The Java Bean Catalyst: A Caffeinated Caravan Through the Coffee Farms of Indonesia

Coffee is the kickstarter for many American mornings. But as any local Starbucks will confirm, sugar, soy, and syrups too often tragically trump origin or varietal in the coffee selection routine. The sweetener is mightier than the bean. [Insert Frowny Face]. 

Time to change that mocha mindset. Coffee is far more complex, fascinating, and tasty than our local cafés serving sugary swill may let on. It is a global enterprise with regional varietals, methods, and characteristics that offer deliciously unique experiences in every cup. The bean is mightier than the sweetener! [Insert Happy Face]. I see a coup brewing to take back our beloved joe. Viva la café revolución! 

The revolution can start right here in the Asia Pacific, which is home to some of the largest and most prestigious coffee-producing regions in the world. In a new and occasional series, coffee shall be our caffeinated caravan to cafés and farms across the Pacific Rim.  

Read More

The Sumatran Sojourn: Life on the Street in Lubuklinggau

Most tourists to Indonesia flock to the azure blue waters and sandy beaches of Bali and Lombok, its most famous islands. There is much in this vibrant and diverse country, however, that extends beyond the wandering eyes of the outside world. It is amongst the Indonesian roads less traveled that I have found the most rich and rewarding experiences.

Welcome to Lubuklinggau …

Read More

Visual Musings: Indonesia and the Portrait of a Thousand Faces

We encounter countless strangers in our daily commutes to work, the gym, to restaurants and pubs. On most occasions, we pass them by without notice. We are too busy, too shy, or simply don't care. 

But what if we didn't? What if instead we made an effort to see, to smile, or even engage in conversation? What would we see, and would it change us?

My Indonesian street odysseys were the perfect environments to explore these musings.

Read More

The Great Grommet Incursion is Back at the Kailua Shorebreak Classic

In Hawaii, surfing is huge. I mean, really huge. It is a vibrant community and fascinating culture. There is no better manifestation of this culture than the annual Kailua Shorebreak Classic, a free keiki (kids) surf competition held in memorial of four beloved surfers and watermen. The event is always awash with camaraderie, adventure, and spirit.

On Saturday, October 20, 2018, the Shorebreak Classic is back. Grommets of all sizes will descend upon Kalama Beach Park in Kailua for the competition's fourteenth year. Time to get your surf on. 

In anticipation of the event, I explore the Shorebreak Classic, it’s wonderful community, and the ocean that brings it together. Get caught up in this amazing story, and then experience it for yourself next Saturday!

See you on the beach.

Read More

The Blog Recalibration: Musings by the Glass Charts a New Course

After eighteen months of the wine blog experimentation, I am sincerely grateful for my loyal and wonderful readership. Many thanks for your enthusiasm in reading my blog and for tolerating my dry Irish wit, wonkish tendencies and nonsensical banter. Thanks for journeying with me. 

After much thought and reflection, Musings by the Glass will hereafter set a new course. The new expedition is not entirely uncharted. Some aspects will feel familiar. Others, however, may not.

I want to briefly explain the new focus for Musings. And to enhance your reading pleasure, I provide a few photos ... of monkeys. Because whimsical monkeys are fun.

Read More

Visual Musings: A Photo Essay of Haleakalā, the House of the Sun

In my inaugural Visual Musings, A Cambodian Retrospective, I explained how images can often convey emotion and invite reflection in ways that words cannot. Looking through the lens should always result in seeing life with greater clarity, and helping others to do the same. With that motive, Visual Musings was devised to offer themed photo essays of place, purpose or narrative. 

In this installment, nature is in the spotlight as I offer a few images of the breathtaking summit of Haleakalā, a dormant volcano on the Island of Maui. Steeped in ancient geological history and Hawaiian culture, it is a rich, dynamic and compelling world ten thousand feet above our own. May Haleakalā inspire you to enjoy and experience the wonder of our natural world and reflect on its power, beauty and mystery. 

Read More