamook cheese, a popular brand in our Southern California markets. Often I will get the store brand of a particular cheese for its economical price. However, Pepper Jack Cheese (a union of Monterey Jack and peppers) is at issue here.

A block of Stater Bros. Swiss Cheese seems quite fine to my taste buds at its low cost per ounce. Yet, the store brand of Pepper Jack has a meager pepper count. In some slices I found nary a pepper. Not so with the Tillamook brand. Among several slices the pepper pieces (sweet peppers and spicy jalapeƱos) were everywhere in each slice. This cheese is well worth the cost.

I have always enjoyed an occasional grilled cheese sandwich. Pepper Jack has become the substitute for Velveeta nowadays, and it, too, is delicious with tomato soup.

Monday, May 06, 2013

The Cradle of Coffee Production


 

Peaberry Coffee From Ethiopia


Limited Edition
"Peaberry beans are a rarity in any given coffee crop — around 5% of every crop are peaberry beans. And what's a peaberry? Inside a coffee cherry, two beans normally form; when only one bean develops, it's called a peaberry, and these beans are prized for their remarkable concentration of flavor. We make it our business to find different, flavorful peaberries from all over the world. You should know that when you see one on our shelves, it's a limited, special one-time buy, and in most cases, we bought out the whole crop!
"Right now we're featuring Ethiopian Peaberry, grown in that country's Oromai growing region, between 3600 and 6200 feet above sea level. This region, in central-west Ethiopia, lies about 250 miles from the nation’s capital, Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is said to be the birthplace of the Arabica bean, and these beans reveal everything that makes Arabicas so sought-after. The medium-dark roast brings out all of the coffee's best attributes — balanced body, citrus and floral aromatics, spiced-berry flavors and wine-toned acidity. From first sip to last, ourEthiopian Peaberry delivers a memorable experience.
"We're selling Trader Joe's Peaberry Coffee from Ethiopia for $6.99 for each 13 ounce can of whole beans, an exceptional value you'll find only at Trader Joe's, and only while it lasts."
My calculation indicates the the "per pound" cost is $8.60. If this coffee proves to be tasty it is a bargain when compared to Old Bisbee's $15.00 per pound price.

Coffee Growers

Specialty Coffee Growers
Coffees are mountain grown, and the best come from high altitudes. Arabica beans are superior to robusto. One of the best marketers of specialty coffees is Old Bisbee Roasters.

Old Bisbee Roasters offers only Arabica beans, and what gets purchased is roasted at time of order. Two 1-pound packages are shipped free via USPS Priority Mail while still warm from roasting. (Two pounds is the minimum order for free shipping.)

There are always several coffees from different growing regions offered by Old Bisbee Roasters. Selecting the whole bean coffees, rather than ground, provides the best tasting brews.

Burr grinders offer the most uniform grind of the beans, and are a bit pricier than other types. Grinding beans for the coffee you are making produces freshest, tastiest results.

Prior to enjoying specialty coffees it was always necessary to add sugar with my creamer to get an acceptable taste. I was advised to try my first specialty coffee with creamer only, no sugar. OMG, it was delicious. Now I never add sugar to my coffee.

I no longer can order coffee at a restaurant. The flavor is a large disappointment after being spoiled by the excellent taste of specialty coffees.

If you love that morning cup of coffee you simply must take a look at Old Bisbee Roasters. In late afternoons another couple of cups rounds out my day for ultimate coffee enjoyment.