More news on the homeless robot!
Posted November 3, 2001 8:50pm
Okay, before I get into the extraordinary tale of the homeless vac pot, let me get some news out of the way.
First, a big thanks to Charles from Coffee Wholesalers for offering up some server space for the hosting of this site. Unfortunately, at nearly 30gigs a month, I think it would overwhelm his server, so I had to turn it down. I'm continually working on stuff with the current site host (Left Coast, great guys) to keep this economical for me.
Second, an equally big thanks to Therese for offering to send me a couple of espresso cups she obtained in Europe, just as a "thank you" for this site. Wow. Thanks Therese!
And while I'm on the thank you train, A big shout out goes to Matt Hargreaves (I want a signed copy of that book when it gets published, Matt), and Aaron De Lazzar of JJ Bean, and Dr. John from Josuma Coffee. See, Matt got me something (I'll mention below) and I traded it for a Hario Tulip Shaped vac pot he wanted but couldn't easily get. Dr. John gave me about 5lbs of Malabar Gold blend and 3lbs of Kaapi Royale Robusta, which was very gracious of him. And Aaron was my proxy in all of this - he went down to CoffeeFest in Seattle last week (I couldn't make it) and traded with Matt and got the beans for me. Sometimes the Net is so cool... I've "met" all three of these guys through the Internet.
New Things in the House
Yes, new coffee things are in the Prince household. First up is the item Matt obtained for me - a Cona "C" Model vac pot. These things are works of art, I gotta tell you. They look gorgeous. As for how they work in practice, well, I'll save that for an upcoming feature on the new CoffeeGeek site, where I do a shootout type review between a Cona and a Hario Nouveau, which are in my opinion the pinnacle of curren vacuum syphon brewers.
The other item in the house is the new Maestro grinder from Baratza. Folks, this grinder will be the subject of a way overdue "Detailed Product Review" in a week or two, but the short version is this - this product rocks. There is room for improvement, but all in all it is best in class.
I also have the aforementioned 5lbs of Malabar Gold and the 3lbs of Kaapi Royale. But what I don't have possession of yet (though it is down at my Pt. Roberts mailbox) is 5lbs of Costa Rican Tarrazu La Minita coffee I bought from Charles at Coffee Roasters (mentioned above), through his very generous series of Auction for America donated items he had recently on eBay. I paid a great price for it - under $30, and kudos to Charles for making the donation.
The Homeless Robot, or The Robot that Keeps Giving
This tale is really warming my heart. Some of you know the full story behind me putting this Coffee Robot up for auction on eBay for the Auction for America program, in order to raise money for the victims and families of September 11th. You know the bad stuff as well as the good stuff. Well, it's gotten even better. Here's a brief synopsis, followed by a review of the current events.
- I put my Robot up on eBay for the Auction for America. The auction was cancelled (for reasons I won't get into other than to say it was a rather selfish act by a third party), but the high bidder asked me to relist it. I didn't, instead telling them to pay their last bid ($300) to Paypal's donation program for the Red Cross, and I would mail it to them. The person paid $400 (!!!!) to Paypal's donation scheme, then said she didn't want me to send it to her! She said she wanted me to keep it! Well I couldn't, so I mailed it off to her.
- She received the Robot, and decided to repost it on eBay in another Auction for America listing. This time, it closed for $232.50, bringing the total raised by this vac pot to $632.50. Seriously.
- The person who won the bidding the second time around was every bit as selfless as the first. He told Bearhair (the original person I mailed the Robot to) that he didn't want it; instead, she was to mail the Coffee Robot back to me - on the sly. Bearhair knew I wouldn't take it, so she let me know about the situation. It was decided to put the item up on eBay for a third time in another Auction for America listing.
- So now it sits, an active item (as of this writing) at eBay, Item #1027161380. As of this writing, it is up to $152.50, and Terry Z. from Espresso Parts Northwest is the high bidder (way to go Terry!) So if it closed right now, this homeless, lonely vac pot has raised some $785 (in US funds!) for the WTC victims and families. How cool is that! But hey, wouldn't it be even cooler if the bidding got up to say $368? Then it would bring the grand total raised by this Robot past the $1000 mark. Not to diminish the current numbers and way over the top generosity in any sense, but that would be something very special.
This Robot tale has a lot of twists and turns. For the one very bad thing that occurred (and sorry, I made a promise to someone not to make the details public again), so many good things have happened that it worthy of a book... or a short story at least.
Go Robot Go!
Till next time... peace.