October 20, 2007

Coffeehouse.

This post is an Althouse coffeehouse. Please congregate in the comments and get the conversation started without me.

57 comments:

blogging cockroach said...

go sox

Bissage said...

I don’t drink coffee. Mrs. Bissage drinks coffee. But this morning I decided to have waffles so I wanted a little coffee. So I stole some of Mrs. Bissage’s coffee. Now my urine smells like coffee.

AllenS said...

Just like last Saturday, it's a beautiful day in West Central Wisconsin, and just like last Saturday, I'm going to cut wood. It has rained constantly for a week, which makes today, exceptionally beautiful. But first, a spot of coffee.

Ron said...

Ahh...coffee...I do love it so!

Breakfast is still undecided...I am open to suggestions from Vox Althousi

Gahrie said...

My urine smells like asparagas. But it was worth it.

Gahrie said...

As for breakfast, I'm going with scrambled eggs and SOS.

Windbag said...

Now my urine smells like coffee.

Could be worse, could be the other way around.

Ron said...

So your urine smells like coffee! Isn't it heartening that you're not drinking coffee, only renting it!

Bacon...it's calling my name...yes...

bill said...

Mark Helprin's Memoir From Antproof Case:

"Caffeine, Constance, is similar to the gentic code."

"It is?"

"Yes, C8H10N4O2. 3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl-1H-purine,6-dione. As you know, DNA duplicates itself, but caffeine interrupts this holy process like a typhoon blasing all the punts in the River Isis, and explodes the genetic system. Caffeine replaces adenosine at the receptor sites of the neurons, causing the neurons themselves to fire at untenable rates. This usurpation and its unbridled effects, its attack upon the balance of nature, its liberation of the fire and light that serve as the battering ram of the soul, is a sin of the highest order.

"The greatest per capita consumption of coffee in the world is in Finland. True, they held back the Russians, but they're the most nervous people on earth, no one understands their language, and the beat themselves with branches. The average American drinks seven hundred and twenty gallons of liquid a years, of which approximately half is coffee. That is, one gallon, or sixteen cups, per day. Three percent of the population drink fifty cups a day, and fifteen percent drink forty. Sixty-seven percent of American adults and twenty-three percent of children are dependent on caffeine or various coffee acids."

Donald Douglas said...

Love the new Althouse picture! Very happy! No cleavage though...

Anybody still for McCain around here?

Simon said...

Rugby World Cup's this afternoon - I think you can listen to commentary via the BBC here, and I'm still looking for a video stream.

Ron said...

I wonder how many people vote purely on the positions of the candidates, and how much they vote on a perception of their 'electability.'

Do people at some level say 'I like this guy, but he'll never get elected, so I'm 'throwing my vote away' if I choose him.'?

Maxine Weiss said...

Caffeine is poison.

Fondly,
Maxine

reader_iam said...

no offense blogging cockroach but:

GO SOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

reader_iam said...

In one of the newsrooms I used to work, the breakroom inevitably smelled like cat piss to me.

It was the "coffee."

My kitchen currently smells like the wonderful cappuccino I just made.

The worst coffee I have ever drunk--and believe me, I've drunk plenty--has been (it's a toss-up) served up by churches and rest-stop vending machines.

Christy said...

I take my caffeine cold in the morning. But I'll join in. McCain is still on the radar, but only because I just listened to Captain Ed's interview on Pajamas Media. After acknowledging his immigration stand hurt him, McCain noted that he got the message that Americans want security first. That struck me as a very grown-up response and will make me look more closely at him.

Anyone else seeing local news stories every night about the new super staph bug that is killing more people than AIDS? Baltimore broadcasts are really doing the disaster scenario treatment.

UWS guy said...

Good morning from the west coast. Firstly, there is no such thing as bad coffee. If it's the only coffee you can get, it's good coffee.

reader_iam said...

uws guy, I'd phrase that slightly differently: if it's the only caffeine you can get, it's good caffeine.

Don't know that extends to the coffee itself ... .

reader_iam said...

Christy: My college roommate, who couldn't stand coffee (the smell of fresh-ground and brewed was OK, though), started each morning with 2-3 cans of Dr. Pepper.

At the time (hypocritically enough), I found that mind-boggling.

reader_iam said...

They've been covering the staph-infection story around here, as well.

I can't help but thinking that this may be, to a degree, the chickens coming home to roost with regard to the abuse of antiobiotics for the past 30-odd years.

This doesn't make it any less awful or alarming, however.

Palladian said...

I was infected by MRSA late last year, which I think I got from spending so much time in hospitals with a family member who had cancer. It was a terrible experience, because there's so much alarming information (and disinformation) about the bacteria out there. The infection was eventually cleared up, but it took several months and several recurrences. The treatment was an old antibiotic called Bactrim, which is a sulfa drug, as well as months of twice daily showers with Hibiclens. As I said, not fun but not the end of the world. You'll know it if you get it, it's not easy to ignore and is usually only dangerous to healthy people if left untreated, but it's a real public health concern. Staphylococcus is everywhere, but as readeriam said, due to many factors including the over-prescription of antibiotics, some strains of staph became resistant through natural selection. Evolution in action!

My advice: use a lot of alcohol-based hand sanitizer (it's an antiseptic, not an antibiotic so it doesn't promote resistance), wash your hands when you can, stay out of hospitals if you can, stay away from schools (disease incubators), and shower at home rather than at the gym.

I hope this didn't kill your appetite for coffee! I'm having a dry, rich "Scandinavian" blend from McNulty's right now.

Maxine Weiss said...

You can't live in a bubble. You build immunity by being exposed (a little bit) to the germs.

People that have led a rarified existence and never come in contact with anything....are at greater risk.

Always wash hands, and yes, Alcohol hand sanitzer. But that's different than never ever ever allowing yourself to come in contact with anything.

reader_iam said...

Yikes! Doesn't sound like fun.

Sulfa drugs are the one thing I have to put down on med forms under "drug allergies." Had a terrible reaction as a baby, and the allergy was confirmed was some silly doctor proceeded to give me one any at around age 4 or 5, in connection with one of my plastic surgeries following being seriously mauled by a dog. Damn near killed me.

I'll just have go with my typical inveterate, frequent hand-washing and hope. I certainly can't avoid schools or other places clogged with children.

aolsen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

"Anybody still for McCain around here?"

Not me. Great American, but a lousy politician, too old, and too needy for media favor.

"Do people at some level say 'I like this guy, but he'll never get elected, so I'm 'throwing my vote away' if I choose him.'?"

Absolutely. For example, while I have no concerns (but spiritual ones) with Mormons, I'm pretty sure most swing voters will not vote for a Mormon for President - so Romney is off the list.

Conversely, Giuliani is more liberal than I, especially on social issues - but I think he's not only our best chance, but best of the field (voting Democrat is, in my estimation, akin to choosing suicide to prolong life... irrational as hell).

Windbag said...

The trend has been away from legislators and toward executives for the Presidency, starting with Jimmy Carter. Hillary defies the conventional wisdom by being a female Senator front runner, and will defy all odds if/when elected. Rudy or Mitt were positioned for a successful run, if the Republicans hadn't self-destructed the past couple of years. McCain is an ass. For the good of the party, he should sit down.

Drinking unleaded iced tea after completing the yard work. High-test coffee would be much better.

reader_iam said...

Maxine: I agree with you on that one.

I also wonder if the problem with some other illnesses, and also allergies (which among children in particular appear to be on the rise), has been aggravated by overly sealed homes cleaned overzealously specifically with antibacterials. But maybe that's a separate topic.

Joe said...

So what music has everyone been enjoying lately?

Windbag said...

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Susan Tedeschi, David Crowder Band

Palladian said...

Just got a couple of recordings of Handel operas: Giustino, conducted by Nicholas McGegan, and Tamerlano, conducted by Jean-Claude Malgoire with Rene Jacobs. Haven't gotten to the McGegan recording yet, but the Malgorie Tamerlano is pretty good so far.

Ann Althouse said...

"Now my urine smells like coffee."

If drinking coffee makes one's urine smell like coffee, how are we supposed to know what urine smells like?

"it's a beautiful day in West Central Wisconsin"

I know! I'm personally enjoying it right now.

"This usurpation and its unbridled effects, its attack upon the balance of nature, its liberation of the fire and light that serve as the battering ram of the soul, is a sin of the highest order."

I keep telling myself to write like that and I keep forgetting.

"Love the new Althouse picture! Very happy! No cleavage though..."

Click through to Flickr and check the photostream. (What does a photostream smell like?)

Palladian said...

Flaming squirrel ignites car in Bayonne, New Jersey.

bill said...

Christy: My college roommate, who couldn't stand coffee (the smell of fresh-ground and brewed was OK, though), started each morning with 2-3 cans of Dr. Pepper.

Christy and reader_iam: I once had a roommate who had an extremely lazy eye and drank a 12-pack of Jolt a day. NEVER knew who or what he was looking at.

Trooper York said...

My urine smells like guinness stout. As does my hair, fingernails, eyebrows and nose hairs. It was a long night.

The Drill SGT said...

My wife had a Case of MRSA a few years ago. real disaster, near malpractice IMHO. anyway...

she spent a week out in the woods, drove 10 hours home. Her knee started bothering her. took her to the ER. They diagnosed it as a knee trauma of some kind and referred her to an ortho guy. he drained fluid (but didn't analyze it) did xray, ultra-sound, MRI, cat-scan, never could find a problem. The knee swelled up the size of a volley ball. admitted her. The Hospital Bug guy (they all have bug killers) took one look, ran labs and put her on 3 sets of antibiotics. they ended up doing othroscopic surgery, flushing her knee with gallons of fluid, and putting her on a 3 week mult-drug intravenous antibiotic regime (at home). She lost most all the cartilage in her knee.

having said that, my local (DC) TV did a story on MRSA last night, it was awful, the clown didnt have a clue. one of his best lines was:

"there are two strains of MRSA, one found in hospitals is serious, the one found in schools isn't, it responds well to antibiotics"

duh. the second kind is your average normal staf. if it responds to well antibiotics, it isn't MRSA you idiot

bill said...

A Conderacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole:

"I shall have a coffee," Ignatius said grandly. "Chicory coffee with boiled milk."

"Only instant," the bartender said.

"I can't possibly drink that," Ignatius told his mother. "It's an abomination."

"Well, get a beer, Ignatius. It won't kill you."

"I may bloat."

The Drill SGT said...

or staph :)

Trooper York said...

Why does the professor always leave us in a coffee house? Why can't she leave us in a bar? You know for brunch. A jazz combo playing softly in the background. Eggs Benedict or maybe a spinach omelet with a bellini and fresh brewed coffee as a chaser. Then we can segue into a few beers and a Philly cheese steak sandwich while we are watching the game. All the while we are leafing through the papers and reading how the Yankees insulted Joe Torre by offering to make him the highest paid manager in the major leagues. Then an appetizer platter, maybe some mozzarella sticks or fried zucchini dipping into a blue cheese sauce. A few more beers until the dinner hour. Than we can call for a bottle of wine or two, say a nice Shriaz from Australia or a hearty Chilean vintage that we would enjoy as we order a skirt steak in chimichurri sauce with garlic mashed potatoes. Then an after dinner cocktail, perhaps some Martel cognac with dessert, some prunes braised in red wine with mascarpone cheese. Topping off the evening with some Jameson’s and a few beers just to keep us mellow. Why doesn’t she ever leave us there I ask you?

Ann Althouse said...

Why always a coffeehouse and not a bar? Because I only put up posts like this in the morning (when I think you come here expecting to see something) and I would never drink alcohol in the morning. In the evening — when I might have a glass of wine — I may or may not put up a post or two, so I never feel the need to put up a placeholder post like this.

Gahrie said...

So what music has everyone been enjoying lately?

Motorhead
Queen
Earth, Wind and Fire
Michelle Branch
The Soundtrack from Last of the Mohicans

Ok, so my tastes are a little ecclectic.

Christy said...

Bill, too funny.

Palladian and Drill Sgt, sounds awful. I'm so sorry to hear about your experience with staph.

My mom retired as a TB nurse 20 years ago complaining about the overuse of antibiotics and what it was doing to the TB strains. Health departments were then cutting back on TB programs and she was convinced it was poised to make a major comeback. Duh!

Allison Krauss, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Alan Jackson ....

Trooper York said...

Professor, a mimosa with fresh squeezed OJ with your mushroom omelet? Coffee on the side with a big icy cold glass of spring water. Freshly buttered rye toast and a basket of fluffy croissants.You might be missing a trick. Just say'n, ya know.

Ralph said...

I would only consider McCain if he'd renounced McCain-Feingold several years ago, when it wouldn't have been so politically expedient. I assumed Bush signed it to get it off the table and let the SC gut it. I'm surprised no one is actively running against it.

Caffeine is an irritant to the colon. When my cats were still living, I could only eat about half a chocolate bar without being ill. Four doctors and multiple fun tests didn't find I was allergic to my cats (but not other cats).

Ralph said...

Freshly buttered [seedless] rye toast
One of our Organic Chem labs was to extract and convert the essence of carraway seeds into its stereoisomer, the essence of oil of peppermint. Aside from the texture, a roomful of boiling carraway seeds put me off them.

Ann Althouse said...

"a mimosa with fresh squeezed OJ with your mushroom omelet...."

That's a horrifically huge meal that should only be eaten late in the day. My idea of a good breakfast is coffee with a lot of milk. Possible a piece of toast. A croissant for a special occasion. Then, sometime after 3, it's time for food. And I'm a morning person. (It's all about the ghrelin.)

Kev said...

You can't live in a bubble. You build immunity by being exposed (a little bit) to the germs.

I agree. I have a pretty amazing immune system thus far *knocks wood*, and I think one of the reasons is that I spend a lot of my week in public schools in (not always well-ventilated) little practice rooms, sometimes teaching kids who should probably be home instead of bringing their illness to school.

(I should also note how many kids I seem to have to teach to cover themselves when they cough or sneeze. I'm good-natured about it, saying things like, "Please, don't share!" when they do this.)

Kev said...

Oops, forgot to join the later conversation...

What I'm listening to: the two newest releases from Chris Potter, some older Jerry Bergonzi (thank you, Amazon downloads!), the newest project from Maria Schneider, and a recent release from a Vermont/Boston-based trumpeter named Alex Toth (not the comic book guy), whom I discovered a couple of years ago at the appropriately-named Discover Jazz Festival in Burlington.

Trooper York:
Why does the professor always leave us in a coffee house? Why can't she leave us in a bar? You know for brunch. A jazz combo playing softly in the background.

Jazz combos can play at coffeehouses, too (even if I've had the unfortunate experience of having a few of those go out of business on me). A couple of my groups should be recording fairly soon, so don't be surprised if I put up a link to something of mine at a future Alt-Coffee-house.

Trooper York said...

Kev, the reason they went bankrupt is because the place is full of coffee drinkers. You need real drinkers, who come for coffee and a salty breakfast with a hair of the dog (not in the eggs of course). Once you get them in, you can keep them there getting and spending. Trust me, I consulted enough times to turn any coffee joint into a real fun wine/beer/coffee joint. Let me help you with the menu, we can make it happen dude.

reader_iam said...

My natural inclination is not to eat anything for at least three or four hours after I get up. But I've always been told that's bad. For years I did eat breakfast, when I was actively trying to lose weight. Now I've slacked off and started having the first meal at something more like lunch, I've noticed that it doesn't seem to matter either way, as far as the weight thing goes.

Ann, I Googled "ghrelin," so I got the basic definition, but that doesn't mean I'm grasping your point. Care to expand? My curiosity is piqued.

Trooper York said...

Professor we have to agree to disagree. Although I don't know if it technically counts as breakfast when you haven't gone to bed from the night before. I think it's called the Elvis paradox. So we might be in accord, it will just necessitate further research and development.

Ralph said...

I've found that if I skip breakfast, I don't get hungry 'til evening, but a bowl of cereal at 7 makes a dangerous hole open up at 11:30.

reader_iam said...

Ralph: Yeah. I don't make it to evening, but yeah--about the 11:30 thing.

Maybe it's sort of like the old rule, from college, about beer: go ahead and drink it, but try to put off peeing as long as possible, because once you loose the floodgates, you'll have to go every 5 minutes. Never quite understand why that was (never seemed to logical to me), but in the event ... it proved out, time and time again.

hdhouse said...

Now evening. Notre Dame got crushed (smile). Michigan State nearly got to OSU. I am having similarly to another on this board, a very strong glass of coffee in a single cup packet from a hotel room in Stockholm.

There is something very pleasant about drinking coffee from a clear drinking glass. The warmth passes so much better. On a good, almost great day like today it is a very fine way to wane the evening.

rhhardin said...

Kroger supermarket is selling a model of Poos Jabse .

Kev said...

Trooper--just to clarify, when I said I had coffeehouses go out of business on me, I meant that I played there, not that I owned them. I have the sneaking suspicion that you're right with the "alcohol = business" idea, even as I still hope that a few independent coffeehouses with live music can stay afloat in an over-Starbucked area.

I would like to ask you, though--were the places that you consulted with still all-ages venues after alcohol was added to the proceedings? Keeping younger people from hearing live music because of alcohol sales is a big soapbox issue for me; I teach at a two-year college and several secondary schools, so I wouldn't want to play at a place where my students couldn't even walk in the door, much less sit in on occasion. The all-ages thing can work, but many owners don't want to put forth the effort.

rhhardin said...

New Homebuilding in Central Ohio

October 22, 2005
October 20, 2007

The colors were slightly nicer in 2005.

(Location about a mile from my usual supermarket)

Trooper York said...

Kev, the key is what type of liquor license is involved. If you have a "Full" license in New York State, it includes all types of liquor such as wine, beer and hard liquor such as whiskey, vodka, tequila etc. I usually recommend only a beer and wine license which costs about 1/3 as much and there is a lot fewer problems. It takes a lot to let someone get drunk on wine and beer if the staff is paying attention. This is best for the coffee shop/wine bar location. Your place can be family friendly especially at brunch. You really want to have kids only up to the early afternoon if you want to be successful. Plus families with children are not the people you want in your joint if you want to make money. They are normally on a budget and take up space that is better utilized by singles that come to your joint to socialize. What you also need to do is get a large selection of nondescript wines from Italy, Spain, Argentina, and Chile and put the per bottle price at a high number. Then have a lot of half price nights and afternoons so you still get your profit margin. For example you can get some great wines at $4.95 wholesale and price them at $40. On half price day you still get $20 a bottle. Your goal is to get the price of the bottle in just one drink. Then you start making money and you can pay waitresses, bartenders and your jazz combo’s. This presupposes that your goal is to have a viable business that will survive. If you want to provide a community meeting place, just start a bonfire, link hands, and starting singing Kumbaya. Hope I didn’t bore you. All the best.