Month: February 2014

Focus on what you can do

Hello again:

One of the reasons why I ‘play’ with coffee is it provides an alternate to the culinary experience of alcohol. I began to go to a church that discouraged the use of alcohol. Rather than worry about what is discouraged, I chose to focus more intently on what is allowed.

When you join any organization, you should follow the ‘rules’ of that organization as long as it doesn’t conflict with higher priority rules (I.e. Bible ‘rules’ trump other ‘rules’). The Bible says that if you disagree with important doctrine, your job is not to change the organization, your job is to avoid that organization (Romans 16:17).

At the time, I was not persuaded in the Biblical requirement of no-alcohol that my Church taught. However, there was nothing biblically wrong with abstaining. I had no problem eliminating the consumption of alcohol from my life to comply with that ‘rule’. Where it got tricky was the fact that I sold alcohol in my family’s business. It was one thing for me to stop drinking to following a rule, its entirely different to limit my long term career path because I wanted to follow a particular leader.

To evaluate the doctrine, I searched for every reference of wine in the Bible. My initial search didn’t seem to indicate there was a Biblical prohibition on alcohol. People who disagree with this doctrine commonly point to Jesus turning water into wine. If Jesus gave people wine, how could selling wine be bad? It is a compelling counter-argument.

You can use your own google-kung-fu to evaluate both sides of the argument, here are the facts that helped me make a decision:

There are unambiguous verses that state that strong drink is bad. (Proverbs 31:4)

When Jesus turned water into wine, it does not specifically state that the wine was fermented. As we are conditioned to believe the alcohol is good, when they bring out the ‘good wine’ in the story, you are pre-conditioned to think about alcohol.

I believe other passages that seem to advocate alcohol use, are misunderstood. There is one Law for everyone, however different people have greater responsibilities within the Law. For example 1 Timothy 3:3 is not a code of conduct for existing deacons, rather I see this as a “pre-employment background check” that should be given to Church officers. After “employment”, a deacon should more closely follow God’s Law.

There are other examples that I can point to, but the bottom line is I was persuaded. I like to be passionate in what I do. If I don’t think a product is good and beneficial, I am not going to do a good job promoting it – in fact I don’t want to promote it. So why do something I don’t want to do?

It’s hard to strip something out of your life without filling that void with something else (Luke 11:24-26). Coffee was the answer. Rather than seek out micro-brews, I seek out independent coffee bars when I travel. I experiment with the preparation and serving of Coffee and Espresso drinks at home. And of course I began to roast coffee.

One of the best things I’ve learned is: Focus on what you can do, don’t worry about what you can’t do.

Heat Guns

Heat Guns

In my years of dog bowl roasting I’ve gone through 4 different heat guns.  Bottom line, in case you don’t read everything is:

#1: You want a professional quality gun in order to get consistent high heat.

#2, Light weight will make roasting more enjoyable.

1 Wagner HT1000?*

Pro: Available in-store, cheap

Con: Low Power

Wagner HT 1000

I believe my first gun was a Wagner HT1000, although mine was black (sorry Wagner if it wasn’t you).  Whatever model it was, the big-boxes carried 2-3 types of heat guns.  The “cheap one”, a “digital one”, and maybe a third similar gun with another feature.  The best thing I can say about the in-store guns is they are cheap.  As I was on a tight budget this was a compelling feature.   The gun “worked” for roasting but it wasn’t very powerful.  You’ll be happier if you skip these low power guns and get a “real” gun.

Wagner HT1000

2. Makita HG 1100

Pro: Light weight, works good

Con: Melts

 Makita HG 1100 

I purchased a Makita HG 1100 in August 2005 from Amazon. I loved the increased power and was finally able to get the performance that I wanted.  After about 2 years the blue plastic near the output began to melt.  Maybe I was resting the gun while I was roasting and eventually distorted the gun?  Whatever the case, smoking and burning plastics is probably a sign that it was time to get a new gun.

Makita HG1100

3 Wagner HT 775

Pro: Won’t melt, works good for awhile, good customer service

Con: Heavy, didn’t last long

 Wagner HT 775

Perhaps plastic wasn’t the right material for a heat gun? So I found a Wagner that was all metal.

However, After 7 months the gun stopped working.  I spoke to customer service and it turns out that roasting is not the intended use for the gun and therefore not necessarily covered under the warranty.  Roasting requires the gun to be used for 20+ minutes at a time, multiple times a week, The normal use of the gun isn’t nearly as intense.  So I went on bought another gun.  And as the way things work, shortly after I bought my new gun, Wagner shipped me a brand new gun!

Wagner HT775

4  Milwaukee 8975

Pro: Light weight, works good, lasts forever

Cons: None

 Milwaukee 8975 

My 4th gun, purchased in 2008, was a Milwaukee.  Yep, went back to plastic.  I couldnt’ find another metel one that looked good and Milwaukee seemed like a good brand.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but the all metel Wagner weighed a ton!  When you are holding the gun for 20 minutes with one arm and stirring with the other, lighter weight is a nice feature.  This gun is still in great shape – even though I leave it outside.

Milwaukee 8975