Wednesday, February 24, 2016

"The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce." ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., “Over the Teacups,” 1891

Funeral service for Italy's Coffee King.
Hello and welcome to Wednesday, February 24, 2016. I do hope you are enjoying a get-your-day started cup of coffee, (Community if possible), to make everything seem right with the world. Okay. I'm not nearly as over the top about my Community as some might think. I use it as a conversation piece and it does give me something to tease others about. Like those who pay those enormous prices for that tall cup with that crazy emblem on the side of it, only to find that it's filled with colored water. Just joking. Don't write me. I didn't say I wasn't committed to my brand just maybe not as crazy as I make it seem sometimes. I did read about a fellow that took his coffee very seriously. In his case it was espresso. An Italian entrepreneur, Renato Bialetti, died last week at age 93. He was widely recognized as the coffee king of Italy. He made popular the stove top aluminum espresso makers, therefore, he was cremated and his ashes were placed in one of those appliances. I know what some of you are thinking. Maybe a huge Community Coffee canister for me. I appreciate the thought but I think it best maybe to adopt a wait and see on that one. I'll leave you with the sentiments expressed on a kitchen wall decal: "Coffeeology: Espresso Yourself ~ Better latte Than Never ~ So many blends, so little time ~ Friends don't let friends drink bad coffee ~ Take time to smell the coffee ~ Deja Brew: the feeling you've had this coffee before...." That pretty well covers it. What say you?

I do have a level of curiosity. I've noticed for a long time now this trend where younger guys wear their baseball caps backwards. I wondered why they do that. I know that's the way a baseball catcher wears his because of the protective mask he uses. They wear them either backwards or all cocked over to one side. Some see it as a peer pressure fashion trend reflecting the so called 'gansta' style. Policing authorities do see it often connected directly to real gang symbols. Just for fun I want to share what an evolutionary psychologist had to say about this practice: "First, you need to ask yourself what signals a male needs to transmit to a potential mate in order to advertise his suitability as a source of strong genetic material, more likely to survive than that of his competitor males. One answer is brute physical strength. Now, consider the baseball cap. Worn in the traditional style it offers protection against the sun and also the gaze of aggressive competitors. By turning the cap around, the male is signaling that he doesn’t need this protection: he is tough enough to face elements and the gaze of any who might threaten him. Second, inverting the cap is the gesture of non-conformity. Primates live in highly ordered social structures. Playing by the rules is considered essential. Turning the cap around shows that the male is above the rules that constrain his competitors and again signals that he has superior strength." I'm sure that assessment is laudable to some but mostly laughable to me. The surprising thing is how they could get paid to write that kind of stuff. I do remember wearing my white tee shirt sleeves rolled up and  my jeans had to have a serious starched crease in them. Why? The influence of James Dean? Or, was it my idea of being cool? Is that a similar thing? I hope not. That was a long time ago. Just for the record, I now wear red and go around saying ho ho ho on cue. But, I've never felt the urge to get down by wearing my ball cap backwards or cocked over to one side.

It's natural to mark our time here as we say farewell to those who have been a part of our lives. I read the obituary this week of a doctor who took care of my medical needs for some 25 years. He was a primary care physician way before they called it that. A general practitioner was how they classified his practice. He was a very different kind of a doctor. He was always tuned in to exactly what you were saying. If you grimaced as you talked about a pain in your shoulder he would grimace with you and say "I bet that really hurts." I remember an IBM specialist that I worked with who went to him and because of those mannerisms he thought the doctor was somewhat of a flake. I told him that my number one issue was results. Dr. Montgomery always figured out a way to take care of whatever problem I had. I told the IBM fellow, "What more would you want from a doctor?" When he retired I wrote him a letter thanking him for his wonderful care. At any rate, his obituary began like this: ".....passed away at the age of 82 after a life of exemplary effort serving his family, his profession and his community." I learned he was a Vietnam war hero, after being drafted as a doctor at age 34, and later earned a Bronze Star in his leading of a medical command. He had a large and devoted family. He was active in his Church. And, as my wife and I discussed, he was our good physician for many years. We, therefore, offer thanksgiving to our Great Physician for putting people like this good doctor in our path. May his family be comforted by his testimony and the life of service he lived before them. Have a great rest of the day and may God bless each one. Amen. ....More later.

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