Often Zhan

3 minute read

Cafe Equipment

I like drinking at coffee shops, Cafés, Coffee houses. Whatever you call them. Places whose main source of income is by selling decent cups of coffee. I even go out of my way to find them!

However, I don’t feel satisfied with my current method of rating coffee shops. What I’ve been doing thus far has been to go to a coffee shop, drink a cup of coffee, glance around the room, and mutter to myself saying “I like it.” or “I don’t like it.” This method is so… imprecise. Too wishy-washy. I need some sort of rubric or grading system to measure the coffee shop similar to the Duck Row test.

Why do I need to quantifiable measure for a coffee shop? Because. What more can I say? Should I just enjoy the moment by drinking the cup of coffee and enjoying the scenery? Preposterous. How can I enjoy something without measuring my enjoyment with an empirical value? It’s impossible.

I want to start expanding my coffee shop horizons, so I’ve decided to expand in an outward spiral. Starting in Half Moon Bay, I’ve mapped out as many local independent coffee shops that I intend to visit.

Lucky for me, I like my coffee consistent. Paper cup. Black. With a Book or perhaps a friend.

To keep my experiment as consistent as possible, I’ve decided to visit new coffee shops at 2PM on Saturday. If I try to rate coffee shops on different days and hours then I might arrive at rush hour. Or during a change shift. Visiting at the same time reduces these errors. Also, I need to visit these coffee shops more than once.

The coffee itself will only be a small percentage of the coffee shop’s total score. Coffee is just coffee. If I want good coffee, I would just make it at home. What I am really looking for is the location, convenience, atmosphere, mission/vision statement.

I still haven’t fully created the basic rubric, but I’m close. The rubric will be graded with an overall score of 100 um… coffee beans?

Or perhaps coffee cups.

OH WAIT! Maybe the tens place will be measured in Coffee Cups, and the Ones place will be measured in coffee beans. Like 5 cups of coffee and 3 beans would represent a score of 53100.

That could work!

I dunno, I haven’t put much thought on the creative stuff. I’m mainly working creating a fair and consistent rubric. Then I’ll worry about graphic design afterwards.

I should be done with a rough working draft of the project in the next couple of hours, and I’ll provide an update when I feel it is at least partially presentable.

Often Zhan

4 minute read

May, if you are skimming through my blog… you can just skip this one. Nothing to see here. Just move along.

Well… I bought more books. Again.

I’ve been trying… honestly trying to round down my collection of books into a neatly organized and concise resource library. With much trepidation and melancholy, I managed to get rid of about 12 of my library.

My goal was to limit my library to my 6 shelves, but I am going to have to revise my original plan. I need a bookshelf specifically designed for a constant stream of books coming in and out like summer reads, ‘to read’ books, devotionals, blank journals…

Anyways, I browsed around the available books at Goodwill and paid a total of $3.50 for 5 books. I am writing down some of the books on the blog because I feel guilty—especially after I told May that I would stop buying books in order to read the ones I’ve got— and want to justify my purchase.

List of Newly Acquired Books

Team-Based Strategic Planning: A Complete Guide to Structuring, Facilitating and Implementing the Process – C. Davis Fogg

I bought this book because I am currently serving in an 501©3 non-profit organization that is needs a lot of long-term strategic planning. I am partially to blame.

When I picked up this book, I was surprised at how in-depth and practical content. This book essentially builds a corporation from scratch and as it slowly forms the organization, the author discusses the importance of each working part.

Of all the books that I bought from Goodwill, this book was my least guilty purchase. I’ve skimmed through this book for more than 2 hours after purchasing the book, and I’m pretty sure that this will find a permanent residence in my resource library.

Christian Prayer through the Centuries – Joseph A. Jungmann

Recently, I’ve been reading about, contemplating, and praying about… well… prayer. I was introduced to the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) by MYT and LYT. Despite using the BCP occasionally these past 3 months, the rigid structure of the BCP as a congregational prayer book and as a personal devotion is still new to me.

This book caught my interest because (1) it was written by the “greatest liturgical scholar of his generation” [pg viii], and (2) the book goes through the changes in thought, approach, underlying philosophies of Christian prayer throughout history.

Yes, I understand that Jungmann was a Jesuit priest and therefore much of our theological beliefs will differ, but I don’t think that our differences will be so vast that it will prevent me from gleaning insight. I mean, I believe in about 90% of what Roman Catholics believe, and Roman Catholicism is pretty cool. Almost every serious-practicing Roman Catholic friend I’ve met, I consider a sibling in Christ.

Better than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers – Edited by Don George

This book is “a collection of original travel stories told by some of the world’s best novelists…”

I want to write more short story travelogues. I am hoping that this book will give me some inspiration.

I have some journal entries that I want to flesh out and make into full-fledged stories like my Roadtrip with May. I am used to writing fiction stories, but travelogues are outside of my normal genre and writing them is certainly outside of my normal comfort-zone.

Well… now that I listed three of the five books that I bought from Goodwill, I feel a lot better about my purchase. I’m not going to list or describe the last two books because I think that my attempt to do so will negate all the headway I’ve made so far in justifying my purchase. So, I’ll just keep the rest of those books a secret.

(Hopefully May will forgive me.)