coffee

365 Challenge: Day 333 – Bulbs

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Bulbs: a rounded underground storage organ present in some plants, notably those of the lily family, consisting of a short stem surrounded by fleshy scale leaves or leaf bases and lying dormant over winter

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Today is February 13th. It is still the middle of winter. But for some reason, about 3 weeks ago, I noticed many of the bulbs in all the flower boxes on the terrace were starting to poke through the top layer of dirt. We had a few warm days in the 50s, which might account for it, but suddenly in the last week when it’s been in the 20s, those little suckers forced their way through the dirt at least an inch! It’s too early. Go back to sleep! It made me wonder why I had a hard time digging in the dirt while it’s frozen, yet a weak little bulb could push its way through. Maybe I’m the weak little bulb in this relationship???

So… what’s a non-gardener gardener supposed to do? Buy some dirt and cover them up! Yes, that was the solution. Someone (it wasn’t me) purchased 3 bags of dirt from Amazon. Is that weird? I feel like anyone reading this post could be puzzled over that statement… I live in NYC. If you go to a garden store… roughly ten blocks away… it’ll cost like $10 for a tiny bag of dirt. Then you have to get a taxi and carry it home, or pay a delivery charge. So… Amazon it is… anyway… there I am yesterday at 5:30 PM when the sun has gone down trying to fill planters with bags of dirt. Why didn’t I do this earlier in the light? Because I forgot and was busy editing. I remembered when I stopped writing and went to shower as it was that kinda day. I also realized the one thing W asked me to do that day was fix the ‘bulb problem.’ Some people are so needy!

Why do things grow faster than they are supposed to? What is Mother Nature’s problem this year? It’s not time for the bulbs to come out hiding. I need a few more weeks as it’s @#@#$ cold out there, which I do love in terms of a temperature for me, but not the bulbs. The plants are just unable to tolerate it — I guess maybe I am not the weaker one!  Ha! I win this little game… So by way of this post, and directed at the bulbs:

‘Please stop growing for a few weeks. Don’t you dare poke your green little buds outta the dirt or I’ll be forced to throw blankets over you and I’m just too busy for that.’

Okay. That’s all for today. I’ve got a book to finish. Maybe I’ve had to much coffee today.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Watching Glass Shatter: Blog Tour Day 14 – Alex @ coffeeloving bookholic with an EXCITING POLL

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Today is Day 14 on the WGS Blog Tour and Alex @ coffeeloving bookoholic is our host. Her post is amazing and hopefully everyone jumps over to check out more on her blog as there is always something great to read, especially Wednesdays, but the whole site is definitely worth it for book lovers. Click the link below now.

SPECIAL POLL:  I am beyond excited at the poll we’ve created to let all the Watching Glass Shatter readers select the potential actors or actresses to play the Glass family in a TV Series or Film version of the book. No, it hasn’t been optioned yet, but with enough marketing, love and support… maybe some day! Alex and I both have our faves to win the poll, but we’re sure everyone has a different take on the Glass family. Go have some fun at the post below!!!

via blog tour: “watching glass shatter” by james j. cudney // review & exciting poll

365 Challenge: Day 199 – Store

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Store: an amazing book store in Asheville I wanted to live in

store

Today’s post is a short one as we’ve been driving around a lot and haven’t stopped to take many pictures. We are leaving Asheville later this afternoon after a final stop in an amazing bookstore called the Battery Park Book Exchange, where they have tons of older books (and newer ones). They also serve champagne, pastries and coffee, as well as have a full bar and about 30 sitting areas over three different stories in a winding maze pattern. Amazing! My friend Kiersten (good blog to follow!!!) suggested another one, Malaprop’s, which I hope to catch before we leave. Definitely worth visiting Asheville… my favorite of all the towns in North Carolina so far. We had lunch at Tupelo Honey Cafe, where the biscuits were perfection and walked around the town for a few hours. Oh, it’ll be sad to leave. But I have all the pics of Biltmore to get me to come back soon. Off to finish out the day… back tomorrow!

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About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 186 – Coffee

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Coffee: a drink made from the roasted and ground bean-like seeds of a tropical shrub, served hot or iced

coffee

Since we leave on our North Carolina road trip very shortly, my focus the next few days is planning the final itinerary, closing up edits on the novel and packing. I also need to start shortening my posts since I only plan to post a picture, select the word that comes to mind and riff about it for a few hundred words. Oh, there’s a good word for tomorrow: riff.  And ultimately, we all need a vacation sometimes, don’t judge me!  But today is all about the coffee. I was overly tired this morning and stared at the coffee pot as it dripped, waiting for the luscious flavor to wake me up. I wondered how others feel about coffee…

Many of my online friends are clearly tea drinkers, so I will perhaps focus on tea as the 365 Daily Challenge word in the future. As for coffee, my earliest memory of it was going out to the diner with my grandparents when I was about 8 or 9, asking for my own cup. I was not allowed to drink it at that age, often told it would stunt my growth. I vividly recall coming back from the doctor one day after he told me I’d probably grow to about 5’11. I continued to beg for coffee (maybe that’s where Ryder gets his begging from…), which eventually led to a small compromise. My grandfather would pour the creamer from those tiny little cups into his coffee, then pour coffee into the creamer cup for me. It was smaller than a shot glass, but I felt so special that I was able to drink coffee with the adults. I all honesty, I’ve been an adult even when I was a child. I skipped over childhood for some reason — I think I just liked socializing around my older family members rather than cousins or even friends sometimes. I was am weird. We’ve all got problems, right?

Anyway, the doctor was wrong. I topped out at 5’7 which has always bothered me. I wanted to be 5’10 or 5’11. I blame the coffee. What else could it be? Silly genetics? No one else in my family was tall. Ah, coffee, I’m easily distracted again today. My mom drank Folgers so I drink Folgers, but I’m open to almost anything. She yells at me now when I buy a canister in my grocery store which usually retails for about $6.50. I’m too lazy to check the size, but you probably know it — typical canister of coffee. OK, fine, I went to check: 11.3 ounces or 320 grams. You can’t call me lazy anymore. She now buys it for me on Long Island and delivers a few bags when she visits on Sundays. I think she gets it on sale for around $2.99. How awful is that price difference? Better yet, it’s probably even less in other parts of the country. There’s a whole different post one day… how can prices vary that much??? Yikes, I am all over the place today. Go ahead and laugh.

W likes Community Coffee from Louisiana, so we occasionally buy a few bags and have them shipped. His stepmother once sent us a huge bag, and it was really good. I had tried it when I was down there, but you can never tell from one cup, plus my memory is bad with those types of things — unless we talk about it, I forget it. I have too much to remember about characters and plots to even try to hold on to the mundane things like which coffee I like, how to put my socks on, you need to put the key in the door before you turn the knob… We even ground our own beans from that bag, which is definitely a fun thing to do. Thank you Joni if you are reading this!!!

I’m a 3 to 4 cup kinda guy each morning. I use a fat free hazelnut or french vanilla creamer, which means I don’t need to use any sugar either. Sometimes I’ll have another cup in the afternoon if I need a pick me up. Rarely at night. Not sure how/why I’d drink coffee after dinner, seems like it would wake you up more than increase your metabolism so your dinner is processed for sleeping. Eh, what do I know? Anyone have a good reason for nighttime coffee? Better question… anyone know how coffee was invented? It didn’t just suddenly show up in a cup on some office worker’s desk one day. I think I have some research to do while I’m on the plane. Unless we can all agree coffee was just materialized into a cup one day by someone brilliant named Mr. Coffee and leave it at that. If there can be a Mr. Burpee, there can be a Mr. Coffee.

The point today of this post… how does everyone else like their coffee? I’m pretty open-minded when it comes to drinking this beverage of choice. I can’t handle it straight black, just a little too bitter for me. I’ve slowly been able to stop adding a teaspoon of sugar and just include milk or creamer. Beyond that, anything’s fair game. I’m not a coffee snob, but I do appreciate those who are. I find it respectable! Tell me more as I want to try a few new things. When do you drink it? Hot or cold? How many cups? What brands? What roasts? What do you put in it? Grind or no grind? What coffee shops do you love or hate? Do you go for all the fancy stuff or just plain dark coffee? Looking forward to all your responses! Thanks in advance.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Review: Brew or Die: A Java Jive Mystery

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Brew or Die: A Java Jive MysteryMy rating: 3 of 5 stars to Caroline Fardig‘s Brew or Die: A Java Jive Mystery, the fourth book in her “Java Jive” mystery series. When I first began reading this book, it reminded me of either Sue Grafton‘s “Kinsey Millhone Alphabet” series or Janet Evanovich‘s “Stephanie Plum” series, given they are about independent PIs or bail bonds women… and then when this book covered running a coffee shot, I thought of all the food related cozies. By the end, I struggled a little bit as it didn’t quite fit into either type of series, but grew on me more as I went along. That said…

Cause I wasn’t quite sure I had enough to be able to keep up with some of the character’s perkiness! Truth be told, I think I may have been a victim of that disease we all suffer from occasionally “OuttaOrderRead.” I rarely contract it, but on occasion, I’m weak, and it happens. It did because NetGalley offered it as an easy request, and I am new to NetGalley, and I had to increase my %… so I caused it all myself. When I went back to read the summaries of Books 1 thru 3, I thought… “oh, these sound good.” End result: Read this series in order, I suspect it may be better than I am thinking.


Story

Juliet and Pete are best friends and they run a coffee cafe in Nashville. They are probably in love but keep dating other people. Pete’s previous girlfriend was killed and he’s now dating someone who was impacted by her murder (happened in last book, not sure). Juliet was dating a detective who worked on the last murder case, but he left her (unknown reasons again) and she’s now dating another cop (who seems a bit boring). Juliet’s also just gotten her PI license and is working for Maya on “lighter” cases to get her situated in the biz. Two plots in this book (all for the price of one):

1. Shane works for Pete. His girlfriend was just found dead of an overdose at her desk at work, where she was a party planner for a well-known paparazzi family. He begs Juliet to prove she was murdered, and Pete wants to help. As she investigates, Juliet realizes that Shane’s girlfriend, Josie, had a bit of an unknown past; however, she also was caught up in a bizarre land of parties where the hosts bring in Hollywood-type entertainment, drugs and lots of booze. Juliet and Pete get close to Josie’s colleagues, quickly learning everyone stabbed each other in the back. But which one was after Josie?

2. Juliet gets her first PI case from Maya: to help Gentry figure out what his partner is doing in their shared warehouse business, as suddenly there is an influx of cash and a lot of confusing deliveries. Juliet goes undercover with Maya as the cleaning staff and infiltrates the organization from the inside out. When Maya has to visit her sister who just had a baby, she asks Ryder, the detective who hurt Juliet in the last book, to help watch over Juliet. Ryder and Juliet are forced to spend time together, re-living their old relationship and sparks fly again, despite that Juliet’s now with the new boring cop. When Juliet realizes it is drugs being smuggled in the warehouse organization, and finds her new boss at the warehouse dead from some weird powder, her two cases collide.

How do drugs cross both cases? Who is the supplier and who is really buying them? Which new friends should she trust? You gotta read to figure that out! 🙂


Strengths

The setting for this series works. You’ve got a good way Juliet can connect with her clients and cases, given she works at a PI firm, is a musician, runs a coffee shop and has a close relationship with the local police.

Juliet’s a cool character. She’s funny, has some substance, a good head on her shoulders and has an analytical mind. Pete’s a nice guy, too, and I’m curious if something will ever occur between them.

The plot of both primary mysteries was interesting and held my attention. It was mid-level complexity, which meant I had to work a little to think about who could be the culprits; however, it was an easy read that didn’t require me to stop and think well into overtime about all the options.


Suggestions

While I like the approach of having two big mysteries, it brought in such a large cast of characters, it was hard to keep track of who was important. Each story line had 12 to 15 suspects or supporting characters, plus the various romances going on… at some point, there were 40 people to keep track of and when the stories collided, I was a little frustrated. If the series sticks with 2 primary cases in each book, the suspect list needs to be a little smaller in each one.

Parts were a little too perky and too romance-driven. Parts were just silly. It was like eating too much candy at some point.


Final Thoughts

If you want to try this series, start with Book 1 — even tho I haven’t read it yet. It’ll make more sense from the beginning, and then you can decide if you like the characters to stick with it. The more I read it, the better it got (going from 2.5 to a 3ish rating). I put it down 2 or 3 times the first few days and barely squeaked out 50% over those few days (rare, but slow for me). But then the last night, I buckled down and finished the last 50% in one sitting… I mean bedding. I was laying in bed. Do you call that bedding? Eh… I think I’m done here.

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