Tag Archives: exotic java

Coffeehouse observation No. 253

Just went into my backup coffeehouse – Exotic Java on Ben Holt in Stockton – after being away for two months or so and the barista says to me: “Hey, there, how ya doin’? Still drinking the usual?” Yes, yes, I am. She even walked it over to my table as I was setting up my laptop. Cool! … Oh, and it’s right next door to a tattoo parlor. You can get hyped up on a Red Eye and get a tattoo all in one visit!

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Coffeehouse observation No. 206

I walked into Exotic Java today on a somewhat tight schedule and was disappointed to see four people in line in front of me. But they were served promptly and cleared away from the counter … where my drink was already waiting. Barista Andrew had spotted me through the drive-through window coming into the coffeehouse and had already started and finished making the drink before I arrived at the counter. I frequent empresso most often, followed by Exotic Java, with Starbucks and Peets a distant third and fourth. The baristas at both empresso and Exotic Java are excellent at what they do and are quite friendly. The owners of both coffeehouses should be proud, because often workers are a reflection of the work ethic of their bosses and a sign of the respect the hold for their bosses.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 205

Went into Exotic Java earlier and one of the owners was on the phone with the manufacturer of the new espresso machine. Apparently, efforts to repair it have been thwarted because the manufacturer continues to send the wrong parts.

Me: “Well, do you have enough parts to make a new machine?”

Barista: “Almost.”

I still was able to receive my Red Eye so I was fine.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 201

I was just sitting outside Exotic Java sipping a Red Eye and going through email when a lovely young woman walked by. She was trailed by a very lovely, pleasant scent. I’m not sure what it was, but it will linger in my mind for the rest of the day. And I won’t mind that at all.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 195

They are tearing up the parking lot outside Exotic Java today and paving tomorrow. Exotic Java will be closed on Wednesday, according to the folks here, but stop buy later in the week for a Red Eye or other fine caffeinated beverage.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 182

There are a couple of big, black restaurant booths in Exotic Java. They must be made of pleather. Anyway, they’re making the back of my legs sweat.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 181

Some days you need a LARGE Red Eye instead of a medium. This is one of those days.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 179

Could really use some hot coffee right now. I’m sitting in the Troke Branch Library in Stockton – within view of Exotic Java, no less – and the air conditioning is turned up so high that I’m considering breaking up the furniture to start a bonfire.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 177

It’s a pleasant feeling to come into a coffeehouse you haven’t visited in a while and the barista recognizes you, says “Hey, you haven’t been around lately” and still remembers your drink of choice. Thanks Exotic Java.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 176

I’m sitting outside Exotic Java with a Red Eye – coffee with a double shot of espresso, not the medical condition – checking email, LinkedIn and Facebook, and enjoying the clear blue sky and gentle breeze. Except for the exhaust from the passing traffic, it’s not a bad place to be.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 156

You gotta love it when the barista starts your drink even  before you’ve made it across the parking lot and into the coffeehouse. Thank you Exotic Java!

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Coffeehouse observation No. 154

I was sitting in Exotic Java and a guy came in wearing shoes with Velcro and he wasn’t a toddler or 65 or older. Is that legal in California?!

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Coffeehouse observation No. 153

I have no intentions of messing with the barista who just served me a Red Eye. She has a tattoo of Dirty Harry on one bicep and a skull in tophat on the other. She may be the toughest 90-lb. woman I have seen in quite a while.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 143

It’s bright and sunny out for the first time in years – or so it seems. I’m inside a nice cool, dim coffeehouse enjoying a Red Eye before continuing the job search. Have a lovely Memorial Day weekend everyone. … And don’t forget that this weekend is to remember those who have fallen in defense of this country. It’s not just about burgers and hot dogs.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 110

Some days even a Red Eye – coffee with two espresso shots – isn’t enough.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 103

The Exotic Java barista wore a tiara because it was her birthday today. We all should have a reason to wear a tiara. … Um, I mean that figuratively, of course. I’m not sure I could pull of the tiara look, not with my beard.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 82

The barista at Exotic Java was wearing green today in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. I especially enjoyed the green garter. Erin Go Bragh!

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Coffeehouse observation No. 70

I’m back in more familiar territory today – empresso on Pacific Avenue in Stockton, CA, USA. It was quiet earlier, then bustling, now quiet again, but it may be building to bustling again. The coffee is good and strong, and beautiful women of all ages frequent the establishment. I’m guessing that has something to do with the draw of the businesses on the Miracle Mile, the adult school down the street, and the proximity to the University of the Pacific and San Joaquin Delta College. Whatever the reason, I don’t mind. In rainy weather lately, I’ve been patronizing Exotic Java because it is next door to the Margaret Troke Branch Library on West Benjamin Holt Drive. (I typically walk to empresso in order to avoid a parking ticket and I don’t like walking in the rain that much. There is free parking at this particular library branch.) Nice baristas at Exotic Java and coffee that hits the spot, but it is a bit less active than empresso, probably because it is a block or two from Pacific Avenue. Oh, but it has a drive-through window, which makes it convenient for motorists. I can recommend both establishments.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 69

I nearly forgot. At Exotic Java earlier, I overheard an animated, yet friendly, conversation about whether the coconut is a nut or a fruit. Fortunately, there is WiFi at Exotic Java and the participants were able to learn that a coconut is a fruit. A drupe, to be most accurate.

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Sometimes you just have to whack it

This is not adult  entertainment, so get you heads out of the gutter. This isn’t about whacking that “it.”

Readers – from Maine to California and back again – know I’ve been out of work for the past year. So, cable and satellite TV both have been well out of reach financially.

And, frankly, the cost of both even before I was laid off on March 5, 2009, from a newspaper job after 22 years of experience in the industry kept me from paying for either just on principle alone. The cost was and is unreasonable.

So I went with a digital TV converter and rabbit ears antenna. Rabbit ears were good enough for generations of TV-watchers, it was good enough – sort of – for me. It was not nearly acceptable for someone who loves to watch sports, movies and the assorted nature programming, but I had to make due.

When “broadcast” TV went digital, I requested and received a government coupon and then purchased an APEX DT250A TV Converter.

As such electronics go, it was inexpensive and cheaply made. Cheaply. And when I use “cheaply,” I mean the box the size of a hardcover book was a truckload of yak dung.

It worked well enough – as long as the rabbit ears were just so – for a couple months.

But Thursday night the box failed right in the middle of the “NCIS” rerun I was watching. Know this: No one comes between me and “NCIS,” not even NCIS Special Agent Jethro Leroy Gibbs. OK, maybe Gibbs might do it, especially after one of his trademark slaps to the back of the cranium, but you get the point.

But on Thursday evening the TV screen went snowy. Not just a flurry, but a storm the likes of those that have hit the East Coast this winter.

I did not have a remote in my hand – no, really, I didn’t have a remote in my hands – so I figured I had not mistakenly hit a button that might have caused the snowstorm. I checked the cable connections, the antenna connection, the power source, and then rechecked them twice. I was resigned to give up for the evening – it was late enough that going to sleep was a better option than obsessing over it any longer.

The next morning I took off early enough that I did not watch TV. I was off to the Empresso coffeehouse on Pacific Avenue in Stockton to continue the job search and blogging efforts. I have two versions of “Letters From Away,” one on WordPress and one on Blogger, and another about what I see at various coffeehouses I patronize, especially Empresso and Exotic Java, that I named “Coffeehouse Observer.”

After going through job and news websites, blogging a bit, and getting a few other online tasks done, I returned to the apartment in the early evening. I was in the middle of some mundane tasks – as if watching TV isn’t mundane enough – when I remembered that I would not be able to unwind watching TV.

I also remembered that there was one thing that I had not done the previous evening – whack it.

I turned on the TV and the APEX box, picked up the box, and gave it a couple of good whacks.

It worked.

I am watching an episode of “Criminal Minds” on the ION network as I’m writing this blog.

There you have it. Sometimes it simply pays to whack it.