It's Too Late to Be Having Coffee at This Hour

But, Coffee Cartel is Open 24/7! Doesn't This Mean Coffee is Great at Any Hour?

coffee at this hourThat's the line of reasoning and justification I tell myself when I want to have coffee after 10 or 11 p.m. or so. I don't know why it matters, since a lot of people burn the midnight oil to get things done, or burn the midnight oil because they cover up the daylight. There's plenty of things that I need to get done, and I haven't gotten too much done today as it is.

I'm Thinking about the Food Stamp Program

For my next two articles with International Political Forum, I'm covering the food stamp and welfare programs in the United States. The food stamp article will cover changes to the program, while the welfare article will focus on how to get more recipients into the job market. In my opinion (of which I still need additional research to support), I think both have similar solutions that involve getting organizations that are hiring into the mix. According to a survey from CareerBuilder, 35% of employers have been struggling to fill a position for 12 weeks or more. This same survey also says that many job sectors are poised for growth, even as companies struggle to fill positions. These sectors include sales, assembly, nursing, truck driving, accounting, and IT, and aren't necessarily jobs that require college degrees or unique skill sets. People to fill these positions can easily be found on the rolls of food stamps and/or welfare. It's a matter of ending the rat race and getting companies to go these people, instead of having these people apply to job after job and continuing throwing applications into the black hole of recruitment.

I Think I Actually Need to Go to Bed

Like, four hours after I started this blog post, I didn't get much done and I've barely made any progress on this post. I guess the coffee didn't really help. After all, the past few days have been socially packed, and socially-packed days can be very tiring, especially if they happen without much break in between. At least for me that's the case, as it just gets too much. I need time to myself, to recharge and to do what I want and what I need to do. Right now, what I need to do is go to bed.

Where Did This Evening Go?

where did the evening go I have no idea. It felt like I sucked into Facebook at 8 p.m. or so, only to look up and realize that it was 10:30 p.m. already. Now, there's 35 minutes left in today. I'm hoping I can get this blog post done before midnight, or else I technically would have gone two whole days without blogging. That's not good, especially since I do have some really good numbers right now (at least good for the blog. There's nothing really to brag about here). I need to keep the momentum going.

Gateway Grounds

I should announce that Stirring Media has changed direction and its first media property is finally up and running. Gateway Grounds is dedicated to finding great coffee and sharing it with you, whether it's in St. Louis or around the country. Right now, I'm focusing on getting a new article up every Tuesday and Friday as well as opening up my revenue streams. I have a few affiliate partners in place, but now I need to review some of their coffee so I can put those links in place. I also might consider banner advertising, but that's a little farther down the road. In the meantime, check out Gateway Grounds! Hopefully, you'll find something work adding to your morning cup!

So Much Work to Do!

I've totally screwed up my sleep schedule and I am now more night owl than ever, if there are degrees of "nightowlness" or "circadian rhythm disorder", or what not. I"m still getting all I need to done, partly because I'm going to be up for four more hours (at least) and will spend that time working, so on that note it's not really a bad thing. However, I feel judged for this behavior. It stresses me out a little because I can't as easily go to Lab1500, even though they should have 24-hour access soon. Once they start the access, I'll be a little less stressed out about the whole thing. My productivity will go up, and I won't worry so much about being judged, even though no one who really matters who really cares that I'm doing this. I'm getting what I need to done and I'm doing my work well. I have the peace, quiet, and privacy to do things. I also have the freedom to get myself into this position in the first place. I'm not getting up at 6 a.m. because I have to.

I've gone through this whole debate in my head before. Several times in fact. I think if I can maybe mimic most of my day after the day in the life of an Inc. 500 CEO, I'll be okay. The guy who runs the company at number 26 on the list goes to bed at 4 a.m. and wakes up at 10 a.m. He's number 26, too! Running on six hours a day each day seems tough. Although, typical behavior of these CEOs is to spend about five hours per day on personal time (primarily exercising, relaxing, and spending time with family). Nothing says I can't throw a nap into those five hours. Yeah, I think I'll be okay.

I Missed the Midnight Mark

Oh well, probably just another thing that no one really cares too much about. I mean, the blog did originally go like three months without a post, and here I am worrying about two days without a post. I'm getting things done, as I've made clear in my previous paragraphs.

All right, I hear a cat meowing outside. I see it. I am going to investigate. The neighborhood has had several missing cats in recent weeks, and besides, cats are cute.

People or Works that are Experimental or Innovative

I am awesome.The weather is awful here right now. Thunderstorms now. Hail earlier. Tornado warnings and sightings for the area as well. Flash flood warnings for the next hour or so. A couple of people I know without power. I hope that I can write this before the power goes out! I would have nothing left to do but to go to bed, and I don't want to go to bed right now. My cat doesn't seem to care about any of this. The weather isn't scaring him one bit. A couple of weeks ago, I took one of the coolest personality tests of my life. It's called the Fascination Advantage Test, and it's pretty awesome (also a pretty penny, but worth it). I actually like personality tests because I like to read positive things about myself, but this one was particularly interesting because it evaluated how the world perceives you, versus how you look at the world. I thought that was neat and I really liked how this test told you what you ought to maximize in your personality to engage people and to make success a habit.

I am the Avant-Garde

The Fascination Advantage Test figures out which of the 49 archetypes you are based on what are considered your primary and secondary triggers. Each Personality Archetype has a “primary” trigger (the one that makes you most persuasive and captivating), and a “secondary” trigger (the one represents your second most persuasive strength). For me, I am the Avant-Garde, who is original, enterprising, and forward-thinking. My primary trigger is 'prestige', and my secondary trigger is 'rebellion'. I:

embody a fresh interpretation of the details, tweaking the game to influence direction. Customers and co-workers  are fascinated by my ability to be tapped into the "the next big thing" in business and in pop culture.

Essentially, I am amazing. I am independent, edgy, entrepreneurial, uncompromising, focused, and ambitious. I would recommend everyone to take this test because if you are at all interested in building identity capital and/or building a business, then knowing these traits are important for branding purposes and for engaging people in your vision. Come to find out from this test that building a brand based on being the very best and providing value through higher quality is a key selling point for me. It's part of my prestige trigger. My secondary trigger of rebellion means that incorporating that with a sense of change, exploration, and new perspective maximizes my chances for success and for doing something big.

The Coffee Blog is Fated to Happen

In my inbox today was a Groupon for locally roasted coffee. To boot, it was coffee from a coffee shop that I never heard of, and that was located within good walking distance from my work. I see this as a good opportunity to get the blog started because I can't get some new, unique coffee at a good price. Also, in my initial research, coffee is an incredibly huge market that doesn't have a lot of coverage or a lot of people talking about what the little guys are doing or about coffee culture and trying new flavors. A lot of people drink coffee and spend money on coffee, but it's not easy for those people to find something new, something better, or even something different from what everyone else has or what everyone else is doing.

I also think that because of my archetype, and how I fascinate people, that I am in a better position for success in this line of work versus the content marketing agency stuff. I think the blogging and writing utilizes both triggers, while the agency really only utilized one.

Chicken 'N Waffles Coffee Syrup!

chicken n waffles syrupPrepare to Have Your Mind Blown

I am continuing my research for my upcoming coffee blog (I think I now have a great name and a great tagline), coming across cool sites, products, and possible affiliate marketing products. In this research, I came across coffee syrups and there are two main companies that sell coffee syrups: Torani and Monin. If you thought hazelnut, toffee nut, cinnamon, and vanilla were all there were to coffee syrup flavors, then you were dead wrong.

Not only are there over 100 coffee syrup flavors between these two brands (obviously, the two of them duplicate on many flavors, and not all of them are created to be used in coffee), but my mind is blown that one flavor actually exists. It's from Torani and it's called Chicken N' Waffles.


I'm not sure if it's vegan because I'm not sure if any actual chicken is used in the product. I know the description for the product says that it really goes well with buttered biscuits or cornbread, but who cares. I'm going to have a chicken 'n waffles soy latte, and I am going to blog about it, and it's going to be the next big thing. It'll be awesome.

I know those potato chips came out from Lays that were this flavor, and they received mixed reviews, but that's not a big deal. Some people complained on Facebook that the flavor was too random, or that there was too much maple and not enough chicken. Hogwash! The chips were fantastic, and this soy latte is going to be fantastic. Those people can just eat normal sour cream and onion potato chips and drink normal hazelnut lattes like normal people. How do you not try this when you now know that it exists?!? I mean, at least put it on the butter biscuits or the cornbread. You know, do something normal like follow the instructions and recommendations.

There Actually Was a Close Second

Yes, there was actually a flavor that was a close second for the "OMG-I-didn't-know-this-existed-it's-so-amazing" title. The close second goes to Monin's Hibiscus syrup.

I find this really interesting because the hibiscus is the state flower of Hawai'i, but it's not like we eat it or anything. Maybe we should, since it's not even a native Hawaiian flower. I mean, I think it might actually be illegal or sacrilegious to eat the Ohi'a blossom or 'ilima flower. Please don't eat them. But, apparently, according to the hibiscus syrup product description, people have been eating and using the blossom for medicinal purposes for a long time now. It might actually make a great mocha or Italian soda. This will totally be the next big thing, at least in Hawai'i, after the whole chicken 'n waffles latte buzz.

I have no idea why more coffee shops don't have 100+ flavors to choose from. I understand most people want the good 'ole recipes and would just prefer a vanilla latte and leave. However, some of us want to take the 20 minutes to read your entire list of flavors, and then pick one to have. Think about it! If you have 100+ flavors, then you might actually have a few people come back 100+ times just to go through the entire list and to try every flavor. Once you have that going, then you can turn it into a competition or a reward system where if you do go through all the flavors then you get a prize. I want a cool prize. Who doesn't want a cool prize?

A Virtual Executive Assistant... And Other Thoughts

hartford coffee companyI am writing this blog post from Hartford Coffee Company, a wonderful coffee shop in the Tower Grove neighborhood. Back when I was working from home, I would drop in here regularly work just as an excuse to get out of the house and to force myself to get a few things done. I didn't go to the office today, so I decided to come here and to get some things done. I have succeeded tremendously.

However, I'm Still Behind

The fiasco of last week has still put me a little behind. I do have four articles that I need to do that I haven't done yet because they didn't get delegated or because they are still leftover from last week. I'm very close to finishing that big order for February, so I should have most of tomorrow and Friday to catch on these things. I don't expect to start on the March order until Monday, at the earliest. I'm not too worried about the big order, but I am a little worried I'll get some backlash from being behind. One of them is a new client, one that hasn't paid me yet for two previous articles and pays well below what I would like. Perhaps it's not a big deal if we lose them. I do need to work on the Stirring Standard too, and improving my website, and improving my calls-to-action, and working on my content marketing goals.

Obviously, I need an executive assistant. Either that or I need to stop blogging.

Flavored Lattes are Pretty Good

Who would have thought? I was at Hartford last night, and the barista recommended me a flavored latte with toasted marshmallow and chocolate. It sounded good, as I didn't want something too sugary since I had a sugar crash in the afternoon (mochas are much more sugary than I thought). Turns out it was delicious, so today I got a flavored latte with brown sugar and vanilla, which was also delicious. Fortunately, Hartford has like 50 flavors to choose from, so next time I might go for coconut and macadamia nut, or coconut almond for the Almond Joy approach. Yum yum!

We are Getting a New Kitty!

Last weekend, we stopped by the Animal House Fund to pick out a new cat. They have over 250 cats there, so it was tough as well as fun because there were lots and lots of kitties and the more kitties the better. This organization was recommended to me by Hartford, so I knew they would be a good place to go for a new kitty. The cat we have chosen is Murray. He's a big, fluffy cat as big, fluffy cats are the best. He should be coming home this weekend, and I can't wait to have a cute kitty in the apartment again. I want to brush him and to carry him around the place and to teach him how to play poker.

I Need to Go Home Now

It's almost six, and Sean should be home by now. I want to talk to Sean. I want to eat dinner, although I don't know what I want to eat. I might play poker, or just watch more poker, or watch Sean play Age of Empires II because that came in today and I know he'll install it and play it. Or, I could finish this book I'm reading so I can start reading Half the Sky and be prepared for the next Amnesty book club meeting. I should also read Half the Sky to remind myself that I should be Oprah status by now. I don't have to go through what some of these women have gone through, and those women are awesome and successful in these countries with fewer resources and opportunity. Oprah status: the goal. I will discuss tomorrow.