Books, History, Food, Politics, and Life

Books, History, Food, Politics, and Life
Things through a different light...

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Coffee Review : Deathwish Coffee's Valhalla Odinforce Blend

I enjoy a dark cup of coffee on a daily basis.  I do flavor it with a bit of cream and some sugar and I know to some that is sheer blasphemy, but my kitchen, deal!

Today I tried Deathwish Coffee's Valhalla Java Odinforce.

who would NOT try this coffee?

When I opened the package, I did get a hint of chocolate so I was worried it would be flavored, but it was not...just a nice, smooth and dark coffee that tasted pretty lovely with a little dollop of cream and a sugar cube (at least I go light on the extras). I feared it would be overly dark, but it was was perfect and I really liked it.  It was a bit pricey, so I will not get it every time, but it is great for a coffee treat.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Random Acts Controversy?

I recently read a news article about an incident where a Starbucks in Florida had a line of people...over 300 I think who kept paying it forward...essentially, buying the next person in line their drink and thought, wow...that was nice.  I've had it happen to me once at the coffee shop, the person in front of me... for no reason other than being nice, paid my tab and it was pretty cool.
So... the controversy came from a blogger guy (who has a reputation in the town) read about this as it was still going in his car, drove the the starbucks, and intentionally stopped the line because he felt it was wrong or stupid or something...
He even insinuated that Starbucks had started it as an advertising ploy or something like that... really odd to me.
He got all hot and bothered because the barista at the window...was telling the customers that the person before them had purchased their drink and asked if they wanted to continue the gesture....obviously "pressuring" the person to do so or I don't know...suffer the wrath of the Starbucks employee??? Who knows?  Sounds like a kind of dickish thing to do if you ask me but...anyway...
People got involved in some overwhelming unnecessary internet debate over the dumbness of random acts and how it doesnt really help anyone and its some first world way of making someone feel  noble.  My problem with this is... no one is trying to save the world by purchasing the customer next in line a cup of coffee, they are just being nice.
What is wrong with simply just being nice?
Why do we have to make it an issue?

I am on a sub-reddit where the entire object is to randomly buy someone something from their Amazon wishlist...for no reason, other than sometimes its really cool to get a little something for yourself.  I've never gifted anything expensive...usually its 5 dollars or less, but it does feel good and it makes someone else's day a bit brighter.  

I wonder why the internet has to make everything an issue... I wonder why the internet just makes people feel they NEED to hit that respond button of they even have an inkling of an opinion different than the one they are reading.

I really have had to stop talking on most social media because of this....people are disrespectful, nasty, rude, and refuse to even acknowledge someone else's views or understanding of something might have validity. 
half the time I see false facebook memes or horribly incorrect information and just shake my head now because in the world of social media scrutiny, the facts have no bearing if those facts interfere with how someone thinks...even a free cup of coffee from a stranger is wrong if it interferes with someone else's worldview. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lazy Weekend

I want it to be fall... I really do.  When Adam and I went shopping for our "day out" to celebrate our annivery... I picked our orange roses and all I want is fall to get here... just a few degrees cooler...a nice breeze... turning leaves.
I do not even really get hot, but it is like 100 degrees outside.

To move along fall... I planted my fall flowers at the post.

alternated with red and yellow mums and some marigolds in the center

I would go buy a Pumpkin Spice Latte if I thought it would help....

Please cooler weather, wind breakers...breezes... revisit this place before I melt.  I know my title for the blog today is lazy weekend...but I have a lot to do, I just feel lazy and sluggish and tired. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Tea Party

My love affair with all things British (apart from their politics in Ireland lol) enabled me to host a small gathering of ladies for a tea party. We had a lovely time and unfortunately...we had such a good time, I was unable to take any photos...I forgot LOL. 

Though...I did get a "before" photo...

before the food was laid out, my small table decor

The Menu consisted of:
(all freshly made)

Tea Sandwiches-
-herbed goat cheese and turkey
-cucumber with dill and cream cheese

Buttermilk Scones-
-Fresh Lemon Curd
-Clotted Cream

-traditional scottish
(Both made by a friend who attended)

Vegetables and dip

Macaroons... with chocolate yummm!

We had two types of tea
-English Breakfast
-English Afternoon

and it was amazing.  I loved having friends over and everything turned out perfectly.
(Lemon curd is a pain)

I am planning another, probably close to Christmas with a breakfast theme  :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


And when people ask me why I want to leave and move away so badly... mark the night I had to call the police because our insane neighbors got into a screaming match in the front yard in the middle of the night...throwing each other's belongings from the house and threatening to kill each other....

I hate this place. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Few Things...

We visited Charlotte, North Carolina this week for the Liverpool vs. A.C. Milan game.  Charlotte has a lovely and artistically diverse downtown that I really enjoyed. Their modern art museum looked really awesome and they had a variety of uniquely decorated public park areas for people to enjoy. Because the day was overcast and uncharacteristically cool for the Summer, it was a nice day to spend walking around before the game.  

One of the Random outdoor Art scenes in Charlotte

On top of lovely scenery we also enjoyed some pretty tasty food.  First, we had lunch at an Irish pub called The Ri Ra. The place was overwhelmingly packed to the walls with hundreds of Liverpool fans watching other football matches before the game (we even had some authentic Liverpoolians {is that even a word lol} try to bond with us in a drunken happy stupor).  I of course had Guinness and shepherd's pie...because yea...

this stuff was fantastic

The match was equally amazing.... I've not had so much fun in a long time and I have really grown to love the sport because of its rich history and tradition... I adore it. 

Me about an hour and a half before the game...yea we got there early, the game had 69,300 in attendance
All in all, after a 2 - 0 win, we had an amazing time and really enjoyed ourselves.

Friday, August 1, 2014


The First World War, while so world changing and so devastating for millions of people...often plays a backseat for those who enjoy studying war. I've held a fascination with the Great War since childhood, when I checked out a book from the Rocky Creek Public Library (no longer open) about the war on a trip there with my grandmother (a veteran of the second world war). I found the idea of tanks and calvary as crazy...the clash of technology and lack there of, the trenches, the use of chemical weapons....the sheer numbers of the dead.

One of the first books I read on the war was Barbara Tuchman's Guns of August, a book that covers the lead up to the war....its an amazing book, Ive read it more than once.  If you are interested about the roots of a war that would have an effect on the world decades after its this book.

The Guns of August

On top of my obsession with the war and what happened.... I have an entire shelf dedicated to the war at my house...

My WWI books!!!
Although I love all of these books... I have a favorite...
Over the years I have developed a side love of the WWI poets like Brooks and Sassoon....  I have a collection of their poems as an ebook BUT...
I also have this...

my awesome book from Dublin, Ireland
We went into a tiny bookshop in Dublin, Ireland and I found this gem on the shelf AND it was affordable (many of the books in the shop were not...the place has been on famous travel shows like Anthony Bourdain's)...  The book was printed in London and its old and tattered...but I love Rupert Brooke's poetry so it was awesome to get it.  
I found out today that the journals of Sassoon are on the web for free now here... if you want to read what life in the trenches treated those unfortunate souls placed in them... read it. Ernst Junger's Storm of Steel or about the way the war affected the civilians... read Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth

OK done.  :D