Saturday, June 23, 2007


Last weekend we met Pete, Bec and Paul and walked up to the local farmers market. It's in the parking lot of a local bank, and while it's certainly not huge, it's really a nice place and you can get some good quality stuff at very reasonable prices. We went back this week and picked up some really nice tomatoes, zucchini, bacon, sausage, homemade tamales, guacamole, and coffee from Black Dog. If you know me, you know I love my coffee. The really cool thing about Black Dog, is it's roasted right here locally and if you order online and live nearby they'll deliver to you. They also have a really awesome recipe for iced coffee. For those of you that are interested I'm gonna list my fave coffee shops. Feel free to weigh in with any comments or recommendations you have. I've listed them by local ones that I can get to on a regular basis, and the better ones that I have been to on vacations, etc.

1. Daily Grind (Charles Town)
Really great coffee, atmosphere and service. I honestly can't recall having a bad cup of coffee from there. They also have free wireless, so if I get cabin fever I'll head down there and work for the afternoon. If they have it I recommend the Iced C drip (over ice of course) and they also make a great au lait.
2. Port City Java (Hagerstown) Very nice atmosphere and really good coffees. They make a really good cinnamon hazelnut latte and if you're looking for a good lunch try the butternut squash soup with one of their wraps or panini. They also make all their espresso drinks with 3 shots, for that extra kick!! And It's down the road from Mom's foot doctor, and since they offer wireless I can take her and still get a full days work in.
3. Panera (anywhere). The House Latte is one of the best drinks anywhere. They also have free wireless, which is a plus.
4. Lost Dog (Shepherdstown). Very much a throwback coffee shop. Owners are very independent and don't mind expressing their opinions. A bit of warning, be wary when taking kids, some of the posted signs are definitely for adults only. I recommend the vanilla wet dog (seltzer, espresso, cream, vanilla and an orange slice). An excellent drink.
5. Starbucks. I know, "the evil empire," "they burn their coffee," "they're putting the independents out of business." Whatever. I like the fact that I go to any Starbucks and get the same thing consistently. I recommend the upside down Cafe Con Leche. I don't like having to pay for internet access though.

1. Victrola Coffee (Seattle, WA)This was right up the street from the apartment Muffin and I rented for our honeymoon. So it brings back memories of a morning stroll to get coffee and maple bars with the most beautiful woman in the world.
2. A Moment To Remember (Luray, VA) We went to Luray for our anniversary in April and this is a really quaint coffee shop with a great dinner and breakfast menu. Muffin recommends the iced white chocolate mocha and I recommend just a straight au lait.
3. Seattle's Best
This is actually getting closer, I know they're in Borders now, but the closest ones are still 30 mins from me. I really like their 6th Avenue Bistro Blend, it's probably my fave coffee to brew at home.
4. Top Pot Doughnuts (Seattle) This is actually a doughnut shop so don't go looking for a huge variety of espresso drinks, etc. I recommend a maple bar and large coffee. The breakfast of champions!!!


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mr. Grease and Wrenches

There's a reason God gave me the ability to work with computers and steered me away from the automotive field. Hehehe, well this morning I went out to start my car and nothing, no lights, nada. Even with my limited automobile knowledge I was able to narrow it down to two things, the battery or the alternator. So after 2 calls to the autoclub to have them jumpstart it, (The first one worked fine, but some dummy (me) turned the car off before going to AutoZone to have the battery tested.) I headed off to AutoZone to see if this was a little problem (the battery) or a big one (the alternator). So I get to AutoZone and Sarah helps me. Sarah is very knowledgeable and knows her way around cars. The problem is she about as big as a twig and I'm 6'2" and have been told I resemble a biker. So picture if you will this tiny woman (with gold painted fingernails) under the hood of my car, testing the battery and telling 6'2" biker looking me what's wrong. I justed nodded and pretended I knew what she was talking about. Well it was just a dead battery. Apparently they do that after, ohhh say, 5 years :D. So I bought a new one and set to changing it in the parking lot. And oh yes, I did it, all by myself. I even have a finger that is missing some skin because I couldn't get the stupid bracket that holds the the battery in place to turn without pushing really, really, REALLY hard. So when you combine this with my alternator changing experience from last summer, I think I'm ready to open my own shop. We'll just do batteries and alternators, and I'm sure I'll make millions :D