Damn You Competitive Cyclist!

What the fuck is this shit? Selling people a SPONSORED bottle? Garbage!

I had to add something to my cart in order to qualify for free shipping for my order on Competitive Cyclist. $9 over-hyped water bottle to qualify for free shipping or $10 for shipping? Tough battle.

But sadly, this was a battle I lost because this bottle sucks ass. It’s impossible to squeeze, making it officially non-functional. Clean Bottle. What a gimmick. Avoid their shit like the plague!

On a positive note, the Craft Radio Shack Nissan Trek / Leopard Racing Team zip up hoody, to my surprise, was a very nice fit, well made, and extremely warm and comfortable! A good buy! So good, I bought a second one! Fuck you, Fall and Winter!

I needed a haircut but before stopping by to see Andrew, I went to get a jolt of caffeine at Artigiano down the street. Not only did the shot suck, so did their supposed “dry” crappuccino. Blah.

I somehow managed to pull this off. Hurray for me.

Dinner with aces @ Hapa Izakaya – Coal Harbour. As always, the boss took excellent care of us. Tasty food and drink.

Went to Pacific Multisport yesterday to do some small adjustments on my cleats and picked up a Bell Sweep helmet. Much better and nicer than the craptacular $44 Giro I had. God, that thing sucked. And of course, third time’s a charm, the weather cleared up on Sunday afternoon, allowing me to head out for a short ride to end the week. Did a 20km ride from home to Burnaby Lake / Sperling Station and back home. I’m a little rusty on the attacks and sprints but that is what happens when you’re bike-less for a month.

Chilly ride but totally worth it. Love this bike.

Gotta get me some arm and knee/leg warmers. Le fuuuuuu.

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Warm and sunny days

We Were Not Meant To Be

Alas, the espresso God’s have spoken. Luigi Bezzera, Luigi Mazzer and Carlo Ernesto Valente of Faema have decided that the Quick Mill Andreja Premium and I were not meant to be.

There were two used Andreja’s for sale. One in San Fran and one in Ottawa, both well taken care of and modified to the tits for $900 each. Unfortunately, both owners were unwilling to ship at the time and time would dictate their decision to ship. But they both had to break me the bad news and crush my heart. Both Andreja’s sold locally. We weren’t meant to be. I guess that just means it’ll be Miss Silvia and I for the time being.

So the NHL is going through their lame lockout so I guess the WHL will suffice. The Giants lost to Seattle 6 – 4.

Who the hell drinks beer out of a straw?


The Crew hit up The Drive for a post game beer to drown our sorrows away. We ended up at The Charletaine as opposed to Biercraft because waiting 45 minutes to an hour made no sense. Duh.

Yes, I miss my Vespas.

Ode to the weekend. Stigel Beer from good ol’ Salzburg, Austria and Foundary Cider.

Om nom nom. Foodz consisting of tuna bites, BBQ wings, some kind of flatbread and Adam’s poutine.

My highlight of the week. My 2012 Cannondale CAAD10-4 Rival arrived and I went in to Pacific Multisport on Main and E. 28th to pick her up and to get fitted! So excited!

The CAAD10-4 weighed in at 17.4lbs after the parts swapped on (seat post, seat, stem and bars.) And SRAM DoubleTap – I love you. Move over, Shimano.

There’s an Asian girl working at Gene now. I wonder if this is supposed to represent her?

Not quite a cappuccino but who am I to argue with?

Mother Nature – stop being a bitch and be sunny once again so I can ride my bike. Such savage love.

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Damn Rain

Smiles, Tears, Frustration and A Dry Cappuccino

Last week was rather busy. Not only did I not have time to myself, so much was compressed into so little time. A full wedding day on Friday followed by an e-mail server failure, then a luncheon and back into town for coffee, then the major project that consumed my entire Thanksgiving weekend.

I generally like taking control of my life and the process is simple. I have a common goal in mind, I think and plan out the process on how I achieve this goal, or at least think of what I can do to get there, and execute it. When one step of that process is taken away from me, I lose patience and get frustrated and annoyed. I like being part of the process and I don’t like it when people get in my way. I do what I can (in most cases) to get them out of the way. In very rare circumstances, I will accommodate accordingly.

I wanted a cup of coffee and a pound of espresso beans. I couldn’t get it. Because I had to be somewhere. I wanted to go for a walk. I couldn’t because I had to be somewhere and to do something. I wanted some time alone to myself but couldn’t because something of higher priority took place or somebody took it away from me. It was a frustrating long weekend. But enough of that. What’s done is done. Upon reflection, it wasn’t so bad.

Or was it?

I was kindly invited to one of aces friend’s wedding. Unfortunately, I don’t know the bride and groom very well, in fact, I barely know them at all other than the few times I’ve met them. They are genuinely nice and very friendly people. On top of that, so are their families and friends. Never have I ever in my life, encountered so many happy and optimistic people in my life in a stretch of 24 hours. If Darwin’s Theory of Evolution really does hold true, unicorns have evolved into these people I met all under one roof on Friday, October 5, 2012 because according to my track record of disbelief in humanity and pessimism, these people trumped me. I can only imagine if the world was made up of these people, there would be no problems.

Would have been nice to sit here alone with a cup of coffee. But no. #ForeverAlone

One of my favourite drinks – Gin & Tonic.
aces made the cranes. She’s my lady luck.

Food was amazing and this was one of the better (if not best) weddings I’ve been to. Many thanks to the bride, groom, their friends and family for having us at their wedding. It was a real honour to have been there to celebrate an important day in your lives. And another thanks to your generosity and for proving to me that there truly are happy and genuinely nice people in the world.

So I stopped by Innocent Coffee to pay the boss a visit and to pick out a bag of their current blend of espresso. Not only was the espresso tasty, this place has Vancouver’s best dry cappuccino – hands down. A true dry cappuccino. No fuss. No mess. Just a straight up genuine cup of an Italian dry cappuccino.

Note: I brought my own cups.
And if you look closely enough, there’s a smiley face in the milk foam.

And to the girl who tried to sell me some useless product, service or Jesus Christ himself – If I could ever see you again and profusely apologize for how sorry I am for being such a crab apple, I would smile and be nice for one day. I felt terrible for telling you that no time is ever a good time, especially even after you said to me as you walked away “I hope you feel better.”

And now I live with this regret. Damn it, Jesus girl.

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The girl who hoped that I feel better (and maybe I did.)

Hipster Crisis: Averted

I didn’t have to break up with Miss Silvia afterall. In the end, it was the over pressure valve. Son of a bitch. It was a bit of a royal pain to deal with, especially taking off that fucking nylon braided hose and putting the fitting and valve back into form. God damn it. But all in all, it is now fixed and working well.

No more bubbling, lots of steam, steady stream of water flow and a constant 9 bar of brew pressure. Fuck yeah.

I stripped Miss Silvia naked.

The bastard

Fuck you, nylon braided hose!

I have no qualms with this part

Look. Cooked gasket – Stefano was right. Fuck. Why wouldn’t they just sell me that?!

Had dinner at Maruwa with aces. Tuna and salmon don. Man, I miss this stuff.

What? Excuse me? Where’s the recipe?! Silly JDMs.

It’s 5am. I’m fucking tired. Damn Miss Silvia. But you’re worth it.

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She’s the best

Oh, Miss Silvia

So it’s been 2 weeks since I’ve been bike-less. It’s a terrible feeling. I need to get back onto those two wheels again. Hopefully, the CAAD10 comes in and we get that setup. Sadly, it’s a pretty busy week for me, having work and a wedding to attend and all. Oh, and I don’t get to have a long weekend. Thanks, work.

Grabbed a beer with mdar @ Cascade. Driftwood Fat Tug IPA – tastes great at first but really fucks you up later on. This beer destroyed me. I thought I could handle my alcohol but this one proved me wrong. 7% alcohol.

Some Asian girl asked me for my number. I said no.

Hit up 49P on Main with aces and saw a new guy behind the counter. Finally. Somebody who knows how to make a REAL dry cappuccino! This guy is awesome! Lots of attention to the finer details while executing a versed technique with knowledge of both new and traditional handcrafted drinks. I hope he sticks around!

Uh oh – Miss Silvia is not happy.
So it’s been 2 years and one month since I first purchased my Rancilio Silvia. Unfortunately, I did not take very good care of her so now, she’s having a fit of her own (re: being Italian.) Jokes aside, I’ve put her through hell and back and how she puts up with my abuse is beyond me. I’ve left her on 10 hours a day, pulling 4 shots on average per day while steaming milk. Oh, and let’s not forget the PID controller I installed to maintain brew temps.

This time, she started to give up on me. The steam wand was dribbling water at the steam tip, albeit slowly. No matter how hard I tightened the steam knob, it would dribble water. I finally did some research and it turns out the steam wand can be rebuilt with a new o-ring and gasket. It wasn’t difficult, per se, but I am a victim of Internet DIYs – fuck them to hell! People make DIYs seem too easy but until you run into a cultural design flaw (re: Italian engineering) it becomes the biggest road block and downer you encounter throughout the whole DIY process, making you lose all faith and morale to complete the job.

Despite the cost in parts (somewhere less than $5.00) it was a fucking royal pain to get to where you need to replace the parts. This piece of shit washer at the end sits on the brass valve but it’s on so damn tight, how do you get enough leverage to twist the damn thing off? It was a difficult task but my dad and managed to break it free using a channel lock to hold the valve while struggling with a 22mm wrench to remove the washer (thanks chango for the suggestion!)

Alas, it came apart. o-rings and gaskets replace. They were cooked to hell but again, leaving it on for 10 hours a day for over a 1.5 years is no surprise. Apparently, I’m not even supposed to leave it on for such extended periods of times! LOL! But whatever. The machine works.

The actual truth is – I’m lying. Miss Silvia has developed a new problem. The water coming out of the grouphead is a tad hotter than usual. I’m burning my lips/tongue when taking a sip of the espresso I just extracted and the crema is thin. The steam is extra hot, hotter than normal and is extremely violent. Excess steam seems to be bubbling out of the overflow tube back into the tank. I don’t know what’s wrong and the steam is extremely uncontrollable. I’ve checked pump pressure – consistent @ 8.5 – 10bar in pressure. 3-way solenoid valve works. I *think* the over pressure valve is normal but a technician on Home-Barista.com suggests the OPV gaskets are cooked. I need to do more investigation and hopefully find a solution to this.

Or just give up Miss Silvia and find a newer, better machine like a Quick Mill Andreja Premium or Bezzera Magica E61. (But secretly, I don’t want to give her up just yet.)


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My Italian Girlfriend Silvia