Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
For example, here's a headline on a press release forwarded to me this week: "Nokia Siemens Networks enters final stage of synergy-related headcount restructuring.""Hi, honey, I'm afraid I have bad news: I've been synergy-related headcount restructured."
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
When you walk down the street in suburban Missouri, you hear cars passing by and gets stares from overweight drivers wondering why you'd actually walk somewhere. When you walk down the street in a cosmopolitan metropolis like Singapore, you're very likely to hear a real person playing music who is glad you're walking by and hopes that you'll stop and listen for a bit. In Asia, most of the buskers are handicapped, but there is a growing, underground movement of talented musicians that are taking it to the streets.
Last weekend I happened to run into a group called Low Intensity performing in the underpass between Wheelock Place and the Shaw Center. I snapped a few photos and went to their website. It turns out this group has been getting a little publicity lately and was featured on Channel News Asia.
Check out their Website
See my photo gallery
Low Intensity @ photos.cullenhartley.com
Saturday, March 07, 2009
(Caution - this post may seem kinda gross.)
My first food service job out of college was working at the coffee kiosk in Mizzou's Memorial Union. At that time, before the big Starbucks boom, it was the only place that served Starbucks coffee in mid-Missouri. In my boredom, during the mornings and evenings when I worked there I'd spend free moments during the shift reading the labels. It seemed Starbucks liked to brag just as much about the source of the coffee as the flavor. Among others, I remember Kenya Special Blend, Sumatran Decaf, and Guatemala Antigua being popular offerings at the cafe.
My friend Byron, owner of Nanyang Goodmorning Cafe in Singapore, is a coffee connoisseur with clientele from all over the world. Recently he had a friend come back from a trip to Vietnam that brought back a version of the most expensive type of coffee in the world - Kopi Luwak.
Luwak is the Malay word for civet. A civet cat is basically the same thing as a weasel. What makes this "special weasel coffee" so unique is that the beans have been eaten, digested, and defecated by a weasel. But don't worry, you're not drinking it straight (they clean and strain the beans, and roast them in margarine and other flavorings.)
It should also be noted that the version Byron had wasn't the most expensive coffee in the world. The kopi luwak that I drank apparently came from a caged civet cat and wasn't the premium version which is sifted from jungle scat piles. Darn.
Byron prepared the coffee in a Vietnamese style press-pot. On my trip to Vietnam, I specifically remember these little devices being used to make cups of coffee. Byron's technique proved just as good as his Vietnamese counterparts.
Honestly, though, this coffee doesn't really live up to the hype. There's not a flavor so unique here that you couldn't find something just as good in Starbucks. If you look past the preparation process, the coffee tastes like nothing more than a strong blend of hazelnut. It wasn't a bad cup of coffee, but it wasn't so good that it was worth seeking out. This is purely a novelty delicacy prepared solely to give someone bragging rights.
And, unless you ask me about it, from this moment on I won't be discussing this food in public. You've got to consider the source.