The purist vs. the realist

Coffee. I enjoy grinding the beans at the supermarket — or simply buying ground beans. Reason? The difference in taste is very small compared to the hassle of grinding your own beans each morning for every coffee pot.

Many areas of life are like this — if you spend twice the effort, you might get a 10% improvement. I would challenge you to examine your life — small things you do each day — and look at what is not worth the extra expense of time and money.

Having said that, sometimes it’s worth it to go the “long” way. Last weekend, Heather and I spent a nice evening listening to vinyl records. It took several extra minutes to grab each new song from a different album, but that warm sound of clicks and pops, as well as the fact that I don’t have those songs in digital form, gave us a pleasant change of pace.

ps Millstone Coffee provided a free half-pound of coffee with last Sunday’s paper!

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A bad Leaf

Nissan is slowly rolling out a new car, the Leaf. They will be the first mainstream car company to have a fully-electric car on the mass-market. You might think I would love this car… it offers zero emissions, is small and has low running costs.

No.

Why? It costs $32,500 before government tax credits. It has a range of probably 50 miles. It’s heavy. It’s slow. And it costs $32,500.

The rough cost per mile is supposed 5c (US), not counting the initial cost and depreciation. My recommendation? Buy a used Toyota Prius. I saw a 2004 recently listed for about $9,000. At a very conservative 40 mpg, it only costs 6.5c a mile to run.

Even if you bought a used Prius for $17,000, it would take more than a million miles to pay for the difference!

And zero emissions? If your power plant runs on coal (which ours does), all you’re doing is moving the emissions to the power plant rather than your tailpipe. Some say that car manufacturers are still in the early phases of using these new technologies — and that electric car capabilities and prices may drop. The latter two are true — but they have been trying to do electric cars for more than twenty years now. It’s only recent governmental pushes that have moved things further forward.

Photo courtesy of the Nissan Leaf website.

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Crowds

A few weekends ago, some friends invited us to A Taste of Colorado. Fun. Hot. Lots of people.

Being an introvert, there is a contrast — I like being alone in quiet places. But I also get a buzz out of being in a crowd.

What contrasts are in your personality?

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Strange tool

We found this at a campsite.

Our last hurrah camping trip was this past weekend. (It was far too cold, Heather and I both woke up with aching bodies — but Jay had fun celebrating his seventeenth birthday with some of his buddies in the mountains.)

So what might this be? A dental tool for backpacking oral surgeons?

And as you might have guessed, this went straight into our bin where we collect stuff to give to the charity shop.

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A watch for your Friday

This is an amazing watch. Parmigiani, a Swiss company, will sell one to you for about $234,000. The model is the Bugatti Type 370, if you want to dig deeper.

My main comment is that this may be the only watch that has owners grabbing their mobile phones to check the time.

Photo is courtesy of their website. (I couldn’t manage to get a test drive.)

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Be nice

I’ve been meditating on this particular topic for several weeks. It’s something you already know. But I’m saying this to remind you — and me — to do it.

It is so much easier to serve someone who is nice to you. I find myself jumping to fulfill the requests of those who are nice much faster than those who are demanding and, well, not as nice.

Nice can be a tepid word (so mild it can be almost an insult). But I’m referring to the basic positive aspect of being nice.

So let’s be nice to each other. We’ll help each other want to serve each other more.

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A new look

I changed themes for my website again. This time I went with a real pro theme (though I am not a WordPress pro!): Genesis.

So pardon the dust, while I get everything worked out. (At the moment, it’s pretty boring. That’s one of the things I hope to fix!)

If you notice anything that is broken, send me a message via a comment on this post. Thanks!

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Cultural differences

Dear friends recently left us to return to Malaysia. They gave us some Boh Lemon Myrtle tea as a parting gift.

It’s nice — not a flavor (or flavour) you will easily find on the shelves of your local supermarket in North America or Europe.

So first, myrtle is a tree, I think. That might hurt their marketing efforts, should they try to launch in the States. Second, we rarely put single quote marks around the title of any product.

For those of you who are into Facebook, as of an update to this post, Boh Tea is liked by 17,019 people.

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