Kauai Coffee Company

Not part of Angel’s Cup, I recently obtained a bit of some Hawaiian coffee from the island of Kauai.  The Kauai Coffee Company grows beans that is separate from the popular Kona region in Hawaii.

DSC00002

The aroma of strong ash, blueberry and nuts permeate the kitchen when I first open the bag.  Ash?  Ya… These coffee beans are grown on lava fields.  I think the “ashiness” is imparted into the beans to give these Hawaiian beans (including Kona) a more unique taste and aroma.  It seems like each island will have it’s own unique flavor.

When I’m making the espresso syrup, I’ve noticed that my normal two scoops of beans usually gives only 20 grams of ground coffee when normal beans tend to give me about 25 grams.  I guess the Hawaiian beans are smaller than what I normally get.

The latte exudes a strong earthy/ashy flavor as well as bits of blueberry, nutmeg and peanut flavor.  As I enjoyed the latte, I started noticing the ashy flavor evolving into a very chocolaty flavor.  The aftertaste leaves a pleasant peanut butter.  I fully enjoy this particular beans for it’s changing profile.

HK Comedian Cheuk Wan-chi on Netflix!?

This is such a great show.  On Netflix, I just finished a 2 part show that stars Cheuk Wan-Chi who is an Hong Kong comedian and media personality.

I’m very impressed with the translators who did this.  Both shows were in Cantonese but the subtitles were translated so well that the jokes and witty comments were spot on funny.   At the same time, some of the references she uses were lost on me because she’s from Hong Kong.  The crowd definitely understood so there’s a slight cultural gap.

Either way, it’s a great show.

 

 

Million Yen Women

Netflix clearly has interesting shows like House of Cards.

But have you watched Million Yen Women?  This is a Japanese 12 episode TV show.  The plot starts off with those “too good to be true” TV tropes where 5 random female protagonist rent a room from the male protagonist.  The male protagonist is a struggling author while the 5 female protagonist have various professions.  These kinds of “too good to be true” TV tropes are widely used and they usually end up as romantic comedies.  But I assure you, this show is not quite romantic nor comedic.

Admittedly, the first four episodes were pretty slow as the plot dabbled with the background of the women and man.  At episode five, the plot picks up and takes you for a ride all the way to the last episode where it has a very short denouement.  I think it ends pretty nicely despite the various unexpected plot twists.  I certainly didn’t expect three of the major plot twists to occur.

The character development is pretty significant for such short series.  The male protagonist’s character development is the highlight of the show but the development of the five female protagonist shouldn’t be discounted either.  Their interactions with each other gave a sense of realness which is a testament to the show’s great acting, writing and directing.  I certainly was attached to one of the female protagonist.  The writers gave her such a great thoughtful personality that she was extremely likable.

It’s a great show.  Spend 5 hours and watch it…

LAX Needs Makeover.

LAX is one of the most horribly designed airports I’ve ever driven through.  The map below shows a bi-level counter clockwise traffic pattern that subdivides arrivals and departures.  With three different entrance and exit points, the congestion into the airport even for drop off is horrendous.   With buses, shuttles, and cars (taxi, uber/lyft and personal) all vying to get into the appropriate terminal as quickly as possible, vehicles cut each other off, blocking traffic flow and ultimately slowing everyone down.

LAX Map

Here’s my thought about how to make LAX great again.

  1. LAX should be redesigned to minimize traffic into and out of circling loop.
  2. There should be a people moving system that transport of people.
  3. There should be one large or multiple interconnected parking structures that run along the length of the terminals.
  4. Passengers can no longer be picked up/dropped off on the curbside.  Passenger vehicles are no longer permitted to enter LAX unless they are parking.
  5. Vehicles are encouraged to park in the parking structure with a minimum fee to park.
  6. Pick ups and drops offs will now occur offsite away from traffic at separate locations.  The people moving system will link to the location.

 

Prioritizing Shuttle Buses.

Traffic into the airport should only be limited to shuttle buses like inter-terminal shuttles, parking shuttles, and hotel shuttles.  For situations like tour group pick ups/drop offs, a fee based pass seems to be appropriate.  The congestion should ease up significantly with the lack of passenger vehicles circling the airport.  By restricting passenger vehicles from entering, LAX frees the roads up to shuttle service and special high occupancy tour buses.

Passenger Pick ups and Drop offs.

The majority of the traffic going into and in LAX is caused by cars that are picking up or dropping off passengers.  By utilizing two large offsite locations (one for pick ups and one for drops off), it will be easier to handle the traffic flow since a location is dedicated to a single purpose.  A people moving system will transport passengers appropriately.  The pick up location will also require a large “waiting” area for the cars that arrive a little earlier and need to wait for the passengers.  This is similar to the “cell phone lot.”

Parking.

For the people that prefer to see their passengers off, the parking in LAX should be expanded and redesigned.  The structures should be linked with only one controlled entrance to pick up the parking slip and multiple exits for payment.  Similarly, the entrance and exits into the parking structure should be different from the entrance and exits into the offsite pick up and drop off locations and different from the ones used by the shuttle buses.

People Moving System

An interconnected people moving system is critical to make the changes work in LAX.  With the ban of passenger vehicles into LAX, it becomes critical for the system to work smoothly to transport passengers from terminals to the off site pick up / drop off locations.  Using a network of buses will initially work but ultimately an automated tram would be desirable to reduce the congestion of shuttle buses.

 

Overall each of the changes I think will serve to minimize the traffic into LAX and hopefully make the experience of going to an airport just a little more enjoyable.

Firefox 57 and Chrome 64

Lately, I’ve been extremely unhappy with both the latest iterations of Chrome and Firefox.  Chrome 64 is disabling the apps.   Firefox 57 has killed off quite a few add-ons that makes me WANT to continue to use Firefox over Chrome.  The two add-ons I valued the most were Tab Mix Plus (TMP) and Classic Theme Restorer (CTR).

First the Chrome issues…. Google’s Hangouts app no longer being supported wasn’t the biggest loss.  I would be satisfied as long as there was a decent extension that maintained a separate window so I can respond and chat with my friends.  First Chrome problem:  I started noticing that the app would sometimes start loading animation and then suddenly disappear.  In the past, Hangouts would open when I opened up Chrome or if I click on Hangouts icon on the Win10 taskbar.  Second Chrome problem: I also noticed that when after closing Chrome with the Hangouts app open and then going to reopen Chrome, Chrome seems to always remember the tabs that were open in the last session.  This was despite my default setting of “open chrome in new tab” option.  I initially thought it was an issue with the use of the app.  So I tried the Hangouts extension, but the second problem still existed.  (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻.  This second problem is more than likely a result of the Chrome task still recognized as “active” in Windows.  I don’t think there’s anything I can do about this specifically.  The first problem… is irrelevant if there’s an alternative way to use Hangouts.

Second the Firefox issues… I had resisted going to Chrome and sticking with Firefox for a number of reasons. First Firefox problem:  I didn’t like the look of the Chrome layout of tabs on top of the search bar.  I’m used to it by now but I still think it’s an ugly layout.  Thankfully there’s no menu bar to make it look uglier in Chrome.  Second Firefox problem: I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t just left click to open a new link (any link from anywhere) to a new tab.  Sometimes when browsing, I still want to finish the page I’m reading but right click + new tab is a bit annoying when I’m actively reading something.  It’s also even more cumbersome if I want to open multiple links from my bookmarks at one time or if I’m searching something on Google related to what I’m currently reading.  Third Firefox problem: There’s no menu bar in Chrome.  Yes this is more out of formatting and style since all the other applications (Word, Quicken, Explorer, Adobe, etc) have a menu bar.

With these annoying cosmetic problems in Chrome, I just never made the switch to Chrome.  Eventually I ended up with a multi-browser system where important websites were strictly relegated to certain browsers.  I found this system worked pretty well and will more than likely continue forward with this approach.  Anyways, Firefox had two very important add-ons which were were Tab Mix Plus (TMP) and Classic Theme Restorer (CTR). TMP solved problem 2.  CTR solved problems 1 and 3.  It was only because of these two add-ons I never fully committed to the switch to Chrome.

But Firefox 57 has disabled these add-ons,  (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻!!!! 

Seriously, was there really a need to “update” Firefox?  A google search shows that TMP and CTR were pretty popular add-ons.  I guess I wasn’t the only one that is currently struggling through browser angst trying to recover/partially recover the functionality of what was lost.  This is what I’ve discovered so far that kind of replaces TMP…

  • In the about config for Firefox, there’s a browser.tabs.loadbookmarksintab option that when enabled will open bookmarks in new tabs with a left click
  • In the settings, there is an option to open windows in new tab and opening a link switches to a new tab.
  • There is also this extension “Open Link with new Tab” that opens any new link in a webpage as a new tab.

They aren’t the best workaround but it’s the closest.  I hope the new TMP gets ported as an extension.  But for now, this is the new paradigm to live with.  Replacing CTR seems to be a little harder since there’s currently no add-on that does it for you.  There is a workaround (reddit) but it requires a little more work.  From what I can understand in cursory readings, I have to create a CSS file that contains specific code that dictates the look of Firefox.  The code apparently is taken from CTR’s code but there seems to be a process on getting Firefox to recognize and load this CSS file to force the design so the tab bar loads below the URL.  It’s doable but I need some time to read about it.

Bridge Coffee Company

December’s coffee comes from a California roaster called Bridge Coffee Company.  The beans are from El Salvador from a region known as Ataco, Ahuachapan.  According the Bridge Coffee website, these are “limited edition” beans directly from the grower Villa  Espana.  If that’s not impressive, the growers are family farmers who won the 2009 Cup of Excellence.

DSC03537

The beans have a blueberry nutty aroma.  Grinding the beans releases a wonderful aroma chocolate intermingling with berries.  After making the latte, that first sip gave me an incredibly smooth taste.  The creaminess of the latte was perfect from start to finish throughout the palate.  This latte was meant to be slowly enjoyed in the morning eating breakfast.