So Excited! I finally ordered my GSI Outdoor French Press Travel Mug!

I mentioned in a previous post this mug was on my 'wish list' to purchase sometime.  Well, yesterday was the day!  I'm getting a 'camping' bug and I'm thinking about heading out with my 2 dogs and doing some tent camping.  However, I want it to be as simple as possible.  Camping with the whole family is much more involved than taking off on my own.  I'm ready to reduce everything I need to one pack so the idea of putting a ziploc baggy of fresh ground coffee inside this mug to travel and then simply heating the water over a campfire and brewing in this cup is exciting! 

I opted for the 30 oz. size for now, which will give me about 3 cups of morning coffee.  That's about right!  If I love it, I will probably buy a second for my emergency preps (or on the off-chance I can convince or guilt my husband into camping with me).  He can have his own... sharing hot, strong, fresh coffee is similar to sharing your bacon.  It's really hard to do!

Review to come after it arrives and I give it a test!

GSI Outdoors Java Press

  • 30 oz french press coffee maker that is simple and portable
  • Crystal-clear, BPA-Free Carafe is lightweight and shatter-resistant allowing you to enjoy French Press coffee anywhere
  • Double-walled, insulated lid holds in temperature while brewing and serving
  • Silicone ring plunger design virtually eliminates coffee 'blow-by' for the most flavorful, mud-free coffee.
  • Insulating EVA sleeve removes easily for cleaning.


News with my Morning Coffee: An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

This morning I was busy doing research on growing coffee (a future post series that is ending up being far more time invasive than I anticipated), and needing a break, I brewed a fresh cup of coffee and hit the morning news.  This article caught my eye for many reasons...    An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells.  I've decided not to get into those reasons because it just starts a long, rambling post that leads into a bit of a rant about Western medicine practices in the USA and how doctor's have become robotic drug pushers instead of healers... but I digress. 

Suffice to say the article interested me.  And I thought it might interest my readers too.  Now... to duct tape my fingers so I don't start ranting about big pharmaceuticals, insurance companies and the state of medicine in the world today........

This is from The Washington Post

An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

WASHINGTON — You know how people toss around the phrase "the cure is worse than the disease"? They should meet Jim Olson.

"When injected into a cancer patient, 
it seems to light up all the malignant cells 
so surgeons can easily locate and excise them."

Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

But it has an unusual main ingredient: a molecule found in the stinger of Leiurus quinquestriatus, or deathstalker scorpion.

The molecule, chlorotoxin, was already being studied for its potential to kill certain cancer cells; Olson's big idea was realizing that it attached to any kind of cancer. So when it was linked to a fluorescent material, it lit up cancer cells that no other technology could identify.

The idea of injecting scorpion venom into sick people sounds so bizarre that Olson was unable to raise money from major grant-making organizations, Brendan Koerner writes in the July issue of Wired magazine, even though precisely locating cancerous cells is one of the more vexing problems in oncology. But he started raising money from the families of current and former patients and now has enough so his project is in clinical trials.

Olson came to pediatric oncology after realizing he had a "high tolerance for [the] heartbreak" inevitable when treating seriously ill children. Koerner follows him on his rounds: "A fourth-grader who may not live to celebrate another birthday, a teenage girl whose gloomy prognosis has made her suicidal - none of these encounters erase Olson's tranquil smile." This "steady bedside manner" has endeared him to many heartsick families. Some critics fear that Koerner may be giving "undue hope" to people with cancer, and others are squeamish about patient-based funding. But Koerner concludes: "Perhaps the ethical purists might feel rather differently if they, like [Olson], had to walk around a pediatric cancer ward every day."

You  might be interested in;

The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery
One Renegade Cell: How Cancer Begins (Science Masters Series)
Survivor - Breast Cancer Awareness, Pink Ribbon - Samsung Galaxy S4 Cover, Cell Phone Case


A good, fun coffee themed gift for someone; "Wake the F___ Up Coffee"

Wake the F'Up Uncensored Coffee, Original Extra Strong, 1 Pound

"Wake The F’Up coffee is the coffee that keeps you alert for when you’re working or studying late. This coffee makes a seriously strong cup of Joe. It will put some stride in your step and some lead in your pencil, not to mention, that you will probably reorganize the garage and finally get to the lawn."

It's fun.
It's catchy.
It's quirky.

Whether or not it's good, depends on which reviewer(s) you believe.  This coffee is one of those that reviewers seem to love to hate.  Nothing in between!   Some described as the best coffee they've had, love it, the flavor is great.  Others described it as cigarettes or cardboard.  I believe I even saw 'sawdust' listed. 

There is no middle ground on this one!  Love it or hate it, the bag alone is enough to make it a really fun gift for a coffee loving friend.  "Wake the F*ck Up!"  Coffee - catchy and quirky whether you actually drink it or not.


Teen had a leathal amount of caffeine in his system when he died....

From the news;

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The sudden death of a healthy high school senior has ramped up attention on unregulated caffeine powder, leading federal health authorities to warn consumers to stay away from the substance.

A recent autopsy found that Logan Stiner, 18, had a lethal amount of caffeine in his system when he died May 27 at his home in LaGrange, Ohio, southwest of Cleveland. The county coroner said Stiner had more than 70 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of blood in his system, as much as 23 times the amount of a typical coffee or soda drinker.

His mother has said she was unaware her son took caffeine powder. The prom king and wrestler was days away from graduation. He had planned to study at the University of Toledo.

"I don't think any of us really knew that this stuff was out there," said Jay Arbaugh, the Keystone Local Schools superintendent.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday that it's investigating caffeine powder and will "consider taking regulatory action." The agency said it was aware of the teen's death and cautioned parents that young people could be drawn to it.

Caffeine powder is sold as a dietary supplement, so it's not subject to the same federal regulations as certain caffeinated foods. Users add it to drinks for a pick-me-up before workouts or to control weight gain.

A minuscule amount of caffeine powder packs a punch.

"Merely 1/16th of a teaspoon can contain 
about 200 milligrams of caffeine, 
roughly the equivalent found in 
two large cups of coffee." 

Merely 1/16th of a teaspoon can contain about 200 milligrams of caffeine, roughly the equivalent found in two large cups of coffee. That means a heaping teaspoon could kill, said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill ?Hospital in New York.

The powder is almost impossible to measure with common kitchen tools, the FDA said. Volume measures like teaspoons aren't precise enough and a scale may be needed.

"The difference between a safe amount and a lethal dose of caffeine in these powdered products is very small," said FDA spokeswoman Jennifer Dooren.

Glatter said he's seen several younger patients experience complications from caffeine in the last few months. Some have arrived at his hospital with high, rapid heart rates.

"They're starting to latch on to the powders more because they see it as a more potent way to lose weight," Glatter said.

Health officials worry about caffeine powder's potential popularity among exercise enthusiasts and young people seeking an energy boost.

Dr. Henry Spiller directs a poison control center at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Over a week or so this month, the center took reports of three people hospitalized for misusing caffeine powder.

"I can't believe you can buy this," Spiller said. "Honestly, I mean, it's frightening. It makes no sense to me."


Have Coffeemaker, Will Travel: Bringing my own coffee brewer on vacations

This morning's post is coming to you from a random hotel in South Dakota.  One of 9 hotel rooms I've stayed in over the last few weeks - from Florida to Alabama to Tennessee, Missouri and more.  Although traveling a bit is normal for us, this much travel isn't really.  But with a crazy summer schedule events we are all over the USA.

And we have our coffee maker with us.

Back in the Spring of 2010 we traveled to South Texas for a family reunion and decided to bring our Keurig brewer with us.  We had the original box and packaging still in the garage so we packaged it up, put it in the trunk and it traveled cross-country safely and securely.  Having our freshly brewed, good tasting coffee that week was a wonderful start to the morning.  (And as a side note, the 4 other families that were there with us?  Three of them went on to become Keurig owners after that!)

We took our full sized Keurig on our trip to the beach and one more vacation before we invested in a mini, individualized sized Keurig.  We now keep this 'ready to go' at the spur of the moment and we simply put it in the suitcase, or put the box in the trunk (depending on how many are traveling, how much luggage or room we have, etc.)  

 (This is the individual one cup brewer we own and use; KeurigMINI Plus Brewing System)
  • Black exterior
  • Includes a 6 count K-Cup variety pack
  • Cup size options: 6, 8, or 10 ounces
  • Brews in under two minutes
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13.2 x 13 inches ; 5 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 10 pounds

Having said that however - there are now a couple hotels that offer Keurig style brewers in the room!  But many still have the old 4 cup mini-pots (Like Country Inn Suites) or the single brew packets with really poor quality (tasting) coffee, like Comfort Suites, Holiday Inn Express, etc.

We bought ours from Best Buy (because we buy as many things as possible from there and get the Black Tie coverage - as it's proven invaluable over the years, especially with Keurig brewers - which can be temperamental) but you can purchase them almost anywhere now - including online through Amazon at the link above. It comes in various colors;  red, green, silver, etc.  (see link for colors currently available from that seller).

We are quite content with our brewer but there are various styles and brands out there that may fit your personality or travel style better.

Black & Decker Brew 'n Go Personal Coffeemaker with Travel Mug
  • Personal coffeemaker brews directly into 15-ounce travel mug
  • Stainless-steel mug tapered to fit most vehicle cup holders
  • Permanent filter eliminates need for disposable paper filters
  • Auto shut-off; dishwasher-safe mug, mug lid, filter, and filter basket
  • Measures 9-3/4 by 7 by 6 inches, 1-year warranty

Black & Decker Single Serve Coffee Maker
  • 16-ounce travel mug
  • Brews ground coffee or pre-packaged pods
  • Removable filter basket
  • Dishwasher safe parts
  • Automatic shutoff

This travel coffee press has almost 600 reviews on Amazon - and is given the highest rating available.

Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker with Tote Bag
  • Unique coffee espresso maker uses total immersion and gentle pressure to produce coffee with extraordinarily rich flavor
  • Makes american style coffee or an espresso style shot perfect for use in lattes or cappuccinos
  • Made in the usa
  • Micro filtered coffee so pure and particle free that it can be stored for days as a concentrate for Cold brew coffee
  • Included travel bag makes this item great for traveling the world and brewing great coffee