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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