Twitter Search for 'Coffee'
Popular Coffee Websites

Cafes by Zip Code
Coffee Podcasts


Locations of visitors to this page




43 Folders
Anders Fagerjord
Bay Area Bloggers
Berkeley Blogs
Blue Bottle Clown College
Denver Coffeehouses
Doug Miller
Emily Chang's eHub
Hewn & Hammered
Jill's Definition of Weblog
Jonas Luster
Laughing Squid
Le Blaugue à Beleg
Loïc Le Meur Blog
Mark Bernstein
Seesmic Blog
Tant Mieux
The Dynamist
Tonx Dot Org


Send Me Email:

coffeeblogger (at) doublesquids.com

Other Berkeley Blogs

SF Bay Bloggers
Blogs That Flickr
Blogcritics: news and reviews
Who Links Here

Jonathan's Coffeeblog: Words

"The meaning of life and other trivia." Copyright ©2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Jonathan David Leavitt. All rights reserved.

Every page now has Seesmic/Disqus video commenting. Scroll to the bottom to see or post video comments. To read a text-only version of Jonathan's Coffeeblog on your iPhone or other mobile phone, click here. Or to see the graphics with less text, click here.

Go: [ Home | Previous | Archive | Gods & Myths | Cafes | Coffee | Nations & Empires | People | Arts ]
[ Words | New Media | Cinema | Gastronomy | Productivity | Yiddish ]

Nuts about Notes - 8:58 PM Monday, June 1, 2009
[Notes marked in mud, sand, skin, or trees?]

Nuts about Notes (Coffeeblog)

That's me. Since my first computer with floppy drives (a Kaypro II) I've been fascinated with creating, organizing, transmitting, and re-using small scraps of text and perhaps photos or sketches. Back in the Kaypro days there was a fascinating bit of software called KAMAS, which could make text outlines, and later with my first Mac, there was a great program called MindWrite. Now there are many programs for handling notes on computers and smartphones. As time went on I became interested in the existing variety of non-electronic note-making tools (notebooks, scrapbooks, and sketchbooks). At this point I realize that notes, and all of the things one can do with them, are a special interest of mine.

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Footsteps on the Moon - 5:19 PM Sunday, February 22, 2009
[Old ideas never die, unless they're blown away.]

Footsteps on the Moon

Back in 1969, when Neil Armstrong became the first human being to set foot on earth's moon, I remember something that was reported on television. The bootprints of the heavy space suit footwear made impressions in the loose topsoil of the moon's surface, and because the moon has no wind to blow the bootprints away, it was predicted that they would be there for millions of years. Millions. Literally. That, to me, was "mindblowing," in the jargon of the era. Years later, when I became interested in the origins of ideas, and the course of history of these ideas, I began to realize that ideas, too, have the potential to last forever in the minds of humans unless there is some "wind" that eradicates them. Moreover, it takes a lot of such "wind" over a long period of time, to extinguish an old idea from human memory.

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Don't Shrug Her Off - 2:10 PM Monday, December 15, 2008
[Movie Review: The Passion of Ayn Rand]

Atlas, Before He Shrugged

I have long been, and still am, a fan of the great Russian-born Hollywood screenwriter, novelist, philosopher, and radical advocate of capitalism, Ayn Rand. Her name surfaced again recently in a Newsweek article which blamed her for the current worldwide financial meltdown. This is not about that, however, but about a movie made about Miss Rand by Showtime, an adaptation of Barbara Branden's book, "The Passion of Ayn Rand," which I saw on a Netflix rental DVD. I loved the movie, which I had never seen though it came out in 1999.

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Kvetching - 2:53 PM Thursday, December 4, 2008
[It's the economy, stupid.]

What, Me Kvetch (Coffeeblog)

A joke: Somewhere, back in Russia, a traveler gets on a train and sits down next to an old Jewish man. Before long, the old Jewish man starts muttering, "Oy, am I thirsty." The traveler ignores him, for a while, but the old man persists: "Oy, am I thirsty. Oy, am I thirsty." He keeps it up and finally the traveler can stand it no longer. He gets up, walks to a car where drinks are sold, and buys a bottle of water. The old man accepts it gratefully, drinks it, and settles down. A few minutes pass. The traveler can feel the tension building up in the old man sitting next to him. Finally, the tension gets the best of the old man, and he blurts out, "Oy, was I thirsty!"

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Rough Draft on an iPhone - 5:23 PM Sunday, October 12, 2008
[A park or a beach, for example. ]

iPhone Rough Draft (Coffeeblog)

The laptop freed the writer from his office, and the iPhone freed him from his laptop. An iPhone is compact and light enough to be carried almost everywhere, and the writer can now choose the setting in which to write his article: a park or a beach, for example. I began this blogpost on my iPhone while lying in bed, on my back. The choice of setting can enhance the writer's creativity, diminish his anxiety, and help him find more time during the day....

[Read More | Top of Page]

The Hyas Muckamuck's Skookum Potlatch - 7:45 PM Sunday, September 28, 2008
[Chinook jargon has something to tell us]

Potlatch (Coffeeblog)

The past few days I've been distracted by major political/economic events, which have caused me great concern, worry, and frustration. As I write this the US Congress is supposedly closing a deal where hundreds of billions of dollars of bad debt will be purchased at a discount, purportedly by zhlubs like me, the American taxpayer. My mind boggles. I am no economist, but I am caught between the threat (the collapse of the world economy!) articulated by our Hyas Muckamuck, US President George W. Bush, and the knowledge, reinforced by plain common sense, that the same muckamucks who got us into the mess are now promising to get us out. Fortunately, I have found another way of understanding this whole mess. You see, I have just returned from a vacation in Alaska.

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Less Ausgeschmueckt, More Aufgeputzt - 2:29 PM Wednesday, July 23, 2008
[And the vocabulary of New York cabdrivers.]

Coffeeblog Makeover

I've tried it before. I changed the background color of the page templates for Jonathan's Coffeeblog, and found a color I didn't totally hate. And now, finally, I've taken the bull by the horms and, hopefully, made the ol' C'blog more useful and readable. In large measure I was able to do this due to the tactful guidance of a friend who is an interface designer for the Web and mobile devices. The Coffeeblog has grown organically and incrementally, like a huge fungus, although I prefer the metaphor of Rome and Paris which also grew organically from small beginnings. It has always been, and still is, my toy to play with powerful and interesting software for integrating text and images.

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Translatio Imperii (Part 1 of 3) - 10:41 PM Tuesday, June 24, 2008
[A "public thing," a res publica.]

Translatio Imperii

While putzing around the Internet I came across an obscure but interesting Wikipedia article which, I believe, has great relevance to the world of our time. The Wikipedia authors gave it the Latin title "Translatio Imperii," whose precise meaning is "transfer of command." A French historian of the Middle Ages, Jacques LeGoff, is credited with describing translatio imperii as a typically medieval idea. Undoubtedly some medieval political entities, such as the so-called Holy Roman Empire, founded by a German King named Otto, were based on that idea: as various empires have risen and fallen, the imperial names, ruling dynasties, geographic centers of power, and sometimes the official languages have changed, yet proceeded in a clearly traceable linear sequence. I am convinced that this is a useful and helpful theory of a process which applies far beyond the Middle ages and began long before, and makes it less difficult to make sense of the complex geopolitical events of our time, and of history. Here are two examples:

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Cappuccino - 10:55 PM Sunday, June 8, 2008
[One-third espresso, one-third milk, and...]


The other day I received an alarming notice from the California State Bureau of Coffeeblogging. They were concerned that I had not posted a coffee-related item to Jonathan's Coffeeblog since August of 2007. Had I not posted a cafe-related item in January of 2008, my Coffeeblogging license would already have been revoked. I was in deep trouble, and there was only one way out of the mess: post something to Jonathan's Coffeeblog having to do with coffee, and post it fast. And so, here it is: the subject of today's Coffeeblog post is cappuccino.

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Bacn - 6:08 PM Friday, May 9, 2008
[One man's noise is another man's signal.]


Poor Hormel. That's the meat-packing company that invented the canned luncheon meat in the late 1930's whose brand name has become iconic: Spam. I googled Spam and found out all kinds of cool stuff. For example, there is a kind of spam sushi, called spam musubi, popular in Hawaii. Then there is Spam Spread, which is reportedly halal, which means kosher for Muslims. Who knew? Spam, of course, is the internet nickname for unsolicited, unwanted, and deservedly deprecated email concerning strategies for enlarging the membrum virilis, keeping said membra viriles in a state of precoital readiness, and, for those who are unconcerned about the state of their membrum virilis, or have no such membrum, mortgages. Oh, yes, and get-rich-quick schemes out of Nigeria. But I digress. Why? Because I am not intending to write about Spam here. I am writing about bacn.

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Nations and Empires - 9:51 PM Saturday, May 3, 2008
[Can we all get along?]

Empires and Nations

I've added a new category to the Coffeeblog: Nations and Empires. Originally I had thought of adding a "history" category. Then I realized that everything I post to the Coffeeblog is some kind of history: the history of Bettie Page and the Kefauver Commission, or the history of Andres Serrano and his "Piss Christ" image with the resulting kerfuffle. Even a movie review is a history of sorts. Thinking it over, I realized that the kind of history that has begun to interest me lately is the history of empires and the nations, peoples, tribes, ethnic groups, language groups, and other societal entities engulfed, absorbed, or instrumental in the development of such empires. I would have never predicted such an interest as a college freshman who felt overwhelmed by the huge reading assignments of my required basic history course. But back then there was no hypertext, Internet, or Wikipedia. Why such a powerful interest now, so late in life? It has to do with the world events swirling around us about which the dead tree media and the idiot box generally keep us in abysmal ignorance. Why do Shia and Sunni Muslims attack each other in Mesopotamia (the dead tree pundits call it Iraq)? There are reasons for it. "Civil war" the treekillers call it. Sort of like Antietam or the Battle of Bull Run? Please. And then there's Central Asia, the route of the Silk Road, where the focus is not silk any more but petroleum., land of many fallen empires. To paraphrase George Santayana, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to write for CNN."

... [Read More | Top of Page]

The Whole Megillah - 5:42 PM Thursday, March 20, 2008
[Recited every day. It has never ended.]

The Whole Megillah (Coffeeblog)

At sundown this evening it will be Purim again, the Jewish festival when Jews read from the biblical Book of Esther, traditionally recorded on a scroll of rolled-up parchment, papyrus, or paper. A Hebrew word for "scroll" is megillah, and the holiday has given rise to the Yiddish phrase, the "gantze (whole) Megillah." Since the rabbi reads the whole scroll aloud to the congregation in an ancient tongue, and seeming, for children at least, to go on forever, the "whole Megillah" refers to a prolonged, predictable litany which we have heard before, and are banefully expecting to hear over and over again. As it happens, "the whole Megillah" is a very timely topic today, and not just because it's Purim.

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Universonal - 7:38 PM Tuesday, March 18, 2008
[When the personal is universal and vice versa.]


I've been more and more satisfied with what I've posted to the Coffeeblog over the past few months, and I'm getting more page views from visitors. How much these visitors read of what I've written, I don't know. But they're visiting, and some of them, according to my statistical software, stick around and read other things I've written after they read the stuff they were searching for. There is another trend, however, over the past few months: I've been posting to the Coffeeblog less often. What does that mean? Am I getting bored with blogging? (No.) Are my standards getting higher (Yes.), and therefore am I intimidating myself about writing more and posting new images? (Maybe.) I think I know what is happening. The Coffeeblog has transcended mere ego-tripping, hobbyism, and showing off, though it is all of the above. It has become nothing less than a repository for my sense of personal identity. In decades past, that role was filled by college, job, ideological identification, and to a lesser extent, lifestyle. Now, as a certified old geezer (I collect Social Security!) I have needed to rewrite the whole saga before my demise, which even if it should happen fifty years from today, will be untimely. (I guess my health is good enough for me to still think that way.) What all of this lengthy paragraph implies is that the Coffeeblog is very, very personal. But there's much more to it than that.

... [Read More | Top of Page]

The Imperial Eagle - 8:50 PM Tuesday, March 4, 2008
[Hail to the Chief?]

The Imperial Eagle (Coffeeblog)

Eagles are a family of birds knows as raptors, from a Latin word for "robber." The words rob, bereft, rapid, and maybe even the slang term "rip-off" are all related. Eagles have very good eyesight, the better to spot their prey from far off, with sloping brows to protect the eyes from the sun. They also have strong heads and necks, and huge sharp, curving beaks. Romans who had noses like eagle-beaks (aquiline) were associated with nobility. Eagles have a no-nonsense look which has given them iconic status throughout history. The mythological Native American thunderbird was like an eagle, but large enough to create thunder when it flapped its wings. The European gods Zeus, Odin, and Jupiter also were said to have the power of thunder and lightning, and eagles were associated with these gods in stories and as symbols. In military terms, the eagle, King of Birds, could be said to have "air superiority," although I doubt an eagle needs to waste energy fighting other birds. I find this all fascinating. Even more than fascination, however, my primary motivation for blogging about eagles is the fact than an extraordinary event is taking place as I write this, an event whose outcome is unknown, which I will address in the last few paragraphs of this blogpost.

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Yiddish - 1:11 PM Wednesday, January 30, 2008
[Oy, is it Jewish!]

Yiddish (and Yiddish Literature)

What chutzpah! I should schmooze with that schmegeggie? Oy, vey! Yes, we're talking Yiddish here, the fershlugginer Jewish language that refused to die. After being urged by Ksenya Gurshtein, an up-and-coming blogger, curator, and art historian, I added a Yiddish page to the Coffeeblog. As a kid, however, I was encouraged to avoid the use of Yiddish around starchy white Protestant Anglo-Saxons and other neighbors who might look down on this all-too-colorful linguistic remnant of the East European ghetto, or at the very least, find it bizarre, very foreign, and well, too Jewish. And they should have found it very, very Jewish. Because Yiddish is, you should pardon me for saying so, very, very Jewish. Oy, is it Jewish! In fact, Yiddish means "Jewish." In Yiddish. As a kid I heard some adults call the language "Jewish" rather than Yiddish. They were speaking English when they said that, of course.

... [Read More | Top of Page]

An American Folk Hero: The Dropout - 2:54 PM Thursday, January 10, 2008
[Everything a decent kid was not supposed to be.]

Henry Miller and Who?

This past weekend I celebrated another year of my life with an annual visit to Big Sur on California's central coast. Named in Spanish for the big river of the South, El Rio Grande del Sur, Big Sur was barely accessible until the 1940's when Highway 1 was built along the precarious cliffs where the mountains of the Ventana Wilderness meet the rocky shore of the Pacific. Writers Robinson Jeffers, Jaime de Angulo, and Henry Miller brought fame to the region as a place for Americans and Europeans who wanted to get away from it all; in other words, to Drop Out. ...

[Read More | Top of Page]

Eulogy for the Counterculture - 3:58 PM Friday, November 9, 2007
[Did the Counterculture Americanize the rest of the world?]

Hippy, Hegel, Headstone

The Counterculture of the 1960's is dead. Kaput. History. A little over forty years ago the Summer of Love, one of the iconic events of the Counterculture, took place here in San Francisco. The following year there occurred the world-wide cataclysm of 1968, the emergence of the New Left, which challenged everything across the political spectrum, including the Old Left. However, 1968 in its turn was an echo of 1848, the year that the Communist Manifesto was published, and the suffering urban workers rose up against their nouveau-riche middle-class overlords and the still-powerful aristocracy....

[Read More | Top of Page]

Osanpo Video - 8:20 PM Tuesday, October 23, 2007
[I had an epiphany.]

Video! (Seesmic)

There is a very popular group on the photography-oriented social networking website Flickr: Osanpo Camera. It is so popular that they have a daily limit on the number of photos that can be posted. Now, osanpo is a Japanese word that means, essentially, "free walking," If the o at the beginning of the word means "honorable," as it does in many other Japanese words, than osanpo means "honorable free walking." In my opinion osanpo deserves to be honored; it is a fascinating yet very democratic art form. I wanted to read more about it, but I can't read Japanese and most Internet references to osanpo are in that language. However. I would like to believe that a new project of mine, a video project, is in the best osanpo tradition....

[Read More | Top of Page]

Moleskinerie (Part One of Three) - 1:21 PM Thursday, October 11, 2007
[Like Alfa Romeos and bruschetta.]

Moleskines are Awesome

For those of you who may not know what a "Moleskine" is, it's a notebook made by an Italian firm, Modo e Modo, and marketed in bookstores, art supply stores, upscale stationery stores, museums, and the like. What makes a Moleskine different from other notebooks is that it's probably better-made than most (though there is some serious competition, especially price competition), it has some Italian pizzazz (like Alfa Romeos and bruschetta), it has an unusual name, and, probably most importantly, it has become a cult object, creating in turn, an aura of celebrity among certain other examples of such a prosaic product as a notebook. Moleskines come in assorted sizes, bindings, page layouts, and with or without pre-loaded information....

[Read More | Top of Page]

When Stasists Hijack Dynamism - 2:57 PM Tuesday, September 25, 2007
[Some imagined, more stable past.]

Stasist of Dynamist?

In 1999, Virginia Postrel, then editor of Reason magazine, produced her book The Future and its Enemies, which introduced the idea (a radical, world-changing idea, I think) that humanity can be divided, not into liberal vs. conservative, or rightist vs. leftist, or god-fearing vs. atheist, or bourgeois vs proletarian, but into stasist vs. dynamist. In brief, stasists are opposed to change and innovation, dynamists welcome both. Since The Future and Its Enemies, Mrs. Postrel has elaborated on the status of the stasist-dynamist dynamic in her excellent blog, The Dynamist, and written another radically innovative book, The Substance of Style. The Internet, where Jonathan's Coffeeblog lives, is a product of the dynamist world view. It seems to me that that some of the world most extreme stasists are utilizing the Internet to spread their ideas in order to fulfill their goal of controlling the future by stifling innovation and change. By using the Internet that way, what stasists are doing is paradoxical if not hypocritical. However, before going into detail, I want to clarify, in Virginia Postrel's own words, just what is meant by a stasist and a dynamist:...

[Read More | Top of Page]

Instant Gratification - 4:23 PM Tuesday, September 18, 2007
[Now they've got Jottit.]

Instant Gratification (Coffeeblog)

It's taken me years to come up with this format for Jonathan's Coffeeblog, and meanwhile things keep changing on the Internet. Now they've got Jottit, created by Simon Carstensen and Aaron Swartz. It's basically a website for making websites. Instant websites. I mean, really instant. Go to the URL (http://jottit.com) and you're immediately asked to create a "page," meaning a web page. Type something. BAM! You've got a web page. Just email the URL to others and they can read what you've got there. If you name the pages for the date and time you wrote them, you've got a blog. You can't put images on it (yet) except for ASCII images (remember them?) But you can put links and even format the text a little bit.

... [Read More | Top of Page]

The Right-Left Politics Meme - 3:11 PM Thursday, August 23, 2007
[Verbal Mud to be Slung]

Right-Wing, Left-Wing

Inveterate Coffeeblog readers will recall that I once dismissed the bogus idea of a meme, analogous to a gene. But then I endorsed using the word as a portmanteau (contraction) of "mindless" plus "theme." It is in the sense of a mindless theme, then, that I am hereby targeting the custom of dividing the political world into the Left and the Right, a bad habit which appears to have begin with the French Legislative Assembly of 1791. By now the habit has become so thoroughly ingrained that we accept it unthinkingly and assume that we are being given useful information. University professors write about "right-wing" politics in Ancient Greece, and it is taken for granted that we know what is left-wing (empathy for the poor, multiculturalism, withdrawal of Western troops from Iraq, preservation of wetlands) and right-wing (criminal penalties for abortion, sexual abstinence, projection of American power, and low taxes.)...

[Read More | Top of Page]

444 Ocampo Drive - 7:35 PM Sunday, August 19, 2007
[On a bluff over the Pacific]

444 Ocampo Drive

I finally went there to see it: the house in Pacific Palisades, California, where Henry Miller spent the last 20 years of his life. Miller died on June 7, 1980; I believe he died in that house. It is a typical upper-middle-class American house (or at least it was when Miller lived there.) It is now for sale for almost 5 million dollars. When I walked around, there was no plaque, sign or other visible reference to Miller; there is a plaque on the front of the apartment he shared in the Paris suburb of Clichy, about which he wrote Quiet Days in Clichy....

[Read More | Top of Page]

Happy Birthday, Ted Nelson - 8:30 PM Tuesday, June 19, 2007
[How could intertwingularity be a piece of cake?]

Intertwingularity for the Nexialist

Theodor Holm Nelson, generally credited with inventing hypertext, calls himself a nexialist. Although the word does not appear in the Wiktionary or have a Google definition, I find it to be a very appealing and useful world, meaning, presumably, someone who studies the connections between things which are ordinarily studied in isolation by various scientific specialties. The word comes from a science fiction novel by A. E. Van Vogt....

[Read More | Top of Page]

Ninna Nanna Malandrineddu - 2:04 PM Saturday, June 16, 2007
[Keep the family's honor.]

Little Marauder Lullaby

It's over. The Sopranos television series has aired its last episode. If you're a fan like I am you've seen them all, and you're going to miss Tony and Carmela and Meadow and AJ and the rest of the family and the Family. At the end of the third episode from the last, AJ is in the hospital, and Tony goes to visit him. A song starts to play and then the credits roll....

[Read More | Top of Page]

Lolcats - 1:17 PM Thursday, May 3, 2007
[Cuteness is essential.]


I'll get right to the point: The lolcat is a species of cartoon. As I did, you may have seen one or more without knowing what they were called, because lolcats are a big Internet fad, or in Internet jargon, a viral meme. A basic lolcat consists of a cute cat photo overprinted with a humorous caption. Cuteness is essential, and is usually intensified by the use of odd spelling and bizarre grammar. The lol, of course refers to the abbreviation for "laughing out loud," found throughout the anglophone Internet. (Hmmm… I wonder: what is the expression in, say, the Hungarian Internet?)...

[Read More | Top of Page]

Schmegeggie - 5:45 PM Saturday, April 21, 2007
[A harrowing fershlugginer Internet search.]


It all began when I was putzing around the Internet when I should have been in bed. I had encountered a German word Schmiege, which, with various spellings, is a recurring surname in Jewish genealogical research in Poland and nearby areas. What does it mean? You would think something common and utilitarian. If you're a woodworker, it is. In eighth-grade shop class we used one, and we called it a "sliding T-bevel." It is related to a German verb schmiegen, which means to nestle up against something, which is what a sliding T-bevel does to your piece of wood if you sawed, planed, and sanded it properly....

[Read More | Top of Page]

Molon Labe: 300, the Movie Review - 8:20 PM Monday, April 9, 2007
[Bashed, impaled, speared, run through, mutilated and pierced.]

Molon Labe!

Do a Google search for the phrase Movie Reviews "300." You will probably, as I did, get about 22,100,000 hits. Why, you might ask, does the Warner Brothers action movie, based on a Frank Miller graphic novel, in turn based on the Battle of Thermopylae which took place in Greece in 480 BC, require yet another review, which is what you are reading? Read on…...

[Read More | Top of Page]

Rocket Polemics - 6:52 PM Friday, April 6, 2007
[Then I remembered something called Greek Fire. ]

Greek Fire

Today is Good Friday, the Christian anniversary of the crucifixion of Jesus. This year, Greek Orthodox Christians as well as Roman Catholics and Protestants will be celebrating Easter on the same Sunday. Greeks call it Pascha, the name of the Jewish holiday Pesach, which is still going on as I write this, celebrating Jewish liberation from slavery in pharaonic Egypt. Both Easter and Pesach are descendants of pagan holidays celebrating the arrival of spring, the resurrection of dormant vegetation in the Northern Hemisphere, and the birth of many animals and birds. Both Pesach and Easter are celebrated with eggs; in the Greek tradition the eggs are colored red. I wrote about Easter eggs in Jonathan's Coffeeblog last year....

[Read More | Top of Page]

300: The Book Review - 7:04 PM Sunday, March 25, 2007
[Testosterone-powered drama.]

Action! History! Rhetoric!

A fascinating cultural phenomenon is unfolding before us. A battle fought 2,486 years ago, chronicled by a Greek known as the Father of History, resurrected from the dusty basement of academia by a cartoonist who turned it into a 1990's comic book series, has now hit the movie theaters in a groundbreaking mash-up of cinematography and computer graphics, a blockbuster hit, which inspired an cry of outrage from the spokesmen for a Middle Eastern theocracy, who are blaming the whole thing on (that's right) the Jews....

[Read More | Top of Page]

Brevity Is the Soul of Twit - 2:32 PM Thursday, March 22, 2007
[Keep friends close, twitter friends closer.]

Twitter? Twitter.

What can I say about Twitter in 140 characters?...

[Read More | Top of Page]

Tsatskes - 4:14 PM Friday, March 2, 2007
[Is an RSS feed a toy? ]

Tsatskes (Tchotchkes)

When I was a kid my father often used a wonderful Yiddish word, tsatskes. When he used it, it was usually in the sense of the current term "collectible, " an object valued for its novelty and appeal, but lacking in gravitas (this.) In other words, a tsatske, according to him, was rather trivial, a knick-knack, a bibelot, a gewgaw, a gimcrack, an item of kitsch or schwag, a trinket, a low-end curio. My mother tastefully collected antiques and other curios, and I acquired from her a passion to collect all of the ephemera and linkable stuff which adorn this Coffeeblog (and which clutters my living space). However, I believe that my father's frequent use of the term tsatske was a warning to her that collectibles which did not rise above the level of tsatskes were not terribly welcome in the house....

[Read More | Top of Page]

The First Blogpost of 2007 - 3:06 PM Monday, January 1, 2007
[With predictions for this new year!]

Trust but Verify!

Espresso Roma was closed today, so here I sit inside Royal Grounds. It's nice and sunny and not too cold out: an auspicious day for 2007 blogging. Last night at eleven we visited a friend who sets off fireworks every year in his front yard. As I write this I'm importing video clips of the fireworks into iMovie, which have been uploaded from my cameraphone. If there's anything worth keeping I'll send the finished movie to YouTube or Vox. Hey. it's 2007. Video rules....

[Read More | Top of Page]

Christmas, Moravian Style - 3:33 PM Friday, December 22, 2006
[Yes, Virginia, there is a Putz.]

In 1415, a century before Martin Luther, Western Europe was already beginning to be torn apart by sectarian violence between Catholics and Protestants. That year, Jan Hus, a Czech priest, was burned at the stake for heresy. His followers, initially protected by King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia (that's right, it's the guy in the Christmas carol), carried on the early Protestant tradition; many went underground. Fast forward to 1700, when a German count named Zinzendorf gave refuge to stealth Protestant refugees from Moravia, the eastern part of what is now the Czech Republic. In 1741, on Christmas Eve, Zinzendorf and a group of Moravians founded a community in Pennsylvania, which they named Bethlehem ("House of Bread") after the village in the Judean hills where Jesus was born....

[Read More | Top of Page]

Utopias, Dystopias, and Heterotopias - 12:23 PM Tuesday, December 5, 2006
[Where Jonathan's Coffeeblog resides.]

Utopias, Dystopias, and Heterotopias

If there is any topic worthy of the "gods and myths" category of Jonathan's Coffeeblog, this is it. Whereas much of the Western world appears no longer to take seriously their gods of the past, utopias in their various manifestations are more powerful in the minds of the multitudes, Western and otherwise, than ever. One might say that if the monotheistic God is dead in much of the West, Paradise and its pursuit on earth has replaced him....

[Read More | Top of Page]

Search and You Shall Find... - 7:53 PM Sunday, November 12, 2006
[...this fershlugginer blog.]

Fershlugginer. Yes, fershlugginer.

Go figure. My statistical service tells me that the large majority of site visits to Jonathan's Coffeeblog come from search engines like Google and Google Images. Some folks come to stay and read more, others move on....

[Read More | Top of Page]

The trivial pursuit of happiness - 7:27 PM Sunday, November 5, 2006
[Coffeeblog 2.0? Don't be silly.]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

For Every Silver Lining, a Cloud - 12:16 PM Saturday, July 8, 2006
[When notebooks go high-tech]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

From Lili Marlene to Hadji Girl - 2:15 PM Sunday, July 2, 2006
[The Songs of War: Part 1]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Samuel Pepys and the Cheese Sandwich - 5:40 PM Tuesday, May 30, 2006
[Herb, meet Anaïs, Sam, and Drew]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Fershlugginer - 1:13 PM Wednesday, May 24, 2006
[A Jewish version of the blues, perhaps?]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Zorro and the Californios - 9:45 PM Friday, March 31, 2006
[California's favorite fictional vigilante]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Kiss Me, I'm Irish - 2:40 PM Thursday, March 16, 2006
[The gift of Blarney for a blogger]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Dolce Far Niente - 3:45 PM Wednesday, January 4, 2006
[Could it actually pay the bills?]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

One Year of the Coffeeblog - 3:42 PM Friday, December 16, 2005
[Hey, I've just used the editorial "we"!]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

All Your Meme Are Belong to Us - 7:47 PM Tuesday, December 6, 2005
[Is there really such a thing as a meme?]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Tinderbox Weekend San Francisco 2005 - 2:45 PM Friday, November 25, 2005
[Photoshop for Writers?]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Capote (The Movie) - 7:34 PM Monday, November 7, 2005
[in the DNA of every cell, the capacity for homicide]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

The Golem of Prague - 5:43 PM Sunday, September 18, 2005
[And his (ulp!) ilk]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Blog About Your Passions - 10:01 PM Monday, September 12, 2005
[The future of the blogosphere?]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

A Tag Cloud for the Coffeeblog - 7:19 PM Thursday, August 25, 2005
[A procrastinator's greatest dream come true]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

The Original Tricky Dick - 3:28 PM Saturday, August 13, 2005
[They even named a car after him]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Honey, I'm home - 1:19 PM Friday, August 12, 2005
[Land of the bland: muse for the schmooze]

I'm back. The 2-hour plane flight from Albuquerque, like all plane flights, converted a vivid same-day experience into a near-distant memory. My grand plan to blog from Santa Fe had fallen flat. ...

[Read More | Top of Page]

Surrealist Synchronicity - 1:40 PM Thursday, July 28, 2005
[So much to write about, so little time ]

Up to now, when I've written something for the Coffeeblog, I've waited until I have a time block long enough to muse, write, rewrite, daydream, and brood. Now, I have to be somewhere important in 53 minutes with a 15-minute drive. Can I write this? Can I get it all done with no need for major revisions before I go out the door? Will the deadline aid and abet creativity or stifle it? We'll find out. Synchronicity, rock on!...

[Read More | Top of Page]

Fog - 1:37 PM Monday, July 18, 2005
[Playing tag in the 21st Century]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Johanniskraut - 11:32 AM Friday, June 24, 2005
[A Midsummer Night's Dream]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

We've got a theme song! - 9:59 PM Monday, June 20, 2005
[The real sugar is at the bottom]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

McBlogger - 8:06 AM Tuesday, May 10, 2005
[La Nouvelle Cuisine Nuque-Rouge]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Robert Bechtle's Religious Art, Part Two - 1:53 PM Thursday, May 5, 2005
[The Great Thunderbird's Big Medicine]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

An Affogato at Caffe Trieste. - 10:31 PM Sunday, April 17, 2005
[The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly]

Sunday nights my beloved Espresso Roma is closed after seven or eight. I had to get out of the house and decided to drive all the way to the Berkeley Caffe Trieste, not too close to home, even though gas is almost three bucks a gallon here in Northern California. I wasn't disappointed. It was too late for a latte and a weird time for a plain espresso, but they had something called an" afogato", which turned out to be a scoop of gelato with a shot of espresso. A perfect drink for a a funky Sunday evening. There was a waitress who asked me to smell a rose from her hair, and an earnest barista who appeared to be from India, who explained the "afogato" for me. There was French pop music playing, a mellow dim light, and lots of high-carb goodies in the display cases. A cute brunette customer commented on my "afogato", then ordered a giant piece of cannoli. I tried my "leave the gun, take the cannoli" joke on her but she didn't get the reference. Is the Godfather now something only us old-timers remember, like "La Dolce Vita?"...

[Read More | Top of Page]

Robert Bechtle's Religious Art - 10:54 AM Monday, April 11, 2005
[Part 1: You are my sunshine]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

The Third or Fourth Day of Spring - 12:52 PM Friday, March 25, 2005
[What's so good about Good Friday?]

[Read More | Top of Page]

Cyberschmoozing - 3:25 PM Saturday, March 19, 2005
[A kiss is just a kiss?]

In February, 2005, a self-styled summit on online social networking was held in cyberspace, with no identifiable geographical locus. Blogosphere old-timers as well as newcomers like me have become familiar with Flickr, del.icio.us, Technorati, and other Internet entities (internentitites?) for establishing connections between people, at the core of which, are blogs themselves. (See my recent post on Blogger's Block.)...

[Read More | Top of Page]

So Much to Procrastinate, So Little Time - 11:04 PM Thursday, March 10, 2005
[When is putzing around not putzing around?]

The Italians call it dolce far niente, sweetly doing nothing. In the Ashkenazi Jewish diaspora it's called putzing around. Today is a good day for it. It's a preview of spring, the Espresso Roma terrace is replete with gay chatter (not that kind of gay, the other kind of gay), and, as I write these words, it's three minutes before 3:00 PM—the hour at which most of the day has been shot to hell....

[Read More | Top of Page]

Big Sur and the Oranges of Henry Miller - 4:17 PM Friday, March 4, 2005
[January 7, 2005: A Memoir]

... [Read More | Top of Page]

Yule for Jews? - 1:57 PM Friday, December 24, 2004
[The festival which dare not speak its name]

As a kid I was raised as a Jewish Socialist, meaning that I got a double-dose of Christmas guilt. As a Jewish child I was not supposed to get sucked into Christian proselytizing and as a Socialist I was not supposed to get sucked into the "opium of the masses." But I lived only a few miles from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the "Christmas City" and site of one of the world's most spectacular nativity scenes, the Moravian Putz. (That's right, it's called the Putz. The word has radically different connotations in Yiddish and Moravian German.)...

[Read More | Top of Page]

blog comments powered by Disqus Comments (View)

Add to Technorati Favorites

Copyright ©2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Jonathan David Leavitt. All rights reserved.