Concerning British Battle Knees

Once upon a time last year, my Lovely Assistant went digging through the internet and came across the song “Cup of Brown Joy” by Professor Elemental.  The Lovely Assistant is more of a devotee of tea than coffee due to her next level of sweet tooth and prolonged exposure to Ireland and their “go on, have a nice cuppa”.  I think we may have listened to it at least once an hour for several days.

“Cup of Brown Joy”, by Professor Elemental

Lo and behold, last month the fabulous tune “Fighting Trousers” came out, brought to my attention by Internet Rasputin and Love Swami, Warren Ellis.  This had the finest display of British Battle Knees since Monty was at El Alamein.

“Fighting Trousers” by Professor Elemental

To my delight, Ed Zitron (the same gentleman who decided my fine works were worthy of sharing with the world on the Huffington Post) was also able to secure a rather amusing interview with Professor Elemental.  I am exceptionally pleased to see my neologism “British Battle Knees” appear in the interview.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled Cyber Monday mass consumption.

For Those Giving the Gift Of Scientific Drinking

***At this point, the only way you’re getting things in time for Christmas is by direct hand off.  Of course, if you don’t care about that, then these cut-off dates don’t apply to you anyway.  New Years is approaching…***

I, first, commend you for your dedication to your loved ones by recognizing their need for More Awesome in their lives.  Be it a Stein of Science, a Subaru Outback converted into a hovercraft, a 6pk of Black Blood of the Earth, or a gold plated quarter-stick of dynamite, you have chosen to give the very best.  However, there’s a few things you should probably think about when placing an order for this holiday season:

  1. BBotE Is Perishable: When refrigerated, it has a shelf-life of about three months.  If you’re going to wrap it and put it under the tree, this a present to put out on Christmas Eve and the promptly put back in the fridge after unwrapping.
  2. International Shipments Of BBotE Go Out Express Mail On Mondays: Because I don’t want BBotE to get stuck in postal facilities or customs, I only send it out on Mondays to minimize their time in bureaucratic hell.  This means only three more Mondays to try to get BBotE out internationally before Christmas.
  3. Steins of Science Have A Three Week Lead Time: The steins are built to order and it sometimes takes a while to get parts in.  Generally, things move much faster than that but you have been warned of the possibility of delays.
  4. BBotE Production Is First Come, First Served: My maximum daily production output is 6L per day. Thus, people who request cases will lock up production for two days.  Yes, I am looking into increasing production capacity which will probably double the output.
  5. There’s No Kosher Or Halal Certification: While Robert Anton Wilson did confer the papacy upon me, and all the other people in the Porter College Dining Hall, this does not permit me to sanctify food.  Sorry.
  6. The 4300mL Stein of Science Is Ridiculously Large: Seriously, BIG.  It will should take an entire pre-game, Super Bowl, and wrap up to go through this much beer.  I’m just sayin’…

Check Out All That Majesty

As a belated birthday present from the lovely people at St. George Spirits, I have received an invitation to the Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Celebration.  Accordingly, I have constructed a fleet of steins for the occasion that they might drink in scientific style.  If you are at the hootenanny in Chico and must have one, look for some random drunk holding a Stein of Science and they can probably aim you toward me.  I just might have an extra handy.

Nine Steins To Rule Them All

Nine Steins To Rule Them All (with Flanking 1000ml Steins)

A High Powered Mutant Never Meant For Mass Production

Behold, Dr. Antonio DiPasquale!  Not only is he the possessor of the ChemKeg Dominator, one of the two three 4.3L Steins of Science I’ve built, but he is also the first individual human with a proper bottle (ignoring initial test subjects, your dear Herr Direktor Funranium and Mrs. Fitzpatrick of Austenacious), to achieve MAXIMUM HONOR.  St. George Spirits has done it twice so far, but it was something of a team effort by the magical booze pixies that inhabit the hangar.

A toast to Antonio!  (The smile lets you know he senses your fear.  Back away slowly and leave the coffee and/or booze on the ground.  Do not take your eyes off his or he will attack.  If he bares fangs, run.)

The Madness of Dr. DiPasquale

Dr. Antonio DiPasquale and the Rictus of Delight that 4.5L of BBotE Brings


Per the Oxford English Dictionary, alchemy is:

1. The chemistry of the Middle Ages and 16th c.; now applied distinctively to the pursuit of the transmutation of baser metals into gold, which (with the search for the alkahest or universal solvent, and the panacea or universal remedy) constituted the chief practical object of early chemistry.

A while back, I declared my willingness to support the barter economy by trading the wares of Funranium Labs to those who make things as well but who would not be otherwise able to afford my fine products.  Today, I received an urgent missive from an unemployed gal who, in a fit of uncaffeinated foolishness, purchased some not-so-great supermarket flavored coffee.  Lamenting this failure of judgment with internet wails & tweets, a member of the Funranium Labs Shadow Courier Network told her of the delights to be found in BBotE.  She, in turn, spent a good 45min of her life digging through my blather as one thing you have plenty of when you’re unemployed is time.  When she hit the barter economy post, she dropped me a line.

By trade, she had been an executive assistant and offered her services in barter if they would be of use to Funranium Labs.  Sadly, I can’t make full use of them but I was struck by the opportunity.  There are any number of things I don’t have the time/talent to do to improve the world but one that I have always wanted to do is to help out RAINN.  I asked if, in exchange for a bounty of caffeination, she’d be willing to volunteer some time to a local affiliate of RAINN as my proxy.

She said sure and will report for duty at Bay Area Women Against Rape, BBotE in hand to give her strength.  If the world is truly awesome, perhaps a job will soon materialize for her out of this.

I’ve transmuted coffee into help for an organization that has helped more friends and family than I really like to think about.  That is golden.  It’s alchemy.

BBotE Experimentation – Caffe Vita’s Ethiopian Nigusie Lemma

BIRTHDAY RELATED ANNOUNCEMENT: In honor of the most important holiday in the calendar, my birthday, I grant a 10% off coupon that will be good through 11:59pm PST November 3rd.  Coupon Code: “PHILMAS”.

ROCK RELATED ANNOUNCEMENT: Herr Direktor Funranium had the pleasure of seeing Rock Sugar perform at the Harrah’s South Shore Room.  Not only did I win the impersonate Axl Rose contest (15 years of annoying friends and family in the car singing along to GNR paid off) , but I had the pleasure doing a demonstration of proper headbanging technique with the lead singer.  I am told my waist length red hair was as a corona of flame, though I sadly lack pictorial evidence at this time.  If you need more convincing of Rock Sugar’s awesome, just start listening to their tunes on YouTube.

And now…COFFEE:

Following up on last week’s post about Caffe Vita’s Guatemala Mundo Nuvo, it is time to share the results  of the other half of the experiment.  To reiterate, I felt the best approach for comparison was to ask for a region I’d already tested extensively from a variety of farms, roasters, and roasts (Ethiopia) and for something that they were proud of, something that got them excited.  Last week was their new Mundo Nuvo, this week is testing against the Ethiopia Standard, something that I advocate for use in the financial markets over gold.

A Bounty Of Caffe Vita Coffee

Now, you might ask why I consider Ethiopia to be a baseline coffee region and the answer is quite simple: they cultivated it first.  Whether you believe the tale of the goatherd and his bouncy, excitable goats is up to you but cultivation of coffee as crop definitely began here and spread to the world beyond.  The lovely arabica beans we seek are the patrimony of the Horn of Africa.

The challenge is to catch everything that was observed in this coffee’s BBotE.  Caffe Vita’s Nigusie Lemma is all over the map in flavors and the disturbing/pleasing part is that it has proven replicable.  Served straight and cold, there was an interesting strawberry flavor on the front of the tongue, though general consensus was of a fruitiness retained from the cherry.   On the nose it has a clean cucumber aroma.  In direct contrast to the Mundo Nuvo which had a sharper nose, the Nigusie Lemma had the bite on the tongue.

That bite was a fascinating salty/sweet nutty flavor with the deep, rich earthy flavor I expect from Ethiopian coffees.  It took a good 15min casting about to find something even close in flavor and that is soy sauce.  I think I could happily pour this BBotE over rice.  Pleasantly savory, which is a fine reflection of the fatty, oily extraction.

One of my favorite Test Subjects was driven into synethesia once again by BBotE and described the flavor as “Bassy, not sharp.  It’s all lowrider *BOOM*, and not the tweeters, you know?”  I think so, but it might be good to take a ride down International Blvd. while sipping this just to make sure.

When we moved onto the vodka test, I was somewhat less impressed at first.  The vodka blended the flavors together which wasn’t necessarily all that great, just a good solid COFFEE flavor.  But the length of the flavor on the palate…it was just a never-ending play on a ride cymbal, to extend the previous musical metaphor.  Just for fun, I did the same absinthe mix that I did before and I’ll be damned if I didn’t get a strong cinnamon flavor out of the cocktail.

In summation, I am impressed with the wares of Caffe Vita.  It was only after I began doing all this that I discovered that I am very well acquainted with the wares of their affiliate, Theo Chocolates.  My sister was a grad student at the University of Washington and very, very happily worked on the coffee & chocolate exhibit at the Burke Museum.  I am still in possession of some fantastic curry chocolate bars that I horde jealously.