mystical liberal loves long walks in the city in the rain

Es­ti­mated reading time is 5 min­utes.

A LOT IS ASKED OF MYS­TICAL LIB­ERALS! The latest is my cat now wakes me up at four o’­clock. In the morning. She does this after failing to rouse Berni. El gato loco has fi­nally re­al­ized that nothing rouses Princess Berni when she’s asleep (ex­cept the oc­ca­sional pea that I place be­neath her side of our double-thick futon). 

Gad­ji’s new rou­tine is to sit on my side of the bed and purr loudly while nudging my head with her nose.

This means she wants breakfast.

At fourayem.

So up I get and break­fast I get—but first I start my day’s first cuppa joe. 1

I still favor the flavor of Trader Joe’s Dark French Roast, but will be taking a friend’s sug­ges­tion and trying Café Bustelo’s Espresso Molido next. 2

While the brew is brewing, I feed Gadji and then catch up on the day’s first emails, which con­sist of the usual po­lit­ical newslet­ters, re­quests to sign pe­ti­tions, and var­ious no­ti­fi­ca­tions about the state of my websites.


Coffee CupJava 900 1

“Among the nu­merous lux­u­ries of the table coffee may be con­sid­ered as one of the most valu­able. It ex­cites cheer­ful­ness without in­tox­i­ca­tion; and the pleasing flow of spirits which it oc­ca­sions is never fol­lowed by sad­ness, lan­guor, or de­bility.” (Ben­jamin Franklin)

First sip in darkness

When the coffee is ready (I let it steep more than most folks), I step out­side to have my first sips in the dark­ness. As it is often raining this time of year, I stand under the car­port and listen to the rhythm of the rain ping-panging on the tin roof while gazing about.

We live at the end of a cul de sac with a green­belt less than a hun­dred feet away. At four in the morning, I am the only one out—the only thing usu­ally, as even the nosy gos­sipy black­birds are asleep.

I usu­ally don’t spend more than a few min­utes there—it is cold and it is damp and it is four in the morning—but I come back in with a sense of grat­i­tude at and with and for Life.

My life in par­tic­ular and who I ended up!


Laphroaig old bottles 700

Long walks at night in the rain

Word­Press en­cour­ages site ad­min­is­tra­tors to in­clude a Bi­o­graph­ical Info entry on each site. Grom­mett only knows where the damn thing ap­pears for readers to see, but I filled it in anyway. Since I be­lieve that readers should get to know me via the es­says and ar­ti­cles that I post on my sites, I in­ten­tion­ally made it brief and humorous:

Mys­ti­cally lib­eral Virgo loves long walks in the city at night in the rain with a flask of 10-year-old Laphroaig.”

In the bio’s first sen­tence, I men­tioned my renowned mys­tical lib­er­alism, which I have dis­cussed else­where. And I am one of the ap­prox­i­mately 8% of the human race blessed to be born under the sign of per­fec­tion and ex­cel­lence in all things human, Virgo.

I do enjoy walking through the city by night, and that walk usu­ally re­quires an um­brella here in the sunny funny Pa­cific Northwest.

And a sip from the flask of Laphroaig is like a sip from the water of life! My taste for the 10-year-old whiskey was ac­quired through my reading: it was the Scotch of choice of one of my fave au­thors, Philip K. Dick.

I fig­ured if it was good enough for the big Dick, it was good enough for little dicks like me!


Coffee Java photo

FEA­TURED IMAGE: This photo was the orig­inal image that ap­peared at the top of this page, but it  doesn’t leave much of an im­pact on ca­sual viewers pe­rusing my blog looking for some­thing in­ter­esting to read. Hence I re­placed it with the more inviting cuppa joe that you see above. Still, this is an in­ter­esting photo and it helps il­lus­trate the para­graphs below:

Coffee was not a na­tive plant to the arch­i­pelago. In the 17th cen­tury, when In­donesia was still under Dutch oc­cu­pa­tion, the VOC brought Ara­bica coffee plants to In­donesia. They were in­ter­ested in growing the plants and sought to break the world­wide Arab mo­nopoly on the coffee trade. Coffee plan­ta­tions were later es­tab­lished in East Java, Cen­tral Java, West Java, and in parts of Sumatra and Sulawesi.

Large areas of forested land were cleared and cul­ti­vated specif­i­cally for the de­vel­op­ment of these plan­ta­tions. [After World War II], the plan­ta­tions throughout In­donesia ei­ther came under the con­trol of the new gov­ern­ment or were aban­doned. Many colo­nial plan­ta­tion owners fled the country to avoid being ar­rested. Today close to 92% of coffee pro­duc­tion is in the hands of small farmers or co­op­er­a­tives.” (Coffee in In­donesia)



1   Ac­cording to (the fact-checking site that is uni­ver­sally loathed by rightwingnuts, which means it must be doing some­thing right) (get it?), the de­riva­tion of the term ‘joe’ for coffee re­mains a mystery:

“Over its his­tory of pop­u­larity in Western cul­ture, coffee has at­tracted af­fec­tionate nick­names such as java and joe, and it is the latter which con­cerns us, be­cause un­like the ori­gins of the term java, how the bev­erage came to bear the ap­pel­la­tion of joe is still a bit of a mys­tery. (We col­lo­qui­ally term coffee “java” be­cause at the time the bev­erage be­came pop­ular in the 19th century,the pri­mary source of the world’s coffee was the is­land of Java in Indonesia.) 

There are two [rea­son­ably strong] the­o­ries for how coffee came to be joe, but nei­ther is ver­i­fi­able. The first as­serts that joe is a cor­rup­tion of one of two other slang words for coffee: java and jamoke, the latter it­self a com­pres­sion of java and mocha. Under that theory, a cup of jamoke could easily have slip-slid its way into being a cup of joe.

The second pos­tu­lates that since joe is argot for a ‘fellow, guy, chap’—and the ear­liest sighting of its being used that way dates to 1846—that a cup of joe thus means the common man’s drink.” 

Of these two, jamoke be­coming joe may be the most likely ex­pla­na­tion, as an early ex­ample ap­pears in the 1931 Re­serve Of­fi­cer’s Manual which reads, “Jamoke, Java, Joe. Coffee. De­rived from the words Java and Mocha, where orig­i­nally the best coffee came from.”

2   Bill and Pam Burkard got turned on to Café Bustelo while sur­viving life in Key West. They re­cently rec­om­mended I give it a try, so I started my usual In­ternet re­search. The first re­view I found was by Jay We­ston for The Huff­in­gton Post, where he ex­claimed that Café Bustelo “was such a rev­e­la­tion taste-wise that I have never gone back to my old standby of French Roast from Trader Joe’s.” Co­in­ci­dence? This mys­tical lib­eral knows there are no co­in­ci­dences, so this will be my next coffee purchase!

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