Go slower

water droplets on a leafAs I was going to empty the trash yesterday, I noticed these amazing tiny water drops on a leaf that fell to the ground. If I had been focused on my task, I would have missed the beauty.

The humidity level, outside temperature and cloud cover provided the perfect environment for these droplets to form. The condensation would only be there for a brief moment in time. I had to savor the beauty right then or miss out.

Today, take a few minutes longer to do one of your normal tasks. You might be surprised at what you see!

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Medium

Along the trail to Hanging Lake, ColoradoSo, I wrote a post over at Medium. It’s a new blogging platform that has some great posts by a huge variety of people. What do you think?

A really cool thing is that you can comment on individual paragraphs, rather than waiting to the end of the post. (However, you must create an account.)

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Easy and clean

car tailpipeIt’s very easy — and clean — to turn off your vehicle when you’re parked.

If you do not let your vehicle’s engine idle when you are parked, you will win for all these reasons:

- Your engine will last longer.

- You won’t send pollution into the lungs of the bicycle rider or pedestrian who might be near.

- You will save money.

- You will prevent the environmental impact of transporting that extra fuel to your local gas station.

If you want to run your vehicle’s heater or air conditioner, consider instead going into the nearest building. It will probably be climate controlled. Your friend can meet you there.

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Wall Street Journal vs. Motor Trend

Wall-Street-Journal-vs-Motor-TrendFine wine or MD 20/20? You spend your money and take your choice.

I enjoy reading a variety of publications to observe writing styles, and there’s good and bad writing. I was delighted to see reviews of the new Nissan Versa Note in both Motor Trend (MT) and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). One was sublime, and the other was — well — ridiculous:

Versa-tile: The Note’s aero-friendly exterior may not boost its speed, but provides a comfortable and airy interior” (MT).

And no, the Nissan Versa Note isn’t a great inexpensive car. Actually, it is a shambles, a car so out of step with the best in its segment, it almost has an early 1970s East German vibe to it” (WSJ).

I am sure that the WSJ’s Dan Neil makes quite a bit more money per word than the MT writer. You do get what you pay for — at least in this instance.

Reading the WSJ review was so fun that I laughed out loud at least three times. Well done, Mr. Neil. In contrast, I winced several times while reading the MT review.

My friends, take care in what you do today. If possible, bring others delight rather than pain.

Footnotes:
1. I like the appearance of the Nissan Versa Note, but Mr. Neil’s review made it clear that I will never own one, no matter how inexpensive it may be.

2. The bad grammar reflected by the wrong use of a comma in the MT quote did occur in that article.
3. I left out the name of the MT writer, as an act of mercy.

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Great coffee

cafe-buesteloCafe Bustelo is not great coffee. But it is when you brew it the right way. Read on…

1. Use 1/3 very finely ground espresso coffee, such as Cafe Bustelo. Lavazza makes some better ground espresso coffee, but it costs twice as much.

2. Use 2/3 of your regular coffee.

3. If you like to save money, use 1/3 of your regular coffee and mix it with 1/3 of some ultra-cheap stuff. (I definitely avoid brands like Folgers, but if you go to Big Lots, you can pick up some decent coffee for very little cash.)

4. Mix your dry coffees and put the blend in an air-tight container that you’ll store in your freezer.

5. Use a coffee press. Put one tablespoon of coffee per cup of finished coffee. Pour boiling water over the fresh grounds. This step is important — use a big plastic spoon to stir the coffee and hot water mix. Then let it steep for five minutes before you push the press down.

6. Pour whatever coffee you aren’t going to drink right away into a thermos.

7. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I am lazy. I do not grind my beans unless someone gives them to me that way.

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