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Sunday, 08 April 2012


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.......Nostalgia for me is remembering those wonderful moments that lasted longer than they did and so they are still here......like the first time I heard Wes live.....thanks Mike....we share a lot and that is enough.

Re: the Van Heusen ad,
"This was business as usual? Things really have changed."

It's true. Not enough men wear ties to bed anymore.

Dear Mike,

I'll be waiting for the argument that 50's women had it as good as men based on some exceptional corner case or another.

Kind of the way there were folks who said Sammy Davis Jr proved that racism was over.

(In case anyone actually believes that, look up the history of The Rat Pack.)

pax / Ctein

I sure would have boycotted those ties!!

I got the Aerobie AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker you mentioned in one of your earlier coffee posts. It's my favorite coffee maker at the moment. Much easier to clean than a French press. My next car will be the Miata. Do you have an affiliate link for that?

Mike, I'm not sure of the exact year but it's not a '62; likely '66 or newer, but not so new that the ugly shock absorbing bumpers were introduced. The yellow lenses on the turn signal lights did not appear until later than '65.


Here's a '62

Yes a good light roast between first & second crack is preferred.

Any favorites?

How do you brew your fresh roasted coffee?

Mike, I agree the Van Heusen ad is very shocking--the very idea if wearing a tie to bed is just . . . unnatural.

Now I know why I don't like Starbuck's coffee... Or most of the other chains, probably all for the same reason. You learn something new everyday. Thanks Mike!

I used to think that Starbucks roasted its coffees so dark to please people who drink the cappuccinos and lattes and perhaps add lots of sugars and syrups. Your point about balancing the flavours of the roast and the bean was new to me and interesting (I love coffee but know very little about it). It sounds a little like balancing the inherent properties of the scene itself against those things that come from photographic and development technique, which is something I do think a lot about and is a difficult thing to get right.

......Mike.....my nostalgia at this moment is remembering hearing Wes live in NYC and how the time never ended as I hear it now. Thank you for your thoughts and the skill you give to keeping us connected on this site.

Starbucks now makes a Golden Roast just for you.


quite a coincidence to see the van Heusen ad here. I saw it for the first time just a couple of days ago in a report about sexist advertising in the German magazine SPIEGEL. Check http://einestages.spiegel.de/static/topicalbumbackground-xxl/24625/denn_zum_kochen_sind_sie_da.html

Yeah, that's the same feature as the Retronaut one I linked to. No idea who did it first, but my preference is for links in English, since that's TOP's main language and the one most of our readers read.


Mike Plews,
That is a fantastic story. Probably the most honest story I've heard in a long time about why someone photographs.


I perked up with the coffee bit then got to "golf" and fell instantly asleep.. really must try and get to the end! Something about cars. ;)

I just made a jazz discovery thanks to my brother, who sent me a CD from my trumpet playing cousin's band, Swoop Unit (I didn't know he had one). "Swingin'Freakout" is the title, and it's good funky jazz for cleaning the house or raking the lawn.


Interesting comment from your mom...Back in the '80s I had a serious bout of nostalgia probably due to the crack epidemic which made driving a taxi extremely dangerous, and the other epidemic, AIDS which started taking many of my friends one by one. I asked my mom if things weren't a lot better during the '50's when she was young, and she said: "Yes they were better back then, as long as you were White, Wealthy and Protestant!"

Speaking of MG and 1962, one of the most influential bands in pop music was named after the car and also debuted in 1962: Booker T. and the M.G.s., a.k.a. the house band at Stax Records.

That same year, The Rolling Stones formed, while the Beatles replaced their drummer and recorded their first single. 1962 was a remarkable year in many ways (Algerian independence, first American in space, Vatican II, etc.), and especially so in music and film.


Dunno about ties in bed but what about eyepatches?

The new "blond" Starbucks coffees aren't bad. Never could take their "burnt" varieties.
I was in Boston for work a few years back and there were Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts on opposite corners of an intersection "downtown". There were about 30 people lined up at Dunkin Donuts (light roast) and about 4 at Starbucks (burnt roast). I wonder which roast people liked better? Or was it the coffee and crappy corporate pastry for $3 or the coffee and crappy corporate pastry for $5 that made the difference?

Yeah, that's the same feature as the Retronaut one I linked to

It's very well possible that SPIEGEL was 'inspired' by the Retronaut piece ;-)

How could you forget the Triumph Spitfire in your list of the Class of '62? Soldiered on as long as the MGB, until the woe that was BMC caught up fully with them both (we'll ignore the RV8 and other latter-day MGB variants that followed).


I question whether the oily sheen on coffee beans indicates over roasted beans. My favorite coffee shop, K. Dees Coffee & Roasting Company, in Lafayette, IN (home of Purdue University) is owned by a gentleman who was a coffee buyer for many years and has his coffee roasted to his specifications. He is a perfectionist when it comes to coffee, won't sell flavored coffee beans because the flavor is there to hide less than great coffee beans. All of his coffee beans have a beautiful oily sheen whether dark or light roast, and all of them taste wonderful.

I have noticed, however, that if I keep the beans too long, the oily sheen disappears.

My favorite is the Tanzania Peaberry. This coffee hooked my 60+ year old wife who had never like coffee. One day she was desperate for a little caffeine, and thought she would add enough sugar and cream to my recently brewed Tanzania Peaberry to make it palatable. She took one taste, determined that it was so good that no sugar or cream was necessary, and has been a coffee drinker every since.

You can order his Killer Beans online through

Or better yet, stop by K. Dees where you can converse with proprietor, and enjoy the atmosphere along with your coffee.

Mike, my first comment, but I have enjoyed your blog over the years. Thanks.

Jeff Smith

I found a few amusing little synchronicitys in your latest column, the first
one being the MGB that sits for sale in a driveway in Acton, a small town near my home. Not sure of the price, but pretty as it looks I'm sure keeping it on the road would be a labour of love. British electrical systems were not a good match for the extremes of Canadian weather. Secondly, I have been having issues with dark roast beans too. Mostly because much as I love them, they jam up my espresso grinder with their oiliness. I recently went on the hunt for a new grinder in a speciality store in Milton Ontario. I came back not just with a fancy grinder but also a hunking piece of chrome in the form of a Bezzera espresso machine. What the hell, it was time to replace my old Starbucks Barrista anyway. If you think cameras have a learning curve, try spending some time figuring out how to pour a perfect shot.
Next synchronicity, albeit indirect was the advert with the Van Heusen ties. I have a vintage tie collection lovingly harvested over the years from thrift stores. Covering the decades from 1940 to 1960, these things are miniature works of art. I wear them occasionaly and get some interesting looks and comments. I will look for the Wes Montgomery. I've gone totally PC based with my music now, ripping my CD collection into huge WAV files. I use the excellent JRiver Media Centre running on a tiny netbook. The signal outputs via USB to an USB/SPDIF converter which re-clocks and cleans up jitter. From there it goes to an external DAC which has an analogue output via a vintage 1960's 5670 military tube. Final leg is through a integrated amp and out to the speakers. Digital music has come of age and being able to play straight WAV or lossless formats has changed my listening habits. I think of Mp3 as the jpeg of music, and lossless formats are the TIFFs. A listening tip if you can find it. Sammy Davis Jr Sings, Laurindo Almeida plays; a sublime collaboration of singer and guitarist. Highly recommended.

Who said it isn't still a man's world? http://www.care2.com/causes/wisconsin-equal-pay-law-repealed-because-money-is-more-important-for-men.html

Coincidentally, Wes Montgomery's 'Full House'? Released in 1962.

The sexism wasn't the only shocking thing about that tie ad. First, the design - cringeworthy. I don't care what year it was. And second, "sewmanship". Double-cringe. On the plus side, wearing a tie in bed would make that smug SOB easier to strangle.

But anyway, coffee. I'm afraid you'll have to do a whole "Open Mike" post about your coffee roasting. I tried it for awhile but gave it up as a lot of bother and smoke. I do make myself a cappuccino every morning on a Gaggia non-automatic machine, and it's probably the most challenging thing I try to pull off all day. I make a perfect one with an acceptable shot and latte art about 5% of the time. Still, they're all delicious.

Gotta agree on the "blond" roast from Starbucks. It's my go-to on the occasions when I go to Starbucks (which is usually because I need a place to meet one-on-one with someone for an hour or so -- there's always a Starbucks nearby and they're usually open late, and they don't mind you taking up a table for an hour or so for the price of a cup of coffee.) An added benefit is that it's not always pre-brewed, so they brew me a cup on the spot. But, their "blond" roast is everyone else's "medium".

Great article;I just caught up with it after returning from a trip. An aside about MGB's;I bought a slightly used '72 back in '75 and kept it for over thirty years. First I drove it, then both of my kids drove it during their last years of high school (they really loved that), then I drove for a while until my bad back made it too uncomfortable to get in/out off. Went to my son and finally got sold around six years ago, for more than I paid for it. The '72 had minimal pollution gear (removed) and did not have the ugly bumpers, etc. The interesting part of all this, was in the course of working on the car, I discovered that the manufacturer never threw away parts. My '72 had parts on it from earlier years; a little quirk tha made every work/repair session a bit of a guessing game. Between that and the Lucas electrics, the car was always interesting. Great fun to drive on back roads with the top down.

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