I’m back on Eastlake, back at that coffee shop. There’s a crowd in the back gathered around a table. The table is covered in glasses of coffee, bowls of dark roasted beans, and a variety of coffee accessories. It’s a coffee tasting. The tasters slurp frequent sloppy spoonfuls of dark coffee. After each slurp, the taster stops and freezes his facial expression while he tries to measure his reaction to the latest vintage.

Ball of String

At Elliot Bay Books today, I was waiting while my purchase was being rung up. A cashier stood at the end of the counter twisting a length of kite string around a perfectly round foot-in-diameter ball of string. Three of his co-workers hung back, waiting for customers. They paid no attention to their co-worker — or anyway, they paid him no more attention then they would have if he had been straightening a stack of magazines. I ignored him too, pretending that I wasn’t both confused and impressed by his creation.

Bean #600

At the grocery store checkout there’s a group of three women – all different ages. They’re wearing ankle-length skirts with conservative blouses and have matching polka dot scarves tied tightly over their hair. A man with a squared-off beard pushes a shopping cart a few steps behind them. In the cart there’s a copy of the free Seattle Weekly, a case of bottled water, and a case of Pepsi. He drags his feet at the end of an aisle while the women get in line. He considers something for a moment, then chooses to add a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon to the cart before joining the women in line.

True Story

[Cloud over the Seattle skyline]

I live in that building there — the one in the middle, The Washington Mutual Tower, up on the fiftieth floor. It’s pretty nice, but it can be a pain when the dog wants to go out. We have to go all the way down for him to do his business, and then we have to go all the way back up again.

And I have a dog. I live in that building and I have a dog.

The bank is just downstairs, which is convenient. But there aren’t any grocery stores in walking distance. Rent is easy to afford — it’s only $36 a month — but I had to make a non-refundable pet deposit (for the dog that I have).

The dog doesn’t really get along with some of the neighbors, so I try to keep them apart.

Garden Burger with Pickles

If you order the garden burger off the sandwich menu, it’ll cost $7.25. On the burger menu, a basic hamburger costs $7.25. But a note at the end of the burger menu says that a garden burger patty or a chicken breast can be substituted for an extra fifty cents. That garden burger will cost you $7.75. The menu is still internally consistent: The garden burger on the sandwich menu has onions, lettuce, and tomatoes. The hamburger has all that, plus it has pickles. An “add pickles: 50 cents” note could be added to the sandwich menu for clarification.

Eastlake and Azure

I’m staying at Samantha’s for a few days while a newly poured floor is settling in my hallway. (Who would imagine that a floor could come out of a bucket. That’s something that might happen in a Looney Tunes cartoon.)

I’m at a cafe on Eastlake sitting at the window watching the traffic roll by. On the other side of the window, on a sidewalk table, there’s a vintage (mid-20th century) coffee can serving as an ash tray. Something has been burning inside the can since I sat down. There’s a steady plume of smoke that’s only just starting to fade.

There’s a little orange dog waiting outside and looking unhappy. People who pass by lean down to pet it, first holding out a hand for it to sniff — a bit of dog petting etiquette that I usually forget.

This was posted with Azure, a Movable Type posting client that works on internet-connected Palm-based PDAs (and presumably anything that runs the Java Runtime Environment). Setup was easy and it has an intuitive UI. Let’s see if this is posted.