Best Brew Method

01/23/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

BFD points to this online article about coffee and brew methods.

You can read all you want about it, but it always comes down to trying it yourself. This can be difficult if you and your friends don't have all the brewers. Fortunately, Phoenix Coffee Company does and even more fortunately (is dat gooda inglish?) you can try these methods out in February, cuz Phoenix Coffee is having a Brew Matters educational course Monday Feb. 13th in the newly formed Coffee Education Center at the Phoenix Roastery!

We will brew certified Rainforest Alliance Colombian coffee (from Mesa des Los Santos in Bucaramanga) six different ways including french press, neopolitan, stove top espresso, automatic drip, and vacuum pot. (We hope you realize that it isn't even necessary to try a percolator, blech!).

The class is Monday February 13th from 6:30-8:30pm at the Phoenix Roastery, 1728 St. Clair Avenue Cleveland. The class is free and open to Phoenix employees and customer. Space is EXTREMELY limited so email or call 216-522-9744 to reserve your spot by Fri. Feb 3.

Sweet Phrases

01/22/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

Maybe its because I've been concentrating on poetry all weekend, but I have been noticing some great phrases lately and I wanted to share them. None of them are from poems I heard or read. Actually they are from blogs, economic consultants, entrepreneurs, and whoever is within earshot. yet they have a poetic lilt and a profound wisdom, if you let yourself get into it.

  • Spiritual chiropractor- Lois Annich
  • Network weaver- Valdis Krebs & June Holley
  • Weighted waiting- Myself

Have you heard or read any others? Let me know.

Who Believes?

01/20/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

I'm wiped out from all the activity this week and trying to get this %$#)* blog to look and act right. So today, I'm sitting back, relaxing, and watching all those wonderful videos on with my new found Tremonter eyes. Remember them? They were up for a Webby a few years ago and the first time I was in the Literary Cafe was to see if they won. They didn't, but that was when I first met Andy, who unsuspectedly planted the seeds that sprouted into the 2005 Literary Rookie of the Year.

Anyway, I found this little gem at where Andy expresses his support of "Believe in ..."----about 3 years ago! Good ol' PD, riding the crest of the wave again.

Burning Phoenix CD's

01/19/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

PD's Henry Gomez wrote last Tuesday about how $tarbuck$ is selling music via CD burning kiosks with fees that RIAA would approve of. Being a regular at the Superior Cafe, he thinks Phoenix should have it too and calls on me specifically to get on it.

Funny thing is that I had the idea about four years ago to have CD burners/ebook download kiosks at bookstores, malls, and where all the cool kids hang. I even spoke to Steve Potash of Overdrive about it, but he was focused on getting his company over the early entrepreneurial hump and I was sort of concentrating on medical devices and trying to focus period.

If I can only find that napkin that stuffed into my notebook, then I can get some lawyer/artgallery owner to check on some royalty rights...maybe.

Acceptance isn't Passive

01/18/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Buddhism

A personal prospective from Scott Kovatch from the pain post reminds me a concept of idiot compassion, compassion that becomes harmful. A quote of Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche (I don't remember which book. I've read so many that they blend together, but the wisdom is still valuable), again from Sujatin:

Idiot compassion is the highly conceptualized idea that you want to do good....Of course, [according to
the Mahayana teachings of Buddhism] you should do
everything for everybody; there is no selection
involved at all. But that doesn't mean to say that you
have to be gentle all the time. Your gentleness should
have heart, strength. In order that your compassion
doesn't become idiot compassion, you have to use your
intelligence. Otherwise, there could be self-indulgence
of thinking that you are creating a compassionate situation
when in fact you are feeding the other person's aggression.
If you go to a shop and the shopkeeper cheats you and you
go back and let him cheat you again, that doesn't seem to
be a very healthy thing to do for others.

~ Chogyam Trungpa

Acceptance of what is does not mean not doing anything to change it. That's :crazy:

Practical Advice on Dealing with Pain

01/17/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Buddhism

My Dear English Pure Land Minister blog buddy,Sujatin, pointed out this post on what the Buddha said about handling physical pain, complete with the associated sutra,"The Tribulations of Unreflective Living". I liked these points by the blogger,Beesucker:

It seems that when we have pain or sickness there are two feelings - the physical discomfort, and then the feeling that we wish we were not feeling bad. As a result of that we spend much of the time anguishing, impatiently grasping at a time when we will feel better. It seems that this second type of feeling is unnecessary - we can approach our physical problems with equanimity (I think that’s a better word than detachment). We can do this through a thorough understanding and acceptance of impermanence - knowing that all things are subject to change and growth and finally decay, including our body.

When I recall the times in my life when I experienced extreme pain, I remember that I knew that it would not last, and that it would probably get better. The question that I usual grunted or screamed out loud was "WHEN?"

I guess I don't have a problem with impermanance, but with patience.

Kitchen Happenings

01/16/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Cooking

You may be thinking that all I have been doing is thinking poetry, Buddhism, and futzing around with the blog style.(Actually I've updated the version to help eliminate the %$#^%&+% SPAMMERS.) Well, I have certainly been eating and eating my own creations too. I kinda stopped posting about it cuz certain fellow bloggers were teasing me about my hardnosed issue oriented content. Yet I have noticed that The Big G has posted some foodie even with pictures. Then there is Jack and his bouillabaisse.

So let's look at what's been cooking, shall we?

stir fry

I wanted to use my wok that has been gathering dust for about a decade. I used to be pretty good and this chicken and vegetable stirfry came out great. What you don't see is the kitchen fire that ensued while I was munching on the delectables and reading blogs. HINT: Do not read blogs while reseasoning your wok. The flames were spectacular and I hesitated for a moment deciding if I should snap a picture before trying to smother the fire. My landlord was thankful I chose the latter. Note to self: get renter's insurance.

plantain soup

After making the tostones, I was fascinated by plantains. I also was getting stressed out by not having a new coffee sale for a while, a large car repair bill, etc. Needless to say with my new found Tremont eating and drinking habits, I was having some stomach churning. I found this recipe called "bellyache soup" that is made from plantains. Apparently, plantains are a home remedy for stomach ailments in caribbean culture for centuries. It is basically plantain soup and was very warm and comforting during our arctic snap a while back. Stomach was calmer too.

stuffed chickenpecan crusted chicken breast stuffed with plantain and proscuito

I continued with the plantain experiments and made a stuffed chicken breast using fried plantain and proscuitto. Light frying to create a pecan crust and WOW! You can see that even with a breast blowout, they came out beautifully.

tsampa and butter tea

I blogged about the former monk that visited Jewel Heart and that got me to thinking about Tibetan food. We don't have a Tibetan restaurant in Cleveland and it's a shame, cuz their food is amazing. So I thought I'd try my hand on a couple of staples. Po Cha is butter tea. Black tea boiled for a few minutes then strained and churned with butter, whole milk, and salt. It reminds me of a miso soup with it's saltiness and with all that fat, it is a very filling and satisfying drink usually served in bowls.

The other stable is Tsampa, or roasted barley flour. I roasted some barley pearls and ground it into a fine powder.(they make good snacks whole as well). Traditionally, it is mixed with the Po Cha into a doughball, then pieces are pulled off and eaten. There is an art to finding the right ratio of flour to tea, but I think I got close.

This weekend I continued with the Tibetan theme by trying to make momos, stuffed dumplings. I actually have some experience at least in forming the dumplings because we at Jewel Heart LOVE to have momo parties. This time though I actually had to make the filling without the help of Chunden-la or the dough without Pema-la Rimpoche.

stuffing momos

It's a messy deal and I missed the joking, laughing, and comradery from the parties, but it gave me the opportunity to use the double layer steamer Maritza and I got for a wedding present.
tibetan dumplings

These are meat versions, but plan on doing some veggie ones this week to share with my downstairs neighbor Diane. I'm sure my Sangha Siblings reading this are going to expect me to make this the next pot luck. Beware of attachment you guys!

Another Continuation Day for a Great Teacher

01/15/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Buddhism

Just recieved an email that a great and dear teacher moved on to his next life today. :'( Ribur Rimpoche was one of the last of the high lamas that were fully trained in Tibet. At the age of five he was recognized by the Thirteenth Dalai Lama (Gelek Rimpoche’s uncle) as the sixth incarnation of Sera-mae Rilbur Rinpoche. He spent many terrible years in Chinese prison before finally making his way to India.


He came to teach here in Cleveland in October 2002. I remember it was my very first teaching that I was the recording sound man. I was nervous because it was my first and also it was for a very highly regarded Lama. As he finished and left the teaching throne, he stopped to shake my folded hands, thanking me for my service. It was electric and an experience that I still think about near every day.

One last anecdote from the Jewel Heart program director, Hartmut Sagolla, on the same day. After the teaching, the entourage returning to Ann Arbor, stopped at Asia Plaza to eat at the chinese restaurant there. It has this large fish tank where they keep the fish fresh until it is their turn to satisfy somebody’s hunger. Well, Ribur Rimpoche kept picking at his plate and looking at that tank. Finally he pulled out the wad of bills that we in Cleveland gave him for a teaching offering, not a small amount, and had Hartmut go to the owner and buy up ALL the fish in the tank. He then had the group drive down to the river and release them into the water.

That is a lesson of compassion and truly feeling the interdependence of all sentient things. Be well in your Pure Land, Rimpoche and thanks for being here for as long as you were.

So How was it?

01/13/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

It being the Steven B. Smith Poetry Salute. The answer..
F-n great. Lots of folk, not usually patrons of the Lit, came. The readings were extremely well done and it looked like the Agent of Chaos was enjoying it all. We had a nice mix of up and coming poets, recently discovering Smith and some old hats that remember parts of Smith's life that Smith doesn't recall. The couple of no-show readers sent nice apologies to Smith and so the love continues for the raspy voiced pied piper of Tremont's bohemian class.

We were able to put in plugs for the new issue of The City, Kathy Ireland Smiths 'zine, and Jim Lang was selling copies of the book, language'smyths, by Lang and Smith for the benefit of W.25th Bookstore. (Email Lang if you want one). We also pimped the next Poetry night nee "Nick's Poetry Nite at the Lit" Thurs February 9 with featured readers Alex Malina and Eric Alleman.

Go to the Lit blogand Organic/Mechanic's flickr page to see some of the visual record.

I'm tired now, but a good tired. Tremont loves Steve (Smith not me).

Saluting a Cleveland Poetry Legend

01/11/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi

You know him, you've heard him read, you've seen his art, you wonder about him. He's photographed you, he's writen about you, he's published you. He is the Agent of Chaos, the Church of not so much Pain and Suffering's Irreverend Steven B. Smith.

The Literary Cafe in Tremont (1031 Literary Road) is proud to have as its theme for this month's Poetry Night, A Salute to Steven B. Smith.

Starting at 9:00pm tomorrow Thursday January 12, we will be reading only Smith's work from the past 3 decades or so. Scheduled or at least arm wrestled into reading is a mix of peers and new admirers including: Kathy Ireland Smith, Jim Lang, RA Washington, Deb~, Alex Molina, Everyman, Kate Sopko, Nick Traenkner, Steve Goldberg, Adam Harvey, and Kenn Lewis.

After all the shouting is over and if there is still a roof on the house and the cops don't raid us for obscenity (again?), we will have an open mike with discussion and spontaneous creativity.

See you tomorrow at 9:00pm.

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