Archive for January 2007


My repaired laptop arrived yesterday while I was working at a client’s. When I arrived home, it was in my chair with an uplifting message courtesy of Mrs. Perils:
Click photos to enlarge


You’ll see that I’ve added the snappy little Snap link previewer to the site.  Anywhere I have a link, “hover” your mouse over the link and you’ll see a little preview of the page.  It might help you decide whether to click the link or not (but you won’t be able to actually read the page in the previewer).  Once you click, I believe it’ll open the link in a new browser tab or page.  At least, it does on my Firefox browser.

Let me know if you like this, or if it annoys the hell out of you.

Risky Business

In fact, it looks like espresso stands generated more crime last week than hip-hop venues:

But none of that prevented a masked robber from pointing a gun at a barista late Thursday inside the 10-foot-by-12-foot stand. The thief made off with an undisclosed amount of cash and prompted outrage from customers and neighbors.

Blue Baristas

You’d think that a Seattle blog with an alleged interest in coffee would have picked up on this phenomenon before now:

To stand apart from the hordes of drive-through espresso stands that clutter the Northwest’s roadsides, commuter coffee stops such as Tukwila’s Cowgirls Espresso are adding bodacious baristas, flirty service and ever more-revealing outfits to the menu.

At Port Orchard’s Natté Latté, baristas sport hot-pink hot pants and tight white tank tops. Day-of-the-week theme outfits ranging from racy lingerie to “fetish” ensembles are the dress code at Moka Girls Espresso in Auburn and at several Cowgirls Espresso stands in the area. Bikini tops are the special at Café Lorraine on Highway 9 in Woodinville, and the women of The Sweet Spot in Shoreline pose provocatively in Playmate-style profiles on the stand’s Web site.

I drive-commute sporadically and to scattered locations, and when I do, I load up a travel cup with a quad-shot macchiato like the one that wrecked my laptop last week, so I’m pretty oblivious to the whole drive-through business. I hate the idea of sitting in line with my engine running. I imagine the looky-flirty transactions at these places would make the wait even more intolerable. But if you guys insist, I’ll go out and take pictures as a service to you.

Ironic, too, that the above article is published the same week as this story about a stalker, fixated on a Starbucks barista, being detained after attempting to purchase a gun, presumably to carry out threats he’d made. I’m not saying there’s any causal connection, but I’d be a little bit worried, if I were one of the steamy sexpresso baristas, about the clientele attracted to those places.


I’ve gotten a bunch of stuff installed on Mrs. Perils’ computer, and have been able to do most of what I do on my laptop (with the exception of Photoshop - I’ve misplaced my installation file, and since I downloaded it instead of getting a cd, I’m SOL for now) except when I’m at a client’s or slacking at a cafe.

Maybe it’s my imagination, but the house seems a little cleaner since I’ve been hogging her computer.  (That comment springs from the same psychological root as does “suicide by cop“)

The good news: I got a notice from Dell this morning by land, sea, air (at least by cell phone and email) that my laptop was shipped from their repair facility.  They only had it for a day.  So, my long national nightmare scenario will be over, either tomorrow or Monday.  It’ll be interesting to see if they repaired it or replaced it, but it will have little effect since I retained my hard drive.

Dang, if they’d kept it a little longer, the basement might have gotten cleaned.


Well, DHL picks up my laptop this afternoon to take it to Dell, where the elves will bench it and see how pervasive the damage is from my caffeinated toxic event. I feel like I’m sending a kid to camp for the first time. Thanks to all of you who have engaged in schadenfreude under the guise of sympathy.

I backed up all kinds of crap onto an external hard disk, and now have it plugged into Mrs. Perils’ desktop. I’ve managed to hook up with my Outlook data file, and import my Firefox bookmarks. It’s just so wearying to hack around with this stuff. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a jack in the back of your head that you could plug a USB cable into, connect to any computer, and have all your drivers and stuff in a chip in your cerebellum, like in that movie Existenz.

It’ll be 5 - 8 days before I get my baby back. In the meantime, I’ll be sneaking around and slipping my jack into any available port.

It may be possible, however, to get temporary employment in another field. An article in today’s paper describes how Spain is recalibrating women’s clothes sizes, in an apparent effort to remove the stigma from plussier sizes, or place a stigma on the minusier ones. Fair enough, although it’s hard to imagine that you can change the lens through which we perceive each other by bureaucratic fiat. A discussion for another time, perhaps, after I have shed my holiday bulge.

At the end of the article, though, they describe an interesting initiative for which they may need volunteers:

As part of the effort to standardize sizes, the ministry plans to measure 8,500 Spanish girls and women between the ages of 12 and 70 to determine the true shapes of Spanish women’s bodies.

As a person who has earned the public trust in a career based on making and certifying numeric measurements. I think I qualify. Time to brush up on mi espanol de escuela alta.

Download From The Wrong Java Site

The title of this blog implies that caffeine is less threatening at other times of the day.  I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t let your guard down completely.  This morning, I had just pulled a quad espresso and put it into a travel mug for an imminent departure to a client’s, and was hurriedly answering some emails when I smacked the cup onto my laptop’s keyboard.  I apparently had not secured the lid, and most of those 4 shots drenched the keyboard and the top of my desk.

I quickly turned the laptop upside down and toweled it off as best I could, but when I unpacked it at my client’s, it made funny beeps booting up, (but it did boot) and started laying out some amusing text strings onscreen at odd moments.  Fortunately, I had purchased one of those no-fault warranties from Dell, so I called them and started the excruciating support process.  The guy I talked to seemed sort of simple at first, and I was starting to get irritated with his seemingly rote line of questioning when I realized that he actually knew what he was doing, and remembered that I was the idiot that had made laptop au lait that morning.

Through some diagnostics, he suspected that more than the keyboard was harmed, and, instead of dispatching a technician, he’s having me send the whole laptop in for bench testing.  It’ll be gone for 5 - 8 days, and that’ll mean some serious withdrawal and alteration to my behavior.

It’s fortunate that I migrated from the Radio software last weekend, because that software is resident on the blogger’s computer instead of server-based like Wordpress or Blogspot, so I can continue to torture the internet from other workstations.

I’m using the laptop right now, actually, with an external keyboard that my client lent to me.  It seems to be stabilized, but I’ve dumped tons of files onto a spare hard disk in anticipation of disaster.

I suppose the thing’ll want to stay up all night.  Maybe I’ll disable the speakers so that its partying will be relatively quiet.

Rain, already.

We’ve had a string of snow-bedeviled days here - not gobs and drifts, just enough of a covering to make driving tortuous-to-impossible, and running and walking full of surprises. It started last week, while I was out of town, and has extended into this week. The initial snow-day euphoria has worn off as the realization sets in that school will extend into July, and/or winter breaks will be trimmed to less-than-Hawaii proportions. Some parents are getting cranky at having to use annual leave to provide day-care for their unschooled darlings.

It was melty today by 10:30, and I was set to head across the lake to Redmond for some client face-time, despite the fact that I can do this client’s work perfectly well from home. I had to stop at the bank anyway to make a payroll tax deposit so that my lazy, gold-bricking employee can file his tax return. However, after I spun uphill for half a block, even though I could have driven over there without a problem, I had a vision of the nightmare commute home if the temperature dropped below freezing, and I turned around and parked the car.

I walked down to the bank later in the afternoon, and took my camera along.  There were quite a few snowpersons around, but this dude caught my eye:

  • Click to enlarge
  • Midnight Snowman

    I happened upon the sad scene below, another result of someone acquiring exotic pets and, when they tire of them, turning them out into an environment for which they aren’t suited.  I threw a dollar in these guys’ hat, but they weren’t doing very well.  If they only knew that the bus that stops behind them could take them to the Pike Place Market.

  • Click to enlarge
  • Midnight Snowman

    That’s about it - not too inspired tonight.

    Playing Dress-up

    I’ll be trying different themes (messing with the appearance) for a while here to try to fit what I like to do with photos, etc. This one is a little too narrow, as it’s designed to render on screens set for as little as 800 x 600 resolution. I’d like to go 1000 - 1200 wide. In order to tweak this one to do that, I’d have to find a bunch of parameters in a bunch of files, and each change risks making the whole thing look like a Cubist’s nightmare. I’d rather find one of the canned themes that comes close. So, if you’re an early adopter and have this site in your RSS crosshairs already, you may see a lotta shakin’ goin’ on.

    Feel free to comment on the look - I’d appreciate the feedback.

    Welcome to Wordpress

    Welcome to the new home of Perils of Caffeine in the Evening. I’ve maintained a blog under the same name under Radio Userland in the blog family.

    All entries from that blog have been ported over here, much to my delight! I’ll be changing the themes and templates to personalize the look of the place a little bit. Perhaps the spiffier surroundings will somehow enhance the quality of the content. But don’t hold your breath.

    Watch this space!