Saturday, May 31, 2008

Latte, home

Well, I've been avoiding becoming a full-on iTunes convert ever since I bought my iPod. That was back in February. I thought, "Yeah, it'll be cool. I'll just convert the songs I want to listen to into the right format, then drag them into iTunes. I won't have to re-rip all my CDs or even move them all into a new folder. I'll just copy them as I need them."
Uh uh. How foolish I was. I've always lived in fear/awe/hatred of Apple and everything they manufacture. It looks cooler, runs better, seems easier to use and is therefore my sworn enemy. It even makes a cool sound when you turn it on. Far from the 1982-standard POST beep I'm used to. Maybe the learning curve always put me off. If something goes wrong, I won't know how to pull it to bits and fix the problem! But I guess most Mac users never worry about that because things seldom go wrong.
Anyhow, last January when I was thinking about getting a new laptop, I had the Apple website and the Dell website open in different tabs, at the same time. That is how close it came. But Dell won that round, because at the end of the day I can get something faster that I know how to use, for cheaper. Plus I'd had good experience with Dell in the past. They may skimp a bit on testing, but damn their tech support is thorough.
Fast forward another year, and I've bought an iPod. I was sort of backed into a corner on this one. Iriver seem to be stubbornly refusing to make a media player with more than 16 gig of storage, even though they made a kick-arse 40 gig machine four years ago. The H300 was rad. If mine still worked, and was a bit thinner, I'd keep using it. But the interface on the iPod Touch is what really got me. It's just a rad thing that looks like it's from the future. It's almost like getting a Mac. But it fits in your pocket.
Anyhow, I'll cut the rest of this crap, non-coffee-related story short. Sooner or later, you have to play the iTunes game the way iTunes wants you to. That is, convert all your music to the right format, tick the "keep my library organised" button and finally click "Consolidate Library", moving all your files to one location.
What the hell. Why not? At least it will all be in one place, instead of scattered across three hard drives and a handful of burnt DVDs.
But it worries me a bit running iTunes on a PC. It's like the Mac army have infiltrated the PC city walls inside a huge wooden apple. Then one day you consolidate your library and a message pops up saying, "This cannot be undone. Continue?"
Do you trust them, or are the Mac soldiers going to jump out and pillage and loot your sorry ass?
Chilling stuff.

Halftte, home

I just smashed levels nineteen and twenty on Dr Mario.
Guess what happened next?
After the big "CONGRATULATIONS!" screen accompanied by jovial, congratulatory, bossanovafied yet still Nintendo-esque music, the game continued at level twenty-one.
It turns out twenty is just the maximum you can start at. The game keeps going from there. Yikes.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Espresso, home

I'm having serious trouble getting past level nineteen on Dr Mario.
And this is on the slowest speed too.
Maybe the biggest hurdle I'm going to reach, or have reached already perhaps, is that I only ever flip the blocks in one direction. Clockwise, I think. I can never fit the possibility of anti-clockwise flips into my Dr Mario gameplay routine. That means that I am hitting clockwise three times, when I could just be pressing the button right next to it.
It reminds me of my mum's auntie. She hated doing right-hand turns while driving, mainly because of how nerve-racking it can be hanging out in the middle of the intersection waiting for a gap. So she got into a habit (or so the legend goes) of making three lefts instead.
Sound crazy? Well, it turns out that is exactly what I do every time I play Tetris or Dr Mario or any other block-flippy-droppy game.
There may be only twenty levels (and I'm up to nineteen), but this is on slow mode. There's a medium and a fast after this. I'm pretty sure I won't get far through them if I'm still making three lefts.

"You must unlearn what you have learned." - Yoda

Latte, Jasper, Fitzroy

"Those coffee scrolls, they're the best thing EVER!"
"Wow!"
"Well, out of pastry-type things that involve coffee-flavoured icing, anyway."

It was lucky they were unloading the tray of coffee scrolls while I was in the shop. They just looked daaaaamn good.
I'll file this one under "impulse breakfast purchase". I didn't enjoy it much in the end. But the Sumatra latte was flippin' ace.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Latte, Marios, Fitzroy

The photo says it all. Latte. Take away. Gig. Damn good too. Two paramedics, about to clock on I guess, were also in Mario's waiting for their take away. I wonder how far they drove for the coffee.


Now I'm not sure if it's just because I'm reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves at the moment, but I keep noticing more and more places who shun the apostrophe. Marios. Romeos. Should they have apostrophes? Certainly. But do they have one? Well, actually it's a little hard to tell with that photo. I'll have to walk past and check. I gave Romeo the benefit of the doubt this morning, but it's highly possible that they do have an apostrophe signwritten up there.
As for that shop on Johnson St called "Dogs Breakfast", don't even get me started. I even had trouble typing that without adding an apostrophe.

Latte, Romeo's, Balwyn North

Number two.
I walked up to the counter.
"Another two lattes?"
"Yeah! How did you know?"
"I saw you guys sitting outside."
Amazing. There are some places that I tried for months to get the hey-you've-been-here-before recognition from the staff. Romeo recognised and anticipated the next order only twenty minutes into my first visit.
I'm not sure if I really wanted a latte, but hey, I was impressed.
But I doubt, if I turned up next week and said, "I'll just have the usual," that he'd know what I was on about.

Latte, Romeo's, North Balwyn

Jumps has been trying to get me to come here for years.

It's rad. Don't let anyone call this suburb "North Borin'". If the coffee is this good, it would NEVER be boring.

Espresso, home

Facebook. Email. Listening to Queen. Wondering why Facebook's spell check thinks "Facebook" is not a word.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Latte, Pushka, City

It looks like I'll have to explore the bagel choices here a little further. Check this out:

Bagel with avocado, lemon and cracked pepper.

Yeah!! Nice combo. Nice avo too. A bad avocado can destroy anything.
Here's some trivia for you about avocados:
They grow in pairs, one slightly lower than the other.
The name "avocado" comes from the Nahuatl word for "testicle".
I think you can probably guess which was named after which.

Latte, home

I just started reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves.
I really hope I punctuated that correctly.
The introduction was great. It makes me want to go out tonight and paint the town red. With a red pen. Correcting punctuation.
It isn't a life-changing read yet - file this one under "Preaching to the Converted" - but I'm learning things already. For example, not only is it acceptable to put a full stop in between the hours and minutes when telling the time, but it is the English way of doing it. The colon method (just remember, we're talking about punctuation here) is the American way of writing the time.
Wow. I always use a full stop instead of a colon to tell the time in text messages. And I thought I was just being lazy!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Halftte, home

I sat down and started blogging. I looked up about ten minutes later and realised the sun had gone down. I must have looked like a halfwit: sitting in a completely dark room with the blinds still open, typing.
This hour-long session of Dr Mario was brought to you by coffee. I can still see the blocks rotating in front of my face even though I'm nowhere near the TV.

Short Macchiato, Tin Pot Cafe, Fitzroy North

This is way more fun than a doctor's waiting room.
I really hope this isn't one of those times where the doctor takes one look inside your ear and says, "It'll be fine in a few days," and you leave thinking, "I just paid $60 to confirm my suspicion that it'll be fine in a few days and there's nothing I can do. If I had one of those ear-inspecty things, a series of mirrors, and Google, I could probably come up with the same diagnosis. I really gotta get one of those ear-inspecty things. I even have better magazines in my waiting room."

P.S. It was one of those times. It'll be fine in a few days.
P.P.S. Thanks to all the kind people who have commented. It's nice to know somebody is reading all this crap, without having to check my Google AdSense stats. That is downright tedious.

Espresso, home

I only just realised last night that the word "footage" means "the length of something in feet". Adam on Mythbusters said something about "with the kind of square footage we're dealing with here..." or something.
Then I realised that film is measured in feet.
That's why after your film something it is called "footage".
That's also why Russell Crowe's band is called Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts!
Actually, it doesn't explain that at all. I think Gruntfootage is a much radder name.
This one was a shower coffee. I didn't have time to sit down and drink it, so I took it to the shower and saved myself a few minutes. The shower coffee is exceeded only by the shower beer, which I would never have discovered if I wasn't a musician. The beer shower is another thing altogether, possibly only experienced by musicians equal to or greater than the calibre of Russell Crowe. I bet he loves a beer shower, or possibly even a beer shower beer, where one drinks a beer while being showered in beer. I'm just not there yet, I guess.
Musical calibre. There's something to think about: how wide does the barrel need to be to successfully fire Russell Crowe from a cannon? If I could rephrase that question as a myth, I'd love to see the Mythbusters tackle that one.

Jamie: So today we're looking at the Russell Crowe Cannon myth.
Adam: Oh right, I've heard of this one. Kiwi WWI soldiers running out of shells, and then resorting to firing Russell Crowe at the enemy! I've always wanted to try this one.
Jamie: I know, we had this conversation yesterday at the production meeting. Only back then, you hadn't heard of the myth yet.
Adam: Well I'm glad we had that meeting. It wouldn't be interesting television if I hadn't heard of the myth. I should probably throw in the bit about how an integral part of the myth is rolling up Rusty's beard and using it as a wick.
Jamie: Yah. I hope he didn't get SPLIT ENZ.

Hypothetical: if you write a script where somebody makes an unconscionably shit joke, did you technically make that joke, or are you exempt from derision for that one?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Espresso, Pushka, City

They almost ran out of milk crates today, but we thought it would be a good idea to stack up two of them to make a table in the middle of our circle.
Dave swears by the milk-crate-on-its-side method. It gives you a bit more springiness, and you don't have those criss-cross marks on your arse when you stand up.

Halftte, home

Watching Point Break.
One of my mates posted a blog about reissue Reebok Pump Omni Lites. He mentioned Dee Brown winning the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1991, wearing Reebok Pumps. He also mentioned Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Point Break as being other highlights that year.
Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers makes a cameo in Point Break.
Check out what shoes he is wearing when he gets shot in the foot by Gary Busey.
Reebok. Pump.
Oh yeah. There is no way you could make that scene look any more like 1991. I know Point Break, RHCP and Reeboks were around back then, but I didn't realise they all converged in point in space/time!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Espresso, home

Wow, it's not often that I get past 5:00 PM without coffee.
Mind you, I had a cup of tea this morning (Lipton, caravan park freebie special) and a bottle of V in the car, so it's not like I didn't have any caffeine.
But who knows, one of these days I might even get through the day without ANY coffee. Just imagine...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Halftte, coffee van, Mt Gambier

I used to come here with our high school stage band every year. I think the main difference is that there are coffee vans all over the place now. Do kids drink more coffee now than when I was at school? More kids have mobile phones now too. The two go hand-in-hand, I guess.

Halftte, coffee van, Mt Gambier

"Umm, can I have mine with not as much milk?"
That's a halftte.

Long Black, home

Heading off to Mt Gambier.
We're not trusting the GPS. Beasey's dad gave him a route where it's flat all the way there, and downhill all the way back. It sounds promising. You guy via Geelong and Hamilton, and then via Hamilton and Ballarat on the way back. The GPS says it should take 8 minutes longer, but hey, that thing doesn't know about hills.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Latte, home

Am watching Control. It's the movie about Ian Curtis. If you already know he hanged himself at 23 years old, you kind of know where the movie is heading. If not, you can probably see it coming.
Either way, it's a bit of a downer.
But the playing is awesome. In the band scenes, all the actors actually played their instruments, and this was recorded on the set. The guy playing Hooky sounds awesome. Check out in the Warsaw gig how far the strings are moving when he strums. He must have been hitting the bass pretty damn hard.
So, to round off my half-arsed movie review, you pretty much know where the story is heading, but all the dudes involved are convincing and it's worth seeing just for the scenes with the band playing. It's interesting to see a few scenes (that more or less happened in real life), such as the Sex Pistols gig, that were also portrayed in 24 Hour Party People. It's beautifully shot too, I think Anton Corbijn is the guy who took all the Joy Division photos back in the day, so it's pretty faithful, kinda like watching moving versions of his photos, especially in the Love Will Tear Us Apart rehearsal scene.
But yeah, it's pretty grim.

Espresso, home

I really dug the new Indiana Jones film. The whole time I was sitting there thinking, "This is freakin awesome, I'm watching a new Indiana Jones movie!" It also made me glad that I'd rewatched the original three movies fairly recently. There's lots of tie-in-y bits. Shia LeBeouf annoyed me less than I thought he would too. But I don't think his jeans looked 50s enough. It might sound like a weird thing to notice, but it snapped me back into reality straight away.
"Oh right, this isn't really the 50s, it's a movie."
They look more like somebody making a movie in 2007, set in the 50s, but they still want the jeans to look cool by today's standards. That is precisely what made all the henchmen at the start of Last Crusade (in the River Phoenix bit) look like they were from the 80s.
"Motley Crue are stealing an important artifact, it belongs in a museum."
Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad. But they sure looked 80s. That main bad guy
had a mullet, for crying out loud.
About to watch Control now.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Espresso, Zum Zum, Carlton North

Oh. This counts as Carlton North. I'm not sure whether it's really worth editing my other Rathdowne-north-of-Alexandra-Pde posts to reflect the correct suburb.
Nahh. I just decided it's not worth it.

"Arabic coffee? How does that work?"
"It's infused with cardamom."
"Hmm, I might just get an espresso."

"Try this."
"Umm, it just tastes like coffee."
"Yeah, but drink some water first, and then drink this."
"Woah!"

It's funny, it seemed cardamom as fuck if I had water straight before it. Otherwise it just smelled like coffee to me. I'm not sure if that means my blogging rights should be revoked.

Off to see Indiana Jones. Awesome.

Espresso, home

Well, the ever-increasingly-smaller cups thing didn't work out. I ran out of containers. I found a medicine cup, but was worried it would melt, or something. So I took a leaf from the Pushka book and pulled this one into a sake cup. It turns out it has roughly the same capacity as a shot glass. But I didn't fill it up. Probably about 25ml. Rad.
Big day today. Much rehearsal. But I probably won't have time for much coffee, so I'll have to fill the void with as many cups of tea as I can handle.

P.S Bakehouse ran out of Earl Grey tea bags. But the biscuit jar was stocked: Arnott's Scotch Finger. A fine biscuit, but the name bothers me a bit; just imagine how many times a private school kid in Hawthorn has said, "Hey baby, can I interest you in a Scotch finger?"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Short Macchiatto, Gertrude St Enoteca, Fitzroy

Just when I thought I had the smallest laptop in the building, somebody comes in and whips out a Macbook Air. I'll leave with my eee between my legs...

Enoteca has great coffee, many bay leaves hanging from the roof, and seems to be deserted during the day. It sounds like my kinda place. It's funny, I thought Fitzroy was populated with people who have nothing better to do than sit in hip cafes and pretend to be productive on their laptops. I guess those people haven't come this far down Gertrude St yet.

Writing a blurb for the Genie gig in September. Ollie emailed and said he wants me to write something about the music we're going to play. I replied and said that will be difficult, considering we don't know what the music will be like. He said to write something abstract, about music from outer space, or something. I've written quite a bit, which I will try to cut down to one paragraph, but the phrase “Sebastian Bach meets Johann Sebastian Bach” is going to have to stay in.

P.S. the coffee was only $2.80. That's almost unheard of these days.

Latte, Alimentari, Fitzroy

The meatball wrap is still going strong.
The coffee was damn good. I don't like the font on the sugar packet, but that's probably nitpicking.

Espresso, home

A shot glass again, but not filling it the whole way. I think this one came in at about 25ml.
I downloaded Dr Mario Germ Busters for Wii yesterday. Quite hooked. I'm not very good at it yet, but I'm working on that. Dr Mario is like a cross between Tetris and Connect Four, with drugs. Not necessarily on drugs, but with them. That is, the border of the tetrisfield is a pill bottle and the bricks are different-coloured pills. A labcoated Mario drops the pills in and you have to get four in a row of the same colour horizontally or vertically, including the like-coloured "germs", to zap them out of the bottle.
Why "Dr" Mario has so many germs in one bottle is beyond me, as is his "cram some pills in there, that'll sort 'em out" remedy. My thumb twitched for ten minutes after I stopped playing. I hope this isn't the early warning signs of Nintendonitis.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Espresso, home

Inspired by Pushka's sake cups, I'm going to try my hand at drinking coffee from increasingly smaller containers.
Today's challenge: shot glass.
The capacity should be 30ml, which technically should be the size of my espresso shots anyway.

Espresso, Pushka, City

The espresso came out served in something that seems more appropriate to be used as a sake cup. Smaller than a shot glass. And still, the coffee didn't even half-fill the container. Both of the cups were chipped, mismatched with the size of the accompanying saucer, and in danger of being shattered by the fork that fell from the window above while we were sitting there. All these factors only served to magnify the trash-chic of the whole establishment. I'll have to try some food next time.

"One of the categories is whether they ever play any Pat Metheny records."
- Luke Howard, on comparison of cafes

Latte, Pushka, City

Every time I've sat out the back at Switchboard, I've looked over to the corridor almost around the corner and thought, "I wonder where that leads to, I guess it goes all the way through to Little Collins St." For some reason I've walked past there many times but never even looked down the corridor, let alone walked down it. So as I snaked past the bins and milk crates into Presgrave Place I was surprised to find the other end of the mysterious corridor.

View Larger Map
Yes, if you walk down there you come to Pushka, a very small cafe hidden amongst many trash cans, but there's nothing trashy about the coffee. As long as you don't have a huge problem with sitting on a poached1 milk crate amid the trash smell while you drink your coffee, you'll love it. Luke thinks that only about ten people ever come here, but most of them drop by at least once per day, and if you sit here for long enough, you'll see all of them.
Bonus points for owning a copy of that Dr Seuss book about the kid who feeds his fish too much.

Oversized Footnotes Section:
1. Remember they used to have a huge ad campaign in the early 90s saying that stealing milk crates is stealing? It either worked, or they gave up, because I haven't heard anything about that for a while. I still own four milk crates, and I assume it's all water under the bridge by now. But yeah, they really used to lay it on thick; milk crates were the burnt CDs of the 90s. Oh. Er, actually burnt CDs were the burnt CDs of the 90s. Maybe they could just slip it in with other piracy warnings:
YOU WOULDN'T STEAL A TV.
YOU WOULDN'T STEAL A CAR.
YOU WOULDN'T STEAL A MILK CRATE.
VIDEO PIRACY IS STEALING.
STEALING IS AGAINST THE LAW.
(so is keeping your hacksaw in a milk crate under the sink)

Latte, home

Okay I finished Curb series five. That means there's one less way to procrastinate here now. Unfortunatey, Wiiware launched today. That's the downloadable new games for Wii, as opposed to retro titles. In serious danger of playing Dr Mario all day here...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Halftte, home

Just saw Aaron down the road. He said I look homeless.
"Really? Why's that?"
"I dunno, the shopping bag, the hoody, it's raining..."
South Park was pretty good tonight, which made up for the Guitar Hero episode last week, which was a bit crap. It's good to see they've still got it. Hmm, has this show been running longer than Seinfeld did? Yes. I know the two shows are not comparable (other than both starting with an 's') but it's a good benchmark I guess. As will the Simpsons be when that goes off the air.

Short Macchiato, Switchboard, City

Rad. These guys have an unblemished record in my experience. The guy even gave us a bit of cardboard to fold up and put under our wonky table, before we even mentioned it.

Long Black, home

Yep, I ran out of milk.
Still watching Curb series five. I just might have to get my sorry arse onto bit torrent and hunt down series six. That is, unless, it comes on normal TV reeeeally soon.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Latte, Federal Coffee Palace, City

No.
Absolutely not.
This is not worth $3.00, or indeed any more than that.
It was the right temperature, but far too weak.
C'mon FCP, you can do better than this. I hope.
Not quite a "bomb" rating, but it sure wasn't fun to drink.

Latte, home

Watching Curb Your Enthusiasm series five. The one where Larry pretends to be an orthodox Jew to get in good with the Kidney Foundation guy so Richard Lewis can skip the donor waiting list. Gold.
Ethiopian Djimma from Jasper. Bad ass. These are awesome. In direct contrast to the next coffee I had this day.
(sorry to confuse tenses, but I'm writing all this waaaay after the fact)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Short Macchiato, Rathdowne Food Store, Fitzroy North

Hey, why not. Three in one day in one venue. That's gotta be a first for this blog. We liked breakfast so much (tablescavengers notwithstanding) that we came here for dinner too.
Bonus points for the tea. It come out on a tray with, well, pretty much everything. Loose leaf tea in a pot, extra pot of hot water, milk jug, strainer, strainer holder - the works. Right on.

Latte, Rathdowne Food Store, Fitzroy North

Number two.
I'm sorry, all you people waiting for a table. We didn't order another drink on purpose to watch you all squirm, we just felt like one.
Portuguese neenish-ish tart was damn good too. Look to the cookie, people.
(Actually, don't look to this cookie; it was filled with cream and therefore seems to be saying, "We can all live together in perfect harmony, but don't forget, we're all white on the inside!" While we're on the subject, there are five black notes and seven white notes in an octave, yet Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder's song seems to skirt around using the word "outnumbered". Like I said, don't look to the cookie, and don't trust Stevie in the 80s. Only trust Paul when he's playing the bass line from "Dear Prudence".)

Long Macchiato, Rathdowne Food Store, Fitzroy North

It was a little intimidating sitting there eating with about ten people standing around watching us, wishing we'd eat faster so they could have our table. But still rad. The long mac wasn't too long. Only about twice the depth of a short mac. I like this approach; just because I want a long mac doesn't mean I want a litre of water. Nice one, Rathdownes.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Espresso, home

Off to the housewarming. Man, it's a long way to Malvern.
This espresso was a bit too intense so I added some more water. I don't know how to categorise this.
A short-long black?
A shlong black?
Nahh.

Latte, home

I finally decided, "These beans suck," and so I've put them back in the jar. I bought 250g of Ethiopian Djimma from Jasper today and they're working a hell of a lot better. The grind might be a bit too fine though, as my machine keeps making noises like when Sideshow Bob gets hit in the face with a rake (thanks for that imagery, Dr J).
I just bought a Roland RE-201 Space Echo. You can react to that news in three ways.
1. You don't know what a RE-201 is. In that case, you may ask, "What is that?"
2. I've already told you that I got an RE-201, and you'll probably say, "I know. You told me five minutes ago." Or,
3. You know what an RE-201 is and how hard they are to come by these days. Your reaction would involve jaw dropping, followed by disbelief, followed by outrage, followed by congratulations, followed by heavy drinking.
It looks like this:It's a spring reverb and a tape delay. In a box. From the 70s. I just plugged in my guitar and went "splong".
The Space Echo replied, "Splong spong plong blong flong glong grong wrong worng wirng wwhir wur ur ur ur rr rr," etc. Awesome.

Latte, Kent St, Fitzroy

Fleetwood Mac used to tour in separate jets. Each band member had their own 747.
When Iron Maiden came to Australia this year, lead singer Bruce Dickinson flew them here. He is a qualified pilot.
Fender's quality control got really shit in the 70's, and so they closed the factory for a year to re-train all the staff. Expert luthiers were brought in to the Fullerton factory. They knew what the hell they were doing. Anything which is a "'57 re-issue" made between '82 and '84 was probably made by these guys and is worth getting your hands on.

It's amazing what you can learn during the consumption of one coffee.

Latte, Newtown S.C, Fitzroy

Thumbs up. Nothing to complain about here.

P.S No, that doesn't disappoint me. If I were disappointed that there were nothing to complain about with the coffee, then that would be a complaint in itself, thereby exempting this entry from complaint-free status. It's like the chicken and the egg.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Latte, home

It's illegal to drive while using a mobile phone.
Is it illegal to drive while using a calculator?
Is it illegal to drive while using a Rubik's cube?
Is it illegal to drive while using an apple?
Is it illegal to drive while using the ring-pull on a Bundaberg Ginger Beer?
Is it illegal to drive while using a medium Zinger combo?
Is it illegal to drive while using the peel mechanism on a banana?
Is it illegal to drive while operating an air guitar?

In other news, I had only two coffees today. That sounds like a lot, but considering how much playing of music I did, it isn't much. However, this blog doesn't tabulate how many cans of V and cups of tea I had...

Halftte, home

Parliament House, 30th May 2008, 5:00PM
"Good lord, what are they all here for?"
"It looks like a protest."
"Against what?"
"From the looks of their signs, they are protesting against the curfew."
"What curfew?"
"The 2am drinking curfew."
"That's not a curfew. It's a lockout. It's not the same thing."
"Are you sure?"
"If it was a curfew everybody would have to be home by 2am. That's not what is being proposed."
"So what's a lockout?"
"Licensed venues can't let anybody else in after 2am."
"Right. So people don't have to go home?"
"No."
"So it's not a curfew."
"Not at all."
"And there won't be a police state with armed guards roaming the streets, picking off anybody who's not safely indoors by the prescribed time?"
"Er, no."
"Well, that's good."
"Yes."
"Ah, those stupid fuckwits...their protest may have made a difference had they read the dictionary first."

ALL (to camera): Have YOU read the dictionary today?

This has been a community service announcement for Read Dictionaries Not Facebook Event Invitations, Melbourne.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Short Macchiato, home

Learning tunes for tomorrow's rehearsal. This is the kind of thing that burns a lot of brain power, and thus depletes one's caffeine resources pretty quickly. After an hour, it felt like I needed another coffee.
But I didn't.

Something really funny that I've never noticed before in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:
Sultan: You shall have camels, horses, an armed escort, provisions, desert vehicles, and tanks!
Walter Donovan: You're welcome.

Unsettling WWII reference in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade that I've never noticed before:
Donovan: Precious valuables, your highness. "Donated" by some of the finest families in all of Germany.

Ambiguity I've never noticed before in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:
The grail passes the seal when Elsa picks it up and makes for the entrance. The knight said that the seal is "the boundary and the price of immortality". Does that mean Indy and Henry won't have eternal life, but might have if Elsa had left the grail on the floor where it was? This is the kind of thing that makes me glad there's gonna be a sequel real soon.

Drinking game I've never taken part in during Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:
Have a drink whenever you hear the phrases "don't call me junior" or "ah, Venice!"

Latte, Las Chicas, St Kilda East

Number two.
I'd write more, but I think I need another coffee first.

Strong Latte, Las Chicas, St Kilda East

Crikey. I haven't made it past midday without a coffee for a looong time. Went and looked at the house Dan and Ev were looking at on the way here. It was far more dilapidated than anybody was expecting. It's always worrying when the door knob falls off while you're inspecting.
"How much is it?"
"$330."
"Offer them $200."
"Would you live here for $200?"
"No way. But you might."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Espresso, home

In Mario Kart Wii when you are in Time Trial mode, not only can you race against the "ghost" of your own best lap times, but also againsts ghost that other people all over the world have made. There is also a "Nintendo expert" record to beat on each track too. I spent about two hours last night trying to beat the record on Rainbow Road, with no luck. That course is just so easy to fall off if you steer into the corner too soon or too late or too fast. Falling off once means it's pretty much worth starting again. But I smashed it today. Maybe I dreamt about Rainbow Road time trials last night and got in some more practise without realising it. That happens to me with music stuff quite a lot. If I practise something really hard during the day but can't quite get my hands around it (as is the case with almost anything we play in The Genie), after a decent night's sleep I can usually get the hang of it quicker.
That might be why my hands twitch in a bass-playing way while I sleep.
Or even better, maybe I've outsourced my brain downtime and there's some guy in India playing bass and Nintendo whenever I'm not awake and then uploading the results just before I wake up.
Nah, that's a little farfetched.

Latte, Atomica, Fitzroy

Thumbs down: the guy forgot that I ordered, and only remembered when I looked over with an "I wonder what the hell that guy's doing if he's still not making my freakin' latte" look on my face.
Thumbs up: it was bloody amazing when it finally did turn up.
It seems to happen to me alot, often when a place isn't busy. There were only about five people in the whole place. Maybe that confuses them more and they forget they need to fill orders. But yeah, it was awesome.

Halftte, home

"Er, don't worry about all that stuff, we haven't been to the tip yet."
That's about the best excuse I could muster for the real estate agent when her doorknock woke me up and I hadn't had coffee yet.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Short Macchiato, home

I haven't had this one yet. But I'm pretty sure it'll be okay.
About to make some soup.
Yes, I've reached the point where I think I need coffee to get fired up for even soup.
Well, I'm actually not cooking soup or even drinking coffee yet. I'm sitting on the couch, writing this, enjoying the shuffle on my iPod, and being surprised that Google only found three matches for the phrase "check out this rad shit".

P.S. I originally wrote this with the title "espresso, home", but I ended up having a short mac. Ain't the universe amazing.

Flat White, Switchboard, City

This place is looking more and more like that scene from the start of the first Batman movie.
I had to go to the next table to ask for their sugar. No, it wasn't for me, but I was closest and feeling politer than usual.
"Hi girls, can I have some sugar?"
Yeah, you gotta be careful how you say that. I settled on this one:
"Hi, do you mind if I just grab your sugar?"
Just remember, that one might come across badly for almost anything other than sugar.

Latte, home

Blend six. Damn.
Maybe the grind isn't right.
I'm sure I've liked this one before.
Damn.
This dredible though.

(drinkable doesn't sound right...is dredible okay?)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Latte, Batch, St Kilda East

Happy Mothers' Day.
Or is that "Mother's Day"?
It most certainly is not "Mothers Day".
The new place with the redundant umbrellas across the road seems to be packed today. It can't possibly a bad thing; as far as I can see it just means there will be less people at other places, and therefore easier for me to get a table at Batch.

Latte, home

Started Curb Your Enthusiasm series five again. I just checked on Wikipedia, and yes they have made a series six, and are making a series seven. I've got some catching up to do.
I also googled "colitas", that word from Hotel California that sounds made up.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Latte, Great Britain Hotel, Richmond

I think I know why the coffee is so intense here. The guy appears to put his entire body weight into it when he tamps the coffee. Well, it works. If this site had a star rating system, this one would get five stars.
What the hell, let's give this one the "Honorary Five Stars" award.
Going to an Underbelly party after the gig. It feels weird going to a party dressed up to look like people who portrayed people who actually exist/existed only a few kilometres away. It feels even weirder because I haven't actually watched the show yet.

Long Black, home

Made in a takeaway cup but drank the whole thing before I left the house.
Tempted by these really pointy white Adidas at Hype DC in the city. They each look like the white Spy vs Spy guy's head.
I'm digging Blend #6 as a long black. There's still hope...

Latte, home

I took the plunge yesterday and bought 500 grams of Jasper Blend #6. I never usually buy more than 250 grams.
Uh oh. I don't know if I like it as much as the stuff I bought less of last week. This is gonna throw the graph way off...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Halftte, home

The grinder ran out of beans, but it was enough.
Lea thought of a cool band name: "Ernie Dingo ate My Baby".

Latte, home

Weird morning.
It's okay, I've still got my Tim Tams.
Still contemplating how to pay this $20.00 parking fine from Launceston.
"You should return this letter, together with the $20.00 now due."
Are they expecting me to just send cash in the envelope? I thought you weren't allowed to do that.
Espy gig tonight. Woo!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Halftte, home

Just plugged in my drum machine for the first time since I moved house, and found the box with all my effects pedals in it. I'm gonna be here for a while.
The view from my laptop's camera:

Latte, home

This is my three hundredth coffee since the blog started!
I think it's time to do some stats.
300 coffees in 110 days. An average of 2.73 coffees per day.
Two of these received an award of some sort.
Five of them were undrinkably bad.
Three of them were not what I ordered (but not necessarily undrinkable). Approximately fifteen were ordered takeaway, fourteen were drank at a gig, and five were in an airport.
In four of my posts I mentioned something about a cup of tea that somebody else ordered, and in one post (this one) I wrote about stats.
Only one post had a photo of a scantily clad woman in a coffee advertisement.
I received 22 comments from readers, an average of 0.073 comments per coffee.
Now we come to the important stats, and for that, we need pie charts.
What method was used?
Out of the 300, 252 were espresso-based drinks, so it's not really worth doing a graph of that number versus 28 aeropresses, 7 plungers, 2 stovetops, etc. but we can still break down the espresso drinks:

It sounds like it could have been a weirdo instrumental track on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, doesn't it? The caffe latte comes out as the undisputed champion, with its closest competitor being the espresso. It's a little surprising that I only had one long mac. It's not surprising that the only cappuccino I had was the one that Hungry Jacks served me when I ordered an "expresso"(sic).
I tried to graph where all the coffees were consumed ("home" was the winner by far at 117 coffees) but the conquest-ish ooh-haven't-been-there-before-wonder-what-the-coffee-is-like element of this blog makes that sort of irrelevant. The amount of places I've only been to once or twice (some of which I regard as being in my "top ten" but I just haven't been there very often) make it hard to graph against places I've been to more than twenty times just because they're convenient. The "home" statistic is interesting however because it leaves scope to work out how much money I saved by drinking coffee at home, and therefore how many months it would take to justify the cost of the espresso machine.
Unfortunately as soon as I figured out how much 250ml of milk and 30g of coffee beans costs and multiplied that by 117, I realised I probably didn't want to know the answer. That was the biggest finding in this ridiculous exercise: $3.20 for a latte isn't really as huge a mark-up as you might think.
More stats in a few months.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Latte, Brunetti, Carlton

Can anyone tell me wtf that silver thing is in the middle of the sugar canister? Well, actually I know that it is a receptacle intended for the disposal of empty sugar sachets (which allegedly the inventor had a nervous breakdown over as nobody was tearing them in the middle as he intended - I think this could have all been solved with the addition of a simple dotted line) but how long have they been around? I feel like I've never seen them before, but now I've seen two of them in one day.
I guess Brunetti must have thought that people disposing of empty sugar things properly would keep them off the saucers and therefore make them more stackable, shaving valuable seconds off each saucer-waiter-tray-dishwasher transaction, valuable seconds which would pay off in the long run and justify the initial investment in the purchase of one empty-sugar-packet-bin per table. Let's hope it works out for them.
The coffee was fantastic. Who knows, maybe it's all because of the sugar sachet bins.

Latte, Switchboard, City

Coffee was brilliant. The guy successfully upsold me to a cupcake. I wasn't sure whether the flower on top was edible, so I left it there.

Latte, home

Meh, not bad. It turned out okay. The shot wasn't as shotful and flavoursome as I'd hoped.
Morning TV sucks.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Halftte, home

Ah, the Tim Tam Slam.
That's where you bite two ends (or corners, if you prefer) off a Tim Tam and drink your coffee through it until it starts to melt, and then you whack the whole thing in your mouth. It's not only the straw you can eat, but the quickest way to heat up a biscuit.
Remind me not to do this with a halftte. Depending on the temperature of the beverage, you can almost suck the whole thing through the Tim Tam and have no coffee left at the end.
Wii. Mario Kart. Ghost challenge. I can't get my head around Manual slide mode either. I know that in the long run it's the only way I'm gonna shave another five seconds off my Luigi Circuit record, but it's a big learning curve after weeks of playing on Auto mode.

Latte, Wall 280, St Kilda East

I'd better let the carpet dry off from the steam cleaning a bit before I go back in and stamp around in frustration while trying to get through to Optus. Does anyone else have this problem?
"So this is a call about your broadband internet. Is that correct?"
"Yes."
"Sorry, I didn't quite get that. Please answer 'yes' or 'no'."
"YES."
Today it understood everything I said, apart from 'yes'. Grr.

An odd choice of foam-to-liquid ratio. Actually, I'm almost certain it wasn't a choice. Still rad though.
Reading this article about Australian soul-ish pop artists storming the UK charts. Does anyone else thing it's a little unfair to be putting Gabriella Cilmi in the Amy Winehouse basket? Winehouse seems to be more famous for being a crackwhore than a singer.
Cilmi's first single is kinda catchy, but maybe whoever designed her web site has a few lessons to be learned too.

Please click what country you are in to enter site

Does anyone else think that could do with a proofread?

Latte, home

This brings me to the last day I have at the old place. Just have to drive back, let the steam cleaners in, turn off phone gas and electricity, then get the hell outta there.
Awesome.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Strong Latte, Newtown S.C, Fitzroy

Nice strongy from NSC today. I wish I could hang around for brekky, all that stuff looks good.

Latte, home

Almost out of the old place now. Just gotta go back and vacuum and scrub the bathroom etc.
Hmm this is not going to be fun.
The worst part is, I'm not gonna make it to chicken steak o'clock today.
Damn.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Plunger, Sing Sing, Richmond

Rhodesy did all sorts of crazy stuff with a milk jug in the microwave, rotating the plunger while pouring, stirring it after a few minutes, etc. I thought, "Woah, this guy knows what he's doing."
He did.
We're making some epic shit here. Awesome.

Short Macchiatto, home

Playing Mario Kart Wii. Just smashed the Leaf Cup on 50CC. Not terribly difficult, but hey I didn't really grow up with Mario Kart. It's a pretty new thing for me. That's why I'm always surprised if I place <4th in online play. I just think, "Wow, these people are crapper than me at this."
Off to the studio.

Short Macchiatto, Coffea, City

Coffea occupies part of the Elizabeth St side of the meat market quadrant of the Queen Victoria Market. I assume the name is some amalgam of coffee and tea. The coffee wasn't bad at all. Good for fuelling up before you head next door to start bartering for cheap sausages.
Make sure you leave room for a Bratwurst too.

Latte, home

There's a Video Hits special on Kasey Chambers. Hmm. Better watch a DVD instead.
Can't find Curb series two disc two.
Can't find Curb series three.
May as well start watching Curb series four. It's cool, I know what happens anyway.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Halftte, home

Hmm. I guess this is a halftte. We've got a shitload of those Duralex normal-arse eight ounce glasses, but a few of them are a bit smaller. Six ounces maybe? I have no idea, I'm not good with oucnes and flounces. Fl. oz? Wtf is that?
Who cares, it was a smaller glass, so there was less milk and it tasted stronger and rad.
Plus: the smaller glass makes it look like you have a giant hand.

Long Black, home

Oh that's right, I still haven't finished moving in and there's crap everywhere.
I'd better go and google "hard rubbish city of yarra".
P.S spell check wants me to have a capital g at the start of "google" in the previous sentence. When you're using a brand name as a verb, do you still capitalise? Is that called a "proper verb"?

Latte, home

Curb Your Enthusiasm series two.
Because Video Hits is shitting me this morning.
The top of the latte looked a bit like a Loco Roco so I gave it crema eyes and mouth.
(photo not found ;)
I think Pnau have gone a bit far with the cutesy strawberries and ghosts and OMG ponies!!11 stuff. They look more like a kids' band than the Wiggles now. I like the album, but yeah. Too many costumes now.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Aeropress, home

I'm pretty sure I only need to have this one because I had six coffees yesterday and I need to get at least halfway to that in order to function.
Tomorrow might be interesting though.

Latte, Federal Coffee Palace, City

I can't remember seeing the swirl before, but I'm a big fan of it. It's like you're getting sucked into a coffee vortex from which there is no escape lest you drink even more coffee.
Almond croissant thing was a bit weird. They microwaved it, which is always nice just to heat it up a bit, but I think they heated it a bit too much and the custard and croissant layers fused together into something that's kinda difficult to eat.
Coffee was damn good though. The last one I had here was terrible, so I guess this shows that you shouldn't hold it against them when you get a bad one.
Three bad ones in a row would be a definite sign to clear the area though.

Latte, home

Rad.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Short Macchiato, Animal Orchestra, Carlton

It came out as a short black. Damn. I wish mac and black didn't sound so similar when partially masked by the sound of a coffee machine.
No problem though, they just chucked some milk in there.
That brings us to six coffees in one day, depending how you tabulate it. That's a personal best for me.

Espresso, home

The grinder made the "I'm out of beans, fill me up" noise.
I thought, "Nahh, that'll be enough. It'll still work."
I was wrong.
It wasn't, and it didnt.
The water fell straight through as from a cheap motel showerhead.
No flavour, no crema, no fun.
Bomb.

P.S I'm not sure if this should count, as I didn't actually drink the whole thing. What's more important? The amount of time I try to have coffee, or the amount of times I actually do? Are we tabulating the demand or the consumption? What the hell, let's let it through. I had a taste test at Jasper this afternoon, but that doesn't count. If I had had two of them, that would count.

Latte, Sugo, Malvern

Number two.
Pancakes with banana and cinnamon marscapone and almonds was flipping awesome.
I know some dudes who moved in down the road and they have already done an extensive coffee survey of the area. They insist Sugo is the one. I'd be willing to agree without trying the rest myself.

Latte, Sugo, Malvern

Nice. Somehow I've never been here before. Malvern is one of those places I have driven through about a billion times, but never stop or even slow down to smell the coffee. If smelling (and imbibing) coffee is your thing, and you're driving down Wattletree Rd because you know Wattletree squared plus Burke squared equals Dandenong squared and Wattletree will get you there quicker than the hypotenuse, consider smelling it at Sugo.

Aeropress, home

It's a long way to Malvern, I probably shouldn't operate machinery without caffeine.
One scoop.