Monday, August 29, 2011

Heidelberg Moment

Question 28: What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by his providence does still uphold all things?

Answer: That we may be patient in adversity; thankful in prosperity; and that in all things, which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father, that nothing shall separate us from his love; since all creatures are so in his hand, that without his will they cannot so much as move.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Resistance

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dana the soon to be Tenth Grader

Dana wiped the sweat accumulating on her forehead and tied her bandana around her fluffy hair a little tighter.  She looked straight up the side of the cliff and wondered how she got herself talked into a bit of rock climbing tomorrow.   It was not a hard climb for a beginner like her, and she had practiced rappelling yesterday.  But she still felt apprehensive and nervous. 

Suddenly, an arm came around her neck and pulled her backwards, "Oh, I can't wait--this is going to be awesome!" screamed her best friend, Kellie.  They had taken Outdoor Ed together last spring, and now, in the summer before 10th grade, they were camping with Kellie's family in Colorado.

Kellie's dad finished a medical tour in the Army in Iraq, and had recently retired to begin a new practice of his own in a sleepy little community in dusty eastern Washington state.   He was the rock climbing instructor who was going to help Dana and Kellie learn the fundamentals.  He assured them that they could climb to what ever height they felt comfortable with, which made Dana less nervous.  Kellie, on the other hand, was already planning to climb Yosemite's Half Dome.  She had plastered pictures of it on her bedroom walls. 

"Ahh, you dork, I want to live long enough to get to 10th grade this year!"  She pulled one of Kellie's many braids and Kellie let her go. "And I want you to be there, too!"

"Well, we got through ninth grade and Outdoor Ed--we're survivorwomen."  Kellie threw a stone up to the top of the eight foot cliff.  "This is nothing, right?"

"How's your photography project coming along?" Dana was changing the subject, it left her feeling a little queasy.

"I have a lot of pretty pictures, but  I am still waiting for something really exciting and dramatic."  She threw another rock up the cliff. "I'm hoping that rock climbing will give me another perspective."

Dana sat on the ground, not knowing if she could take another minute of this discussion.  Kellie was obsessed, everything lead to rock climbing and "perspective".  On the other hand, Dana thought, they were both strong girls.  Mr. Johnson was pretty sure that they could handle this little cliff, and they would tackle more heights the next few days. Dana appreciated the slow breaking in approach but for Kellie, the process could not go fast enough.  Dana figured that Kellie was pumped at finding something that combined her artistic interests and her boundless energy, but she wondered if she could keep up with her restless and creative friend.  Dana was the tortoise to Kellie's hare.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Coffee of the Week--tasting notes from a barista

As most of you know by now, I work at Starbucks and I get a free pound of coffee for life every week.  This week's coffee mark out is Yukon Blend.

Yukon is a blend of Indonesian and Latin American beans, and on the tasting spectrum between mild and extra-bold, it is considered a bold one.  But it is so smooth, it doesn't feel like it to me.  Most Indonesian coffees have low acidic, herbal and earthy tones.  Some differences occur like a spicey note that makes the Sumatra bean really feel like sandpaper on my tongue.  In contrast, the coffee from Sulawesi tends to be silky smooth.  Latin American beans are a lot brighter, because the post harvest processing of those coffee cherries is called "washed",  where the mucilage and pulp surrounding the coffee bean inside is removed with an extra wash.  Indonesian coffees are called "semi-washed" meaning the mucilage surrounding the coffee bean is left on for a while before it is removed by washing. 

As a blend, the Yukon is well-rounded because the Latin American beans tend to cut the heaviness of the Indonesian bean.  There is some acidity, but not much, which I detect on the sides of my tongue.  There is an earthiness still present, but it doesn't linger as long.  There is some spice, but it is silky, too.  I never feel like I have "coffee breath" when I sip Yukon.  When customers want to make a step up from the milder coffees in our line-up, I always recommend Yukon because it doesn't overwhelm them as much.  But it is an outdoorsy, large and broad tasting coffee, and if you keep sipping it, it's like discovering a gold mine.