Chasing Ice + Cafe Mocha + Climate Change + Cyberspace + Cinema = Chatty

Chasing Ice website  Complete with link to James Balog’s photography and much more.

With all the ways there are to share information and communicate in this time of technological multitasking galore “mail” remains a constant source as both snail mail (those hard copies that are deposited in your own private hard copy mailboxes) and email (all the electronically created and delivered “soft” efforts to communicate via cyberspace complete with “in boxes” and mailing options. Anyone else recall the attempt by the American government to charge US all five cents per email we sent? Have I got that right? So far that effort to get a slice of the internet mail pie has failed. So far. I think. I may be wrong about this failure to milk us.).  Why do we so enjoy getting all our forms of “mail”? One reason I enjoy my mail is because of the information it brings to my attention that I may well have otherwise missed or overlooked or simply never discovered. There is something to be said for “subscribing” to business websites for updates and notifications. Are you all bored and wondering what the heck any of this has to do with the Chasing Ice video? Okay. I subscribe to the Tivoli Cinemas in Westport (an area of Kansas City, Missouri) and as a result I receive a weekly email regarding which films are being shown and when at the hard copy theatre complete with big screens, comfy seats, and the rare option to buy or bring your own yum yums for consumption while viewing all sorts of films. If I  did not have this subscription I probably would never have known that Chasing Ice is appearing exclusively at the Tivoli for the Kansas City area. Heck, I might not have even known it was appearing in any theatres if not for this email.  Luckily the Tivoli is within reasonable driving distance for moi–who, as you’ve all guessed by now has the “yappy yaps” this morning.

Tivoli Cinemas’ website

Chasing Ice opens December 21, 2012.

Hey, they’re even offering The Nutcracker performed by the Royal London Ballet on December 23.  Yes, a movie theatre will show a ballet film. If that’s not enough to raise your highbrows a notch or two then maybe The Royal Opera of London show of The Marriage of Figaro on December 30 will do the trick.

Oh and a film ticket stub will knock 50% off the price of one drink at the Broadway Cafe –which, in my opinion, offers The Best Cafe Mocha–bar none– anywhere. Definitely the best I’ve tasted in several states. (No, sorry, folks trying to staff the little upstart coffee shop in Pierre, SD, that’s not a legit cafe mocha you’re proffering. Not yet anyway. Keep trying though. Practice may pay off in time.) Broadway Cafe site

So, guess where I will venture, safe driving conditions being extant, during the week of December 21-27? Yep. I’ll be chasing Chasing Ice with a delicious cafe mocha accompanied by a honey soaked croissant.  I’ll be enjoying what this world offers while it lasts.

Now, about all the ice chasing and film festival awards and climate change etc. . . .

Cheap Coffee Binge-ing at 7-Eleven

6:32 am and my brainwaves commence looping: “Coffee, cinnamon roll, 7-Eleven ten minutes ago!” This gets me out of the bed-cave and into The Daily Dress–a spaghetti strap number 3 sizes too big that no one I know, so far, has the guts to tell me to stop wearing every day as soon as the temperature rises above 70 degrees. Hey the name of the heat game is ventilation. It is indeed possible to do that hair combing thing and toothbrush dance  in under sixty seconds and achieve a semblance of normalcy that will keep the clerk from hitting the alarm button upon my appearing on the security cameras at the entrance. Neither the cameras or alarm have deterred any of the daylight hour robberies of this particular 7-Eleven.  Who repeatedly robs a 7-Eleven? The same folks who hit the little barbershop, the shoe box sized gun shop, and the 24 hour self-serve laundry.  Hey, small change adds up. Bonus, all of these businesses are within five minutes walking distance round trip, unless one gets ‘stuck’ in the suicide lane crossing the street, so gas consumption is significantly reduced with a simple one stop park and rob plan.

Now let’s get one thing clear: As a recovering coffee addict my infrequent coffee binges are rare yet intense and generally expire within two weeks.  Another thing to be clear about: Not just any coffee qualifies for binge status consumption. Coffee binges involve imbibing great cafe mochas from the only independent coffee-shop to ever drive out an invasion by a Starbucks (Yuck! Yuck!) chain, The Broadway Cafe, and freshly trickled down regular 7-Eleven blend with a minimum of four tiny tubs of half and half topped off with a dash of cinnamon if no roll is available. The only reason to have the roll is for the cinnamon content. This is a matter of scent–nothing else matters except smelling the spice. Considering the depletion of my supply of ticket stubs from the independent art house movie theater, said stubs serve to slice the price of BC mochas in half, and the relative proximity of the aging convenience store to current home base, 7-Eleven is servicing my present early morning coffee binge.

Note: In a pinch, home percolated coffee in which a scoop of vanilla ice cream of a variety which lists no more than five ingredients, all of which we all can pronounce and identify to the tune of cream, milk and sugar et al, topped off with a swirl of honey and a splash of cinnamon will temper the coffee craving. But true bingeing involves hunting and gathering the caffeine carrier.

The current early morning clerk can’t be a day over nineteen with his thick mass of curly black hair barely restrained by a bright red cap. We’ve become acquainted enough over the last week for him to actually reply to my inquiry about the appearance of some sort of filled yeasty pastry where the daily delivered cinnamon rolls are generally located. “Dunno what’s in them. Just showed up today. Only one cinnamon roll arrived and it’s gone.”  I glare at the pink sprinkled pastries with their devious mystery filling and the two for one dollar glazed donuts then move on to the coffee bar with my tidy reusable mug in hand.  Three steps and I freeze in horror.

Egads!  The coffee station has been thoroughly ransacked, raped, pillaged and decimated apparently to the point of total devastation. Empty glass decanters, white paper coffee filters, drip baskets litter the usually gleaming stainless steel counter-space. I consider asking the exceptionally alert red capped clerk if a herd of manic monkeys recently invaded his territory. But he’s already on the scene fully engaging in coffee resupply mode. Instead I start matching up empty decanters with heaters to see where the regular blend stands in the resupply line. Several heating elements are out of sight so I circle around the floor freezer proffering tawdry ice cream confections to the other side of the coffee bar. Lo and behold Red Cap has indeed managed to replenish one solitary glass pot full of my blend of choice. I close in on the only pot of coffee available and commence covering the bottom of my travel mug with half and half–to avoid overfill at the top.  Red Cap and I are standing side by side busy with our different engagements in the supply and demand chain. He glances at my assault on the half and half but refrains from commenting. I’m sure he’s seen more interesting coffee concoctions. At the moment the store is empty aside from just he and me and a lot of coffee awaiting brewing.

“How ya doing today?” I inquire as I tear the top off creamer number 3.

“Oh I’m just piling on my facade to get through the day,” he replies as he yanks open a bag of coffee.

“Well that’s true of 99% of the people 99% of the time.”  Creamer number 4 joins the other three in the black bottom of my plastic mug. I sense Red Cap looking at me sideways for a moment after he sets a decanter under a brewer and hits the button. Regular blend fills my mug turning the desired shade of tan as it mixes with the half and half. “I gave it up. Too much work.” I gently shake cinnamon on top then snap on the lid.

Red Cap laughs a little as he pours coffee into another filter.  I go glare again at the glazed donuts then decide to do the 2 for 1 special.  While doing the tissue grab and bag a short short guy enters and stares at his lottery options at the counter. Red Cap is no slouch in the service department and fast walks up to the register. Short guy decides, buys and departs. Red Cap enters my purchase for $1.o5. “Hey, I got these too.” I tap the donuts then resume hunting for my loose change.

“Yep. Got ’em. Coffee is on the house today.”

I look up surprised as I pay. “Thanks. Have a great day. Be safe.”

A million freckles grin around solid black eyes for a moment without any trace of tough young guy facade. “You too.”

Got DJ daydreams? A Blues Affliction Perhaps?

Do you have a serious music addiction? Or know and love someone with such an affliction? You know the type–they consume tunes the way yuppies consume a certain brand of chain coffee. Oh and in Kansas City, we’ve got something for that sort of coffee addict–The Broadway Cafe–the ONLY independent coffee shop to shut down the invading coffee chain and send it packing–a chain which we will not name nor even offer the marketing of a ‘tag’. 

Okay back to the music–and the DJ dreamers out there spinning in the world-wide web and beyond.

Yes, folks, only at KKFI Community Radio, located at the corner of 39th and Main in Kansas City, Missouri can you too can be a guest DJ and get a taste of radio-wave action. How? KKFI is entirely community funded and for a donation of one hundred and fifty dollars towards its operating costs, you –or a loved one of your choice– can do a stint on live radio complete with programing the musical selections.  Consider giving such a ‘gift’ of experience to yourself or someone who loves Jazz, Folk, World, Rock, Blues, Reggae and even Native American music et al.  The DJ guest spot must be during a compatible radio program with appropriate music genre. If you click on the blue billboard  you will surf into KKFI’s site and there find a program schedule complete with times  and the regular all volunteer DJ staff listings. There’s also contact, newsletter, and event information available. KKFI 90.1 fm streams LIVE on the world wide web 24/7 , 365 days around the sun and with the moon.  Where else but on totally community radio can a DJ daydream become reality?


Okay I have had a double-header of movie magic this week with these two  very different films.  If you’re just looking for a great time out of the heat in some cool darkness, well a movie double-header might be just the thing–if you can find a blockbuster like Inception and a French delight like Micmacs in the same part of your town’s universe.  I have the good fortune to have access to the wonderful Tivoli Cinema in the Westport section of Kansas City. The Tivoli is one of the few non drink/eat establishments still in Westport–much to our dismay–but it is THERE and it offers wonderful film feasts all the time. It also allows you to bring your own food and drink into the show. Incredible, isn’t it? And for the price of your ticket stub you can get a coffee drink of your choice and size half price at the Broadway Cafe–the ONLY INDEPENDENT COFFEE SHOP to KICK  a Starbucks off its block! OH YEAH! But hey, it’s easy to be loyal to a coffee shop with a far superior product and owners than Starbucks can dream of being. But I digress. Back to the films.  Okay, if you love the French film Amelie then I need say no more about Micmacs. But I will anyway.  At the very top of  my “I so love this” list is the night-time cinematography. OH it is beautiful! Delicate, intricate, detailed and laced with humor. I have not found rooftops so profoundly engaging since the HorseMan on the Roof.  The cast is wonderfully quirky and engaging.  Yes, there is a love story, but it’s not the driving force of the storyline. The plot–well–the plot is about those at the very bottom of the economic social order taking on those at the very top–the suppliers of land mines and weapons to the world. Basically scavengers take on the powers of death and destruction–in the most unexpectedly delightful way.  As far as I’m concerned anyway.  Now–what a dream that is and dreams are the main course here today for INCEPTION is all about the power of dreams and ideas. Yes, the power of ideas. Don’t forget that. It’s very very important.  In this film the conscious mind strives to enter the subconscious and take control for all sorts of reasons. Not the least of which is corporate espionage. HMM. Then one man wants to plant an idea for changing someone else’s life and the fun begins.  You can get all the incidentals from the movie sites and standard reviewers.  You can have all the fun of the special effects and action and miss all the wonderful ideas the film offers for exploration. It even has somethings to offer in that love  story department.  Its one ‘flaw’ is that the plot requires the use of sedatives for entering the required dream states. Now, as anyone who has explored meditation knows — who needs a sedative? No drugs required. But that might have been viewed as too tough a sell to western audiences unfamiliar with the power of meditation to do more than relieve stress in a world overflowing with anxiety. Still, it’s a wonderfully creative film about the creative power of minds and ideas–the power of dreaming new things –and old.

“Broadway Cafe” piece de resistance

They stuck a Starbucks next to it.

The owners said, “Oh shit!”

Their customers said, “Ah, f&!8 it!”

One year later

Still the expresso sipping chain store haters

crowd the sidewalk, carefully maintaining distance from the invader

which offers a safe haven for nonchain debators.


Walking past,

turning the corner

we offer the cut direct

it’s still here–we’d love to wreck it.

If its patrons are aware of this ongoing coffee brewing war

in no way do they show it.

Bet they don’t even know our bit.

We easily resist

No allure, no character exists.

It’s a cut out cookie chain commerical painer.

Our fellow addicts are pure imbibers not mainliners.


A trip behind enemy lines:

no chipped primary colored tables

no corners to hide in

no tunes for jiven’

no mix of classes

just dark suited corporate hard a&&es

the sort that squished out the bookstore

but not where we get relief for caffine binds

there’s not a single thing to pine for.


No more ground will we give

This tacky cafe is where defiant eccentrics live

Where the potted plants are alive

~~even got moist soil for misguided scavanging ants.

Conformists can go next door to shine the seats of their pants

If they can’t stand the vibes of this sweet little coffeehouse dive.


(@1999  first issue of the “I 70 Review”)

Broadway Cafe Destroys Starbucks

Score one for the independent coffee-houses. Now how to bring down the rest of the evil corporate empire that blithly murders independent business of all kinds while supporting politicians who shamelessy tout the glory of SMALL businesses and their vital role in our economy. Just stop lying already! Are we really such morons that we can’t look around us and see chains chains chains and more chains and not comprehend what’s going on? In case you haven’t noticed it’s  alot of CONFORMITY.  Hence the mainstream media’s ability to blackout the efforts of Winter Soldier to enlighten the masses about the realities of war in far distant lands. Well the war is distant until the suicidial soldier returns home no longer the mentally stable personality he/she may have been before being transformed into a no-questions asked killing machine. Yeah, that sort of make-over is bound to have some serious ramifications for the long term.  But I digress.  Or do I? In the context  of the interconnectedness of all things–I think perhaps I digress not. It is important when a small independent business manages to give the corporate chains a taste of their bad medicine.  Yes, folks it is possible to drive a Starbucks OUT of your pond with determined customer loyalty and a damn better product than theirs.  Share the coffee beans…now how the questions remains: how to make coffee affordable for the very people who harvest it? Oh, that’s easy, pay them a true living wage….yeah…I”m sure coffee ceos everywhere can start sharing the wealth from all the coffee addicts.

Broadway Cafe  has the best damn cafe mochas anywhere—and I’ve tasted a lot of them from coast to coast. Is it the barista or the chocolate or the coffee? Hmm…


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