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Some kinda sense of normalcy, and ebay charity auctions
Some kinda sense of normalcy, and ebay charity auctions
Posted October 3, 2001 2:00pm
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Well, it's been a very weird month. Good and bad. Horrible and enlightening. I'll write a bit on the subject of Sept 11 a bit further down this rant, but first, some news!

Coffee News!
Yes, there is some news! Sept 11 pushed a lot of things back, but now we're about to see some new products released, and some new websites.

First on tap is the muchly awaited Baratza designed and manufactured Solis Maestro grinder. The folks at Baratza, namely Kyle Anderson and Kyra Kennedy, have gone through hoops and loops to get this grinder into reality mode, and it's finally coming through. In fact, they are personally involved in the assembly of the first 1000 or so models. And I for one am very happy for them - Peets' is on board to sell them retail, as are most online retailers currently carrying other Solis products. The specs and details of the product show it is a potential winner, but one thing is still lacking - stepless grind adjustments.

But I'll soon know how it performs. Down in Pt. Roberts right now there's a package with my name on it from the folks at Baratza... one of the first production model Maestros, ready to be picked up and tested. If I can garner up the nerve to cross the border...

Baratza's website is also due very soon for a upgrade. The outer skin of the site won't seem too different, because the design is remaining. But under the hood is another thing - Baratza is a recipient of my company's WIPS software and the gain in productivity and relevance of their site should increase 1000%. They will be able to update it on their own, issue press releases, post tips, tricks, manuals, the works. Look for the changes within two weeks.

Aaron from JJ Bean, a local Vancouver master roasterie coffee supplier with a HUGE push towards quality coffee, dropped by a pound of some experimental espresso roast he's been fooling around with. Aaron, if you're reading this, it was EXCELLENT. Not perfect, it lacked a bit of complexity, but the crema production was awesome, and it had a clean, nice finish. I'm toying with the idea of doing a minor cross promotion with JJ Bean with regards to this bean type - I haven't mentioned this to Aaron yet :-) But the idea is we have a blend naming contest on the site, and the winner gets 2 lbs, 3 lbs, whatever of the beans. I'm paying a visit to Aaron later this week, and will discuss with him.

Oh yeah. They still need a website. At least a real one :-) (btw, I linked to an inside page because the front page will NOT work with IE 6 - calling a java applet, and Java isn't installed by default with IE 6 - the way I like it :-)).

September 11 Followup
Well, here's my September 11 followup. I'm still deeply affected by the events of Sept 11, and I know 2 people lost in the WTC disaster (via business), and know several others who have lost loved ones.

I want to be in NYC, digging, doing something, but I can't. So I came up with an idea. My idea was to raise $1000 USD via eBay's Auction for America. I am selling some posessions near and dear to me over the next few weeks, and the first on the block is the jewel of my vac pot collection - my Farberware Coffee Robot. Right now it's up to the unbelievable amount of $300, and even if they don't win the bidding, my dearest thanks go out to BearHair, a fellow participant. Way to go!

Next up on the auction block, once I get it authenticated somehow (working on it) is a hockey stick I have. A special one. It belonged to Kharlamov, the Game 3 MVP from the Summit Series between Canada and the USSR in 1972. He used the stick to score a goal. The stick was signed by the entire Russian team. It was given to the Russian Ambassador. I was given the stick by the Russian ambassador in 1981. I was a kid. A boy scout. It's an interesting story. :-)

Jean is also going to bake up 5lbs worth of here awesome, excellent quad chocolate chip cookies for us to auction off, and I have a few other items ready to go.

Lastly, thank you to the folks who continued to donate money to this site during September. With every donation made to this site, I turned around and piled it into Paypal's charity fund, so on top of the $175 I gave on the 15th, I was able to give another $70 during the month.

I guess now I'll start keeping the money again to pay for this website. It seems all so minor now...

One last note. If you, for whatever twisted reason, want to see me ranting more about things (grin), head over to my personal site, and especially the Rants section. I usually update it every day or two. And there's a comments board you can participate in!

Till next time... peace.

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