Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Engine Room: I Need More Power!


What is acceptable to some... I won't stand for. I've had a hell of a last two weeks. I've broken more promises than I care to admit to too many people. For that...I sincerely apologize. I've let you down. I will do better and soon. I've passed out on my PC no less than five times in five days at night. (Pathetic!) What I really need is more hours in the day...or coffee that is just a hair weaker than nuclear waste. (...and I shouldn't be writing this blog entry but I need to get this out there.)

I even made "engine room coffee" with Kona coffee no less. This is almost a death wish. I'm reasonably sure that they are powering the space shuttle on this stuff now and oil companies are suppressing knowledge of it to keep us paying for gas. For those of you who have never been in the U.S. Navy (or dated a daughter of a Captain in the U.S. Navy - more on that later)..."Engine Room Coffee" has many purposes.
  1. Taking paint off of...well, anything

  2. Cleaning a stove; you know, that baked on good stuff on the inside

  3. Keeping you up for L-O-N-G shifts

Here is how you make it....

Step 1: Brew STRONG coffee - If I am making coffee for one person (six cups or less) I use eight BIG scoops.

Step 2: Once the coffee has brewed; send it through again or until you need a rubber spatula to get all the coffee out of the maker.

Step 3: Should any coffee be "left over" send it through yet again with more fresh grounds and water.

You see on a USN ship all things electrical are decommissioned monthly for 24 hours. They are taken apart, rebuilt and tested to determine that said item is not a fire hazard. In college I dated a girl from St. Louis who's father was the Captain of an aircraft carrier. Here is HIS ship.He even let me crash at his house before I flew home to Chicago on an early flight in the morning for Thanksgiving break. A rare treat to fly. (I slept out in the open on the couch with his rifle cabinet in full view.) He "tested" me for his daughter making Engine Room coffee for me. "How do you like your coffee?" Figuring that college boy would say something like "with lots of cream and sugar" whatever. "Black" I said. His eyebrow raised. "This is strong stuff. You don't want to water it down?" (He goes on to explain what engine room coffee is.) "No, my dad and grandfather were in the Navy. As long as I can spoon out the coffee I'm good." He smiled. His coffee could wake the dead from the aroma alone, but it was just like my dad's; must be a Navy thing. My dad would have loved it. "G-O-O-D coffee" I said with ease. My heart rate was now in the 160s and I was sitting."

Our conversation turned to how I knew his daughter. We had Economics together (taught by the legendary Walter Johnson who was on CNN every morning before our class talking about the economy). "My daughter tells me you are an athlete?" Uh, it comes. "Yes, I am on the Men's Swimming team." (Physically fit, points! You could almost see him checking off his list of requirements for his daughter.) "Oh...what do you swim?" Shit. "Breaststroke." Get out! (Probably what he was thinking. Ironically, his daughter'built for speed' - flat as the day is long...and she was not "that kind of girl". Reader's Note: I'm a "legs and brains man" - see my wife for a living example. I dig the smart chicks with killer legs; before I met my wife...this gal was a contender. After I met my wife...there is nobody in her league.) "Oh, that takes a lot of strength. When do you graduate?" "Next month." (His daughter graduates in two worries for him.) "Outstanding. Congratulations." "Well, I better be off to the airport. (nervously looking at my watch) Nice meeting you Captain." (Didn't call him sir. He works for a living. More points.) "Nice to meet you. Good luck to you." Translation: I won't shoot you in the back or have an F-15 hunt you down because you'll probably never see my daughter again after December...and you like Engine Room coffee.