State of the BBotE Address

As the Feb 3rd pre-order slot window draws to a close, almost all the shipments are already out, so I’ve opened slots for the Feb 17th window which you are welcome to jump on. And there’s a new Ambassador for local pick up in Sydney!

On January 28th, the US Postal Service rolled out yet another postage increase. Playing with the postage calculator a bit, it appears that priority mail inside the US has gone up roughly $1-3 per item, depending on how far you are from the Golden Gate. For international mail, however, it’s another story entirely. For the lightest item I send, the BBotE vial sampler pack, international express postage went up by between $5-8. On a positive note, USPS priority mail now includes delivery confirmation as part of the service. So, you win some you lose some.

All that said, despite the some nasty droughts AND floods hitting the major coffee growing regions, the actual price of BBotE will stay the same. However, the availability of certain varieties may become iffy because of the weather. Both the Guatemalan Mundo Nuvo and Nueva Vinas, along with the Rwanda Abakundakawa, all went out of circulation last year because of the small crops and, to be honest, we drank most of it. I have high hopes they’ll be back with this year’s harvest. So far, the Panama and Peru Salkanty are holding strong but every time I go to get more I worry. The Panama was the first of the coffees to run out on me back in 2011 and it took eight months for it to return, and having to tell people “No, you can’t have any” is something that still haunts my soul.

I strongly suspect the fine folks at Death Wish Coffee are sampling their own wares heavily in order to meet demand. In addition to silly bastards like me that order coffee from them 20lbs at a time, the rest of the world has noticed them too. Good job guys!

For Christmas, the wife of the BBotE Ambassador of Chicago asked if I could make something special for Bill. You see, much as he adores BBotE, he felt bad about it detracting from the coffee he consumed from his favorite local roaster, Ipsento (they dwell on Facebook much more though if you want to know more). She wanted to know if I could make a special run of Bill’s favorite, Ipsento’s Panamanian, thus combining both his favorite things. Feeling festive and all, I said sure.

Ipsento’s Panamanian is light roast that upon open opening the bag filled my nose with the smell of blueberries. (FACT: If you want me to eat something, the surest way to to make that happen is to put blueberry sludge on it). While grinding and putting it the coffee into process, the room was filled with blueberries. And, I’m happy to report, as a BBotE it was still blueberries and spice. I have high hopes to make this available to all of you by and by. Announcements will be made when that happens.

EDIT: Test Subject Not A Whale Biologist reminds me that the Ipsento Panamanian coffee, as both BBotE and a hot brew, pairs well with cherry pie, Twin Peaks music, and zombies.

Lastly, but not least, I am pleased to announce that Australia has an BBotE Ambassador again, but this time for Greater Sydney. Robert is a several time victim of BBotE that tends to skip about the harbour fairly often on caffeinated wings, but dwells most of the time in Hornsby. Because Oz Post seems to be staffed with people with noodle arms incapable of lifting weights in excess of 20kg, he is stocked with 750ml bottles which go for US$60 each. You may drop Robert a line by email at BBoTE [at] fumbari [dot].com. Canberra service, hopefully, will be reestablished by and by.

Resupply for Austin went out last week. Resupply for London & Santa Barbara are slated be in their hands by next week. Seattle & Chicago still have decent supplies so I’m told.

I have received a variety of requests asking for new local Ambassadors to be established, or re-established, particularly in the New York/Philadelphia area. At some level, this is a function of my able to produce for them versus everyone who comes to me directly. I don’t want to leave them high and dry in a time of need and more that I want to introduce delay to those direct orders. When new ones go online, rest assured I will tell you here.

My Birthday, Resupply, and Antarctica

Tomorrow, November 2nd, is Dia de los Muertos and my birthday. It also roughly marks ten years since I arrived at South Pole Station one glaringly bright and cold Antarctica day. I bring this up because it’s already my birthday in Antarctica and I have a story to share.

For those that don’t care about my birthday blithering, you’d probably like to know the BBotE status report. Madison, Dublin (Ireland), Santa Barbara, and soon Portland’s Ambassadors were all resupplied this week. This week also sees the inauguration of regular BBotE service to Boston courtesy of your new Ambassador, Talena! She is a recent transplant from Portland and acolyte of the Caffeinatrix. You may drop her a line for 750ml bottles by email at bahstun [dot] bbote [at] gmail [dot] com. I somehow suspect they may go quickly.

Now for the Way Back Machine, but first a glossary…

“The Ice” (n) – Colloquial name for the continent of Antarctica.

“The Dome” (n) – Colloquial name of the part of Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station covered by the geodesic dome weather skin to help keep buildings from getting buried by snow. Commissioned in 1975, demolished in 2005. Replaced by the new Elevated Station.

Club 90 South (n) – Bar at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Built by the Navy and beloved by me.

Polie (n) – A person who is/has been at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

Polie (adj.) – 1. Pretaining to the actions, people, or places at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. 2. Patently crazy, primary evidence being the willing agreement to spend a year at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

Winter-Over (n) – A person who has stayed at one of the Antarctic stations through an Austral winter.

Winter-Over (adj.) – Crazy

Skua (n) – 1. A large, evil minded, dust mop of a Southern Ocean gull that has no fear of Man and has, in fact, learned that things in Man’s hands are often tasty and will steal them. 2. A central location in the station for excess/junk items to be stockpiled for general use by anyone rather than just throw them away.

Toast (n) – The state of diminished faculties associated with a winter spent at one of the Antarctic stations, likely related to thyroid hormone imbalance due to extended darkness and cold.

Toasty (adj.) – A descriptor of foolish acts or person who is likely suffering thyroid hormone imbalances due to a winter-over conditions.

Taking from these definitions, you may note that a Polie is double crazy.

On Halloween 2002, after almost two weeks of weather delays and mechanical failures in Christchurch, NZ before getting to McMurdo Station and then a cold snap that made it impossible to fly into Pole, the first flight of the summer season, P001, arrived at South Pole Station and I was on it. We then dropped off our gear and tromped to the not yet complete galley of the new elevated station. The NSF representative welcomed us new folks (note: he flew in with us), congratulated the previous winter’s crew for making it and handed out the Antarctic Service Medal to them, and then the station opening party began. I was the only new person that got out there on the dance floor and danced the Time Warp with the old winterover crew, thus earning me another nickname and access to Club 90 South while the winterovers were still hiding in it from the new people. This should have been a sign to everyone when people who’d already been stuck at Pole for a year considered me to be alright and normal.

There are two parties not particularly set on the calendar in Antarctica because they are dictated by weather: Station Opening and Station Closing. Roughly speaking for Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, the first flight in is some time around Halloween and the last flight out is Valentine’s Day-ish. However, these are not the big parties. The big two are Halloween and Midwinter (AKA the austral winter solstice, every day from there is a day closer to light). Halloween, in particular, is big because it is the fleeting moment when the previous year’s winterovers are there and the first planeload of new people has showed up. Not without coincidence, the first cargo pallet to come off the first plane of the season is not medicine, or mail, but beer. However, parties happen on Sundays because that’s the day off. Halloween fell on a Friday that year, so the party was delayed until the 2nd. My birthday.

Halloween, of course, demands costumes. To this end, the nice folks back at HQ in Centennial, CO had loaded several large, palletized, tri-wall boxes full thrift store clothes and generic accessory crap from the Goodwill Bargain Barn (motto: “VALUES BY THE POUND”) and sent them to Antarctica. Pole had them lined up to the skua bins. McMurdo had a goddamn Costume Closet for special events, which tended to cause a lot of men dressing in drag for some reason (ACTUAL REASON: Navy tradition).

PROTIP: DO NOT dress in drag around the Russians freshly released from a two year stint at Vostok. They. Do. Not. Care. Anymore.

CHICKENHEAD

CHICKENHEAD and his faithful, but inebriated, sidekick General Assistant!

I did my best under the trying circumstances to find something that fit. I had no other clothes than the expedition grade stuff I had arrived with in the go-bag I was carrying; the rest of my possessions were still stuck in McMurdo and wouldn’t arrive for another two weeks. The resulting horror was a hybrid of snowpants and boots, brass toned expedition thermal underwear, a blue seersucker jacket, and a chicken hat.  When I eventually find the picture of this, I’ll put it up.

EDIT: Picture found!

 

 

In the ship store, I discovered they sold both Maker’s Mark and sweet vermouth. I’d brought my own bitters with me, so I bought one of the travel mugs to use as a shaker, chipped some ice off the side of the Dome and made a manhattan. We were warned that we who weren’t accustomed to altitude and probably shouldn’t do any drinking. I made a second one to go out to the Summer Camp huts for the party.

My Antarctic Manhattan Travel Mug

My Antarctic Manhattan Travel Mug

On my arrival at the hut, I was greeted by my friend Mark, with a bottle of Glenfiddich in hand. “PHIL!” he bellowed. “YOU NEED DRINK AND BLOOD!” I then was ordered to take a swig from the bottle and fake blood was poured all over my face and chicken hat. Mark had already had great fun with the fake blood and his head looked like he’d just recently pulled it out of the carcass of a freshly killed pig.

The night gets a bit hazy after that. Pinatas happened. We summoned Mark, a gifted mountain climber, down from the ceiling with the promise of shots of whiskey. There was also a chainsaw. A chainsaw happened to a pinata.

As this kicks off the ten year anniversary of Phil’s Antarctic Adventures, there’ll probably be a few more of these posts popping up between now and next Halloween as we hit more milestones. I hope you’ll enjoy.

Project GOAT DEPLOYMENT

The Ineffable Mustachio'd Goat of SCIENCE!

The Ineffable Mustachio'd Goat of SCIENCE! - By Molly Crabapple

You may recall that a while back artist Molly Crabapple was overwhelmed by caffeination, the muse slide tackled her, and she politely demanded to be allowed to make a label for Black Blood of the Earth. Far be it from me to argue with her and the “Ineffable Mustachio’d Goat of SCIENCE” resulted. More or less at my whim, approximately 1 in 20 of the 1000ml bottles go out with the Goat label and people seem to have been pretty excited when they get them because, hey look, ART!

But I am taking this opportunity to do a little good by Ms. Crabapple and Laurie Penny. Their fevered brains have come together and hatched a plot to go to Greece and tell the tale of austerity, in the finest traditions of Thompson & Steadman and their various Fears & Loathings. In their DISCORDIA project, Laurie shall make words and Molly shall make images, together it shall be grand tale. Of course, this is not a cheap proposition and I want to make sure it happens.

So, to help kick into their kitty, I am going to do a run of twelve 1000ml bottles that will be made with Molly’s Ineffable Goat of SCIENCE label. The next twelve bottles will, period, amen, have the Goat on them. I will then take the proceeds from these bottles and hand them to Molly and Laurie to help make sure they have the supplies they need to get the story told.

Seriously, this is a project I think has potential to be wonderful and I want to make it happen. If I can help through the power of ultracoffee, all the better.

BBotE Ambassador Supplies and Approaching Science

Alright, as of tomorrow, resupply cases for all your local BBotE Ambassadors (except for College Station, TX and Dublin, Ireland) are either there or on their way. In fact, Portland may be out of stock again and in need of another. I am to understand the case for Delta City (AKA Detroit) has disappeared into a black hole somewhere between Oaktown and the Motown so a replacement may need to go out. Per Justin, Ambassador of London, that the clouds cleared over his blighted city for the first time in months and angels could be heard singing. That might be a titch of hyperbolic exaggeration, but he sure was happy to get resupply.

And I am pleased to announce that I can finally repay New Zealand for all the kindness it’s shown me for the last decade or so. Next week I will be shipping the inaugural case to the BBotE Ambassador of Wellington, Ms. Meredith Yayanos. Do you not know Meredith? Allow me to acquaint you. Admittedly, this entry needs a bit of an update as she is now a denizen of Wellington, which is California’s loss but New Zealand’s gain.

You see, back in the dawn of BBotE Warren Ellis asked, pretty please, if would I drop a bounty of BBotE on his co-conspirator Ariana Osborne (AKA She Who Turns Warren’s Muttered Ramblings Into Things & Stuff) to see what wonders might result if she slept even less than normal. The story gets a bit fuzzy after that but, somehow, a bit of that bounty made it Meredith’s hands, an edition of Coilhouse was published in record time, new music projects were contemplated, the Pacific Ocean was leapt in a single bound, and other Pythonesque feats as well. So drop her a line, New Zealand!

On a completely unrelated note, my brain sometimes works slow but the background processes are always turning away. Roughly a year ago, I offered to do some science nerding for a friend’s 10yo daughter. He somewhat apologetically waved me off and said that, much like her dad, while she was interested in science, the math skills weren’t really there (much like him) and that music & art were really her passions.

Last night, while enjoying the zen like meditative state of a BBotE extraction, I had a realization and answer to that.

I have forgotten more math than most people ever learn. I feel like a case study of “use it or lose it” as, at one point, I had to shove more or less an entire undergraduate math degree in my head in six months in order to complete my BS in physics. Tensor analysis, bra-ket notation, Legendre polynomials, Bessel & Von Neumann functions…all those things I used to be rather good at in order to do quantum mechanics, GONE. I remember what they were for and why I’d want to use them, but I’d need to spray a whole lot of WD-40 into my brain to free those rusty gears and actually do something.

But honestly, the shape of those things is what was important in the first place. The ability to look at the world, tilt my head slightly to the right, squint, and say to myself “Yeah, I’m pretty sure it works that way.” The math to prove it is an afterthought, the confirmation with elegant numbers & equations that the universe works like you intuitively thought it did. The name I’ve been calling this for as long as I can remember is Physical Intuition; that deep down knowledge of how physics works that changes how you see the world around you.

I don’t see waves on the ocean, I see possibilities of what the ocean floor looks like and wind/water interaction. I don’t see a rock with crystals in it, I see the Earth baking in a magmatic kitchen with temperature-pressure diagrams vs. different chemical concentrations. I don’t see a satellite TV dish out the window, I see the perfect curvature for impedance matching for receiving a electromagnetic beam originating in Low Earth Orbit like the last puzzle piece dropping in place.

This is an artistic way of looking at the wonder of world. The math is just another way of trying to express it. So, don’t let the fear of math, or perceived incompetence, keep you away from trying to find a deeper understanding of the world. The worst that can happen is you learn something new when you’re wrong.

A Shift of Terminology

In the dark and unforgiving dawn of the Black Blood of the Earth production and distribution, after bringing an entire ice chest of BBotE labeled only with lab tape to her wedding, my friend Natara asked if she could be the local dealer for BBotE based upon how well it had gone over with the crowd.

Considering the fun doing bottle hand offs at odd hours on street corners for cash, I felt that the route of maximum honesty of likening ourselves to volunteer drug dealers was perhaps not the best choice (no matter how accurate it may feel). Keeping that illicitness in mind. the very limited, not entirely sober, consensus referred to what we were doing as “pimping BBotE” and thus the local distributors became the BBotE Pimps & Pimpstresses.

Last week, I got this message which I received permission to share with all of you:

Dear Phil,

I know you likely get lots of emails saying some version of “BBotE is awesome” and this is only a slight variation on that, but I hope you’ll humor me by reading it anyway.

I was introduced to your too-good-to-be-true beverage in October 2011 and gifted a bottle in mid-January. I’ve cheered about it on Facebook and Twitter and been experimenting with different variations on Black Blood lattes. I was pretty much on the path to being among your legion of lifelong fans and customers. When my current bottle was getting perilously low, I made my way to your site with the intent of exploring my options for local pickup/exchange and there discovered I’d be encountering someone you referred to as a pimp(stress).

I grew up with the stereotype of the pimp: the dude with a long car, long coat and a ridiculous ostrich-feathered hat. I wish pimps were, in fact, cartoonish figures we could all laugh and point at, harmless in their hilarity and outrageousness.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case; pimps are a real thing and they deal in: Human trafficking. Slavery. Degradation. Rape. Coercion. Exploitation.

And just as pimps are real, so are their victims.These people have nothing to do with your product and marketing, I know, but the casual and hip usage of the word “pimp” only serves to erase their very real situation, their very real pain.

Please understand, this isn’t the beginning of some campaign; I won’t be talking about this on Twitter or Facebook or starting an online petition. I’m just one woman saying, “There’s no way in hell I’d meet a stranger who is comfortable calling himself a pimp.” I’m just one woman who can’t hand her cash over to an enterprise that makes light of trafficking, even unintentionally. And just maybe I’m not the only one.

Best regards,

Angélique

She’s right. Unequivocally correct. There is corner of my inner asshole that almost always says “Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke” on so many topics, but on this one the inner asshole has to go sit in the corner and await is next chance to play.

So, I polled the collected volunteers as to what how they would like to be referred to. The consensus answer is “BBotE Ambassador”, though many fine suggestions that appeal to a love for alliteration and deeply corrupt vulgate Latin were expressed. Each individual BBotE Ambassador may have a particular appellation that they prefer, i.e. Coffee Consul of Chicago/Cook County (please pity his wife for dealing with his alliterative soul), but you could always call them the thing you and they have in common: “Fellow addict”.

Aren’t we all?

Thank you for taking the time to drop a line, Angélique.

New Art For BBotE

When I began making BBotE and Steins of Sceince, I had no idea that the best thing that was going to happen was the collection of awesome people I was going to accumulate. A dedication to More Awesome is not just physical goods but trying to generally improve my life and the lives of people around me. BBotE & Steins, while generally nifty, started with the goals to improve my health and the enjoyment of particular beverages. It just so happens that many other folks agree that they’re awesome too.

One of the bits that’s happened that I’ve truly appreciated is getting to meet and talk to artists that I might not ever otherwise meet. I’m not going to argue what an artist is here, but let’s just say that I have always marveled at people who can draw and paint. My own skills extend about as far as graphing and diagrams for physics problems and squiggly maps for D&D. It isn’t pretty, trust me.

Last year, a bearded English madman who shall remain anonymous asked if I could send BBotE to several of his favorite people in America just to see what wonders emerged from them under it’s influence. One of them was the artist Molly Crabapple, who is also the perpetrator of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School upon the world. Last month, likely in a fit of caffeine high and well mixed holiday spirits, Molly asked me if I’d mind if she drew a new bit of art for the BBotE label.

The smile that refused to remove itself from my face as I read the email said the answer was very much yes.

And so, I should receive the first of the new labels this week. I’ll be slapping them on bottles somewhat at random and for special occasions. For example, if I’d had them last year I most definitely would have slapped them on the bottles that went out for this Kickstarter project.

So, you never know, when you open your box it might contain the Ineffable Mustachio’d Goat of SCIENCE! staring back at you. Behold!

The Ineffable Goat of SCIENCE!

The Ineffable Goat of SCIENCE! – By Molly Crabapple

In other news, a trial case is on it’s way to Canberra. If all goes well, BBotE pimpery service for BBotE will soon be established. Or, to quote Test Subject British Nick who lives in Sydney, “HOORAY! A reason to actually go to Canberra.” Depending on things and stuff, might have a little something for Singapore soon as well.

I’m Not Ashamed To Admit This

But I emitted a squeal of schoolgirlish delight upon getting the phone call from UPS letting me know that more Guatemala Mundo Nuvo had arrived from Caffe Vita. So my previous declaration that I had to bid farewell to my favorite Central American roast was premature. It’s back, for a little while at least. Also, the Pimp of Chicago will be receiving his resupply this Friday which will include Colombia, Rwanda, and Death Wish for you folks in the heartland.

Since prematurely heralding the end of my Guatemalans, I have been receiving single farm Colombian offerings for my evaluation from everywhere. I’ll let you all know how those pan out as I see a great deal of coffee consumption in the near future. Which leads me to a question I get from time to time that I feel is worth answering: “I don’t see a lot of negative reviews of coffees you’ve tested here. Is there anything you’ve worked with you don’t like?”

Answer: Lots, but generally if I don’t like it, I won’t make more of it and thus won’t offer it to you. That’s just hospitality, man.

Actually, I do offer one BBotE that I’m not very fond of, Death Wish, and I do that for two reasons:

  1. You people asked for it and, hey, who am I to argue with the The People?
  2. I fully recognize that my flavor preferences are not the same as everyone else’s, particularly with regard to Death Wish. Some folks really, really love the taste. Go figure.

This is one reason that I keep going back to try things I don’t like again and again, in all spheres of my life. I’ll be the first to admit that some of my tastes have changed over the years, others have not, but it’s important to check. For example, since Antarctica I make a point to eat a green salad at any opportunity; Herr Direktor from 10 years ago would be horrified by this. In terms of BBotE, it took five attempts over the span of a year before I finally decided I liked the Malabar and had the process for it down.

So, for another example of “needs more testing”, over the holidays I did some tinkering with a Guatemalan Huehuetenago because I can’t leave the coffees of Guatemala alone. The results were…odd. Strong front flavor like a chocolate orange and a loooooong roasted nut finish. The middle was strangely hollow for flavor and, as one astute Test Subject described it, “ashy”. For a light roast, it definitely hit some char flavors like a deep dark roast. With vodka addition, it was heavenly, but the straight and cold left me going hrmph.

And, just because I can and had it on hand, mixing 50/50 with Malabar BBotE filled in that hollow middle nicely. More testing is necessary.

Anyway, welcome to 2012, everybody. Eat, drink, and make merry for tomorrow is another day to do it all again but different!

BBotE Update: The Decembering

As promised yesterday, me make coffee words much the good YES!

Let us begin with the bad news. As always, the limited offerings are called such because the coffees they use are not infinite. In the course of my insatiable need to experiment, I find delicious and wonderful single origin coffees that I think are worthy of sharing (and many more than that aren’t). But these are always small lots, either in what the roaster could purchase or the total production of the farm in the first place, so they eventually run out. And this has happened.

The victims of limited production this time is the Guatemala Retiro de Quisaya and, possibly, the Guatemala Mundo Nuvo. After the currently listed inventory finishes, both of the Guatemalas will be rotating out, hopefully returning by next August. There may be a bit more Mundo Nuvo to be had but the holiday roasting schedule is looking prohibitive for them up at Caffe Vita, so definitely no more before Xmas. I’m pleased that my “enough to make it to mid-December” prediction was spot on.

Now on to the good news, the hunt has yielded something I feel worthy of sharing. Continuing my way south, I have continued my latitudinal tour of the East African Rift Valley in Rwanda and I’m pretty happy with what I found there. My hypothesis of the north to south greasy/savory to chocolate spectrum continues to be look good. Straight and cold, the medium roast Rwanda Abakundakawa has a bit of a dry palate, not brut champagne but more like a neat martini, and nearly baking chocolate character and a light hint of fruit. There was some strong disagreement about whether it was blueberry, currant, or (as I shook my head at Test Subject Broken Tongue) jujubes. For the vodka addition, a molasses character emerged that made me wonder if I’d somehow poured in Meyers rum instead of straight vodka. With the three part hot water dilution, it just felt like have a nice mug of cocoa, which was damn nice in the ice box of my office.

So, hooray for another delicious African BBotE and I’ve made the pre-order for the first run available.  I am, once again, hunting for my personal favorite, a Central American light roast. I have some prospects, so more news on that later as it develops.

Lastly, the production queue is filling up with some crazy people ordering entire cases or Jugs of Madness. Since there is some production time involved, domestic orders of BBotE placed after the 15th start looking a bit iffy for getting to people in time for Christmas. For international orders, please get them in no later than the 13th. And yes, if/when the production queue fills completely to the point that I don’t think your order will get out in time, I will make an announcement.

Makeshift South Pole Sumo

Makeshift South Pole Sumo – Yeah, The Decembering kinda feels like this

Once more unto the breach, dear friends! Let us confront The Decembering and not mourn the fallen but celebrate them as they are crushed beneath the wheels of so many shopping carts.

A Bounty!

So, as we previously discussed, I’ve been to Antarctica.

In my time there I got to visit two of the American stations, McMurdo and Amundsen-Scott South Pole (where I wintered over), and New Zealand’s station right over the hill on Ross Island from McMurdo, Scott Base. I want to take a moment so that I can for the who knows how manyeth time thank the Kiwis for the hospitality they extended me when I got marooned in McMurdo for a month by weather and waiting for my cargo ship to come in. Most Americans are only allowed to visit one day a week to keep the summertime 1000+ McMurdans from overrunning the ~50 folks at Scott Base. You welcomed my forlorn Polie butt to visit anytime and for that I will be eternally grateful. Also, you had way better food.

Scott Base Hat In Action

Scott Base Hat…In Action! – Signing The 2003 Geographic South Pole Marker

Like all the stations, there is a ship store that has various sundries for the staff and visitors alike. While I may have enjoyed the amusing designs of the South Pole Station t-shirts more, the actual quality of the gear at Scott Base’s store was far superior. In particular, I purchased a simple black beanie with the words “SCOTT BASE” embroidered on it. I wore that thing damn near every day the austral winter of 2003, plus many cold and windy days since coming home. It has been a boon companion in countless urban exploring adventures.

And now it is missing.

Perhaps by posting this love letter to my missing beanie, it will reappear and I will merely look foolish for sharing these words. But if it doesn’t, I make this offer to the world: the first one of you that can give me a replacement Scott Base beanie, I will give two 1L bottles of BBotE postage included anywhere in the world. This is likely a golden opportunity for some lucky New Zealander to get some free BBotE.

You know how to get a hold of me, people. THE HUNT IS ON!

EDITORIAL: Yes people, that is a Fairport Convention shirt I’m wearing. It was the last concert I saw, shortly before departing for Antarctica.

Local BBotE Hand-Off Update

Alrighty, here at the start of December I’m making an effort to restock all the BBotE Pimps & Pimpstresses so that you can make a local pick up if that suits your fancy rather than ordering directly on the site. Go hit the Local Pickup page and drop your local super addict, I mean, supplier today and ask what they’ve got for you. If there’s something you want and they don’t have it, let ’em know and hopefully I can get it in their next case. Here’s the current status as best I know it:

The Pimpstress of Minneapolis-St. Paul just got a resupply on Monday (Kona, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sumatra, Death Wish).

The Intermittent Pimp of Dublin (Ireland) is due to get a case of assorted 1L bottles, including Death Wish, toward the end of next week. He may have completely pre-sold it so drop him a line if you are in need.

The Pimpstress of Greater Los Angeles will be getting a resupply this Wednesday if you need to caffeinate your Thanksgiving. Perhaps you have a thankfulness altar built to caffeine and need a centerpiece. If so, she’s got you covered though I think much of it will be going to people that made requests at the BBotE Tasting Party.

The Pimp of Santa Barbara will also be getting resupply this holiday weekend, though I can’t precisely tell you what he’ll be getting as it’ll be everything that’s not nailed down before I jump in a car and drive away.

The Caffeinatrix of Portland will be receiving her resupply run in the first week of December, content to be determined, likely to be high in Death Wish & Ethiopia.

The Pimpstress of NYC is likely to get resupply early in the second week of December, with case consist similarly to be determined.

The Pimps of London, Chicago, Austin, Houston, Seattle, and Baltimore/Washington DC are still decently supplied. The Pimp of Detroit is on hiatus unless someone makes a request of his services.