A New Watch

I think it’s time to get and wear a watch again.  I used to wear one but with the invention of the smartphone, the smartphone becomes the watch.  In the past years, I never really needed a watch before but recently I’ve been having what could be described as “Time Anxiety.”  It’s a feeling that I’m going to miss something important because I didn’t notice the time and I feel self conscious about taking out my smartphone to especially when I’m talking to people who are at a much higher pay grade than me.

I’ve been researching watches and watch brands.  I’m going to stay away from the smart watches.  I’ve always been amazed at the Automatic/Kinetic watches where the movement of the arm powers the watch.  I also don’t want too expensive of a watch but I’m not sure what my price point is at the moment.  Ideally I’d also like a small case.  It seems like most men’s watches seem to be around 42mm case which I feel is pretty huge on the wrist.

Something like this… or this…??  Hmmm….

Little Amps Coffee Roasters

October’s Angels Cup comes from Little Amps Coffee Roasters.  It comes from Ethiopia’s Sidama region which I’ve had the privilege to taste beans from in the past.

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An aroma of berries and nuts greets me upon opening the bag.  The aroma even after grinding doesn’t stand out that much.  That being said, after making my latte, I was blown away by the taste.  The smoothness of the latte was amazing mixing flavors of berries, cocoa and floral notes.  It’s been a while since I’ve wanted a second cup immediately after the first but it was really that good.

Market Lane Coffee

I was recently gifted a bag of Market Lane Coffee coffee beans from Australia.  The bag was a Seasonal Espresso which is a blend of 90% Guatemalan and 10% Ethiopian beans.

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I’ve never a blend before.  Upon opening the bag, I was greeted with a wonderful earthy and berry aroma.  There is a faint cocoa aroma intermingling in that aroma.  Grinding the beans releases the cocoa aroma even more.  Interestingly enough, the berry aroma also becomes a much more dominant aroma than before.  I had high expectation for this blend.  But after making the latte, I was a little disappointed.

Tasting the latte, I get strong chocolate milk, blueberry and cherry flavors — exactly as it says in the bag.  I was surprised by the accuracy of the taste.  But I think because of how strong the cocoa and berry aroma was, I was expecting a much stronger/flavorful cocoa and berry taste.  What I ultimately tasted were very subdued flavors where none of the flavors overpowered any of the others.  Perhaps this was purposely done by the roaster?

Don’t get me wrong… although I was disappointed by such subdued flavors, I was happy to try beans roasted from another continent.  It could just how the Australians love their coffee.

 

2018 Equinox Squash Tournament

Over the weekend, I participated in the Equinox Irvine Squash tournament.  It’s one of the two SoCal tournaments with the other being the San Diego Squash tournament.  In the previous tournament entry, I washed out of the consolation round relatively quickly. At that time, I lost the first match putting me into the consolation, won the second match in the consolation bracket but lost the third match in the bracket.  I had played horribly as well.  My serves were not effective.  None of my rails were effective.  None of the shots were effective as well.  And having come back from a vacation, I also was not relatively fit.

This time around, I won the first match, lost the second and lost the third.  My serves were better overall, my shot selection was much better than last year and my fitness was improved but still not as good as I need to be to.  In the two matches I lost, I made too many unforced errors giving the opponent free points.  In one match and over the span of two games which I lost 11-8, 11-9, I made about 7 unforced errors.  That’s 7 free points that I just gave to the opponent.  For that match each of the games were very close and very competitive and it came down to the player who makes the least errors in all 5 games.

In another match, I made at least two critical mental lapses resulting in giving the opponent 2 free points.  As the referee told me before I left, he honestly though that I lost the game as opposed to the opponent winning the game.  Although I didn’t make as many errors in the match, I started to get tired and winded.  My form started to break down during certain points of each game affecting both the placement and execution of the shot.

The biggest take away from this weekend might be that improving my fitness should lead to fewer mistakes due to fatigue.

Alternative Aeropress filters

About a month ago, I ran out of Aeropress filters.  From the link, the traditional filters were made of paper but before I ran out, I decided that I would go back to a metal filter.  My first metal filter was from the Kickstarter S-filter campaign and that campaign also gave me the Aeropress that I’m still using today.  Although the metal S-filter was nice in minimizing trash, I didn’t like how thick it was.

After some research into the thickness of a metal filter, I had bought two filter replacements that each offered a different way of extracting espresso.

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Clearly from the picture, the top is the Able Fine Disk filter and the bottom is the Fellow Prismo.  I didn’t do perform too much of a detailed research into both products.  I knew I wanted a thin metal filter that allowed the perforated bottom to screw on tightly.  The original S-filter was too thick of a filter makes so I found that it was harder to unscrew since I had to screw it on tight to create a good seal.

From a few YouTube videos, the Prismo seemed like an interesting way to make shots as well.  One of the major issues with the normal Aeropress of making coffee was that the coffee filtering into the cup occurred almost immediately after pouring hot water.  An alternative way (which is how I make my coffee) was to invert the Aeropress with the plunger as the “bottom” and mix the hot water with the grinds. Then place the filter/perforated bottom on the top. Then flip the Aeropress into a cup and push down on the plunger to filter the grinds.  The Prismo was designed such that the inversion was unnecessary.  This allowed more flexibility in how much or how little water can be used so as to mimic a true espresso shot more closely.  Keep in mind, the Prismo should be considered an replacement for the perforated bottom/filter assembly.

Overall, I think the Able Fine Disk filter is great.  I did notice a slight difference in taste going from paper to metal on the same coffee beans.  But that’s to be expected since the paper filter tends to trap some of the extracted coffee oils. The Prismo however was somewhat of a disappointment and surprisingly a little more difficult to clean up then traditional metal or paper filters.  The grinds sit slightly offset from the cylinder because of the way the Prismo assembly is attached to the Aeropress.  Taking the filter off in order to save the grinds for composting is a little more work than a regular filter.

Netflix’s Explained

There’s this ongoing Netflix show called Explained.  The show quickly explains interesting topics that range from gender pay inequality (ep18), racial wealth gap (ep1), KPop (ep 4), marijuana (ep 12), eSports (ep 8) and even the female orgasm (ep 16)!

The latest episode is about music, it’s connection to the brain and it’s curative effects.  I do wish there was a deeper dive into some of these topics.  The gender pay inequality would have been really interesting to learn more about since some of the podcasts that I listen to already dive into this topic from an economics point of view as well as a psychologist/behavioral point of view.