thinking about the world differently . . .
August 27th, 2017

Not my usual material, but … why not?

I have a Bodum Brazil French Coffee Press. It is probably the most inexpensive model sold for 11 to $18 at Target or Ebay. My model has a black handle and body – like so:

Makes good-to-my-taste coffee!

The device has an annoying feature: It collects gunk. What I mean is coffee residue and hard water deposit. There are specifically two spots where the stuff collects, and the design of this device is truly problematic, unless you know the following trick!

But, first things first.

The beaker sits inside a plastic “cup”-like bottom and it fits awfully snugly. The handle, made from the same stiff plastic material, has a part that fits over the rim of the beaker rim into the beaker to provide a secure hold. Here is an enlarged detail of that part. you can see the shadow of the handle part as it sits over the lip.

Now coffee residue collects between this part and the glass – on the inside. It is very difficult to clean without contortions and using some weird brushes etc. But I dunno, I have an aversion to old coffee residue, especially several generations old!

The area collecting the residue of hard water is on the edge of the “cup”-like portion of the handle. Also, on the bottom of the cup, there is more hard water residue collection opportunity!

Clean up is not that simple as direct access to the surfaces is extremely difficult, and in the case of the “cup”, impossible. On first gander, it looks like one could bend the handle upward and slip it over the lip of the beaker. But the plastic material is pretty rigid and probably get more rigid with age, and that means the handle can break.

The solution, it seems is to twist the beaker 180 degrees until the spout is located under handle. Now it is easier to bend the handle outward, and then twist out the beaker from the “cup” to allow cleaning of all the surfaces.

One tip can help: pour hot water on the “cup” to help in loosening the plastic before you twist the beaker.

To remove the coffee and hard water residues, use plain white vinegar. Pour some on a sponge and use it to soak the residues. let the vinegar do the work, even refresh the vinegar and resoak. It works better than scrubbing and possibly scratching the glass.

Before you put it back together, dry all the surfaces, and to ease the twisting of the beaker in the “cup” i used a tiny-tiny amount of coconut oil on the “cup”‘s inside. I had coconut oil s I used it. I do not think it makes a different what you use. Use really a tiny amount. This also helps create a barrier against water just sitting in that corner and creating the residue.

Now carefully place the beaker into the “cup” so the spout faces the handle. Slip the end of the handle over the spout, and then carefully press the beaker evenly into the “cup”. When that is done, grasp the beaker and twist it 180 degrees so the spout is opposite the handle.

Surgery – and cleanup – DONE!

July 14th, 2017


Sometimes, Hope and Reality part ways. But it is lovely to see them walk the road together…

March 15th, 2016

Ok, so how do you read this?

The Dilbert comics give me a daily chuckle, sometimes a giggle, and an occasional wild laughter.

On March 14, 2016 the comic strip had this perfect gem – entirely wild-laughter-worthy! I hope you get a wild laughter bout too…


March 8th, 2016

It all depends on the meaning of “great”…

Nosequitur comics for today is fantastic!

So what does "great" mean?

So what does “great” mean?

The sugar industry is not far behind in the endocrinologist’s office who is trying to figure out how to save you from early death from diabetes or depression…

January 5th, 2016

On the nature of Spirituality

Earlier today (29 December 2015) I heard a lovely soundbite. I am not quite sure who said it, but when I find out, I’ll update here…

Spirituality is how I behave when no one is looking

I find this to very insightful. Even if you are feeling completely comfortable to behave as you are when alone or around others, there is always a small change in behavior when others are around, perhaps just the mere interaction with other folks. What I get from this is that when all is peeled back, how we relate to ourselves and the world and reality is simply that which we call spirituality.

Ideally, there should be no difference between the two modes of bahvior. But that is ideally, not necessarily really. Recognizing that there is a distance between the modes, it may be a great first step in a wonderful growth endeavor to close the gap.

I decided to delay publishing this until 5 January 2016, my father’s 100th birthday, had he been alive.

December 27th, 2015

Am I too late? Good discovery

Last night I read an interesting article about Javascript in Wired magazine online (

It was an eye opener for me. In the last few months, the speed of my browsing on the smartphone and laptop has deteriorated, along with the life of the batteries. The clear culprit was additional ads with various bells an whistles all trying to attract my attention to the wares they advertise (99.9% of which I am totally and utterly uninterested in!). The ads are mostly powered by javascript and serve up as many ads as possible.

Javascript, in case you don’t know, is a programming language that is used primarily to direct browsers to perform various tasks. The language is quite sophisticated sophisticated and along with powerful browsers, it can do a lot!

Most browsers now run javascript by default. But most browsers also allow you to turn javascript off, so the scripts (programs) which are downloaded with the webpage content (text and images) may be sent to your browser, but your browser will not run these scripts and will not do their bidding.

Some sites will become useless. For example Youtube absolutely requires javascript to play the videos, as does Vimeo, Netflix etc. But many many sites will live just fine. Added bonus: almost no ads! In specific cases, you csn turn it on, or even let your browser know that for certain sites you allow javascript to run.

So turn OFF javascript.

Your browsing will be faster, less polluted with ad garbage, and quite possibly more secure because some ads can and will bring along viruses and other pests onto tour devices.

I may be late in discovering this. I knew the connection between ads and javascript for a long time, but the ads did not bother me much. Now they do.

Now javascript is turned off.



October 2nd, 2015

The danger of a single story – Storyteller Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The human spirit is incredibly complex and rich. Telling its “definitive”, single story flattens and jails the story – and the spirit, by extension – into a straitjacket impoverishing its richness and beauty.

Worse than that, it robs the teller, leaving him or her with incomplete and partial information, blind to most of the richness and beauty, and ultimately leaving the teller much worse off than had no story been told.

Chimamanda Adichie makes this exquisite argument convincingly and brilliantly in this TED Talk in Houston, in October 7, 2009.

The Danger of a Single Story

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

March 12th, 2014

Good prayer

Prayer: Let Compassion become fashionable.

Two who are compassionate

Two who are compassionate

March 5th, 2014

Minimum Wages – Doom and Gloom or Less to Take for the 1%ers

The USA is waging a maximum minimum wage debate (God, save me from such puns!)

The alignments in this debate are predictable: Liberal and progressive voices look for the common good and love the fact that almost 1 million people in the US will be lifted OUT of the ranks of poverty.

On the other side, Conservatives and TeaPartiers feel minimum wage is not a good idea. The conservative line is that the economy will tank, businesses will go bankrupt, close and economic catastrophe will befall “the mightiest Nation on earth!” Or some such dramatization.

There are the Extemities too! They are devoid (apparently) from humanity and feels everyone should be responsible for themselves and if they can’t (illness, mental deficiency, poverty) well, then too bad for them, obviously God punishes them for something.

Bloomberg, Capitalism’s outspoken bastion has a view about minimum wage – see here.

Do we need to have ALL the economists of the world unanimously agree that it is a good thing for people, economy, and well-being of humanity? Or can we just allow the majority and preponderance of evidence show us the way? Let’s break from the way conservatives reject climate change and global warming evidence.


February 23rd, 2014


On February 20, 2014 Mother Nature demonstrated to Minnesotans who’s the boss! The storm was quite strong and lots of snow came down, fast!

But the inherent beauty still came out, feats your eyes on it…



February 17th, 2014


Here is a nice visualization of how frequently something happens. Usually, we deal with frequencies of one or two events, maybe three. We compare them usually and it is easy to grasp: While each mile I run takes me 10 minutes (probably even longer), you run the same mile in 5 minutes. A chicken lays an egg once a day. The clock ticks once each second.

But it is rare for us to compare – or even deal with – more than that.

But here is a lovely visualization comparing the frequency of 55 events all at once!

The page you see is made of 55 animated GIF images which blink at a frequency that I assume – bu did NOT check out – ofsome event happening. The events range from “China builds a car” to “Someone’s pet cat kills a mockingbird” to “Someone in Denver orders a pizza” to my favorite “A member of the UK Parliament flushes a toilet” 🙂


October 15th, 2013

A tip from Google

Google is your best friend… Well, it used to be when Google was a corporation bent on “do no evil”. That changed and Google is no longer among the Righteous.

But you know that Google has various interesting and useful shortcuts, to use, even for smartphones, as long as you can get to the Google Search bar.

The latest is this: Enter “tip for 20” and you get a screen that calculates a tip for the amount of $20. You can increase/decrease the percentage, and also increases/decrease the number of folks who split the bill. then it provides the amount of the tip per person, and the total amount each person has to pay in.

How about it?tipsongoogle

August 28th, 2013

Europeans Respond to Political Instability

John Cleese is known in the USA for his roles in English comedies such as Fawlty Towers (he plays Basil, Sybil’s bumbling and rather nervous husband).

He is also a gifted writer, as you can see below. This is a brill piece.



The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.”

The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.”

The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels…

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be right, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.


John Cleese,
British writer, actor and tall person

And as a final thought – Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.


July 30th, 2013

What’s Happening?

Simple – Every Minute on the Internet, the following happens according to the good folks at Qmee (here):

11,200,000 Google searches
72 hours of new videos uploaded to Youtube
2,460,000 new Facebook posts
1,800,000 likes on Facebook
350,000,000 of new data uploaded on Facebook
1,400,000 minutes connecting on Skype
20,000,000 photo views on Flickr
278,000 new tweets on Twitter
104,000 photos shared on Snapchat
$83,000 on sales on Amazon
11,000 professional searches performed on LinkedIn
11,000 active users on Pinterest
216,000 new photos on Instagram
204,000,000 emails sent
20,000 new photos on Tumblr
17,000 transactions at Walmart
571 new websites created
347 new WordPress posts posted
15,000 music tracks downloaded from iTunes
70 new domains registered
14 new songs added to Spotify

July 18th, 2013

It Is Summer…

… and I decided to take some time off/out: Setting up space, clearing old stuff, gearing up for new adventures… I have a new client. I hope she will accept my proposal soon to make a debut, and I am very excited about the social justice angle of her work! No public details as of now.

It is rather hot and while I feel great when active, the end-of-day doldrums are strong and I just want to read, sip an ice tea, chat lazily with a friend or two…

Really summery behavior, I think.

I am working on a post tentatively titled “On God”. There is quite some research to do still, though, so not yet ready with it.

Political activities in the local area takes considerable time and energy, but it sure fires on all cylinders for me.

Read two young adults (more like older teens!) genre: Divergent and its sequel Insurgent. A bit on the violent side – I kept hearing rambo-esque thinking. But interesting writing. I’d wait for the promised third book in the trilogy, Allegiant, and see how it comes out.

On a totally different plain is If the Buddha Married – Creating Enduring Relationships on a Spiritual Path by Charlotte Kasl, PhD. Quite fascinating treatise on how to build (rebuild) relationships using the spiritual paths explored and promoted by Buddha and Buddhism.

I am also beginning to read difficult material. One is about the 1963 study at Yale about compliance by Stanley Milgram. The other is about Edward Benrnays and his work – very hard stuff to believe, yet there it is upon us in hundreds of ways.

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