There's good things too!
Posted August 29, 2002 12:05am
I guess the last cafetalk rant was a bummer, so time to move on.
I agree with some of the private emails I've gotten, and comments in here - pulling the store was a bit of a knee jerk reaction. It's all about money - that pain the ass stuff, you know? Lately, there's been some pretty bad things happening in my life that have got me down. The fact that I'm some 7,000kms away from my Mom at the moment make it worse. I'm worried about making sure I have enough savings to shut everything down for a few weeks at the drop of a hat and fly back east if something really bad should happen, which I'm hoping won't happen.
Anyway, that's not why I wanted to write this new CafeTalk rant. I wanted to remind myself that I'm not a victim of my own success here, that things are generally pretty damned good because of the success of CoffeeGeek.com and this here site (the one I cherish the most). I mean, I've got to meet some of the most amazing people in the coffee and espresso biz because of these sites. I've gotten the opportunity to write for some major magazines. I've been asked to give a seminar at next year's SCAA show. I've been interviewed newspapers, wire services, radio shows, and even Illy Italia interviewed me recently for an upcoming mega-gala 10th Anniversary event for their art cups. Heck, I even got an invitation to the big party in Paris in November (of course, I can't afford to go... but still the invitation itself is pretty damned cool).
Just today, I was picking up my mail in Pt. Roberts, and there was a box from Doug Zell at Intelligentsia Roasters that contained green samples of some of his most prized beans, as well as six branded and super-high quality espresso cups from his shop. I mean, how cool is that??!
I've been looking at doing all the Detailed Reviews at CoffeeGeek as if they are huge chores I don't look forward to. This has really got to stop! Not the DRs, but my attitude towards it. Because of CoffeeGeek, I get to see some of the most amazing, complex, and desired espresso machines on the planet! Because of CoffeeGeek, I get vendors and manufacturers almost bending over backwards to get this stuff up to me, and then in more cases than not, the website (eg, me) gets to keep the stuff to either give away to you, or sell to fund the website, or just to keep. And I bitch and moan about it privately to my close friends and family. Well, that's going to stop.
Sure, the DRs and First Looks take heaps of time and effort, but when I first started doing these things, I viewed the process and work with wonder, and looked forward to it. Somewhere along the way, it became work, and something I tried to avoid at times. How goofy.
Maybe it was me putting pressure on myself, "raising the bar" as it were with each new review, or putting myself under very strict deadlines (which I would then miss and feel crappy about) or what have you. Well, I'm going to keep the deadlines where I can, but it's going to be fun work again, damnit.
And I think I have made it fun again. Evaluating the MT500 for the last few days, photographing it, and writing the First Look was fun for me. I think it shows too in the First Look. I dunno, you tell me.
For the last few months, I've been down on many things. My Mom is the major thing, but with that I've been looking at the drain of $200 to $400 a month out of my own funds for these sites as a real downer. In doing so, I let other aspects of my online "coffee life" get me down as well. It's time to turn that around. And if I get off my duff and sell some of the older products I've already reviewed, but haven't disposed of yet (anyone want a La Pavoni Professional, in excellent condition? :)), then maybe the site won't be losing money. It'll be making enough money for me to pay for things like external ads, trips to trade shows, etc.
(btw, September, we finally make a profit - I sold 3 New and Noteworthy ad placements to Jim at 1st Line Wooo hooo! Thanks Jim!)
You know, Dougie (Doug Zell, mentioned above) told me something kind of profound on the phone a few days ago. I let it sort of slide over my head, but it comes back to me as I type this. The gist of what he said was that "good things happen to those who do good things"... that old and wise parable.
I think my problem the last few months is this - the good things have been happening, but I've been ignant towards them.
Mmmm. Cafe Talk Rants. Sometimes good therapy for one's self. :)