Jan 11, 2004, 9:30pm
Yesterday, I was at a strip mall waiting for Jeanette to finish in a store. I was enjoying one of my increasingly rare Cuban cigars, just watching the world go by as I leaned against the back of our tiny SUV, a Geo Tracker. I was looking one way, and I started to hear this noise... I swear to God, my first thought when I heard it was that a tank was coming down the parking lot. I've heard small tanks and military personnel carriers before - the rumble and grumble of their engines is pretty distinct.
When I turned to see, it wasn't a tank... but damned close. It was a monstrosity of excess, the example of why everyone should hate big SUV vehicles.... it was a Ford Excursion
I think that, outside of a Humvee, this is the biggest SUV you can buy today. It's also a charicature of the excess of what the whole SUV mentality can be. They say we'll all run out of oil on this planet in another twenty or thirty years. In the meantime, vehicles like this should shorten that time considerably. This thing is the poster child of American Excess™. When you wonder why the US (and Canada) produce more than their "fair share" of world polution, just look at things like the Ford Excursion.
The thing was spewing fumes, probably burning through a gallon a minute just chu chu chugging its way through the parking lot. The woman behind the wheel was all alone (from what I could see) inside, and she looked like the typical person who would buy this kind of vehicle - someone who will never go offroad, someone who doesn't give a damn about the environment except for the occasional lip service. A typical yuppy. She'd probably walk by me with my Cuban habano, pull a face, and complain about stinking up the atmosphere.
Got news for ya, babe...
People who drive these monstrosities should be, in my opinion, taxed as much as cigarette smokers are. They excessively pollute the environment both with toxic fumes and with noise. They take up too much room in parking lots. They hog the road. And they're reducing the global oil supply greater than most car owners do. I say charge them double the taxes they pay on their gas.
Or how about this. Anyone who owns an SUV bigger than a Jeep Liberty should be forced to inhale the fumes of their vehicles for 30 seconds each week. Directly. I'd enjoy that. They'd have ashen skin and probably take 20 years off their lives... just like cigarette smokers. Poetic justice is cool.
Monsters up close
I did see an Excursion up close on other time - fortunately, they are much more rare in Canada than they are in the US of A - the time I saw it was at a gas station.
There's this commercial on the telly for Honda Civics (it might be the hybrid)... where the dude goes to fill his car, and huge ass SUV pulls up next to him to fill up. The Civic dude goes over and starts dancing and going "chugga chugga... chugga chugga" to the SUV owner, making fun of how much gas the thing was eating.
I kind of made the mistake of doing that to the Excursion SUV dude I parked next to. See, one reason why I like the Tracker SUV we own is that it has a small gas tank (about 35 litres), but on that tank I can go about 450kms or so. It takes me only a couple of minutes to fill the tank, and it's still usually less than $25. I filled the Tracker up, and glanced over at Excursion dude. He was over $65 when I peeked. I caught his eye, and I smiled and went chugga chugga.
He didn't like it much. It got kinda ugly in fact. I left pretty quickly and for a second I was worried he may come after my lil' SUV with his big tank, and run me over.
Then I thought... naw - he's barely got a half tank full in there... he'll be a while :)
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Photos from Algonquin Park
Photos from my trip to Algonquin Park this fall with my Mom and two brothers.
Making Snow for the Fortress
One of the worst jobs I ever had... till I got out.
Tools I Use
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iMark's iTunes and iPod isn't iPlaying anything right iNow.
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Fiddlers Green by The Tragically Hip
Around The Bend by Pearl Jam
Here With Me (Rollo's Chillin' With the Family Mix) by Dido
With arms open wide by Creed
truffle pigs by Matthew Good Band
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Burundi and Beyond - NY Times
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St. Petersburg Times
Side mention in an article about good machines
AP Story on Espresso
Background and information provided
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Globe and Mail
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The Olympian, WA
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Seattle Times - Clover
Interviewed for comments on the Clover brewer
NY Times - How it Works
Background and information for various espresso machines
Time Mag Article
Just a brief mention, article about roasting beans.
Front page article about consumers getting into specialty coffee.
Quoted reference to what I wrote in an article at CoffeeGeek.
USA Today - Barista Jam
Intereviewed for my thoughts on what the epitome of espresso is.
The Wall Street Journal has interviewed me 3 times. This is the first time my name got in a story.
Interview with Reuters, Jan 2 - this is the USA Today version.
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Launched Dec 22, 2001, this is THE online community for espresso and coffee fanatics.
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Beata's got her own blog! She updates it most days.
Riddla on Flickr
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Canon EF 24-105 f4 L Lens
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Alzo Digital Lights
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Canon Xsi dSLR
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Latest prosumer camera from Canon - a much better upgrade than the 30D
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28mm f1.8 Lens
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Finally got the right tools for freezing green coffee.
Canon 50mm 1.4
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Super wide angle (full frame fisheye) zoom for my Canon 20D