Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I am a total freak of nature. Total outcast.

I HATE coffee.

My wife loves, loves, loves it. I wish I had a dollar for every dollar she spends at Starbucks. She's forever decrying the injustice of not having a Starbucks within rock throwing distance. Of course I hope (in vain I'm sure) that they never find land near our home. My daughters love it as well, especially if someone else is paying for it at Starbucks.

So what the heck is wrong with me?

I hate coffee flavored candy or anything at all that contains coffee flavor in any way. The other day my wife was eating some chocolate covered coffee beans. The smell of that was way too intense for me. Yuck!

But, in general, I love the smell of coffee brewing. If it only tasted as good as it smells…sigh.

In 1981, I landed what I consider to be my first 'real' job. With Delta Airlines in Monroe, LA. (Side note: Did you know Delta Airlines was started/founded in Monroe, LA in the late 1920's? True dat, yo. They were originally a crop dusting company that branched out into commercial air line service.) I only had the job 4 months and got laid off because of the air traffic controllers strike. Oh well. I worked for them again years later, but that's another story.

Ok, so I was 18, shy, and the most naive 18 year old man in the U.S. at the time (I won Mr. Naïve America that year). I mean, very little life experience. And, being the new guy, of course I was assigned to work Saturday mornings. Early Saturday morning. I had to be there at the butt-crack of dawn to unlock, sweep, check oil in and gas up equipment, etc. Then the old timers came in an hour or so later and cranked up the coffee maker.

I walked through the break area a short time later and stopped and said "What is that smell? That smells GOOD!" The old timers all look at one another with half-open eyes, narrowed a bit more in cynicism brought on by my question, through the clouds of morning cigarette smoke, and one guy, Ben, says in total sarcasm "Uh, John? What you smell is a thing we like to call coffee, you dumb $%#&er." Then they all chuckled hoarsely (morning isn't pretty in any way when you're a smoker).

I replied "THAT'S not coffee! My mother and father are the queen and king of all coffee drinkers. I've been around coffee being made all of my life, and I do not BELIEVE that that smell is coffee. Besides, look! What you're drinking is brown and semi-clear. Brewed coffee is black and you cannot see into it at all."

Ben then asked "What kind of coffee do your parents drink?" I said "Community dark roast." "No $%#&ing wonder" he replied. "That $%#& is so strong it'll put hair on your knuckles. Pause. You got that equipment fueled and ready to go?" Which was my cue to get out and leave them alone and for them to make sure there was no danger that any of them would have to get out and do any scut work like that themselves, because, hey, that's what the new guy (me) was for.

So, I left them to get their nicotine and caffeine fix. But I was little older and a little wiser.

I learned something that day. The 'coffee' that my parents drank was the darkest roast they could find and then they made it extra strong on top of that. I just always thought that was what coffee was like. It was all I had experienced up to that time. Like smokers, most hard core coffee drinkers start real young. I just couldn't abide that ultra-strong, bitter swill that my parents drank so I never learned to like coffee.

I still don't. But I'm a dying breed.

I like ______ better than ______. I don't care what anyone thinks.
I like hamburger better than steak. (That rumble you hear is my father turning over in his grave, steak was a holy calling for him) I've only had two, countem two, good steaks in my life. One was at a Steak and Ale in Bedford, TX in around 1987. And the other was at an Outback Steak House in West Monroe, LA, the day I received my B.S. in Electrical Engineering. During every other, and I mean EVERY other steak I've ever eaten, I've said to myself that I would rather have a grilled hamburger or something. Suffice it to say, not much steak gets eaten at my house. I don't know how to select it OR how to cook it correctly.

There now the world knows I'm a double freak.

And Another Thing
Since my overall theme for today is basically outing myself as a total freak of nature…

Today, I'm listening to Norman Brown. He is, in my opinion, one of the best guitarists alive and producing work these days. I have all of his CDs and have been listening to them at work today. My favorite album by him is 'After The Storm'. Check out some sound clips here at Amazon.

Here's the thing though. His music is smooth jazz. My favorite types of music are 1. Heavy Metal, and 2. Smooth Jazz.

Ok, triple-freak. At least.

Ya Freakazoid!

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