Friday, October 21, 2011

Survey: The Buzz on Coffee

     Some people might say we needed another poll like we need yet another Republican presidential debate. Nevertheless, I have the grounds to report on one survey. Because the results have filtered in -- from the most caffeinated poll in America!

     When I pressed the data, I found out that 51.5 percent of respondents to the coffee poll said they prefer regular home-brewed coffee. Just over 15 percent reported that their favorite drip is to be found at Starbucks.

Close-up view / of a Starbucks brew

     Almost 10 percent said that tea is their bag. Another 10 percent washed their hands of all of the above. These people (based on some comments I received) either prefer to sweeten the pot with hot chocolate (that's a good idea!) or else to bubble up out of bed by drinking a Coke in the morning. Coke? Never thought of that. But, yeah, I can see it, especially in the summer, or if you live in a warm climate. If I woke up in Phoenix, where my sister lives, and where according to her it's approx. 120 degrees, in the shade ... in January ... then I probably wouldn't want a hot drink in the morning. I'd quaff a Coke.  Especially since ... there IS no shade in Phoenix at any time of year.

     This poll has led me to make a few observations about the lifestyles of the retired and the blogging. But first ... apologies to Phoenix. This post is meant to be humorous. (We don't have to address the depressing economic situation in every blog post, do we?) So please don't be offended -- I'll be sure to make a New Jersey joke before it's over.

     Anyway, I'm surprised at how few retired bloggers live in the Sunbelt. As I've wandered around the blogs of Baby Boomers, I've encountered more people from Canada than I have from Florida or Arizona. Go figure. Maybe the people in Florida are too busy sailing their boats or sunning at the beach to stay at home in front of their computer. But then, Boomer Musings plays golf and he still manages to write a thoughtful and quite literate blog. So come on Floridians! If you're too on-the-go for blogging, then ... well, don't you have an iPad?

     I've also noticed that our retired bloggers do a lot of traveling. I mean, Thoughts from a Bag Lady in Waiting has traveled to every one of the 50 states, at least twice, and if we had 51 states, she would have gone there too. And I say: Good for her. A lot of people dream of traveling after they retire. And I salute anyone who follows their dream. We've had several bloggers, like Satisfying Retirement, go to Hawaii; while Retirement: A Full-Time Job air-mailed herself to Australia; and Retired English Teacher, right now, is trekking on a trip through New England to drink in the beautiful fall foliage.

     I, myself, also dream of traveling. But I have a problem. I don't like to fly. Oh, and I don't like to drive, either. So most of the traveling B and I do is close to home. In the past year we've been to Boston; Block Island; Cape Cod; Lancaster, Pa.; Manhattan; Montauk; Chincoteague, Va.; and Washington, DC.

     So we limit our drive time to just about five hours, or in other words ... just far enough to get past New Jersey.*

     I'm particularly impressed by people who have gone back to school in retirement. Schmidleysscribblings is my hero. So is my older sister -- not the one in Phoenix, the one who lives in Florida -- who is taking a course in statistics. (Why? We were brought up Catholic; I think she feels guilty for something.) Anyway, she was recently bemoaning the fact that she had to miss a class -- because she was getting a hip replacement! I remember when I went to school, I'd miss a class if I got chapped lips. Or a hickey.

     Gardening is certainly a common pastime among the retired. I'm not impressed with these people. I'm just jealous! I would like to be a  gardener, but as I've told B, it's a good thing I live in post-agrarian America because if I had to make my living as a farmer I would certainly starve to death.

     But I guess I follow a family tradition. Some of my ancestors tried to grow potatoes. Didn't work out for them. That's why they came to America in the first place.
No, you can't smoke this, it's parsley!
     Anyway, I've tried raising many different food crops, from lettuce to tomatoes to beans. Here's what I can actually grow:  parsley. And I don't even like parsley!

     As far as ornamental plants go, my expertise extends exactly as far as pachysandra. I can grow pachysandra. I can spell pachysandra. I'm a pachysandra kind of guy, because pachysandra is the instant coffee of backyard flora.

     Which reminds me. One last thing about the coffee poll. As I admitted from the outset, I drink instant coffee. (I have no shame.) I drink instant partly because B rarely drinks coffee (she specializes in decaf tea) and I'm too lazy to make real coffee for myself. The coffee pot; the grounds, the filters; the washing up. It's a lot of work! Besides, I like the taste of instant coffee. And I do not like the taste of Starbucks -- it's too strong, too bitter, too caffeinated for my delicate institution. Oh, and also, I'm too cheap to pay $4 for a single cup of java, even if they do list the cup sizes in French.

     But as the poll revealed:  there is at least one other person out there in the blogosphere who agrees with me, who admits to drinking instant coffee -- although, ahem, that person prefers to remain anonymous.

* There's the New Jersey joke.


schmidleysscribblins, said...

Excellent post Tom. I am happy you post often and take some time off the golf course. Lately, some kind of malaise seems to have come to the blogging community. For a while I thought it was summer vacations, but some are ill and some are just not around. Daily blog posts are a lift, so I appreciate that you could probably have been on the golf course this morning.

You asked about a list of "good" history books and I am thinking about it. They will probably cross several times, places and be from different perspectives, but I do have my favorites.

To your older sister...good for her. One problem we have in theis country is that too many people cannot read statistics. I read this the other day...49 percent of the people in the US do not know how long it takes the earth to rotate around the sun.

Parsley is great...the favorite food of Monarch butterfly larvae. Grow it for them. Dianne

Douglas said...

First, since I am retired in Florida and can speak for all of us down here, we don't have iPads because (a) they aren't waterproof and (b) as retired people we can no longer afford them (well, maybe this year with that humongous SS increase we'll be getting). Second, the nice thing about instant coffee is you can make it as strong as that Starbuck's cr*p if you want. I don't like it either and I like strong coffee.

Finally, you actually can smoke parsley... it won't do anything for you but you can smoke it. Same goes for oregano.

The best joke I know about green thumbs is the guy who complained he didn't have one... for proof he said he put in a rock garden last year and three of them died.

Retired Syd said...

I was just about to post a comment to thank you for the increasing humor level of your posts of late. I am truly laughing out loud.

Then I read Douglas' comment and had to thank him too!

rosaria said...

Gee, I'm not sure about your survey on coffee drinking. I brew my own because I'm too far from a true espresso place. Having a real espresso or cappuccino at a bar in Italy would be my ideal life!

Dick Klade said...

Nice diversion from the serious stuff. Thanks. Believe I'll go brew the coffee now.

Jo said...

You're a wonderful writer. I love your play on words.

My favourite coffee is my own coffee, too. Starbucks is twice roasted, and the second roasting burns it. That's why it tastes burnt, and just plain awful. And I do love a good, Italian espresso, brewed properly.

I would love to retire and travel, but I have a huge phobia about flying. Huge. I have recurring dreams about being trapped in a crashing plane. But I do love car trips. Give me a car, and a winding, scenic road, and I'm there. I would love to take a car trip from Vancouver to San Diego, all along the west coast. That would be wonderful.

Friko said...

Has your poll established if everybody in the US is hyperactive? With all that coffee and tea and chocolate, how do you catch your breath?

I too drink instant, when I drink coffee, and don't care who knows it. Not only instant, but decaf.

How low can you go?

(Does that mean you won't be visiting my blog again?)


I drink tea. But my husband is a coffee nut. Tired of making a whole pot of the stuff each day and throwing most of it away... he decided to buy a Keurig Coffeemaker. It makes one cup at a time. Now he can have different flavors and strengths whenever he wants. It makes his day. And that makes mine. So... I say do whatever floats your boat. If you like instant coffee, stick with it, regardless of what people think or say.

Jon said...

Wasn't sure where you were going with the French cup sizes. Are they different in English?

Joanna Jenkins said...

Busted, I'm a Coke drinker and have never liked coffee, not even the smell of it.
Happy weekend, jj