She Went to the Field: Women Soldiers of the Civil War

Written by an old friend Bonnie Tsui, this is a book about the unrecognised envolvement of female soldiers during the American Civil War.
I have always enjoyed her colorful writing, be it emails or recent articles in various magazines. This book is then an extra long treat. The book has grounds in her academic work but is aimed at general audience due to her lively way of writing.
You will be presented with in depth biographies as well as daily lives of soldiers during the Civil War.
Some of the featured women were in male disguise; Sarah Rosetta Wakeman (a.k.a. Private Lyons Wakeman, Union) and Sarah Emma Edmonds (a.k.a Private Frank Thompson, Union) being two. Others were participating in more traditional ways, eg like nurses or spies.
Having finished only the very first pages, bit too early for an in depth review but it will follow.

Best of Young British Novelists 2003 – Granta

The other day I was in need of a literature fix. I browsed around in a book store but was not keen on any long novells or even longer multi book epics. In fact, I didn’t even feel like reading an entire book.
That is when Best of Young British Novelists 2003 published by Granta came to my rescue. It consists of 20 short stories by young British writers that have not yet hit the main stream.

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SEO and Google dance

I am doing the google dance right now. My recent and home brewed SEO (search engine optimisation) has paid of. Searching for David Kaspar will put on second place of the results.
It was a bit disappointing that a search on Google for my name returned the true resource for David Kaspar only as item 75. Not many people have the patience browsing to page 7 so being on first page is grand.

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Rancilio Silvia for us coffee connoisseurs

Life is too short to be drinking bad coffee and having a decent espresso machina is half the story of good coffee. The other half being of course having good beans (and knowing the lingo).
When my old Krups gave up it was time to upgrade to a big boy machina and the Rancilio Silvia had been very praised in the price class (affordable). Only one store was selling it in London so there I went. For £300 you expect a lot and Ms Silvia does not disappoint because of her heavy built, brass boiler and all stainless steel design.
Rancilio is a renowned name in the industry and this is their only consumer model. The steam power is amazing and will froth your milk very quickly. The machina consists of several large parts that are easily taken apart for cleaning.
The espresso making can be a bit tricky. It will take several runs to get any good at brewing good shots. There are several factors you will have to watch out for in order to succeed. The amount of coffee you are using, how well it is ground, how hard you pack it in the filter and what temperature you are brewing are just some.
I have sampled many different coffees like Lavazza, Illy, Blue Mountain, Segafredo and various blends from local shops. While I like the different characters of many coffees I always keep coming back to Illy. Rich aroma, little bitterness and great crema make it a favourite.
Necessary Lingo

  • Americano: An espresso diluted with hot water.
  • Barista: Espresso bartender (your goal)
  • Espresso/Caffe Con Panna: Espresso topped by a dollop of whipped cream.
  • Caffe Latte: An espresso made with steamed milk, topped by foamed milk.
  • Espresso/Caffe Macchiatto: An espresso with a teaspoon or two of foamed milk.
  • Caffe Mocha: A latte with chocolate.
  • Espresso/Caffe Ristretto: A short, very intense shot. With the same amount of coffee as a full shot, half the water.
  • Cappuccino: A shot of straight espresso with foamed milk ladled on top.
  • Crema: The tan-coloured foam that forms on top of an espresso shot, as a result of the brewing process. Protects the espresso from being exposed to air.
  • Espresso: The original one shot coffee brew. Hot water is pressed by means of a pump through ground, firmly packed coffee.
  • Mochaccino: A cappuccino with chocolate.

Temperature technique
Cheating Silvia


You may have come here due to your incorrect interpretation of the word booty. I just wanted to remind you that the word actually has more meanings than the one your naughty mind always associates it with.
Yes, it is a common (Afro American) slang for buttocks or casual sex but there is also an earlier meaning: Goods taken by pirates or plunder taken during time of war!

[Listening to: Groove Armada-Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub)-01-Suntoucher – – (06:32)]
[Mood: Bouncy]

Sweden says no to Euro

euroThe Euro referendum in Sweden is decided. The voting ended Sunday 18 PM GMT and the votes were counted 3 hours or so later.
More than 5.4 million out of 7 million votes were cast. Over 56% of the voters said No which means that Sweden will NOT adopt the Euro (€) as its currency. The Yes backers might have been hoping for a late surge in support due to the killing of Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh but that didn’t happen.

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Madame Butterfly – Puccini

opera2.jpgI have not seen many operas and am in no way an opera enthusiast but this piece speaks a universal language that any human being can understand. As such I would recommend it to a first time opera goer.
Funny how sorrow, despair and powerful music can make you feel alive and wanting to live.

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