It’s A Hard Job

After 35 or so years of working for large companies I have finally found a job that I really enjoy, or I should say two jobs. OK, not really jobs, you have to get paid for it to be a job. Let’s just call them my passions or hobbys or maybe professions if you really stretch it. You know about my coffee business and now I am working, if you could call it that, for Seaway Media which is the parent company of Cornwall Free News and Seawayradio.com. I know that I have mentioned my latest investment before and the associated radio program but my current news is that I actually hosted an hour of the radio on the 26th and 27th of March from the Cornwall Spring Home & Leisure Show. Now the plan is that I will host my very own show which will play classic old radio programs. I will have The Shadow, The Green Hornet, Suspense, The Black Museum, Dragnet and Lights Out just to mention a few. We haven’t scheduled the first program yet but it will be coming.

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The Old Bald Blogger

Your's Truly

As part of my “job” for the Cornwall Free News I accompanied Jamie on Good Friday to Beaus Brewery in Vankleek Hill to record some commercial video. We actually had a pro with us to do the recording, Kevin Lamoureux from KAV Productions, but I carried a digital camera and Jamie had his small video recorder with him. It was just coincidental that the Beau’s Brewery 1st Celebration of their Community & Charity Fundraising was going to happen that night as well. To make a long story short, we helped them celebrate.

The boys at work

Art In Progress

Work Work Work

Like I said, it’s a hard job.

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Mancession or Women’s Lib Realized?

I have just read a few recent articles which refer to the recession last year as a “man-cession“.

Statistics Canada reports that over the previous year a total of 249,000 men lost their jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector. This compares to a decline of 28,000 for women. Even the rise of dual-income families has meant an erosion of the male’s economic power and control.

I am not too proud to admit that I am one of the men who are being supported by his wife’s income. When we relocated to Ingleside, it was because of a great job offer that my wife received and it coincided (although a little premature) with our plans on returning to the SD&G area when we retired. The idea was to relocate and then I would look for suitable employment. Well, I’ve been fishing for a job but no one was biting so I had to create my own business. It seems that my chosen profession, that of a Quality Assurance Manager, has been identified as a female only applicant jobs. More and more women are reaching the senior levels of management in the food industry and women like to hire women. Women managers don’t know how to handle men as employees. At least that is in my experience…. or maybe the women managers didn’t know how to handle me in particular. I guess I expected too much from them.

So, the point of all of the articles that I have read today is that women are increasingly becoming the main income earner in family units. This was one of the main goals of the women’s lib movement in the 1970’s. Now that the gender equality pendulum is swinging in the females favour, all you hear about is how stressful it is for them. One article points out that a double income family these days have less disposable income than a single income family did in the 1970’s. I guess my point is that the result of the women’s lib movement is not only more employment opportunity but more stress and less disposable income. Thank God women still need man’s sperm to reproduce otherwise they would totally eradicate the male half of the human species.

OK, now I’m worried. I forgot about cloning……..

To all those who want to change natures plan, be careful of what you wish for because you just may get it.

Complaint City

I just opened up the Island Ink-jet Store and started to brew some coffee. A lady was sitting in a van (which is in much need of a new muffler) outside the store. When she sees me turn the open sign on she jumps out of the store and comes in and demands a hot cup of water. To start with my coffee machine wasn’t hot yet, and she was a little rude, so I told her it would take 15 or twenty minutes for the water to be ready. To be honest I couldn’t easily get hot water out of my coffee brewer but I do have a kettle in the back and if she had been a little pleasanter I would have heated some water for her, but I didn’t. There are just too damn many people in this one horse town who feel entitled to free stuff from vendors without even considering the cost.

It was a bad way to start the day off and now I’m in a very negative mood. I have come to observe that generally the people of the SD&G area complain constantly about not having access to better quality goods and service but are unwilling to pay for them. I have seen so many small businesses start up offering what they think the general population want, only to close after a year because of lack of sales. The Chamber of Commerce touts the organizations goal of increasing business for the city, but in reality the old boys like things the way they are. If new successful businesses move in to the area then they might loose status and possibly income. Team Cornwall should coin the phrase “Unless you can sell it cheap, cheap, cheap, you will fail. Come to Cornwall to sell your crap.”

OK, I feel better now. Nothing like a good rant to start the day off.

More Notoriety and SSP

This is becoming quite a habit for me. I think I like this blogging stuff just a little bit too much.

My reason for blogging today is another new event in my life. I have just been interviewed on the radio. OK it’s a web radio, and I am an investor in it, and it is an outright overt SSP (shameless self promotion), but hey it’s still radio and I get to hear my own voice.

So if you want to hear me, you can click on this link or go right to the web service at this link.

If you select the episode named, “Our official 1st show……” and listen for an hour or so you will hear me talk about my business. If you hang in there you will hear a rather eclectic selection of music but you can drag the grey bar (difficult to see) on the player to about 62:00 you will hear me.

Saturday News And Views

Here we are again. It’s another Saturday afternoon at the store in Downtown Cornwall and I’m waiting for 4 oclock to come so I can go home. There was a heavy snowfall this morning and by heavy I mean wet not necessarily a large quantity. The sun is shining now and I hope that all that slushy stuff will be gone by the time I get home.

BIG NEWS….. I seem to have started another carreer, that of a journalist. I have now had one whole story published. If you check out the story at the other end of this link you will see what I mean. It helps that I own a small interest in the digital newspaper and there was no real journalist available.

Not such big news……..

I would like to mention that, once again, I did not win the big lottery last night. If I had you wouldn’t be reading anything from me for quite a while. I would be on my way to the happiest place in Canada, the OLG office on Bloor St in Toronto. Ahh, now that is where dreams are really made.

Oh, a quick observation from the front of the store, a couple of senior ladies just walked by and one of them had her tongue sticking out while she walked. I don’t mean she stuck her tongue out but she was walking with her tongue out. It seemed a little strange…and it wasn’t a pretty tongue….kind of old and wrinkled….it was a little freaky! After she walked by the wind suddenly picked up and my spinning sign suddenly went into overdrive. It is bouncing down the sidewalk after her. I better go catch it.

OK, I’m back. There are a lot of weird things in Cornwall but then maybe it’s just me. I have been told I am weird, among other adjectives. Some of the stories that I’ve written have caused some people to ask what I have been smoking to which I reply the only smoke I inhale is from my coffee roaster. I have sold some coffee just on that statement alone.

Now it’s raining outside and my sign is starting to dance again. I’ll finish off this post now and go chase it down.

Basic Brewing

After two posts I have come to realize that I can’t help but engage in SSP (shameless self promotion). Just the act of creating a blog is SSP so I am not going to appologize any more for it but I will acknowledge any blatant use of it.

As indicated in the category selection I am going to talk about coffee. So, today, I am going to talk about making coffee. If you don’t really care about brewing your own then you should take this time to go grab a cup of Timmies or Starbucks or whatever your favourite caffeine source is. For the rest of you (if there are actually anyone reading this) I am going to outline some basics concepts of home brewing.

There are three basic components of making a pot of coffee; the coffee, the brewing device (coffee maker) and the water. The simplest one to explain is the water. Basically, if you won’t drink the water then don’t use it to make your coffee with it. Personally I wouldn’t use distilled water because it extracts far too much flavour out of the coffee, including all the nasty sour straw flavours that you get from cheap under roasted coffees found in certain coffee chains.

The type of coffee maker dictates how you grind the coffee. If you use an electric drip machine then the coffee should be ground so that a full pot is brewed in 4 -6 minutes. Espresso makers use espresso grind, percolators use a coarse grind, vacuum pots use extra coarse, french press uses medium coarse and manual drips use fine grind.

OK, so now comes the SSP, the coffee. In my humble opinion the coffee is the most critical part of the three items I mentioned. the coffee should be a good quality specialty arabica bean, fresh roasted, fresh ground and the right grind size. Oh yeah, I almost forgot about quantity. Always use enough coffee to brew a decent pot. The coffee industry experts recommend 1 to 2 coffee spoons per 6 oz cup and a coffee spoon is 2 tablespoons. Never try to skimp on the coffee. It will just taste sour and straw-like. A strong pot of coffee can always be diluted with hot water after it’s brewed. There is nothing you can do with weak coffee.

The absolutely best coffee is that which you roast yourself at home and then grind just before you make a pot. I do know someone who actually gets up early in the morning to roast his coffee in his oven for his breakfast. While I think that is a high dedication to the ideal of fresh roasted, but not even I would do that. However, I think that anything over two weeks old is not fresh and I won’t sell you it as fresh.

So there you have it, my first coffee category post. If you have any questions I will try to answer them. If anyone is actually reading this please make a comment. Please drop me a life line.

Street Level View

The first thing I am going to talk about is the store where my coffee outlet is located. Its on Pitt St in Cornwall between Second and Third Street, just a few stores north of Riley’s Bakery. If you are from Cornwall then you know Riley’s. It has been an institution for 40 or more years and still is. Riley’s actually has a facebook fan club. Can you believe that, an actual fan club. Anyway, my point is that the location is terrific, to get lunch and to watch people.

I’m fortunate to have been offered space in the Island Ink-Jet And Laser Toner store by Stan and Cliff Stock. If you look in the window of my first picture, the gremlin posing there is actually Cliff Stork. They were setting up an internet cafe and they wanted me to be the cafe part. I have been in the store for about 4 months now and business is growing slowly. The best part of the location is the people, those who come into the store and even those who just walk by. They come in all sizes and shapes. They go by in suits, work cloths and some in thirft store cloths. Being close to the Provincial courts and the Cornwall police station we see a lot of uniforms. Most of the uniforms are going in to Rileys to pick up snacks or lunches.

Next door to us we have Dempster’s Frameworks on the north and Celtic Treasures on the south. Paul Dempster likes my coffee and comes in to buy beans regularly. The Celtic Treasures people don’t seem to like coffee, or should I say my coffee, but then I don’t ever remember them trying it. Stormont Stationers are also between us and Rileys and they like my coffee.

So much for my promise to not shamelessly promote myself. I’ll try harder next time.