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Hummingbirds, coffee filters, spell checkers, love-crazed woodpeckers

Posted Thursday, April 21, 2011, at 7:43 AM

How do they relate to each other? They just happened to run through this rambling mind of mine. Good thing I keep it under control.

Anyway, an observation about hummingbird behaviors and feeders. It has been cool since I placed our first hummingbird feeder out, so I was not too concerned about spoilage of the ingredients. But I noticed a lack of feeding and when the birds came they did not stay.

Something was wrong so I replaced the sugar water and back they came, so watch for full bottles but no guests. Still don't know what was wrong, but discriminating taste-buds knew.

How about coffee filters? There ought to be a law to cover the issue of sleepy morning risers not being able to separate the darn filters from the stack. Heck, I even had it down to two filters and STILL struggled for a few minutes.

My special tweezers deigned to remove these one by one broke 40 or more filters ago. Darn plastic. Are there any quality ones out there, built to last a lifetime? I would outsource it, but Debbi does not get up at the same time as I.

And here is another thing for coffee cup makers. Don't make the inside of the cup dark. I know it used to hide coffee stains, but that does not seem to be a problem with cups these days. The problem is that if the light is not right, I can not see when the cup is full and either come away with a partial cup or a mess!

Have you noticed how intuitive spell checkers are getting? How they know what I intended to say from the gobble-d-gook letters I typed is a mystery to me. Google does a pretty good job of it as well. They know what I am searching for better than me!

I am sure some of you have relatives to our demented woodpecker. We had a cousin when we lived in Mississippi and a brother a few years back. The current one has now found a new twist to give us our wake-up call at the crack (and I mean CRACK) of dawn.

I would guess it is a form of communication (maybe mating call) but our latest Romeo has chosen the metal flashing on the roof to beat out the message (right above our bedroom).

In Mississippi the cousin chose our metal chimney (great resonance). When the brother chose the side of our house a few years ago, I thought I might have an insect issue but it seems he just found a good sounding spot.

Talk on the internet seems to be back and forth between a flicker and woodpecker. What's the difference? Ours looks like the small red-headed woodpecker but .....?


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Steve,

Sorry for the delay in responding, but I have spent the last5 days searching for one of our dogs - no luck.

As I understand it, the acids are produced during the bean roasting process. South American and Expresso coffees have some of the highest acid contents. Too much acid in the coffee can produce a "sour" or "bitter" taste.

My mature (read aged) stomach doesn't handle the high acidity very well, but I'm a coffee addict and can't give it up. Please don't recommend decaf, I've tried it and it doesn't work for me.

Hope this explains the reference to acid in coffee.

-- Posted by amalphia on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 12:30 PM

Hemp? Hmmm, I wonder if that adds something "special" to the brew?

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Apr 24, 2011, at 10:43 AM

I used to use one made from hemp. I quit using it, because it didn't work well with real fine ground coffee (espresso).

You can try it if you want-I think I still have it somewhere. Just let me know....

-- Posted by espoontoon on Sun, Apr 24, 2011, at 10:10 AM

There are several woodpeckers that are on the endangered or threatened species lists. This is primarily attributed to loss of habitat.

-- Posted by wildwoman on Sun, Apr 24, 2011, at 9:02 AM

From what are the re-usable filters made? Could they add to the acidity of the coffee?

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Apr 23, 2011, at 8:33 PM

I have used a non-disposable coffee filter and as long as you get the right size they work great. They do have to rinsed clean of the finer grounds, but its worth it.

Now I double filter my coffee. I place the non-disposable inside the paper filter (yes, it's a challenge to get only one.) But I believe it cuts down on some of the acids in the coffee and makes for a smoother cup of coffee.

-- Posted by amalphia on Sat, Apr 23, 2011, at 12:02 PM

By the way, since I wrote about the early morning drumbeat, it has been replaced with the croaking frog. You don't suppose they read the T-G blog too?

The frog can not wake us up, so it is a better trade-off.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Apr 23, 2011, at 8:28 AM

John, I've had the unwanted correction as well. (not on an i-phone though) What annoys me most is that it sometimes will not let me over-ride the @#$% thing. I can understand the profanity. As long as it gives me a choice, but mine is usually correct. Can they "learn" the user's most frequently used terms?

INSTANT COFFEE!? Tyger, how could you say such words? That used to be by poison but ever since I owned a coffee shop, I never went back. I think I like the aroma of it brewing as much, if not more than the actual drink. It is such a "warm fuzzy" when I walk into a coffee shop now-a-days.

Hmmm, a non-disposable filter. I need to check that out. Has anyone tried it?

The Downy and Red-Bellied are the best suspects. I know it was not brown. I believe we have a Red-Headed but I did not know they were endangered. Why is that?

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Apr 23, 2011, at 8:26 AM

Steve,

Try the non-disposable coffee filter basket - purchase at Wal-Mart - no more paper filters and less expense.

There are many types of woodpeckers in Middle Tennessee. A Northern flicker is a larger, brown woodpecker and has a red spot on the back of its head. The red-headed woodpecker has no stripes and a solid red head - listed on endangered and threatened species list.

I think you may be describing either a downy woodpecker -a small, black and white striped woodpecker with a red head or a red-bellied woodpecker - which has similar colors but is larger in size.

-- Posted by wildwoman on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 5:26 AM

Steve,

Since I don't drink coffee, I don't have a problem with filters. Have you ever thought about going the instant route; that would solve your problem.

-- Posted by Tyger on Thu, Apr 21, 2011, at 9:01 PM

I should add that some of the corrections are vulgarities -- someone tries to type an innocent statement, and the correction turns it into either a double entendre or an outright profanity.

-- Posted by Jicarney on Thu, Apr 21, 2011, at 2:54 PM

I don't have an iPhone, but apparently the spell-checker for its messaging features -- which aggressively tries to change your words to the "right" ones -- leaves something to be desired, resulting in the creation of this web site:

http://goo.gl/5Yflq

...which is dedicated to funny spelling "corrections" made by the iPhone. (I used a URL shortner because there's a profanity in the actual URL.)

-- Posted by Jicarney on Thu, Apr 21, 2011, at 2:52 PM


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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.