Coffee Cup Steaming

Outstanding Coffee Deal, or OCD

We’ve had an espresso machine at home for a long time now. Not just any machine – a really fancy, semi-pro machine. It can not only make espressos from freshly-ground coffee beans,  but heat up and froth milk too.

It can probably also call in air-strikes and give your dog a haircut, but I haven’t read the manual, so I don’t know for sure.

We’ve always been very happy with the machine. We still are.

Then we went to Prague and I learned that both Katka’s mom and her sister have simple coffee-capsule machines. These can prepare coffee directly from a capsule in under one minute and require less setup and cleanup time.

The coffee snob in me was like: “Pffft, what is this cheap excuse for a coffee machine?! This doesn’t even begin to compare to the marvel of engineering that we have at home! How pitiful!”

But…

The lazy slob in me was like: “Holy crap, a decent cup of coffee in under a minute? And all I have to do is press one button? I don’t even have to go through the back-breaking ordeal of grinding coffee beans and moving a cup of milk up and down in order to froth it? Sold! Shut up and take my money!”

So, to make a long story short, the very next day after getting back to Denmark, we went on a parlous quest to a nearby store and got ourselves a Dolce Gusto machine. We also bought a perfectly moderate amount of different coffee capsules that was not excessive in any way…is what I would be saying if my insane OCD didn’t kick in.

My OCD kicked in, of course, and was like “No freaking way, Daniel! We can get at least twenty different types of capsules for this machine?! Fuck it, let’s just get all of them right the hell now. You only live once, so let’s OD on caffeine already today!”

Thanks to my OCD I am now able to bring you this picture:

Dolce Gusto Bonanza

Above: a completely not-at-all-crazy amount of coffee.

Each of those boxes contains 16 coffee capsules, so, if you do some quick math, you’ll see that we now have all of the coffee, ever.

On that note, I shall now leave you all to go get married and stuff. When you hear from me again next week I’ll be “Mr. Gniazdo“, which, now that I think about it, I always have been anyway.

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Elephant parades and pedantic pursuits

From June 1st to August 25th 2011 Copenhagen was the scene of a colourful phenomenon.

Over a hundred painted elephant statues were found scattered all around the city centre, much to the confusion and joy of passers by.

Despite several conspiracy theorists putting forth some wacky ideas about teleportation devices and trojan…elephants…this has been a planned event. Aptly entitled “Elephant Parade Copenhagen” this was the Copenhagen stage of a cross-city open air exhibition aimed at supporting the cause of elephant preservation. You can read much more about this noble effort here, on the official site.

It was a time for people uniting around one common goal and appreciating the majestic beauty of Asian elephants. It was also an excuse for dozens of grown up men and women to spend their time painting elephant sculptures. This was a lot like the nerdy folk painting Warhammer figures, but on a larger scale and more socially acceptable, oddly enough.

Finding all of this quite curious I suggested to my girlfriend, who is into photography, to roam around Copenhagen and snap some pictures of the elephants for posterity. You just never know when hundreds of pictures of painted elephants will come in handy, do you?

“Man, what’s happening to me? This is the last time I go to a rave party!”

And sure enough, it started out as a fun activity and a good motivation for us to enjoy some summer days outside together.

However, seeing how my obsessive-compulsive brain won’t let me simply enjoy things, I had to turn all of this fun into a neurotic “gotta catch ’em all” Pokemon project. This wasn’t helped by the fact that while browsing through the Elephant Parade Copenhagen website I’ve stumbled upon this:

“Now all that’s left is for me to subdivide this map into identifiable sectors and we’re good to go!”

And thus, thanks to my obsessive drive for completion and my girlfriend’s photography skills we proceeded to chase down every…single…one of the 100+ elephants in Copenhagen. Yup, we have pictures, if anyone’s interested. You’re not? Come back, don’t leave me!

Moving hosting providers: another “fun” project

You may remember that but a few short weeks ago I bitched about hosting my own website and all of the technical difficulties that entailed. Subsequent weeks have been spent wrapping my head around the ins and outs of getting a website up. Two days ago I’ve finally felt happy enough about the way my site was set up. I was ready to stop being a site administrator and to start being a blogger. Alas, it was not meant to be.

You see, I have finally bothered to read the “terms of service” of my hosting provider. And by “read” I mean spend more than 2 seconds it takes to scroll down to the end of the ToS page and blindly click the “I Agree” button. To my absolute horror, I have found this in the “PROHIBITED USES” section:

“Profanity. Profanity or profane subject matter in the site content and in the domain name are prohibited”

As any other rational and self-respecting blogger, my immediate reaction to the above was: “What kind of fucking bullshit is this?!”. I can’t decide what language to use on my own blog?! What if my fictional character is a foul-mouthed alcoholic ex-cop? What if one of my readers comments on a post and says “OMG ur so fucking funny i just literally died laffing, LOL”? Before you ask – yes, all of my fictional characters are action movie clichés and all of my blog readers are teenagers who watch Jersey Shore to improve their IQ and cognitive abilities. Bottom line: I cannot possibly be expected to monitor not only my own posts, but also any discussions on my site.

“But surely these guys won’t just shut down your site for using a few swear words here and there”, you may be thinking. That makes you both reasonable and dead wrong. They have done this numerous times and have even allegedly shut down a guy’s website just for discussing poker. Why? Because fuck him for talking about card-based fun! They also have an anti-nudity policy so strict that if you want photographs of people in your blog they better be wearing a hazmat suit or Easter Bunny overalls.

Wait a minute! This girl is clearly showing way too much…ear

Also, the “no nudity” policy effectively rules out links to all pop music videos, since the boundary between pop and porn has been crossed well before Janet Jackson had her famous “wardrobe malfunction” incident. I don’t want to speculate whether “butt” is considered profanity every time I post. If I’m reviewing Dirty Harry movies I don’t want to wonder whether I should write that Clint Eastwood cocked his gun or, ahem, roostered it.

My hosting contract had a 30-day “money back” cancellation policy, which was good. At the time I’d realised this I was on day 28, which was less good. I had two days to pick another host (and make sure they had a more liberal content policy), register another domain name (I wanted a new one), move my whole blog to it, then remove it from the previous host and cancel my contract. If it sounds overwhelming, it’s because it freaking is. Especially when you have a full-time job.

Moving site content is an easy and relatively painless process…provided you know how to create and backup MySQL databases through your cPanel, export data to and from your FTP, and correct queries in your HTML, CSS, and WTF code. And we all know that stuff is taught to us in kindergarten, right? Since I wasn’t tech-savvy enough to do all of that, but OCD enough to give a damn, I had to manually recreate my whole site from scratch on the new host. This took up exactly 127 hours of the free time I’ve had in the past two days.

But I’ve made it! I have a new and fancy “nest-expressed” domain name, a liberal host, a shiny new blog, and social media pages to market it. So now all I need is YOU, my readers! Because let’s face it, laughing at your own jokes is pretty damn sweet, but laughing at your own jokes a bit too often gets you a one-way trip to an asylum. With that said – go read my stuff, subscribe to my blog, and help spread the word. I even have fancy “share” buttons to help you do so, right below this post. So go ahead! You don’t want me to end up in an asylum, do you?