Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


Impractical Joking

Months ago, I took one of Ben's stinky socks he had left in the office and poured all of his cough drops into it, then I stuffed the sock, cough drops and all, back into the cough drop bag and put it all back into his drawer.

Today, with my throat feeling a slight itch, I asked around to see if anyone had anything that might soothe my throat. Ben said he had cough drops and tossed the bag of cough drops my way. I, in my totally grateful and forgetful state, opened the bag. I was slightly grossed out and disgusted for the two seconds it took to remember my prior antics.

Yeah. I practical-joked myself.

posted by Bolo | 3:37 PM
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Cup of the Morning

Tanzania Nyatimbo Peaberry. Lots of smooth chocolate on the initial sip, then quickly blooming with subtle fruit. It's not incredibly bright like a typical Kenya, at least not at first, but the fruitiness is definitely what takes over as the cup cools. There's a balanced, even body, not too light but decidedly enough to match up with the fruit and chocolate, if that makes sense. Sublime is the word that comes to mind with this cup...deliciously sublime.

posted by Bolo | 8:53 AM
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Mourning Morning

It's taken me nearly twenty-nine years to come to this conclusion: mornings are pretty, but they're also pretty sucky.

posted by Bolo | 8:45 AM
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Linkage: Coffee Captures

Think I am obsessive about coffee? Think I am obsessive about capturing things through a lens? Well, I am, but at least I'm not the only one.

Remind me about them when I head to NY.

I got a little geeked out looking at all the equipment; I imagine others will find different reasons to watch.

I know these guys. Love 'em, and not just 'cause they roast and brew some great stuff.

posted by Bolo | 10:38 AM
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Thoughts: Mr. Mikami

If you ask either one of us why we're friends, it wouldn't be strange to hear one of us say at some point, "Hmmm...I dunno, actually...I guess cuz we is, das why." Some people speak pidgin, but he speaks multiple pidgin dialects. Kev once told me he would be homeless if he could but his family won't let him...true story. The man once made one of the most astute ethnic observations ever recorded: while at the wedding of two Asian friends who both hail from the West Coast but met and married in Hawai'i, he said something to the effect of, "This has to be the most Asians I've ever seen in one place. And you know what? The only way to tell whether they're local or a twinkie is to listen to them talk, 'cause they're all dressed the same." Mikami is one of only three guys I personally know that make three-quarter length cropper pants look cool. His blank looks mean he's either pondering something profound or thinking absolutely nothing. He'll be here on Saturday; the 'Ville will never be the same.

posted by Bolo | 7:58 PM
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"I mean, when two home-schoolers try to give each other a high-five it's bound to happen."

-Katie Vaughn, on the worst high-five ever

posted by Bolo | 8:11 PM
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Coffee Characteristics

"This cup of coffee is freakin' stellar, by the way. Oh my. Just what every guy really wants, not what he says he wants: warm but still hot enough to almost burn, smooth and pleasant, delicate but with hints of things here and there, yet still definite and decided on what it is."

posted by Bolo | 4:25 PM
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It's nearly 10 at night, and I decided to take a picture of the mug rather than drink its contents. Why, you ask? Well, simply put, I can't really enjoy the fullness of whatever is in that cup with my nose slightly stuffy as it is. I know that there's a drip-filter brew of wet-processed Koratie in there, but you know what? My senses don't do it justice. Sad times.

posted by Bolo | 9:51 PM
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We long to see Your Son returning for us, Father, and we long to do so in joy. Cause our hearts today to delight in You. Root out sin and help us put to death the sin that so easily entangles...oh, how easily it entangles! Purify our hearts and purify our eyes that we might behold You. Give our souls a thirst for Your Word, a thirst that we discern and heed. Lift our eyes toward Christ who is seated at Your right hand, that we might not fear in our circumstances nor walk in a manner that ignores the gospel of Christ. I pray that You would grant to us the humility to please You in all things, just as Your Son pleased you in all things.

That was a part of a prayer that I wrote out recently. It was written as a means of encouragement, written as a plea for saints desperate to see and savor Jesus. As Smythe has written and sung, it takes a sinner to make a saint.

posted by Bolo | 9:57 PM
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Conversant Person

Single White Female Who Desires Anonymity: "How did we get to dog poo from a perfectly nice cookie conversation?"

Me: "We can speak of more pleasant things. How's your love life?"

Single White Female Who Desires Anonymity: "I thought we were going to speak of more pleasant things!"

posted by Bolo | 11:48 PM
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Sushi at Maido last night? Da buggah was 'ono! No self-respecting heterosexual male, under any circumstances, is to use the word "fun" when speaking of an outfit's attributes. I saw my pastor give one of our fellow IBC members a wedgie. That couch was heavy...I think my hernias have hernias. Unfortunately, the sushi was also pricey. Happy birthday, Frances! We all figured ND would lose at least a couple this season, even with the most optimistic predictions, so the loss this past weekend is perfectly acceptable in the big scheme of things. Szrama's response to the query, "How does your wife put up with you?" is both amusing and apt: "She goes to bed early." James, aggressive narcissist that he is, may not ever assert that he's the greatest person on the face of the earth, but he unashamedly will point out that no one else is anywhere near as qualified for that exalted position as he. Ooohhhh, Idido Misty Valley, Esmeralda Gesha, and both the wet-process and dry-process Koraties could be in the cup lineup within the month...what a coffee day! Mikami's still on his way...the 'Ville will never be the same.

posted by Bolo | 12:54 PM
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"I find this behavior quite strange, but not totally unexpected." Ivy said that several weeks ago after I'd told him what I was doing that evening; not surprisingly, I found his observation to be noteworthy...

...but not totally unexpected :)

posted by Bolo | 11:55 PM
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How I Met...Linkage

I think the four of us should pool our cash and put a bid in...

This has to be both legendary and awesome!

posted by Bolo | 10:51 PM
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Cup of the Morning

That lovely dry-processed Koratie that I've been all abuzz over has a brother, the wet-processed Koratie. What's the difference? Basically, the same varietal coffee cherries are cultivated and harvested in the same manner, but what makes the two batches so unique is their respective processing. Without going into the details of dry and wet processing, I will note that what makes the dry-processed so wild and rustic and the wet-processed so clean and refined is the careful processing.

That said, the delicious cup of wet-processed Koratie was absolutely delightul. Full of delicate floral notes, melon and light citrus fruit, with a clean and light body. Mmm!

posted by Bolo | 11:55 AM
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Lended Lens

Steak Sauce would recognize this. At least, he would have, once upon a time :)

posted by Bolo | 11:33 PM
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Heaven?, it's not heaven, but it is delicious!

posted by Bolo | 9:32 PM
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What Was Written

A while ago, I wrote this in my journal, then later posted it here:

Even now, as I sit and try to ponder anew Your gospel, I find affection for You to be lacking. You've been ever so faithful, and evermore shall be so. Yet, what of myself? Do I turn to You for grace? Do I long to sit at the spring of living water and drink deeply? Paul writes in Ephesians of the riches of Your grace; later, he writes of the riches of Your glory; prior to these, he writes of us, the saints, being Christ's inheritance, and the glory of that inheritance; throughout it all, we are made His inheritance that we might praise the glory of Your grace. We have no means, no right by which we might praise You, O Holy One of Israel. What right does man have to praise You? All we ought to expect, as sinners offending our Maker with our very existence, is naught but wrath, even were we to kneel and proclaim, "Lord!" for such a proclamation would be filled with loathing, hatred, and even then, disobedience. Sinners cannot but see You and hate! For You declare sin to be sin, shining light upon that which sinners would keep hidden in darkness, showing and exposing it as it truly is, and not as we would have it appear. This, then, is the glory of Your grace, that we would see our sin truly, and loathe it rather than You, and be shown and led to the cross, there to be saved by the blood of the unblemished Lamb of God, there to be made one with Him and He with us, there to be saved from Your wrath and reconciled with You, the Father who longs to wipe away every tear from our eyes with the same hand that set the stars in the place, there to praise for the very first the praise unto Him that we would praise forevermore. Is this gracious? Indeed, for it was given without merit on our part, for we were still sinners, still enemies, and it was given at the greatest of cost, the precious blood of the Son of God. Is this glorious? Yes, for it was done by a sovereign, free, and infinite God, One whose purpose has never wavered, One whose delight in His glory has never faltered, One who took upon Himself the wrath for which a sinner such as I was destined. By removing us from the covenantal requirements, He places upon Himself the Law, both the responsibility of keeping and the price of failing. Yet, in doing so, He freely grants to us the reward for keeping the Law, and adds an even greater grace: Himself. Paul writes again and again, "in Christ." Would we, by keeping to perfection the Law, gaze upon Him with praise and adoration upon our lips? Would we know the grace of God as gloriously as we do? Would we see it as glorious? In Christ, we are made sons and daughters, the bride of Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit filled with glory, the body of Christ. Yes, this is glorious; yes, this is praiseworthy.

Part of me recognizes the writing as undoubtedly mine, but the other part of me recognizes it as something I wouldn't necessarily write just now. How so? It's simple and somewhat sad, really. I know my writing; it's something I enjoy, and something I take great interest in. Therefore, I can easily recognize my moods when I write: pensiveness, joy, sorrow, anger, guilt...they're all there, sometimes obvious, often hidden or couched in terms that most of my readers won't pick up on.

The sadness I feel is that I know what my heart felt as I wrote that: hope. Unbridled, shameless, humble hope. Such hope is hard to come by when life happens and drudgery becomes pride, when God's word says, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," and your heart responds by saying, "Oh, how impure I feel...will I ever see God again?" I know the tone of my words, and it positively shimmers with the tone of whom I long for: Jesus. When life happens, when sanctification seems hard to come by, when even the well of tears seems to have become a desert that doesn't end, such words can easily seem far off and untrue.

It's a good thing I can go back and read such's then that I am reminded of truth, that I find myself desiring and hoping in Christ once more.

posted by Bolo | 1:10 PM
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As the 'Ville goes from 300,000 being without power to under a 100,000, Huffman said it best when her electricity came on less than ten minutes ago:

"You could actually hear people in neighboring buildings cheering loudly. Since everyone had their windows open, we all realized about ten seconds too late that we could hear each other ."

Aaaahhhh, Red does have quite the perspective on life.

posted by Bolo | 6:09 PM
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Fantastic Four?

LUFA's Fall League features yours truly as co-captain of one of the teams. After two weeks of play, we're 0 - 2. Yes, no wins and two losses. Not a good record, you say? Well, on paper, sure, but I'm quite happy with our team's play despite some pretty tough odds the first two weeks out there.

Week one saw us very shorthanded with only one sub for the guys and none for the girls. We still played a tough game with lots of hustle, even tying it up late before losing by two. Despite the loss, I was very much encouraged by the enthusiasm and talent I foresaw for us after just one week of play.

Week two was a much different scenario. We pretty much doubled our turnout, but as our more experienced players realized in the aftermath of another loss, our greater numbers meant that we had to deal with an influx of raw, inexperienced players. While this led to less fluidity on offense and some confusion on defense, that just means we'll have a few key areas to work on as the weeks go by, a few key areas that are easily addressed and improved with more practice and game experience.

I hope.

posted by Bolo | 11:29 PM
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Disclaimer: My pastor sanctioned this post.

In honor of tomorrow being International Talk Like a Pirate Day, Karen gleefully said, "Show me the booty!"

Moments later, Stephanie declared, "The men's bathroom is officially going to become the poop deck."


posted by Bolo | 4:42 PM
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"How come no one ever throws me into a car with three attractive guys?"

-Catherine Huffman

posted by Bolo | 10:31 AM
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Cup of the Morning

I've already said, "Oh, that's amazing!" seven times, and I'm just a fifth of the way through the cup. Mmmm...if only they could all be so enjoyable...

posted by Bolo | 8:57 AM
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Morning Monochrome

posted by Bolo | 11:56 PM
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Cup of the Morning

Hmmm...this second cup is quite rustic...kind of Indonesian, but not really...too bad I can't quite remember what it is...

posted by Bolo | 10:13 AM
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Moochin' Mikey

Apparently, the Seminary was feeding students that lived on campus and were without electricity. The following is the interaction that recently took place between Mike, a former Boyce College student, and Mrs. Mohler as Mrs. Mohler checked in students waiting in line for their meals and Mike approached the front of that line:

Mrs. Mohler: "What's your room number?"

"Uhhhmmmmm, well, I live off-campus."

Mrs. Mohler: "Oh, well will you be joining us for more meals?"

Mike: "Aaaaaabsoolutely!"

Some things are just wrong, aren't they?

posted by Bolo | 11:23 PM
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All African

"Delicious!" I said that to myself on at least ten different occasions today. The reason? Two different presses of dry-processed Koratie, helped along by a Kenya auction lot, a Harar, and a Sidamo. My favorite by far was that DP Koratie...I mean, it's an explosion of berries in my mouth...outstanding! The berries and syrupy fruit flavors only intensify as the cup cools, too. Mmm...can't wait for the morning!

posted by Bolo | 10:49 PM
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Great, Great Sorrow

"The greatest sorrow and burden you can lay on the Father, the greatest unkindness you can do to Him is not to believe that He loves you."

-John Owen

posted by Bolo | 9:45 PM
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Despite the fact that most of the city is out of power, I'm still up and running here on Oak Street. I shall call him, "Mini-Mazzer"! I missed those two wide open break-side looks yesterday, but still hit Cory on that deep force-side huck...I'm not sure how I feel about that. I think Ruszkiewicz was ready to kick me out after my little leprechaun doll's first iteration of its boisterous, "Go Irish!" Got a cup of DP Koratie pressed from some grounds that were ground much more finely than most would go for a press...the result is a livelier, fuller cup. Trees are broken and blown over just a couple of houses down from where I lie here and type, but it's nothing compared to what happened down south. My hair is long. I miss you, you white-haired fool. I'm listening to Abigail Washburn sing to me in Mandarin; Béla Fleck, Ben Sollee, and Casey Driessen help, too. I gotta do some laundry. Szrama's right, I haven't worn a suit in...well...figuratively forever. Yeah, he's still on his way.

posted by Bolo | 9:38 PM
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Thunder is Shakin' Down

We win!!! We win!!!

And yes, he does look like a blond Chucky doll, but he sure can quarterback :)

posted by Bolo | 7:24 PM
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Go Irish!

Game time. Soon. Heck yeah!

posted by Bolo | 3:19 PM
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Cup of the Morning

In the trusty Sunergos mug is an Ethiopian Harar roasted a couple of days ago. It's nice and spicy in a fresh ginger sort of way, with mild touches of fruit here and there. The one thing I'm finding but wanting more of is a touch of butter in the cup...amazing!

posted by Bolo | 9:03 AM
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No Way!

This footage, taken over a month ago, shows a certain Team That Shall Not Be Named taking the disc down the field in a patient, efficient manner. Yes, this did happen, and no, we didn't stage it. Amazing.

posted by Bolo | 7:54 AM
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Rising and Blooming

While waiting for Ben to pick me up this morning, I snapped this. Nothing fancy, nothing extravagant, just the sun that rose and a flower that bloomed.

Wait, what am I saying? I couldn't make a sunrise or a flower in a billion years.

posted by Bolo | 10:08 PM
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Thoughts: Godward

I think if there's one thing I've learned consistently over the years, it's this: God is more like God than I realized or ever will realize, and I am less like Him than I realized or ever will realize.

posted by Bolo | 6:26 PM
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Tripping Out




...way... alarmed.

posted by Bolo | 7:29 AM
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Jeremiah 33:4 - 9
"For thus says the LORD God of Israel concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah which are broken down to make a defense against the siege ramps and against the sword, 'While they are coming to fight with the Chaldeans and to fill them with the corpses of men whom I have slain in My anger and in My wrath, and I have hidden My face from this city because of all their wickedness: Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel and will rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me and by which they have transgressed against Me. It will be to me a name of joy, praise and glory before all the nations of the earth which will hear of all the good that I do for them, and they will fear and tremble because of all the good and all the peace that I make for it.' "

posted by Bolo | 11:51 PM
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En Dee's Dubya

All off-season long, I've been pretty quiet about the 2008 Irish. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of reason for me be chirpy and excited about what's been going on in South Bend, but I figured stating my excitement would do no good until they actually got on the field and played a game. Yesterday, they did just that. Was it frustrating? Yes. Was it agonizingly close? Yes. Was it the type of game I'd like to see played against a team that lost to a far lesser opponent the week before? Absolutely not.

Still, I'm fine with that.

The reason I was frustrated was because the Irish weren't crushing the Aztecs when they should have been. Allow me, if you're still reading this and not nauseated by my sports-junkie fandom analysis, to list a few concrete observations that made this year's team, even at just one game old, decidedly different from last year's team, no matter who the opponent was. One, Jimmy Clausen was accurate all day, making a variety of throws to a variety of spots on the field. Those two interceptions, by the way, weren't his fault. Two, Jimmy Clausen wasn't watching the result of his throws from his back. Three, they showed the ability to run the ball with some degree of power and explosiveness, even if it was against a lesser-quality SDSU defense. Four, they have talent and speed on an aggresive defense that showed they will fly in to make the tackle, even if that talent and speed is young and was clearly tired on that clock-eating SDSU drive in the middle of the second half. Five, idiotic penalties weren't an issue.

Now, those things said, was the game perfect? No, and that's why it was frustrating. Last year, the Irish showed a lack of talent and execution that gave ND fans everywhere little hope that they'd eke out a win. This year, even though it was just one game, the Irish showed they do have the ability to crush an opponent, and that's why a win that was just eked out isn't as nice as it would have been last year.

Give 'em some time...I mean, there's plenty of season left to bemoan should wins be more scarce than we're hoping. For now, I say enjoy the win...they were rare enough last year, weren't they?

posted by Bolo | 7:33 PM
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Game Day

Game Day is here. Get ready!

posted by Bolo | 8:16 AM
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Twenty-Seven's Fourth

In the fourth verse of the twenty-seventh psalm, the psalmist declares, "One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple."

My immediate response to the psalmist's plea is this: I'm not like that...that's just not me. I think, however, that my knee-jerk reaction is simply not true.

David, the king of Israel, the man after God's own heart, is declaring His singular passion for the LORD in this psalm. I sometimes find David's declarations to be far too holy for my bruised reed of a soul, far too pure for my weak and wayward desires. Do I long to dwell in nearness to the LORD, in His presence? Do I desire to see the LORD, to look upon Him with intimate joy and reverence? Do I delight to think about Him, to ponder anew His the wonders of His glorious grace? My answers to all of those always seem to begin, "Yes, but..."

I love God, I do. But you know what? It's not that I love Him at all that I question; no, it's the degree to which I love God that I find lacking and so daunting. I suppose it's the single-minded, single-hearted cry for God that I find to be so

I sin, I fail, I don't care, I disappoint, I weep over my weakness, I want to give up for lack of joy: that's who I am.

Or am I?

David was a man that knew failure. He knew victory, yes, but he was also deeply acquainted with failure. In this psalm, David's cry is not one that says he has already reached heaven, but one that speaks of a day to come. Does he love God and love Him truly? Yes. Does he love him so perfectly that he is never daunted by failure, never beaten down by sin? No, for that's clearly not the account of David's life that God gives us in the bible.

I find that I have far more in common with David than my instinctive reactions tell me I do. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, when I've pondered everything I've done and all that I still want to do, at the heart of all I want or all I don't want, I hear in my soul a cry that echoes the king of Israel's:

One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple.

I'm keenly aware that I don't deserve such a lot. Yet, I'm also aware that there is no way such a desire would be within me unless God had put it there first, and as such, it is His delight that I should seek Him.

posted by Bolo | 7:08 AM
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I've come to a conclusion. Well, maybe not so much a conclusion and more of an observation that has been in-progress for quite some time now. Anyhow, here it is:

Roasting coffee is much like dating/courting/dorting/FWAPing in that they both have two intrinsic characteristics: a ridiculously difficult learning curve coupled with (pun intended) a massive lure for incredibly delightful results, yet often yield results that are sour or burnt rather than sweet and savory.

There. That's it. Take of it and make of it what you will, but it is what it is.

posted by Bolo | 11:49 PM
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Cup of the Morning

The first brew of the morning is Guatemala Finca San Jose Ocaña. Last year's crop of this bean has made me think of potpourri dipped in coffee. This year's is less on the floral and more on the bright fruit...not quite citrusy, but definitely one to almost make the mouth pucker. After a few days of rest, this roast is pretty smooth. Nice.

posted by Bolo | 8:43 AM
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If No Can, No Can

Yup...miss you guys, too.

posted by Bolo | 12:21 PM
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Happy September!

posted by Bolo | 12:01 AM
2 speakage
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