Urban Hike San Francisco – 11 Miles, 3 Espressos

From 2008-2013 I did a few posts mapping my urban hiking adventures in Seattle. Now that I am temporarily in the San Francisco area, I thought I’d post one for this city. I’ve done many already. I’d say I’ve urban hiked over 100 miles in the city since my July arrival. Probably closer to 200 miles.

Today I paid attention to the streets I was taking, so I could put together this map. Usually I don’t pay attention and just move north, south, east and west, until I get to my target location. Today’s espressos were Pinhole, Coffee Cultures and Contraband. All were excellent. If you are interested in the SF Bay Area coffee scene, you can follow along on my adventures via a Google Spreadsheet at tinyurl.com/sf-espresso.

san francisco


dolores heights


11.6905 miles

If you want to urban hike San Francisco, but like me don’t want to pay for parking, start your adventures in Noe Valley, Castro, South Haight, Cow Hollow, Alamo Square or Bernal Heights. Monday through Friday is tougher, because even if you find free parking, you might be limited to two hours. Saturday and especially Sunday are easier, but get there in the morning. You want to be parked by 10 AM. By Noon the freeways are full of people coming into the city and parking will be much tougher. And to get around, I used to use GPS, but I ditched the battery draining technology for a good map. I’m learning the city a lot better with the Streetwise map.

Streetwise San Francisco Map - Laminated City Center Street Map of San Francisco, California - Folding pocket size travel map with BART map, MUNI lines, bus routes
Streetwise San Francisco Map – Laminated City Center Street Map of San Francisco, California – Folding pocket size travel map with BART map, MUNI lines, bus routes by Streetwise Maps

Odd Endorsements

There are two signs in my Seattle neighborhood of Ballard that are puzzling to me.

#1 Bop Street Records

This record store proudly displays a sign in the front window stating “One of the five best music stores in America” as proclaimed by The Wall Street Journal. The WSJ? What does the Wall Street Journal know about music? It is is business newspaper. If the WSJ ranked municipal bond debt offerings, that would make sense. But music stores?

And aren’t record stores suppose to be cool and hip? Is there anything less cool that saying Rupert Murdoch likes us a lot?


#2 Red Mill Totem House

For what seems like forever the Red Mill has proudly been displaying the endorsement they got from GQ magazine that they were voted Best Onion Rings. What is GQ doing reviewing onion rings? It is a fashion magazine.

I haven’t ate an onion ring since the 1990s, but I don’t recall much difference between the ones I did try. You slice onions into rings and then deep fry them in toxic vegetable oil. If you eat them too fast, you burn the hell out of your mouth. If you let them cool too much, they taste gross. Stupid food if you ask me.

This sign isn’t as bad as the record store endorsement, because it is at least advertising a menu item.  But why is a local fast food place advertising GQ magazine on their signage? They aren’t GQ customers. A better sign would simply read: OUR ONION RINGS ARE AWESOME!!! Do you think a single person would question that? “I don’t know, they say their onion rings are awesome, but I’m skeptical. What does GQ Magazine think?”


Candy Meth

I posted this photo on Facebook in September when everyone was talking about Breaking Bad. It belongs here on this site.

Back when I was a kid they had candy cigarettes. Today it is candy meth. :) This is from a sweets store a few blocks from my home in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard.


And no I didn’t try it. Almost all my sugar intake comes from ice cream. Other sweets don’t cut it.

4th and Madison Rooftop Garden – Seattle

My last post was about an amazing 17th floor view from the Russell Investments building in the heart of Seattle. This view isn’t as high up, but is still an impressive find. During weekday business hours, go to the 4th & Madison building. You’ll actually enter the building from 3rd Avenue. When you go in veer to the right, walk down that hall and take the elevator to the 7th floor. When you exit the elevator open the door on your right. This rooftop garden wraps around the building on 3 sides. According to the Wikipedia it is considered a privately owned public space.

rooftop garden

looking North

North side of building facing West

Photo Gallery for 4th & Madison Rooftop Garden

3rd Ave between Madison Street and Marion Street on the East side of the street.

If you live in Seattle and have another free and legal rooftop view suggestion, leave a comment.

The View Almost No One in Seattle Knows About

Ever since I arrived in Seattle in 2007, I have been an exploring machine. I’ve seen more of this city than many people that have been here since birth. But until one evening this summer I had no idea about this killer view overlooking downtown Seattle. Back in 2006 when Washington Mutual was busy printing money writing bad mortgages they built a 43 story building in downtown Seattle. On the west side of the building at the 17th floor they constructed a 20,000 square foot garden for their employees.

Times were good for WaMu. Who could have seen they were doomed for failure? Actually, me. I predicted WaMu would fail on this blog in June 2008. In September they were placed in receivership with the FDIC. After their failure, their brand new Seattle building was purchased by Russell Investments.

If you are standing in the Pike Market area look up to the southeast. You will see a 43 story building with a 17 story back facing west. This is where the view is at. According to the Wikipedia this garden is private. According to a friend of mine that works in the building, it is public, but they just don’t tell anyone. I’ve been up there four times now. Each time I’ve walked right past security and went to the left elevators and got out on the 17th floor. Once you step off the elevators you will see a set of doors leading out onto the rooftop garden.

The building is closed on weekends and I believe access to the rooftop is restricted after 6:30 PM. Please leave a comment if you know the exact hours.

Anyway, here are some photos I took over two dates. The reason I say very few people know about this is because for months I’ve been asking people if they were aware and nobody knows about it. This is a well kept secret. The Space Needle will cost you $19, unless you can time $1 day. This costs nothing.

WaMu garden

17th floor rooftop view

looking South - see Rainer?

Russell Investments

1301 2nd Ave, Seattle WA 98101

More Photos by Me

And a photo from the Wikipedia showing the view from the 43rd story looking down to the 17th story garden

UPDATE: Another Seattle rooftop garden at Madison & 4th.

Fall Afternoon in Downtown Seattle

Maybe it has something to do with the angle of the Earth to the Sun during the winter, but I’ve always loved the look of Seattle on clear days from November to February. Here are some photos I took walking North on 4th Ave in Downtown Seattle.

Full Gallery

Kurt Cobain Bench

It has been a long time since I did a Seattle specific post. Earlier this summer on one of my urban hikes, I made my first stop to the Kurt Cobain bench. How this landmark escaped me until recently is a mystery. I must have walked past this little park twenty times. Vieretta Park is right next to the house that Kurt was living in when he killed himself. This is very beautiful neighborhood in the Denny-Blaine section of Seattle, which is south of Madison along Lake Washington.

Nirvana fans have converted the park bench into a makeshift memorial. I took some photos.

Photo Gallery for Kurt Cobain Bench

Seattle Photos Mashed With a Thomas Kinkade Painting

Five years ago I was playing with mashing up photos and classic art using Photoshop. These days I use the free Paint.NET for my image work. Well, it turns out with a third party plugin you can do the same mash up in Paint.NET.

For this post I used four photos I took in Seattle and mashed them with the colors from a Kinkade painting.

Seattle Sculpture Park

Seattle Sculpture Park Kinkade

Seattle Pier

Seattle Pier Kinkade

Seattle Space Needle

Seattle Space Needle Kinkade

Betty Bowen Viewpoint

Betty Bowen Viewpoint Kinkade


To perform this trick in Paint.NET download the Pyrochild Plugins. I donated the requested $5 and immediately put the Color Match to work.


Select Adjustments > Color Match…


For my first attempt, I loaded a Roy Lichtenstein. Yikes!


For attempt two, I used a painting by Thomas Kinkade. Much better!

Urban Hike Seattle – Snowstorm 2012 Edition

A good snowstorm doesn’t happen in Seattle every year, so I took advantage of the day and went for an urban hike. Three years ago, I did a 16 mile hike through the snow. Today I did 20 miles. My hike took me through Ballard, Phinney Ridge, Wallingford, University, Montlake, Madison Valley, Capitol Hill, Downtown, Belltown, Queen Anne and Fremont. I saw lots of kids and many adults having fun in the snow. It was another great day in Seattle.

urban hike seattle snow 2012

Today’s urban hike was 19.978 miles.

[Read more…]

Summertime Jump

I’m a lazy blogger this week. Maybe it is the caffeine detox or the nice weather or my other web projects keeping me quiet. Anyway, here is a photo of me and my sister taken many summers ago.

Summertime Jump

After the Art Walk

Yesterday I attended the Seattle Art Walk, which is always on the first Thursday of the month. One of the pieces of art was this cool night photograph of the Elephant Car Wash. Seattle has some of the most amazing late evening skies. Put some pink neon in front of it and it really pops.

Anyway, last night on my drive home I noticed the skies had that same awesome look. There are about a dozen ways I could have driven home, but unconsciously I drove right past the Elephant Car Wash. Then the light turned red and I turned to look at the sign. It was the same as the photo from the Art Walk. So I pulled out my little point and shoot camera and took 2 photos. Not as good as the gallery photo, but not bad either.

pink elephant car wash

pink elephant car wash seattle

Later I stopped by Betty Bowen View Point and took this photo. My camera was no match for the view.

betty bowen evening

Summertime Confession

The photo below is me at 18 months. If you look behind my head, you can see a mailbox. A few summers later me and some neighbor kids would put handfuls of gravel into it. I think we did everyday for a week. Then the post office removed the mailbox from our street. I wonder if the adults ever knew the reason why. :)

MAS at Pool

It is Summer Seattle! Put Your Coats Away!

Today was another wonderful day in Seattle. I took some photos as I urban hiked from Upper Queen Anne to Downtown.

Upper Queen Anne looking west to Magnolia

Sculpture Park. Looks a lot different when the sun isn’t out.

Train tracks going underneath Sculpture Park

Seattle Waterfront

Behind Pike Place Market

I think summer is finally here, although this couple might disagree. It was 70 degrees and sunny and they walked through Queen Anne wearing winter coats and wool caps. There were others too. You know how I feel about that.


Retro Ants

I got some ants this spring in my kitchen. I set a trap of mixing sugar, Borax and almond butter. The mixture was smeared onto a business card. It was highly effective. I took this photo as they were taking the bait. Then I went to VintageJS.com and made an Instagram-like version of the photo.

Parking in Seattle

Imagine you are driving through Seattle one morning. The skies are gray and there is a light rain. Up ahead you think you see a parking spot. There is a car coming up behind you.

You glance over to see if it is OK to park there. This is the sign you see. :x

Seeing the Space Needle From Ballard

On my first night at the new place, I squinted real hard and thought I could see the Space Needle from my apartment window. Then we had some rain and some fog and I couldn’t see anything.

Today we had was super clear skies, so I took out my camera and fired up the zoom. There it is. You can see the Space Needle and Mount Rainier from my apartment.

The Space Needle is 4 miles away from my window.

Kanji Latte Art

My failed home latte art attempt ended up looking like a Kanji symbol. I think the Chinese meaning of this particular symbol is “keep practicing” or possibly “seek medical attention“. ;)

Eat Prey Die

I think Julia Roberts is playing the piranha in this movie. Or is that a different movie I’m thinking of? ;)

I’m So Blind

Today I will be returning my camera to Canon for repairs. I still have two days left in the warranty period, so it shouldn’t cost me anything. What is the problem? I noticed a thin white line in some of my photos. My photographer friend helped me figure out that it was a sensor problem.

Even though most of my photos are taken in daylight or using a light box, I still should have caught this problem sooner. Going back into my photo galleries I can see this problem surfaced last November when I was in Southeast Asia. Can you see the white line in the photo below?

Now for a close-up.

The white line problem got bad enough yesterday that I finally noticed.

Avoid That Bridge

When crossing between the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas, be sure to take the Hood Canal Bridge. Alternate routes could be painful. ;)

Photo taken on the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry.

Northgate Starbucks Misspells Colombian

If you are in the business of selling coffee there are two words you should absolutely know how to spell. The first is espresso (not expresso) and the second is Colombian (not Columbian). This photo was taken today at the Northgate Starbucks inside the QFC.

UPDATE October 2010: The spelling is now fixed. Behold the power of the Coffee Hero! ;)

2010 Fremont Solstice Parade Photos

This was my third year attending the Fremont Solstice Parade. Instead of watching the parade, I got there early and went straight to the staging area. From there I took most of my photos. I have a video of the naked bikers, but I am not sure where to upload it. Even though it is barely R-rated, I’m not sure it is YouTube safe. Ideas? Link to full gallery below.

Photo Gallery for 2010 Fremont Solstice Parade (a few NSFW)

Prior year links: 2008 Fremont Solstice Parade and 2009 Fremont Solstice Parade.

Project Lightbox

My goal is to start putting better photos up on INeedCoffee, so I decided I needed to get a lightbox. A lightbox should give me a nice clean surface with minimal shadows. They sell lightboxes, but I liked the idea of making my own. I used the tutorial How to Make An Inexpensive Light Tent – DIY by Darren Rowse for guidance.

I hope I did the box right. Below is a photo I took of my hand gripper. I’d like my photographer friends to critique my setup and photos. This is new territory for me. The box is covered with the whitest fabric I could find. It is a 60% polyester/40% cotton. The light is a 100 watt GE Reveal, which is a full spectrum bulb.

Using the auto-fix option in Windows Live Photo Gallery, the image lightened up.

Photo Gallery for Lightbox – Day 1

My Coffee Setup From 2001

This post has been moved from Coffee Hero. It was originally written on September 18, 2009.

Time for another caffeinated trip down memory lane. Here are two photos showing off all my coffee gear from May 2001. This is sort of like a family photo of a coffee fanatic. A lot of the equipment you see was used for INeedCoffee articles and tutorials. I have no where near this much stuff anymore.

From left to right: French Press, Starbucks Barista Espresso Machine, Starbucks Barista Grinder, Utopia Electric Vac-Pot and on the end is the Hearthware Precision Coffee Roaster.

From shelf to shelf (left to right, top to bottom): Metal colander for home roasting (cooling), Westbend Popper 2, Coffee filters, Milk Frother, Bodum Vac-Pot, ???, Turkish Bean Grinder, Plastic French Press, Drip Coffee Pot, Frothing pitchers and Green coffee beans.

I have no clue what that green thing is in the bottom middle shelf. It was a gift that I never used.

The only equipment I still have from these photos are that drip pot (which I never use), the Bodum Vac-Pot and the frothing pitchers.

Possibly? Not a Chance

I went to this espresso place in Kingston, Washington on Saturday. May have been the worst espresso I’ve had in years. Seattle may be a world leader in coffee, but once you break outside city limits, things get ugly fast.

The Pig Problem in Seattle?

I passed by this sign today here in our nation’s espresso capital of Seattle. I have yet to see anyone walking around with a pet pig, yet apparently it is important enough to create a city ordinance and make these signs.

Photo No Pot Bellied Pigs in Seattle by Flickr user INeedCoffee / CoffeeHero

Seattle Municipal Code 9.25.084

Legacy Comment:

TigerAl – Apparently, it was an issue in the early 80s.
I have to say that the sections of the code about cats/dogs in estrus and miniature goats were particularly entertaining.

Coffee Cups on the Wall

Last Sunday the Coffee Club of Seattle went over to Kirkland to visit the Urban Coffee Lounge. Besides the great coffee drinks, our group was impressed by the wall decoration. It is a collection of different sized coffee mugs fixed to a concrete backing. Below are a few photos of the wall fixture.


Photo Gallery – INeedCoffee / CoffeeHero photos of Urban Coffee Lounge.

Urban Coffee Lounge – 9744 Northeast 119th Way Kirkland, WA

Coffee Club of Seattle – Meetup.com page.

Silver Surfer Turns 100,000

My VW Golf TDI (the Silver Surfer) celebrated its 100,000 mile birthday last night while driving through Lower Queen Anne. Here is a breakdown of the first 100,000 miles.

StateDaysMilesMiles Per Day

No wonder I like Seattle. I’m driving almost half as much as I did in San Diego.

Home Latte Art Attempt #1 For 2010

This post was moved from Coffee Hero.

Let me started by saying that I am not skilled when it comes to latte art. Since 99% of the drinks I make at home are straight espresso shots, I rarely get a chance to improve my pour. Today I got to try making latte art using non-homogenized half and half from Lynden, Washington’s Twin Brook Creamery.

According to their website:

Our fresh cow’s milk is gently pasteurized at a low temperature, killing harmful bacteria, but we do not homogenize our milk. Homogenization is a process which alters its natural state by forcing it through small openings at high pressure. Without homogenization, the cream is free to float to the top of the container.

The photo below isn’t great by cafe standards, but a vast improvement over anything I’ve poured in the last 6 months. Oh and it tasted better than ANY latte I’ve ever had. Super creamy.


Twin Brook Creamery – From Lynden, Washington.

Amazing Latte Designs at Kitanda Brazilian Espresso and Bakery

This weekend I went to Microsoft’s neighborhood of Redmond, Washington. I really didn’t expect to find good coffee there, but I did. Kitanda Brazilian Espresso and Bakery made some amazing drinks for the Coffee Club of Seattle. Here are a few of their latte art etchings.


Kitanda Latte Art Photo Gallery – From INeedCoffee / CoffeeHero on Flickr. With attribution you are free to use any image for any purpose.

Kitanda – 15230 NE 24th St., Redmond, WA 98052

A Holiday in Cambodia

How did I end up in Cambodia when my original travel plans only included Thailand? It was me discovering what type of traveler I am. The thought of spending two weeks on the white sand beaches of Thailand may sound like paradise to many, but I got bored quickly at the beach. I needed a little more grit. Cambodia was the ideal choice.

Cambodia is much poorer than Thailand. According to the IMF, Thailand is close to Argentina in wealth, whereas Cambodia is just a little better off than Haiti. Despite the poverty, there was no evidence of crime and I never felt threatened walking at night in Siem Reap.

Cambodia has had it rough. After the Vietnam War came the genocide of the Khmer Rouge, which killed an estimated 1.7 million people. The country is still littered with land mines. Tourist revenue from those visiting Angkor Wat is one thing Cambodia has going for it, but our guide mentioned that the financial crisis and H1N1 fears have caused a 50% reduction in tourists in just the last year. I saw many restaurants that were 100% empty EVERY time I passed them.

Workers replacing a sidewalk using hand swung tools. No jack hammers.

As for food, I found Cambodia curry to be more brothy and less creamy than Thai curry. It also lacks spices. Although I liked their use of pumpkin in dishes, I found the food to be on the bland side. Even their Indian and Thai restaurants seemed to be lacking the intense flavors found in Thailand. If you find Thai food to be too spicy, give Cambodian curry a try.

The people of Cambodia were just as nice as Thailand, but with fewer smiles. Still more than a typical city, but less than Thailand. Unlike Thailand, they spoke pretty decent English and even used the US Dollar side by side with their own currency.

The engineer in me wants to fix the ills the of Cambodia, but I wouldn’t know where to start. Kids are pulled out of school to beg money from tourists. If you give them money, you are helping a family eat, but you are financially rewarding the decision to pull the kid from school. Without a more educated population, the country will stay poor. I wish Cambodia the best of luck and encourage anyone visiting Thailand to take 3 days off from the beaches and visit Siem Reap.

Photo Gallery for Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is the expansive temple complex in Cambodia built over a few hundred years starting in the 10th century. It is an amazing place to visit. It far exceeded myexpectations. I spent 2 days and one evening going from temple to temple and I still didn’t see it all. Besides the food and my elephant training, this was the highlight of my month trip in Asia.

The photo gallery I created is quite extensive at 467 photos.The morning sun was harsh, but I was able to fix many of the photos on my PC. The last few pages of the gallery are photos taken in the late afternoon. They turned out the best.

If you find yourself in Southeast Asia, you must visit.

Here I am outside the temple door that was in the movie Laura Croft Tomb Raider.

Photo Gallery for Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cambodian Landmine Museum

The sad history of Cambodia involves land mines. Lots of them. I read an estimate that there may still be 2 million land mines buried in throughout the country. And no one bothered to document where they were placed. As a result, people are still being killed andmaimedtoday. While in Cambodia, I saw quite a few adults and kids with missing limbs.

In between Angkor Wat temple visits, we stopped into the Cambodian Landmine Museum.

Photo Gallery for Landmine Museum, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Floating Village – Siem Reap, Cambodia

While in Siem Reap, we had our driver take us out to the Floating Village. Unlike our Bangkok experience, this was not a tourist trap. It was the real deal. The Floating Village was a community of mostly fishermen living on the water. Many fled Vietnam during the war and were never allowed to return home.

The floating village is a working community. These people live, work and raise their kids on the water. Young kids know how to fish and navigate boats. Neighbors hang out with each other. They don’t have any of the creature comforts of the modern world, but they seemed content. This trip redefined extreme working poverty for me.

One of the themes I’ll go back to a different post is how Americans live in a culture of fear. We have every advantage, but spend our days fearing that will lose our stuff or health or job. These people have nothing but each other and they seemed fine. Despite the brutally low standard of living, it was inspiring.

Photo Gallery for Floating Village – Siem Reap, Cambodia

Although I am very pleased with my photos, my camera battery was near dead during this portion of my trip, so I didn’t get near the number of pictures I would have liked to. When TheTailGunner posts his gallery for the the Floating Village, I will add that link to this post.

A Rainy Day in Seoul, South Korea

On the return flight home to Seattle, I had a 12 hour layover in Seoul, South Korea. Urban hiking in 41F rain felt a lot like Seattle. Like Kuala Lumpur, Seoul has an airport which connects right into a train/subway system. I was able to get to the heart of downtown Seoul in about an hour. For a city of 10 million people, I expected the streets to be packed, but they weren’t. Where was everyone?

My short trip did give me enough time to eat some great food and acquire some outstanding Korean green tea. Now for the photos.

Photo Gallery for Seoul, South Korea

Arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The adventure continues. I arrived in Kuala Lumpur late last night.This is an awesomeairport. The KLIA Ekspreshooks right into the terminal and drops you off in the center of the city, which is a 28 minute journey. Once at the center (KL Sentral)you can takea train orget a prepaid taxi. This is the slickest arrival airport I’ve ever been through.

My first day I did what I always do: urban hike. I’ll cover my coffee adventures on Coffee Hero later. For this post I’ll stick to the city. I started the day by visiting the KL Tower, which my map calls a “lookalike of the Seattle Space Needle“. At 421 meters, the KL Tower is much taller than the 184 meter Space Needle.

From there I walked over to Petronas Twin Towers, which are the tallest twin buildings in the world. For lunch, I took TigerAl’s tip and went to Madam Kwan’s and had the Curry Laksa. It was the best meal I’ve had since Chiang Mai. The perfect amount of spices. It was so good, I came back two hours later and had the Assam Laska. It was good also, but I give the edge to the Curry.

In the evening, I took a subway back to the Towers to take some night photos. That is one cool looking building. Lots more photos in the full gallery.

My hotel is in the Little India area of Chinatown. Not my favorite area of the city, but the price is right and the upload speeds are impressive.

Photo Gallery For Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Ko Samui, Thailand

After escaping the hell known as Patong Beach, I headed for the quieter beach setting of the island of Ko Samui. Although the vendors were still pushy, it was far less than Patong. If you only have a few days to spend on the beaches of Thailand, I’d go to Ko Samui instead of Phuket.

One day I took a scooter around the island and another day I did a tour which included an animal show, stone garden tour and a mountain trek on the back (and top) of a 4 WD truck.

Photo Gallery For Ko Samui, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand

The prime vacation destination for Thailand is probably Phuket. That should have been a warning. I did not care for Phuket. It was loud and the vendors were beyond obnoxious. It was probably my mistake for staying at Patong Beach. Once I got away from Patong, the rest of thePhuket was much better. Patong is the Daytona Beach of Thailand.

The highlight of mystay in Phuket was hiring a taxi to drive mearound the island to take photos, see stuff and do a little hiking. If you plan to visit Thailand, you can avoid Phuket. There are better places to have the Thailand beach experience.

Photo Gallery for Phuket, Thailand

Thai Cooking Class – Chiang Mai, Thailand

Besides riding elephants and playing with big cats, the other cool thing I did in Chiang Mai was take an all day Thai cooking class. I’ve been cooking Thai food pretty much every week for the past 18 months. Assuming I don’t get hit on the head and forget everything I’ve learned, my Thai cooking skills will be even better when I return to Seattle.

The day started out with a trip to the market. There wemet up with our instructor and got an introudction to curry and rice. We alsoand saw a machine used to extract coconut cream and milk. Then we drove out to the Thai cooking school, whichwas on an organic farm.Our instructorwalked us around the garden and showed usthe different plants thatwe would be adding to our Thai cooking.

The Thai cooking class was a 6 course event. We made our own curry paste and then a dish using that curry. In addition, we made a soup and astir fry. The class had a choice between pad thai and spring rolls. I picked pad thai. We finished with a desert (pumpkin soup for me).

I highly recommend the Thai Cooking Class. It was fun and we got to eat our own cooking. We even had leftovers to takehome.

Photo Gallery for Thai Cooking Classand Market Trip

Photos taken with the Canon 30D by Nick

A Sign of True Espresso Love

I’ve probably pulled close to 5,000 shots of espresso at home. What happened Saturday has never happened before. After finishing my espresso, I picked up the demitasse, looked inside and saw a heart. Some people see Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich, I found a heart staring back at me from my empty espresso cup. This isn’t Coffee Tasseography, which involves reading coffee grounds, but perhaps a sign of true espresso love?

When I mentioned how much I loved Velton’s Bonsai Blend espresso, I had no idea it was a reciprocal relationship. ;)


Coffee on Moving Day – The Load Out – My introduction to Velton’s Bonsai Blend Espresso.

Velton’s Coffee – Everett, Washington coffee roaster.

Coffee Mugs of Coffee Fanatics – The INeedCoffee article where I introduced my Degas espresso cup.

Woman ‘blessed by the holy toast’ – Jesus on the grilled cheese story.