May 11, 2003

First in the Field
As an experiment, I’ve taken the new laptop out into the field for the first time, and I thought it would be nice to write a little update for the gist mill while I’m here. As I type this, I’m sitting in the Supreme Bean cafe in Stillwater, MN, which is an even more gorgeous town when the leaves are alive. Stillwater is called the Birthplace of Minnesota, for good reason, but I won’t bore you with the historical details except to say that important decisions were made here by frontier types who gathered here for the occassion. I quite like the idea of a bunch of furry wilderness types standing around a bonfire on the edge of St. Croix River talking about making a new state. Today, that beautiful wooded slope across the river is Wisconsin. What a shame that the world has become so small that new states and provinces might never be created again without civil wars or social collapse. Of course, I’m romanticizing the requisitioning of other people’s lands when I write this, but these are the sorts of things you think about when sitting in the birthplace of a state, I suppose.

As for Supreme Bean: hallelujah. This is a privately owned (I’m assuming) little coffee shop in one of the storefront areas of a historic mill building here on the riverbank. If you come buy, I recommend buying an antique book at the fantastic antique shop here in the mill, then sitting down at Supreme Bean to page through it with a sandwich and coffee. Besides the benefits of individual style, this place stands out for its happy and talented staff, surprisingly broad menu of specialty lattes and die-happy desserts. Listen to me raving like a suburban newspaper food critic.

Here’s the real testimonial, though. I made espresso drinks for 3 years, and 100% of the drinks I’ve had from Supreme Bean have been terrific; tasty, smooth, foamy and not too sweet. I can taste vanilla and cinnamon distinctly in the Snickerdoodle, but I can also taste the coffee. A good deal of Caribou drinks fail that test. Yeah, I’m being a snob, but there are so few things I get to be snobbish about with some degree of authority, so I’m relishing. I’ll make up for it with geeky fanboy praise when I write my next movie review, I’m sure.

Man do I love this new computer. With any luck, the extra work I get done with this machine will include more than just blogs. Until next time.


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