Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Latte, Kent St, Fitzroy

Woah. Forgot about this one. Oops.
It turned into an energy crisis thinktank; I think the best idea was to install copper tracks along lines of longitude, then put a few giant magnets in orbit and turn the whole planet into a giant dynamo. What could possibly go wrong?

Long Black, home

Arrested Development series one disc three.
Still feeling a bit shaky from last night. That could be because I didn't eat anything since breakfast, and then started drinking. Oh well. It was a good gig.
Gotta get used to typing on this Eee PC again. I found instructions on the net a while ago for swapping the shift and up keys. That might prevent me from accidentally jumping up a
line every time I try to do a capital letter.

Latte, home

Watching the taxi strike on the news. I'm glad I didn't try to cab home from the gig last night.
They're all striking because they want more protection in the cabs. Call me crazy, but I don't think one stabbing is a sign that their will be a statewide spate of driverstabbing.
Whatever. I'm sure as shit glad I didn't try to drive through the city this morning.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Long Black, home

Again, this isn't a huge long black, but it's longer than an espresso. It's damn good too. I actually can't remember what these beans are, but they're spectacular.
Off to early-seeming soundcheck. I'm sure we'll drink beer if it's too early.

Strong Latte, Batch, St Kilda East

Goddam. This puts most other 'strong' lattes I've had to shame.
Hash breakfast is still unstoppable too. It makes you feel like you don't need to eat for the rest of the day, at least. Well I'll need it today. Moving house. Today is the move-all-the-big-stuff phase.
A new place has opened across the street from here. I should probably check it out one time, but why would I when Batch is right across the road? Furthermore, they seem to have umbrellas over the tables out the front, which already have a roof over them. Umbrellas over tables already undercover. That's tantamount to opening an umbrella indoors. That'll come back to them, I'm sure.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Long Black, home

I don't know if this quite counts as "home", considering I'm halfway through moving house and I have moved the coffee machine to the new place and had time to plug it in and fire it up. What the hell, there's no other tag for that on my blog.

"Labels for this post: longblack, homebutiamnotsureificancallitthatyet"

It turned out rad. Even radder than the fact that I get to take a break from moving house because I have a rehearsal to go to. It wasn't the longest long black I've seen, but I've categorised anything that is deliberately substantially longer than an espresso as a long black. There should also be a category for "put it in a takeaway cup but wound up drinking the whole thing before I left the house".

Strong Latte, Cafe 156, Elwood

Ok this one was nowhere near as good as the one I had a few days ago here. There is no way you could convince me that this one was strong. And way too much butter on the toast. Hmm. This is the kind of review that makes me hate my job here at the blog... Having a place to complain is one of the reasons I got started here, but it's much more fun trying to invent new adjectives after you have a GOOD coffee. See what I mean? "Good" is the best I could muster!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Latte, Wall 280, St Kilda East

Not much to report here, the coffee was brilliant. The Wall people are good. Very good. Smoked chicken pide was nice too.

Short Macchiato, Batch, St Kilda East

Wow. This'll put me into work mode.
I love the map of New Zealand on the wall here that indicates where all the cheese factories are. Fascinating.
Eggs with toast soldiers were brilliant too. One day I'm going to come in here with my gran's egg-guillotine thing and look like some badass, egg-eating, guillotine-carrying dude.

Latte, Batch, St Kilda East

Nicely done. Thanks again Batch. You seldom let me down. I'd write more, but I gotta pack my house into boxes.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Latte, Leroy's, St Kilda

Omg omg omg I just bought the new Portishead album. Gotta go home and listen to it right about now. Leroy squeezed out another perfect latte and even gave me a 20c discount. You can't beat that.

Short Mac, Cafe 156, Elwood

I really really truly plan to spend most of the day packing my house so I can move to another one soon, but breakfast is a nice diversion to start it all off with. I haven't been to 156 for nearly a year I think, mainly because the last coffee I had here wasn't that great. But there's been a change of owners (possibly over six months ago) and it all seems to be working now.
Awesome. My camera doesn't really capture the "Guinness effect" that is in action in that cup, but trust me, it was pretty spectacular. The guy even explained that the cold milk in the bottom makes the coffee rise. Rad.
They don't have Coco Pops on the menu any more, but they sure have the coffee thing happening.

Aeropress, home

Wyclef Jean is on Video Hits. He's talking about how back in the day in Haiti there was only one radio station, and whenever Men at Work came on, everybody thought they were full badass gangsters. I can see what he means, from some of the lyrics:
"Who can it be knocking at my door? Go away, don't come round here no more."
"They said the man come to take me away. Why do they follow me?"

Friday, April 25, 2008

Aeropress, home

Currently doing an hour on, hour off between Mario Kart and packing to move house next week. I'd better start setting alarms so this works.
Uh oh, better go. I've only got 55 minutes until I have to stop playing Mario Kart again!

Strong Latte, Las Chicas, St Kilda East

Well I learned my lesson last time I came here on the weekend: it's going to be crowded, and you will have to go on a waiting list.
What I didn't realise is that public holidays are even worse. On public holidays, everybody gets up at the same time as a workday, their body clocks so tuned into the five-on-two-off pattern of the last umpteen years, and then they all go out for breakfast instead of work. So good luck getting a table.
Luckily, the dudes I was meeting were horrendously late and so the time spent waiting for them was in fact spent waiting for a table. So it all worked out.
But they forgot that I ordered a coffee. Twice. That's a bit shit.
Eggs Benedict with avocado was magnificent though.

P.S Blogger's spell checker made me change "learnt" to "learned" in the first sentence. Is that right?

P.P.S The most unlucky typo is the one where you want to enter a question mark but accidentally press Ctrl-Shift-Home and then Backspace, thereby deleting the entire document. Sound farfetched? That's what I thought too, until I accidentally did it at the end of the last paragraph.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Aeropress, home

Gotta stay awake for Mario Kart. I love that the online multiplayer makes it possible for you to be the WORLDWIDE Mario Kart champion. The motorbikes are hard to get used to though.

Also watching Snuff Box on Youtube. It's worth checking out. It's the guys who play Fossil and Bainbridge in Mighty Boosh, with their own sketch show. Like this:

Latte, home

Nope, I pressed snooze too many times, dragged my feet a bit too much getting ready to leave, and only had time for 15 minutes of Marioage Kartage Wiiage. That was plenty though. I foresee getting quite hooked on this for the next few weeks.

Latte, home

Off to the studio for some JJ action. But I gotta leave the house early enough to buy Mario Kart Wii, come back home, and play Mario Kart Wii until I have to go to work. Hopefully that will leave me at least an hour of Kartage.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Aeropress, home

Off to see Karnivool tonight. Should be rad.

P.S It was. Last time I saw them was at Northcote Social Club a few years back. QBH has room for five times as many punters, and an epic prog light show from hell. I'm sure glad I'm not prone to strobe-related epileptic fits, otherwise it could've gotten ugly. Their fans were awesome too. Everybody who wasn't singing along was dancing in a circle with their mates playing air guitar. My only regret is that I wasn't there early enough to see That1Guy play his set.

Short Macchiato, Jasper, Fitzroy

Well that SL at Sousou was rad, but I'm gonna need more caffeine than that to get into action today. Is it because I only had two yesterday? Or is it because it's so late in the morning? Wow, this really is an addiction isn't it.
Jasper's short mac, needless to say, was spectacular again.

Strong Latte, Sousou, Fitzroy

Wow! This makes up for all the half-arsed coffees I've had here since I started the blog. It was really really quite actually really good. And strong.
Corn cakes were a bit doughy today though. But still impressed with the coffee.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Latte, Wall 280, St Kilda East

It's been a long time between innings at the Wall. I'm sure glad they're still open until 6pm. Chicas turned off the coffee machine long before that. It's still a nice place when it's not too crowded. The abandoned Red Rooster across the road turns a beautiful colour at sunset too.

Latte, home

Off to rehearsal soon. Still watching Robot Chicken series one.

Played Wonderboy (Sega Master System) last night. After about an hour I realised that pressing 1 and 2 at the same time makes you jump higher. The levels made a whole lot more sense after that.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Espresso, Little Peninsula, City

God damn, I really gotta find something else to drink when I catch up with people. This is getting ridiculous.
A homeless guy cracked it when we didn't give him any change. I really wanted to tell him that "beggars can't be choosers", but figured he wouldn't find the relevance as hilarious as I did, so I kept quiet. One more coffee and I bet my internal-monologue-censor would have left the office for the day.

Long Macchiato, Switchboard, City

Good lord, that's the first long mac for the year! I really liked the look of the one they were making at Jasper yesterday, and I figured Switchboard would know how to make one.
They did. The table was a bit rocky, the uni students' getups not as amusing as last week (that guy wearing gumboots! In the city!), but the long mac was McRad.
Hmm. Do McDonalds have McIatto on their menu yet?

Latte, home

"Hi, I'm TV’s Topher Grace. As you’ve seen tonight, the precious trappings of our material-obsessed existence become the sitcom fodder of the future. So hey, please remember: try not to be such a douchebag. Thanks for listening."

Wow, I thought copying and pasting that from another website would be quicker than putting the DVD on again, finding the right chapter, and typing the whole thing out. What I didn't realise was how shit the other blogger's punctuation was. Look at this scrapheap:

hi im tv’s topher grace, as you’ve seen tonite, the precious trappings of our material obsessed existence become the sitcom fodder of the future. so hey, please remember, try not to be such a douchebag. thanks for listening

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Instant, home

INSTANT.
Before you ask, "What the hell are you doing?" and state that there's so many better ways to get caffeinated than that, I bought this jar at Jasper today. The "blind taste-tested against twenty other instant coffees!" story intrigued me. I know that a blind taste test against twenty other instant coffees doesn't sound like a huge victory, but just like the celebrity race at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix, there is a huge difference between your Melissa Tkautzes and your Mark Phillipousses. I wondered how good instant coffee could possibly be. Plus, it's fairtrade and organic. Plus, some portion of the proceeds went to the ASRC today. All good stuff.
Well I just had a cup, and it was pretty good. There's a definite Moccona-ish sheen to it, but it was fun to drink. I'd set up a qualifying lap of my own, with International Roast vs Blend 43 vs Moccona vs Jasper just to see how it stacks up, but I may come out of that test not wanting to drink coffee ever again, nor be able to sleep for about a week. I don't want that. I'll just take Jasper's word for it instead.

Strong Latte, Jasper, ASRC Fair, City

Today there was some sort of outdoor foodie fair at Asylum Seekers Resource Centre. I'm not quite sure if it qualifies as North or West Melbourne. It's between King and Spencer St, in line with about the middle of the Flagstaff Gardens. Maybe that's just Melbourne. Anyhow, they had a Jasper cart there. My ST L came out a bit hot, but remarkably it was still beautiful once it had cooled down. There goes my theory of "if the milk is too hot, it will as a result be shithouse". Twice in one day Jasper. Thank you.

Latte, Jasper, Fitzroy

"...and then just a bit of cold milk. Okay, so that should start to settle. Now add a dab of foam too. A bit more than that. Good, that's the right amount of cold milk, it should all settle into three layers."
Wow. I've never had a bad tea or coffee or anything from Jasper, it's great to see how much time they put into telling their staff how to do it. Seeing somebody get taught how to make a long macchiato at Jasper is the closest thing in my life to seeing a baby Velociraptor hatch out of its egg.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Latte, Victor's, Carlton

I've been curious every time I've walked past this place. The first thing that springs to mind is, "That place is so huge, and it's crammed so full of furniture and statues and stuff, and yet there appears to be no customers." That's what made it intriguing. After seeing the Saturday night queue at Brunetti, we started heading down to Markov's, and then realised there was nobody in Victor's again. Why not, let's go in.
Stepping in the door revealed that the "crammed full of furniture" thing is just an optical illusion. Once you're in the building it's clear that it is in fact crammed FUCKING full of too much enormous furniture. Good lord. I thought perhaps there was a bit of symmetry at work.
"See, there's two of those faces, one either side of the door, and these Egyptian things are sort of facing each other. They must have planned it."
"No, that just means they bought pairs of things."
Not only was there that huge bar upstairs from the street, I also found another even bigger bar, even further upstairs. There are also stairs leading down from the street, where I assume there is a third, possibly larger, bar. This place is just gargantuan. Who knows, maybe some guy had a shitload of Roman columns and couches and tables and needed to store them somewhere, and then just decided it would be just as easy to open up a bar. But there are other opinions about this place:
"It looks like the Roman empire at too much pizza and vomited all over the walls!"
Green tea was a teabag in a pot (the bag and the pot sort of make each other redundant, don't they?), but the coffee was pretty good. The tray they came on also looked like it was stolen from Brunetti.
Well, at least we can say we've tried it now.

Flat White, Pure Pop Records, St Kilda

I never realised they have a courtyard back there. And a bar in the courtyard. And live music on the weekends. And food. AND a coffee machine!
It didn't look too promising, but fuck it, it tasted like coffee. Nice set from Tin Pan Orange too. Perfect for Saturday afternoon lounging about in the eerily yellower-
than-usual sunshine. Was there a bushfire yesterday or something? The moon was a weird colour last night too.

Latte, home

"So I Married an Axe Murderer" is on TV. I haven't yet decided if it's one of those movies that seemed funnier when you were younger, but isn't now.
But hey, I still chuckled at the "Flaunt away, you fairy!" line.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Plunger, gig, Coldstream

They have an espresso machine here, but hey, it's a wedding. Making two enormous plungers has gotta be more efficient than getting orders from 10 tables of people and then making them.
"Table nine, skinny strong flat white?"
"..."
"Er, anyone order a skinny strong flat white? On table nine?"

"Umm, I did, but I'm on table eight. Is that mine?"
"I ordered a skinny strong latte, it might be mine."
"I can't remember what I ordered, do you want me to take that one?"


Nah, that wouldn't work.

Aeropress, home

Driving to Coldstream listening to yacht rock.
Playing bingo with my GPS. Whenever you get stuck in traffic, your ETA on the screen goes up by a few minutes. If you drive efficiently and don't miss any traffic lights as soon as you're past the traffic jam, the ETA minutes start to turn back again. If you don't see a red traffic light for long enough, then the ETA gets back to where it started, and it's like the traffic jam never existed.
"6:12PM"
"C'mon c'mon c'mon..."
"6:11PM"
"Woo hooooo!"
It's a small victory, and makes over an hour in traffic tolerable.
But I'm not sure "bingo" is the right word.

Strong Latte, Postal Hall, City

I've been here about five or six times, and this is the first time I've ever seen Sam here. He works here. He fixed the grinder with a handful of rubber bands. That's the kind of dude he is.
A cracker of a strong latte too.

Halftte, home

This is only a halftte because that's how much milk was left in the carton. What should I call that? Lefttovers? Dreggiato?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Aeropress, home

Off to pick up the Casio. Rad.
I find speed cameras a bit annoying, but I'm always glad when they choose to police the living shit out of 40km/h zones around schools. There's no deterrent like seeing another dude get pulled over for doing exactly what you're doing.

Aeropress, home

Ouch. Note to self: don't hold the thing when you're filling it to the brim with boiling water. When it overflows, the water has no place to go but onto your hands. Your hands have no choice to drop what you are holding. The thing you're holding has no choice but to bounce off the oven and let fly its near-boiling contents everywhere. You have no choice but to make a seagull noise and run for the cold tap.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Short Macchiato, Mamacas, Prahran

It nearly hit my cousin Emma in the head on the way to the table, but it was damn good. Sorry Emma.
Having a short mac this late is usually a bad move for me, but thankfully the coffee didn't keep me awake all night. Instead it chose to wake me up at about 3:30AM. Thanks, coffee. Remind me not to hang out with you as much tomorrow.

Latte, Amici, Prahran

It seemed to be served in a giant eggcup.
Wow. I didn't think blogger's spell checker would be okay with the word 'eggcup'.

Latte, Borscht Vodka and Tears, Prahran

This one was damn good (takeaway, to take into the movies) but it's really hard to drink coffee after having a huge bowl of soup. I'll have to keep that in mind.

The movie, however, was downright silly. Do Palace Cinemas refund your money if you thought the movie was shite?

Aeropress, home

Yep. Not much to report. Killed time on the internet for too long and didn't have time to walk to South Yarra. So I drove instead. So far this week I haven't adhered to my "don't drive anywhere" theory very well.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Latte, Tiamo, Carlton

I was so excited about the cheap book at Borders that I forgot about my other shopping find today. I found the absolute holy grail of second hand music gear, in my opinion. I've always wanted something like this.
The Casio MG-510 Midi Guitar.
Flippin' hell. This guitar is what people thought the future would be like in 1983. Two years later, their prayers were answered. The most impressive thing for me about this is that it's all one unit. A lot of other MIDI guitars require a separate box to do all the conversion-to-MIDI-notes stuff, but this is a guitar with a MIDI out jack. Hell yeah. I plugged it into some 90s-ass synth in the shop and was soon in orchestra-hit heaven. Followed closely by Seinfeld-spec slap-bass heaven. This thing is gonna be fun. Trying to get the seller to knock the price down a bit, and then it's mine. Awwww yeah!

P.S. Two Tiamo lattes in half an hour gave me profound new anagram-arranging abilities. Terrifying stuff.

Latte, Tiamo, Carlton

I just had the oddest experience in Borders.
Months ago, I was in the UK and I read a book by Christopher Moore called "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal". I didn't get all of the biblical jokes (having learnt most of that stuff from Jesus Christ Superstar, the more biblical episodes of the Simpsons, and that Brick Testament website/book)
but I thought it was brilliant. Especially with gems like this:

You should be nice to people, even creeps.
And if you:
a) believed that Joshua was the Son of God (and)
b) he had come to save you from sin (and)
c) acknowledged the Holy Spirit within you (became as a little child, he would say) (and)
d) didn't blaspheme the Holy Ghost (see c),
then you would:
e) live forever
f) someplace nice
g) probably heaven.
However, if you:
h) sinned (and/or)
i) were a hypocrite (and/or)
j) valued things over people (and)
k) didn't do a, b, c, and d,
then you were
l) fucked.


So I've been looking for more of Moore's stuff since then, but no luck. He's just not in the M section in any shop I've been to around here. So imagine my surprise today when they have TWO different titles, one of which they have TWO copies, each of which were tagged with a price of $12.95!!! Incredible! I trotted merrily (okay maybe that's an exaggeration) off to the counter (also with my Tetris Cube {it's bloody difficult to solve [though the package describes it as "deceptively simple", which I wrongly thought meant that it is simple yet deceives you otherwise]} and copy of Electronics for Dummies {yes, I'm a nerd}) to pay for . Not only had I found the book, but it was also a bargain. As Gordon Ramsay says, "You don't have to be a vegetarian to appreciate that."

Well, the girl tried to scan the barcode in a number of ways, then tried to type in the number, but the computer didn't like it. She passed the book on to her supervisor, who looked puzzledly at her computer for a while before returning to inform me that the book shouldn't have been sent to AUSTRALIA. That explained the price. That was actually US dollars. She added, "I don't even know how I could sell it to you. I can't scan it." I wanted to suggest they adopt Safeway's "if it scans wrong, it's FREE!" policy temporarily for this occasion. But then she thought of another way to scan it.
"Press QP!"
(I can't remember which two letters, but you get the idea)
"Fzzzt," said the receipt printer, indicating that something had worked and the book was mine for $12.95.
I trotted merrily (ah why not, it's such a fun combination of verb and adverb) across the road to Tiamo and started reading.

Latte, Marios, Fitzroy

The building across the road is called "Sydenham". You know how old buildings have a "name", and the year they were built? This one says "Sydenham 1915". I think it forms part of Joel Harris Office Supplies, whose remaining existence reassures me that Fitzroy is going to be okay. Has this building been around longer than the Victorian suburb of Sydenham? Which is named after which?
Oh. It turns out they are all named after the Sydenham in London.

Aeropress, home

Strong, yet watered down.
Gotta hang out the washing. Seeya.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Aeropress, home

Watching the rest of Quiz Show. The accent that Tom Hanks puts on in Catch Me If You Can is quite similar to the one Rob Morrow uses playing Dick Goodwin in Quiz Show. I always dismissed Hanks's choice of accent as "inconsistent" and "shithouse", but it turns out it is actually "Boston". The non-rhoticity (an "uh" sound at the end of the word "water" for example) is what span me out the most. But I trust that Rob Morrow knows what he is doing, and therefore can pardon Tom Hanks for his crimes.
Ditto for the entire cast of The Departed.

Strong Latte, Switchboard, City

It's not often that I get this far into the day without coffee. Switchboard is a good way to do it, though. Nice work again fellas.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Latte, Brunetti, City

Well, it took about five minutes for the guy at the express counter to figure out how to place my order, take my money, open the till, and give me change. I mean, fucking hell. How has he been standing there for so long without taking an order? They must sell 20,000 coffees a day here. Maybe I should just consider myself extremely lucky that the guy who had no flipping idea what he was doing just happened to serve me. That's highly unlikely. I was fortunate.
Coffee wasn't great either. A bit weak, a bit dirt-flavoured. C'mon Brunetti, I know you can do better than that. You have done so, hundreds of thousands of times.

Latte, home

Just started watching Quiz Show again. Love it. John Turturro is monstrously good in this. I'm pretty buggered after DJing at Bobi's rave party last night (the only even vaguely rave-ish track I had was Utah Saints' Something Good, and it cleared the floor - but I got them back with David Bowie's Let's Dance), but I gotta leave the house pretty soon. Got two parties to go to. Both in the city.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Short Macchiato, GB, Richmond

Wow, two short macs in one day. I changed my order from black to mac at the last minute, just because I'm still having caffeine flashbacks in my sleep of the short black I had here two weeks ago. Spine-chilling stuff. But I'd rather it at that end of the scale than the other.
Coffee guy asked for feedback this week too. It's great to see that not only is the coffee this good this late at night at a pub, but they actually care whether it's good. Full points again, GB.

Short Macchiato, Laurent, South Yarra

Laurent is a chain, and for this reason many see the staff as no different to any other chain, and therefore foolishly throw the whole lot into the fast food basket, a basket from which it is not recommended to order coffee from. But this is no McCafe or Starwhatever. It was a bit long for a short mac, and a bit watered-down as a result (wow, just like in France!) but otherwise pretty good. A great deal of concern seemed still to be put towards the health and well-being of each cup that went out, even under the severe workload: I saw one of the waitresses walk out with three five-cup trays of take-away lattes. TWICE. That's thirty take-away lattes. That she walked out of the shop with them makes me wonder if these guys do home delivery.

Strong Latte, Newtown SC, Fitzroy

It's not the strongest in town but it's damn good. Ordering a "strong" is mandatory, in my book. They also sell small plants out the front now too.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Halftte, home

In hindsight, this coffee would have been far more useful before I tried to go for a run.
Off to see U23D tonight. I don't really dig anything they've released in the last ten years, but the ten before that are unbeatable. Listening to Under a Blood Red Sky to get warmed up for the movie tonight.

Woah. If you have that album, dig it out and put on track 4, Party Girl. Go to 1 minute 14 seconds. Does Bono say "Guitar Hero"? According to most of the internet, yes, he does.

Espresso, home

Finished watching Under Siege 2. It was much better than I expected. I wrongly assumed that a train would be far less exciting than a boat.
Listening to previews of Metalfingers tracks on iTunes, and curiously, even though they are instrumental, they are listed as "explicit". Explicitly RAD is the only explanation I can come up with for that.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Espresso, Ollie's house

I love this coffee machine. It's like there's 200 uruk-hai in there with a battering ram forcing the water out. Nothing can stop it. My machine makes this scary "hnnnngggh" straining sound when I try to get it to do this:
The thick golden espresso came out with the elegance of a faux-Michelangelo water feature. I bet that crema would have still been there 20 minutes later, but i didn't let it get that far. Can man live on coffee and synths alone? I sure hope so. If not, the "massive cans" of wasabi peas should provide some...er...protein or something. A few seconds after this photo, the A and B keys that the cup is sitting on decided they were under enough pressure to press down, and the keyboard made a nice "miuwww" envelope filtered sawtooth sound. That's the sound of coffee.

Latte, Las Chicas, St Kilda East

We only rehearsed for about an hour and then realised it was time for (late) lunch. Tracked down some wasabi peas (buy them from an Asian grocer unless you want to get ripped off) and FINALLY found those tea tree toothpicks. Offered one to our waitress at Chicas, who recoiled in horror. They're not for everyone I guess.

Aeropress, home

I had dinner with all of my neighbours last night. It's the most neighbourly thing I've ever done. That's when good Neighbours become good friends, I guess.
Was woken at 7:30 this morning by a guy at the building site across the road YELLING into his phone. I could hear every word, even though he was over 100 metres away and all my windows were shut, but was too tired to make sense of it. The words "bullshit" and "had enough" were in every sentence, although he also ended each sentence with the word "mate" in that curious non-confrontational tradesman way .
Still out of coffee beans...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Aeropress, home

Searched in vain for Thursday Plantation Cinnamon Toothpicks in Elwood. They have heaps of freaky natural shops down there, I thought I'd be able to get some toothpicks at least. Harry got me hooked on them.
But I did get a bag of Jasper 'O Blend'. Mighty fine.
Investigating domain names. CATALOG.COM seems to be the owner of ryanmonro.com. I wonder if that means I could buy it from them. For an exorbitant price. Isn't that illegal? It didn't used to be, not in the good ol days when some guy bought altavista.com and then sold it to Compaq for $3.3million. I'm pretty sure you can't do it now. But hey, there's thousands of people out there with my name. Maybe changing my name by deed poll to Ultra MegaOK would ensure my web address looks awesome.
Uh oh. Spoke too soon.

Latte, Blue Tongue, Elwood

Damn. Awesome. Read in the Age about Bush agreeing with Rudd about China. Fayed disagreeing with the jury about rational explanations. Marieke and the blog awards. Christ, who do you have to root to win one of those? Actually I just went and looked at her blog. It's quite good. I chuckled. Layout's a bit silly (why the fuck is the title for the whole site so much smaller than the title for each entry?) but she does actually write about things other than coffee. 2 Kudos.

P.S I use the reading tag if I read something while drinking the coffee, purely for statistical purposes. It will only get confusing if I ever drink coffee in Reading.

Latte, home

Finished watching Universal Soldier. I still think the truck from Aliens could beat up the UniSol truck. Running low on coffee beans, better go walk 25 km to get some more.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Aeropress, home

Yep, I'm not walking any farther than I absolutely have to for the rest of the day. It's not lazy, I think I negated that this morning.

Latte, Animal Orchestra, Carlton

It's a nice day, I think I'll walk home from here. It couldn't possibly take more than two hours.

P.S. It possibly could, and it did. Two hours and twenty minutes. Twelve-and-a-half k's. Ouch.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Espresso, Switchboard, City

This is one of those "I'd better have some coffee now or I'm gonna fall asleep because I ate so much food" moments. But I guess a huge meal in the middle of the day makes slightly more sense than one at the end of the day. Kim Sing's $6.00 chicken steak with fried rice. Highly rated. It was good to bring the lads to Switchboard too.
'Woah, it looks like the start of Batman!'
'"Did you ever dance with the devil by the pale moonlight? See ya round kid."'
'"Who are you?!"'
'"I'm Batman."'

Short Macchiato, Switchboard, City

It's a great day to be walking around the city. Meeting the lads for cheap Chinese food. I'm early. Time for a coffee.

Halftte, home

Neighbours are renovating, they need to turn the water off for two hours, gotta go have a shower right now, seeya.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Aeropress, home

Watching the rest of Sudden Death. Ah, I love Sundays. The movie is set at a hockey game. For some reason I was surprised when it was a draw at the end of the third period and they had to go to sudden death. I seriously didn't see that coming.
If you want a laugh, get on youtube and find Jean-Claude Van Damme's appearance in the movie Breakin'.

Aeropress, home

This definitely works better with finer-ground coffee.
Watching Video Hits and googloing around trying to figure out when the new Portishead album is out, and whether they're touring. Their website has an eloquent tour blog:

"germany was good - france tv was shit not paris though that was good."

So I guess they've been to Germany and France now. Not sure where else they're going. But search youtube for "portishead atp" to watch most of their All Tomorrow's Parties gig from December. Heavy shit. It's been ten years since they last did something, but they all have the same haircut and look like they're wearing the same clothes. Looking forward to the album.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Flat White, Great Britain Hotel, Richmond

Nicely done, again. I just can't remember what used to be up that end of the bar, before the coffee machine. Maybe it was one of those giant wine decanter things with the enormous upside-down bottle of wine shoved in the top. Or maybe it was another coffee machine.

Aeropress, home

All bbqing and no coffee makes Jack a non-caffeinated boy. Gotta go to the gig, better wake up.

Latte, home

Video Hits, etc

Friday, April 4, 2008

Aeropress, home

Wow, they're not messing around with this 80 degrees thing. Read my previous Aeropress posts if you have no idea what I'm on about. Today I boiled the kettle with a thermometer sticking out until it got to 82 degrees, and then aeropressed it up. It tasted about 5 times better than all my non-thermometer and steam-wand attempts. Love it. One and a half scoops. It makes me want to buy a frisbee.

Latte, Las Chicas, St Kilda East

Nicely done. But those gas fumes from the hot water service are a little disturbing. Careful if you sit at the big long table out the back.
The tuna sandwich was a delicious collision of capers and tuna and olives on the freeway of pide.

Espresso, Ollie's house

Ollie's coffee machine is a stainless steel machine of doom. It makes the most satisfying "clink" I've ever heard when you switch it on. The "short black" button was hilarious; about half a teaspoon of water came through. That's as short as they come.

Espresso, home

Running late.
So why am I still blogging?
Hmm. I need to be more "espresso" than this when I accidentally sleep in and incorporate my alarm clock into the dream for 40 minutes.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Flat White, Transit, City

I love the view from up here. You can see all the corporate sponsored landmarks; from where the river passes Vodafone Arena and snakes off towards the Nylex sign, and back in the other direction where it passes Southgate on the way to Crown Casino, where the CBD ends to make way for Colonial Stadium or Telstra Dome, or whatever it's called now. Perpendicular to the river, the Botanical Gardens stretch off into the distance. Some serious branches came down last night in the 100km/h+ winds. One branch I saw on the way in was so serious in size that you couldn't fit it in my house. I'm glad I wasn't around when that one came down. My pocket size travel umbrella just wouldn't have made a dent.
Fun gig with Ollie and Choy tonight. We played a version of Mercy Mercy Mercy where you start in C major for two bars and then modulate down to Bb major for two bars, and repeat that cycle for the whole song. We're considering calling it Mercy Mercy Mercy Mercy Mercy Mercy.

Aeropress, home

One-and-a-half scoops.
The replacement disc for Guitar Hero III actually has more problems than the one it replaced. I'd much prefer mono sound over out-of-sync Queens of the Stone Age and Muse any day. Might have to call Activision again.

Latte, Shop Ate, Mt Eliza

Shop Ate is the brainchild (or is that braincafe?) of local celebri-chef Guy Mirabella, from whose book I learned recently that tira misu should be eaten for breakfast. I had some tira misu leftovers this morning when I got up, and it made me think Guy Mirabella is onto something here.
He is also onto something with Shop Ate. All day breakfast, and a mouth-watering selection of bread- or pastry-related lunchthings. I had Nikki's Smashed Eggs with leek, mushroom and spinach, which I ordered mainly because it involved leek. I can safely say today was my first leek-for-breakfast day of my life. It shan't be the last.
Today not being the last tira-misu-for-breakfast day of my life, however, is much less likely.
The coffee stood up to the radness of the food.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Stovetop, Mum's house

I don't think Mum's used this thing for a while. It needed a bit of a going-over with the green mat (I don't think it's hardy enough to be called a scourer). I gave it a cautionary boil with no coffee just to clean it out a bit more, and then went for it with a few spoons of Illy. The whole operation took about half an hour, but it was worth it.
Watching Six Degrees of Separation, the first half of which I missed when it was on TV in Townsville over a month ago. I'm going to keep watching at least until the "You gave them my pink shirt?" speech. It's worth seeing the movie for the pink shirt speech, and also for Ian McKellen's accent, which is surprisingly haphazard. I figured because he was knighted, he must be good at accents. But it's weird. In the first scene he sounds Australian, then whenever he mentions South Africa he sounds South African, and then in all the other scenes he sounds like Shakespearean Ian McKellen. Odd. Or maybe it's just my hearing.

Latte, Switchboard, City

I'm very impressed with the size of the toasted sandwich. It's the size of a slice of interesting bread. It need not be any bigger. Why do people demand five hectares of bread on either side of their toasted sandwich? I sure don't want to eat that much bread.
Quality ingredients, toasted in an extremely small room.
Coffee was right on the money too. Guy seemed a little belligerent today, but I would be too if I had to stand two inches from another dude washing dishes all day.
P.S. 28 minutes later I was hungry again, maybe the sandwich was too small.

Aeropress, home

I'm off to the city to have coffee, but I'm driving there and probably shouldn't operate heavy machinery without caffeine in my system.
Aeropress, two scoops. Killer.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Aeropress, home

One and a half scoops.
I now have a thermometer (thanks Lando!) so I know what temperature the water is that comes out of the steam wand on my coffee machine. It's 82 degrees. Perfect.
I'm busy revolutionising my bass-playing world. It now involves no effects pedals, but it does use Bluetooth. Awesome.

Latte, home

Ugh. Hammer drill at 8am, burrowing into a wall that must be attached to my wall. Ouch.
Great coffee though.