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Winter Winter
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Winter Winter

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I've been working in Cambridge since late December, and I've been waiting months for the days to get longer so I could start rephotographing stores. With my Scrabble schedule, I will not have many opportunities, but I got to about half a dozen this weekend...

http://starbuckseverywhere.net/LatestPhotos.htm
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Winter Winter

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Thanks to this article...

http://www.phillymag.com/articles/best-coffee-philadelphia/

...I learned of many new indie coffeehouses in Philadelphia and have started working my way through them. Bodhi serves Elixr, a local roast that has yet to disappoint me, and offers a Chemex option.
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La Colombe has another location, but this one only offers drip from a machine...

http://starbuckseverywhere.net/bigimages/28/DSCN28084.jpg
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LONG

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The Last Time I Was Beautiful

The last time I was beautiful, the sun never set. Not that I could tell, at least from my arrival in Anchorage, Alaska, til my departure a few days later. This midnight sun, as they call it, was the reason I had traveled there, in the summer of 1998, a fact that my surprise some who know the reason for most of my worldwide adventures.

No, Starbucks in those days was still slouching across America, not yet the rough beast it has since become, and my westward journey that hot June was motivated by additional pursuits--Lilith Fair, Vegas gambling, and a desire to witness for myself this phenomenon, of never-ending sun.

After two or three nights of wandering around the city, I found myself at the iconic (yet recently closed down) Blues Central bar, where, after some time gathering up my nerve, I took the now-uncharacteristic step of asking the bartender to offer the womyn at the end of the bar a drink.

The womyn's name was Vicky, and she accepted my drink with a gesture that I at first interpreted as uncourteous but later learned was sign language for "thank you". We would laugh over my mistake a few hours later, at the Village Inn, where Vicky would pay me a compliment that I still remember, a decade and a half later.

I guess I must have done everything right that night, because Vicky closed her law books, gathered up her drink, and came over to sit next to me--studying was finished that evening. After some conversation, she felt that I absolutely had to see the world famous Chilkoot Charlie's bar, although it did not take us long to decide that the scene wasn't that appealing, at least not that night, and that's when we retreated to find late-night eats.

The Village Inn has locations in fewer than half of the U.S. states, so a reader can be forgiven for being unfamiliar with this restaurant chain, but one can think of it was a Denny's or an IHOP, available after hours to those who are not yet ready to go home. Or those who are ready for breakfast at any hour of the day or night, a plan that I've already gotten behind.

And so it was that I found myself sitting across from a beautiful womyn in a strange city in the wee hours of the night, a womyn bold enough that she gazed into my eyes and said "You have the most beautiful brown eyes."

I did not know how to react, so I just sat there speechless while Vicky pointed out that I had just turned beet red. Being Latino, I was under the impression that I was incapable of blushing, but I  learned otherwise that night.

Eventually, fatigue set in, and Vicky dropped me off on the porch of the hostel. There is more to the story, but I prefer to fixate on that one joyous moment in time, when I knew without a doubt that at least one person on the planet genuinely found me attractive.

I'll never forget Vicky, nor that that night in Anchorage, because as far as I'm concerned given the decades since, that was the last time I was beautiful.
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Dan Wachtell, the opening paragraphs of your note remind me of a topic that I've never gotten around to posting about, whether laws against physical violence should be relaxed to legalize acts that cause only minor or ephemeral harm.

Take, as a simple example, an open-palmed slap to the face. 

Such an act typically causes ephemeral physical pain, and possibly emotional pain that may or may not last longer.

Contrast that with "FUCK YOU". In many contexts, it is easy to see how the act of saying "FUCK YOU" to a person can cause longer-lasting harm than a slap would.

What is the logic, then, behind making one act illegal while allowing the other?

I would argue that sanctions should be based on harms, both real and probably, and that a slap is an act that can be expected to cause only ephemeral harm, and usually does so, and thus should be legally allowed.

And to not get bogged down in the specifics of slapping versus cursing, I'll point out that any person should easily be able to come up with myriad examples of physically violent acts, presently illegal, that cause LESS harm than acts of speech.
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http://www.npr.org/2014/04/17/304141177/ohios-law-against-political-lying-heads-to-supreme-court

Fascinating.

I would love to see the First Amendment modified to exclude protections against lying.
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Winter Winter

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Another Philadelphia discovery thanks to this article...

http://www.phillymag.com/articles/best-coffee-philadelphia/

...La Colombe is only the second coffeehouse where I've seen an Alpha Dominche Steampunk machine...

http://alphadominche.com/steampunk/

This machine can be customized in many ways, but when I visited it was still relatively new to La Colombe, and they only offer one setting.

I had the Panama Hacienda La Esmeralda, and it was pretty good, but not great. I chalk it up the roast, since my memory of the brew I had at Nobrow in SLC (the other shop where I've seen a Steampunk) is a good one.
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It's never too late to evolve.

I had previously resisted visiting domestic museums by myself, preferring to wait until I could find a womyn who was both attractive and sophisticated enough to want to visit a museum, but I have in my older years come to accept the relative unlikelihood of this.

So last year I went ahead and visited an exhibit at the Houston MFA by myself, and now I visit Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art.

At 42, every breath brings me closer to the grave, and, realizing that, I cannot continue to wait for unicorns.
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Ironically, I'm watching the fourth episode of this season's 'Portlandia', and Carrie Brownstein's character says, and I quote, "Being passionate about anything is sexy."

Now, as anybody know knows me understands, life is meant to be lived according to what is learned from television, but sometimes television is not the be-all and end-all guide to life that it is purported to be.

Obviously, my experiences tell us just the opposite, that most womyn prefer a man who has no interests and is thus better able to devote all his attention to her.
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This is just a piece of information, presented with no judgment or conclusion, for you to make of it what you will.

In the three years that I've been hitting OkCupid and other sites on and off, I have noticed that I tend to get more responses from womyn who appear visibly overweight than from those who appear height-weight proportionate or athletic, even though I myself appear to be not overweight in my own profile photos.
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Winter Winter

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Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk were handed leaflets ordering them to register with the new self-proclaimed pro-Russian leadership, according to an Israel-based organization that monitors
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Yes, in 2014.
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