Just like the Seinfeld episode, "Even Steven", all things seem to balance out. a couple of weeks ago, I had an incredible week, gaining 4 new accounts in 5 days. Lately, things have fizzled out.
Today (Oct. 3), I got a nice kind no from the owner of John's Diner on Detroit near the Lakewood/Rocky River border. He was straight forward, though I have been courting him for a few weeks. He like the coffee, but he has been with his regular coffee guy for over 30 years. I just couldn't present him with any reason strong enough to break this long term relationship. I could tell he was considering a switch, but loyalty held him to the status quo.
A few weeks back, I didn't even get a second glance. Fanny's on E156th St has been with their supplier for 58 FRICKIN' YEARS. Now that's loyalty.
It is amazing how many places maintain these extremely long term relationships. Doesn't leave much room for sidewalk pounders like me to find opportunity for our products.
I wonder sometimes if this loyalty comes from the true virtue of close relationship and trust or if it is totally blind out of fear of change. You know, that comfort in knowing the problems you have versus facing new and unknown problems.
I liken it to differentiation in traditional Buddhism, the Tibetan flavor, for faith. There are three types of faith:
- Blind faith- that which we follow without question or thought.
- Trusted faith- that because we trust the one who told us
- Intelligent faith- of which there are two types: Indirect Intelligent faith- where we think about it and analyse it and come up with it's reasonableness and then Direct Intelligent faith where it arises from our direct experience
Same with loyalty. Is it earned? Is it still viable? Does come from a healthy relationship or our internal fears and concerns?
Basically, is the coffee good? Do I reflect the trustworthiness of Phoenix? Does Phoenix reflect my integrity? And of course, how does these answers compare with your existing coffee supplier?
Of course, just when I REALLY need my laptop, it takes another dump. I can't find what the root cause anywhere on the web, even my blog buddy Bruce doesn't list the problem. The problem is the sudden disappearance and ne'er return of the login screen on WIN-XP SP2. I believe it is something in the registry that gets poofed, but what is the cause? I maintain full spyware and virus protection with daily updates of nastys.
I had the feeling that if I'm on a computer, I should be trying to find out whatsup with the laptop, instead of write silly little meandering of my slightly off center mind. So anyway, I rebuilt the thing finally and am back and I will post in quick succession some things I was working on before the crash.
From his book "The Art of Happiness: At Work," His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama said:
...in Buddhist studies, debate is a very important tool for progress. We have to spend many hours going through the process of presenting our standpoint, having our views challenged and addressing and responding to these challenges. By engaging opposition, a deeper understandingof one's own standpoint emerges. If you just think about your own viewpoint and you have no willingness to open yourself to opposing viewpoints, there will be no room for growth or improvement. Welcoming challenge will help tremendously to sharpen your mind. Without it, the mind will go soft.
Wow, dialogue actually strengthens the mind. So using simple deduction, the lack of dialogue around SYC, the solioquy fest that was the mayorial debates, and the difficulty in getting to see certain non-governmental organization executive directors makes you think how firm some of these people's noggins are.
Last night Mayorial candidate, David Lynch, came by the Lit. I knew Lynch when he was mayor of Euclid when I lived there early in my Cleveland settlement. I thought that he was pretty good mayor and even voted for him his second time around.
I took advantage of the sparce early crowd to ask some tough questions with specifics. He was right on. He does have an idea of what he is getting into, I may even say that he is the only candidate that actual has been a mayor (Jane slam.) He has a plans to restructure so that operating costs will be lower (he did the same in Euclid). He seems to know the whacked details of various "economic incentive" programs and knows what he would like to change. He also knows how f-ing tough it is to start a business in Cleveland with the runaround and disconnectedness of the inspection, permit, and zoning departments.
After I was satisfied with his bono fides, I started to give specific places and problems that he can address, ie Starkweather, Metro Joes, Grumpy's. I pitched the TWifi project and the big wifi vision for all of Cleveland and he seemed really interested, and not in that politician kiss-ass way to get a vote.
Coming to the Lit was a brave act considering that the Lit is a bastion of liberal Democratic fervor and Lynch is THE Republican candidate on the ticket. I know first hand how tough it can be when I let it slip out that I'm a registered Republican, though one of a more Libertarian bent, and each week I'm harrassed mercilously. Someone let Lynch know of my political leanings and he said we need to stick together here.(or some such thing, I don't remember the details, I was drinking Orange Crush again.)
Anyway I think David Lynch is a real deal and I'm not just saying that as Republican shill. I haven't decide what I'm going to do as far as my vote, but certainly there was some Elephant bonding going on.
About a month ago I recieved this email request:
I am a 56 year old 'Hippy" that spent much time in a paticular Coffee house in Cleveland in 1966-70. It had terrific musicians. Tom Rush, Blood Sweat & Tears, Linda Ronstadt, Arlo Guthrie, Odetta, Doc Watson, Rev. Gary Davis, John Hammond, on and on. I remember that the owner was my Dad's lawyer. He gave me a free pass and I hung out there. I used to take the musicians to the airport after the show in my 65 Falcon. I have so many memories, but can't remember the name of the place. Across the street was a Black bar or cafe where Otis Redding was to play the night he died. Any info would be wonderful. The coffee house had brick steps leading down to the cappacino, music and great times.
Rather interesting request. I responded thusly:
Not being a Cleve-native and being a little too young anyway, I'll see what I can find out. I seem to know a number of other Hippie-Beatniks that probably hung out there too. I'll forward them your email and put something on my blog as well. Let's see how deep is my social network really is.
I also asked her how did she find me of people to ask this question of Cleveland lore. She said I popped up when she searched on cleveland coffeehouses 1960's (I was bearly born). Cassandra also gave me a little background:
I moved to Clev. in 1966,my senior year. After that I went to Cooper School of Art on Euclid Ave. If it was artsy, 'hippy' or beatnik I was into it. Poetry Readings at Case West. When Carl Stokes was elected mayor I lived in little Italy. None of my Black friends could come visit there. Then when I moved overt near Case West. The Italian friends were afraid to visit. Then I moved to So. Euclid to a Jewish neighborhood and everybody could visit. After art school I hitchhiked and traveled with my husband who had just gotten back from Nam when we got married. At Case West. a couple of Native African Black students took a walk and ended up in Little Italy. They were shot or stabbed. This was a big deal among the coffee house circuit. Wish I remembered more about that to tell you. My favorite musician at that coffeehouse I told you about was John Hammond. I still remember his white teeshirt, motorcycle boots and harmonica. Recently he came to Greenville,SC where I live. He still was great. For what it's worth, I am a diehard Bob Dylan fan. I saw him here a couple of years ago. I am 56, but I acted like I was 18 when I saw him.
So i asked around my new neighborhood of Tremont and got a few blank stares but some of the long time residents and working artists here put their heads together. I little searching on the facts and following the leads, the pieces fell together and voila, Frank put it all together and yelled the answer to me from his bike while I was buying a sandwich at Take-A-Bite.
I have finished the research for your beloved coffeeshop. What I found out is that the Black bar across the street was Leo's Casino and was owned by Don King, the boxing promoter. Otis Redding's plane crash was AFTER he played there and hence was the last show he did. Your coffeeshop was (and is) called the Mayflower and is located at E. 79th street and Euclid Ave.
Hope this satisfies your curiosity.
Only in Cleveland, only in Tremont, and only with a unique community.
Yeah, I had a crappy day. It really wasn't that bad, just a few too many rejections for coffee and lost a Wifi job to Adelphia (bastards!) Anyway I found the cure to the crappy day, make yourself an excellent meal
I made a pesto from scratch which was tremendous and added it to fresh pasta I bought at the West Side Market and added sauted chicken breast. With a tomato salad made from the last of my former downstairs neighbor's garden and virgin (heh heh I wrote virgin) olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and fresh feta cheese, we're talking ecstasy.
Try it yourself and see.
The Superbarista posted an informational explanation on the whys and hows of taking the caffeine out of coffee. I did prompt her on it, since I have been confronted with the question very frequently the past couple of weeks, sometimes very agressively by some young twenty something, non-scientific type that vicerally reacted to anything that may be "chemical" based. Be sure to click thru the link on her post.
I figure getting the information out without a bias by a respected expert in the field who could pass for a peer of Gen Q, would probably be more effective than a middleaged divorcee who had too many espresso that afternoon.
Tonight was the first class of a course I'm co-leading at Jewel Heart called Gateway to a Spiritual Path. It is an introductory course and we only had one "newbee" come and another rather experienced practitioner. So the facilitator to student ratio was 1:1. The CMSD should have it so good.
Anyway my co-leader was freaking out that this might be a waste of time since three of us know each other so well and the the new person might get intimidated. I introduced the Open Space principle of whoever shows up are the right people and everyone relaxed a bit and allowed themselves to participate fully. So, with the topics so basic like "Why have a spiritual path?" and "What is happiness?", the discussion was very lively and authentic with contribution from everyone.
A versatile and effective tool, this Open Space stuff.
Lev posted last week, listing all the new (or not so new) coffee serving wifi hotspots to be found in University Circle. Actually it seems like they are all on CASE's campus.
I just want to know how come so few of these great places in "Cleveland's digital community" serve up Cleveland food or coffee? Starbucks? Peet's Coffee? Einstein Bagels? Seems more like a generic suburban mall with technology from Cisco and Intel of California along with IBM of New York. I guess our contribution was in the buying.
I'll wait for Lev to add these to the CleveWifiWiki.
Andy of the Lit pointed out the story by Channel 5. Apparently, we occassionally get a stinky smell in Tremont and it actually doesn't originate here. Some waste recycler named General Environmental Management seems to be at fault. But I like their president's quote from Channel 5's website.
General Environmental's president says he and his employees don't notice any odor.
Superbarista posted that she doesn't smell the coffee in the roastery anymore, but I do and I treat it as wonderful greeting each time I go in to work.
I suppose if that greeting resembled dill pickles and model glue, I would block it from my olfactory sensory perception.
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