Tag Archives: Coffee

What Engineers Do When They’re Bored


This a picture of the bulletin board in our break area at work (documents altered to protect the innocent). Every day for the last two weeks or so, someone (or possibly more than one person) has been adding an item to the board. Speculations abound as to which item was first though many suspect it was the Maxwell house at the center. The square with the ring shaped bulge is the decaf. And yes, those are stirrers in the cup.

What item do you think will be added today?

PS (The Purel is not attached to the board, but sitting on top of the microwave below this picture).

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Sleepy, Frozen, Need Coffee

Sorry for the last couple of delays. Like many of you I stayed up late to finish the super bowl and slung cruel words at my alarm clock at 4:40 am this morning. Upon attempting to leave my house (many snoozes later) I found that my car doors were frozen, not frozen shut mind you, but frozen open. The locking mechanism freezes when it’s really cold and the door will not shut no matter how much slamming, cursing and wringing of hands is applied. Suffice it to say a full blog post is not in the offing today. I’m going to sip my coffee now. Hope your mornings are going better and see you guys tomorrow!


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Hello Greetings!

Welcome to the 2nd year of [BTW], and welcome to the nearly 100 of you who joined our merry band in the last few days! I thought this would be a good time to tell you a little about myself and what to expect from the coming year.

First of all my last name is pronounced Trub-ee. As in:

“Trube or not Trube” or “Too good Trube true”

There are many things you can rhyme it with such as a talking dog, or a part of the female anatomy.

You may occasionally see me mention “The Little Red Haired Girl” (and from time to time she even stops by). This is how my wife has come to be commonly known on the blog, and is also an allusion to my favorite comic strip, Peanuts. I also have a beagle named Simon and a cat named Dax (Jadzia not Ezri!).

As you may have guessed from my cat, or the post many of you read for the first time, I am a Star Trek fan. Don’t worry you won’t be subjected to fan fiction! I do, however, hold the “controversial” opinion that DS9 is better than TNG. If some of you need to leave now I understand.

I am a writer of fiction and non-fiction, working mostly in mystery and science fiction. I’m more of a “futuristic” science-fiction writer rather than writing about big galaxies and empires. I’m not a giant fan of the “crime procedural”, and am more a fan of the noir\puzzle style of mystery. The 40 minute stories on this blog, however, can be just about anything.

I am working furiously to finish a non-fiction book on fractals to be released digitally sometime, somewhere this quarter. For those of you who’ve never seen one, this is a fractal:



My Blog Banner is also a Fractal. Cool, huh?

In the past year I’ve become part of a great community of fellow bloggers who are always there with an interesting idea, comment, or even just a faithful “like”. I owe a large part of my continued existence here on the web to Brian, Ginger, Chuck, Jo, Mel, Paula, Dad, and of course “The Little Red Haired Girl” as well as the 109 of you who joined throughout the year. Thank you all so very much!

This year I’d like to do more 40 minute stories (maybe 20), try some new writing experiments (like the social writing project from last year), and continue to provide coverage of writing advice\thoughtstechnology or just about anything that strikes me. I’m also hoping to have a few surprises for you in the coming months, but details will have to wait.

Lastly, since many of you came here from a character development post, and since there are so many chain questionnaires going around the blogosphere, I thought I’d start one of my own. Introducing:

The Coffee Quiz!

1) How many cups of coffee per day? 5-6

2) What is your favorite caffeine delivery system? Goes between coffee and diet soda, interchangeably or both at the same time.

3) What was your best cup of coffee? Easily almost anything Crimson Cup brews.

4) What was your worst cup of coffee? Instant, Coke Black (Coffee flavored coke) and Blueberry Flavored Coffee.

5) What does your favorite mug say? The one at work says nothing, but can hold a full 4 cups. As for home I’m partial to my Ohio State Fight Song mug.

6) How do you take your coffee? Black.

7) When was your first cup? When I was 12 years old, on a cold campout in February and someone had forgotten the hot chocholate.

8) Have you ever gone on a coffee date? Yes, but I misinterpreted “get coffee” as “brew coffee” and instead served her home brewed black to someone who took Mocha’s mostly. Thankfully she still married me.

Alright, Brian, JoMel and Paula … What are your answers? Anyone else can feel free to answer too.

What does this have to do with character development you ask? Well, I just came up with eight questions about coffee. Does your character drink it? What other habits, experiences, preferences does your character have? What do these tell you about who they are as a person?

See you tomorrow and Happy New Year!

PS: I’m getting back to everyone on comments as quickly as possible. Thank you all for your likes, comments, follows and congratulations.


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My Writing Haunts

Despite what John Scalzi says I like bringing my laptop to coffee shops.

I like going out to write for a couple of reasons. For starters, I like to change up my environment, observe new people, sit in a different chair or sip on a different beverage. Going out also lets me give myself little rewards for getting work done, like browsing the clearance CD’s at Half-Price Books after I’ve revised the night’s work. And sometimes I just need to get away from my home office which has its own distractions (video games, picking the room up, cats who claw at my laptop bag).

Half-Price Books has actually been a great place to work, as long as I don’t get too distracted with browsing. I go to the location on Lane Avenue, near OSU campus. There isn’t much in the way of seating or table space, but my favorite spot is usually open. I tend to write in the far back corner near the books about Hitler and Nazi Germany. For some reason there don’t seem to be a lot of people who browse in that section. My netbook fits perfectly on the little tables, and there is no WiFi signal nearby to distract me from my work.

As coffee shops go it’s a toss up between Panera and Crimson Cup. Crimson Cup is typically not as busy, though sometimes I like some chatter in the background. I’m one of those people who finds it very distracting to work in absolute silence. Both aren’t open very late (only 9pm), so I sometimes go down to the campus Cup O Joe which is usually open til 1am.

I tend to be most successful working out when I have a set goal (1700 words or 11 pages of revising) that once accomplished allows me to either continue or enjoy wherever I happen to be. I might get more work done if I worked at home at a stretch, but browsing bookshelves is often a good way to get ideas, or at least to encounter new authors. I don’t do this every night I write (usually 1 or 2 times a week), but it helps to break up my thinking and keep me from getting into ruts. The only downside is that it can be tempting to only finish the set goal, rather than to continue on if I’m on a roll (a point well illustrated by Lisa in “The Book Job“).

How about you? Do you find it helpful to always write in the same place or change it up?

NOTE: One of my favorite places to revise and read was the Evening Star cafe, closed a number of months ago. They were one of these places where the owner knew you by name and the food was cheap and delicious. It is now a Z-Pizza.


When I was writing for 107 days straight I ended up working in two dozen different places. Here is a short list:

  • 1-6: At home (My Office, The Porch, In My Old Chair Upstairs, The Basement, The Kitchen, The Den)
  • 7-12: Around OSU Campus (OSU Panera, Buckeye Donut, The Union, Joy’s Village, Cup O Joe, Lennox Barnes and Noble)
  • 13: Half-Price Books (Lane Avenue, most frequent)
  • 14-16: Other Paneras (Bethel, Clintonville, Youngstown)
  • 17: Crimson Cup (Clintonville)
  • 18: Worthington Library (too quiet!)
  • 19-21: Punderson (Library In Main Lodge, Front Porch Of Cabin, Subway Down The Road)
  • 22: About a sentence of DM was written in OSU Doctor’s offices.
  • 23: Starbucks (Sawmill)
  • 24: Occasionally on my lunch break at work in Delaware.

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