April 22, 2011

Free Coffee Today at Starbucks and Caribou - Earth Day - April 22

Caribou Coffee, Caribou Blend, 24-Count K-Cups for Keurig BrewersBring in a reusable mug and receive free coffee at either Starbucks or Caribou.

"On April 22 we’re inviting everyone to bring in a reusable mug or tumbler and get a free brewed coffee or tea. Your choice of brew, hot or iced – it is spring after all!" - Starbucks

"Participating stores only. Must bring in and use a reusable drinkware to redeem offer. Offer valid Friday, April 22, 2011 only." -Caribou (from an e-mail)

I'm off to Caribou. See you later!

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April 12, 2011

Cafe Ballou from the Outside Not Looking In

Cafe Ballou, from the outside, looks like that trendy urban high school kid who spent extra on clothes that have strategic holes, or which don't match so much that he looks hip. Like they go out of their way to look like...

But they serve Intelligentsia Coffee. But on their website is a photo with fewer neighborhood postings than the one I took last week. http://www.cafeballouchicago.com

Inside, from the photos, it looks like somewhere between a community cafe and a Caribou Coffee Shop.  

Cafe Ballou
939 North Western Avenue # 1
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 342-2909 ‎
Cuisine‎: Bagels‎, Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt‎, Salads‎, Sandwiches
Parking‎: Street‎, Metered
Meals Served‎: Breakfast‎, Lunch
Seating‎: For 30
Ambiance‎: Casual, Family Friendly
Reservations‎: Not Accepted
Amenities‎: Kid-Friendly, Wifi Hotspot
Wi-fi Hotspot‎: Available
Price Range‎: $ (Under $9)

April 10, 2011

Yin and Yang: Espresso in March, with a Drop of Cream

Yin and Yang
Yin and Yang: Espresso in March, with a Drop of Cream
No latte art made this coffee. Pure circumstance. Sipped in the late morning, I found the moment, and I found eternity.
In Taoist philosophy, yin and yang (☯) arise together from an initial quiescence or emptiness (wuji, sometimes symbolized by an empty circle), and continue moving in tandem until quiescence is reached again. For instance, dropping a stone in a calm pool of water will simultaneously raise waves and lower troughs between them, and this alternation of high and low points in the water will radiate outward until the movement dissipates and the pool is calm once more. Yin and yang thus are always opposite and equal qualities. Further, whenever one quality reaches its peak, it will naturally begin to transform into the opposite quality: for example, grain that reaches its full height in summer (fully yang) will produce seeds and die back in winter (fully yin) in an endless cycle.

It is impossible to talk about yin or yang without some reference to the opposite, since yin and yang are bound together as parts of a mutual whole (i.e. you cannot have the back of a hand without the front). A way to illustrate this idea is to postulate the notion of a race with only men or only women; this race would disappear in a single generation. Yet, men and women together create new generations that allow the race they mutually create (and mutually come from) to survive. The interaction of the two gives birth to things. Yin and yang transform each other: like an undertow in the ocean, every advance is complemented by a retreat, and every rise transforms into a fall. Thus, a seed will sprout from the earth and grow upwards towards the sky – an intrinsically yang movement. Then, when it reaches its full potential height, it will fall.
Wikipedia on Yin and Yang