Sunday, March 30, 2008

.: Coffee Worth Paying For :.

Saturday. Berkeley. The Western Regional Barista Competition.

My taste buds will never be the same. Have you ever tasted a latte and thought to yourself, "meh." Not acceptable. Some coffee shops consistently offer better quality coffee and service than others. I have officially become a "coffee snob". If I can't order a Cappuccino and thoroughly enjoy it without thinking "well that's a little bitter" or "the milk's not very creamy (I'll give a little grace w/ soy, which doesn't froth nearly as well as milk)" on a pretty regular basis, chances are I won't be ordering coffee there anymore.

Part two of this train of thought...

I spend a ridiculous amount of money on coffee in any given month. I have recently been challenged with many social justice issues. We live in a very broken world that needs help, and I choose to spend my money on not-so-great to downright crappy coffee. What the heck!

One thing I really appreciated about the WRBC was the emphasis on the origin of the beans. In many developing countries, coffee is a main source of revenue. Many job opportunities exist in this industry; farmers grow the coffee cherries and hire people to pick them, then extract/dry/prepare the beans to be exported to other areas. One really cool program that was featured is called Bikes to Rwanda. Their goal is to "improve quality of life in these communities through a bike workshop and maintenance program that provides transportation resources for basic needs and enhances production of quality coffee."

Seeing things like this prompts me to really look at what I support simply by living life the way I do. Being patient and seeking out quality is important. I can feel good about going to a coffee shop that supports farmers in these countries and is willing to pay them a fair price for their beans. I appreciate the Baristas' willingness do their best to produce a great cup of coffee that will make customers want to support their business and prove that it is worth it to provide quality product and service.

I am challenged to think twice about what I choose to purchase - is it really worth it?

Shameless plug - check out the Verve Coffee Roasting Company in Capitola. They're great!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

.: Affection :.

Gosh, who would have ever thought that adding the "C.S. Lewis quote of the day" to my Google homepage would wind up being so thought-provoking?

Today's quote:
"Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives."

Profound on several levels. I was having a conversation with a friend today and she is one who LOVES physical touch/affection. I have always considered myself to be on the opposite end of that spectrum - I don't like to be touched. As we discussed this, she said something really hit me; she never feels quite as safe and happy and at rest and at home as when she is being held by another person. I suppose this may be true of all people (after all, there is that whole study about the chimps who gravitate toward the soft cuddle mom-robot with no food over the stark cold mom-robot who provides food... as well as other studies).

What I realized was that she and I are actually very similar in this way - I do get a safe/happy/restful feeling from physical touch - but only with a select few trusted individuals. Our differences come in frequency and variety.

This is not to say that physical touch is the only form of affection, but it is the one that comes to mind most readily.

Anyhow, that was my thought-of-the-day.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

.: Cabin Time :.

I should have posted this one a while back but... oh well.

(P.S. Thanks for your help w/ this Austin!)

.: August Rush :.

This is amazing....

My favorite part of this movie.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

.: Dear Mr. Sir :.

First off.... this blog is solely for the amusement of Amanda Mackay (and, apparently, maybe Jenna... and Adam?).

The reply that would have been sent if only, if only...

"Dear Mr. Sir Lloyd,

Clearly, you are on crack. I sent the email to my own personal email address, and it worked fine (not to mention that no one else reported having an issue with this "jibberish" you speak of; by the way, if you are referring to the email's content, consider yourself excommunicated from the community entirely). You should plan to update your obviously crappy system immediately to prevent further delay of important (and dare I say well-written) information.

Thank you, have a nice day.

- Amanda"

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

.: Mr. Lewis :.

C.S. Lewis never fails to surprise me with some little nugget of wisdom.

On my Google homepage (get one, you won't regret it), I have a widget (I think that's what they're called) that gives a C.S. Lewis quote every time you log in.

Today's quote:

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one."

I love this for a variety of reasons. Several friends lately have blown me away with similar stories/experiences/feelings that I thought no one would really understand. It amazes me how God can bring two people together at any given moment to share life and enjoy each other's company.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

.: Daylight Saving Time :.

This observance is probably my least favorite thing about calendars. We should all be like Arizona and Hawaii and just say forget it. The following are reasons why DST should not exist:

1. Confusion.
- "Spring forward, fall back" - sounds simple... not so. Try adjusting a small child's sleep schedule to an hour time difference. Then there's always those conversations that go something like...
"Wait... spring forward... so we gain an hour, right?"
"No, we go forward an hour, we lose the hour."
"So when it would be 6:00 AM, it's now 7:00 AM, so I have to get up earlier... but when it's 8:00 PM, it's really 9:00 PM, so I need to go to bed earlier?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
(side note - the only legitimate fight my mom and I have been in was over DST.)

2. Lack of sleep.
- "Just go to bed earlier the night before," they say. Not that simple. We stress so much about whether we set our alarm clocks right that we don't sleep well for half the night, then go into a deep sleep and over-sleep...

3. (I feel like there should be 3 reasons, but the first 2 are good enough for me.)

.: Recap :.

Dang, it's been a while. Recap:

- It's been too long and I don't really remember.

- I re-joined YoungLife.
- I turned 23.
- I LOVE going to the snow. Cabins are amazing. I have some pretty rock-awesome friends.
- Men's groups (those from churches who attend retreats at MH that I have worked with) can be surprisingly high-maintenance.
- High winds can lead to javelin-like branches shooting through ceilings and into closets.
- I discovered that my cell phone has a calendar feature, which reminds me of important things I need to do.
- I have a mentor - she is amazing.

- I discovered that I quasi-enjoy dancing.
- I have sworn off drinking (again).
- I really do have some pretty amazing friends - they are totally a gift from God.
- Wild Oak's front lawn is pretty much one of my favorite places on earth.

More to come...