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SCAA Charlotte Final Thoughts., Road Reports
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MarkPrince
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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2006, 12:00am
Subject: SCAA Charlotte Final Thoughts., Road Reports
 

SCAA Charlotte Final Thoughts.
Road Reports article

Mark wraps up CoffeeGeek's coverage of the 2006 SCAA Conference and Trade Show in Charlotte, North Carolina with some thoughts on the good and bad of conferences, and big shout outs to some of the special people in specialty coffee.
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Fireweed
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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2006, 3:11am
Subject: Re: SCAA Charlotte Final Thoughts., Road Reports
 

Thank you Mark, for keeping it real too. Your coverage this year was fantastic. This last report is the icing, but I sense also bittersweet. Sorry to hear you're not going to be judging any longer.

Rick
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Perpetual_Buzz
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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2006, 6:49am
Subject: Re: SCAA Charlotte Final Thoughts., Road Reports
 

Nice wrap up of the show.  It was a pleasure to meet the head geek (at the counter culture party).  Nice job on the Flicker gallery too.

This was our first show and it was a little overwhelming.  I still have stuff scattered everywhere that I need to sort through, not to mention all the coffee that I have laying around now.

Chris

 
Everybody needs an addiction.

I'm not addicted to coffee, I just have to have a cup EVERY morning.
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dankbean
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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2006, 8:17am
Subject: Re: SCAA Charlotte Final Thoughts., Road Reports
 

I'll never get tired of going to these conferences, they're so much fun.  Just walking around the floor, striking up conversations with strangers...love it!

One of my own personal highlights was waiting in line for ten minutes to get a shot pulled at the Zoka booth.....only to find Phuong behind the machine!  Lemme just say, it was well worth the wait.  I've never experienced a single shot of espresso like that.....ever.  It opened my eyes, literally and figuratively.

Maybe it was me being shy (it DOES happen), but i wish i would've just bit the bullet and introduced myself to many of the people i recognized from a distance.  I sat at the retailers' roundtable with Aaron Duckworth (who is a very knowledgable, very successful coffeeshop owner with some awesome ideas), and listened to Jay's little five-minute speech without saying anything to him.  I stood next to Nick several times while watching the barista competition.....I've shook hands with him once, but never took the time to really have a conversation with him.  I didn't see Mark at the show, but I heard he met both of my bosses at one of the afterhour parties.  Sorry Mark, I heard you were going to find me at the SGC booth, and I missed it.  I was looking forward to finally meeting you in person!

I wish the guys at the Bodum booth had fallen for the retailers' license that I scribbled on a napkin so i could buy some of the new Bodum goods.  I had to settle for the catalog.  And I'm definitely ordering some of those double-walled glasses for my kitchen.

It really means a lot when a competitor, or just another roaster, comes up to your booth, just to compliment your coffee.  It happened a few times throughout the show, and it was a nice surprise.  You tend to hear a lot of talk about the coffee industry and how everyone should be friends.  I've always just kind of nodded my head to that without giving it much thought.  The idea of shaking hands with and working together with a competitor, someone who realistically is taking money out of my pocket, just seemed kind of silly.  

It doesnt' anymore.  Call it a realization, but I spent a lot of the show with my mouth shut and my eyes and ears open, and I see a huge room packed full of hundreds of, for lack of a better term, friends.  It was very impressive, to say the least.  Without getting into any detail, I got some of the worst news of my life while sitting the the conference center lobby, waiting for the class that i was to be hosting to start.  My favorite grandma passed away after weeks in the hospital.  After the class was over, I just kinda sat in the lobby for an hour, just watching, kind of just thinking about all the interactions (good and bad) that i've had with coffee people since i took this job.  I'm not going to wax philosophical, but I guess I can say that I appreciate the people that make up this industry, and I'm a little more conscious of my impact on it.  I'd like to get more involved, and I'll be making steps in the near future to do just that....

Well, i wanna write more, but my work inbox just doubled in size since i logged on, so i gots to go.  I definitely look forward to the next show, and i'll have to bring my camera next time!

Sincerely exhausted, ;)
Joshua
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MarkPrince
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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2006, 11:39am
Subject: Re: SCAA Charlotte Final Thoughts., Road Reports
 

Josh, sounds like maybe more than one epiphany moments you had in Charlotte.

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. I remember losing my favourite grandmother back in 91, and I know what it was like - my condolences to you and your family.

I did try getting by the SG booth to meet you on two occasions - I can't recall who said "you gotta do it" (maybe it was Voijta) but we must have crossed paths.

If you get the latest copy of Imbibe magazine (heck, the first copy), there's a great Third Wave article by Richard Reynolds that I think you'll enjoy reading, vis a vis your epiphanies at the show.

Mark

 
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www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
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dankbean
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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2006, 12:30pm
Subject: Re: SCAA Charlotte Final Thoughts., Road Reports
 

thanks for the kind words about my family.  i appreciate it.  yeah, it's hard on my mom, to say the least.  anyway, i don't wanna get depressing on ya.....

an epiphany?  yeah, yeah i guess you could call it that.
i dunno.  i did a lot of silent observing at the conference, and i guess i just realized that the people that are happiest with this industry are the ones that are the most involved.  you can walk around the show floor and see that pretty plainly: there are people who are happy to be there, and there are people who.....just aren't.  

i'm not entirely sure who approached who, but Zach came to me around 2am and said that you, he, and Jeff had met, and that part of the conversation had to do with me.  i wasn't sure if i should be flattered or frightened.  ;-)  anyway, i've been looking forward to seeing you in person for a while....sorry, but i really wasn't in the company booth very much at all.  oh well, it wasn't your last conference, and it definitely wasn't mine, so the opportunity will arise again i'm sure.

i'll have to check out that article.  sounds cool....

i guess part of the revelation was in the fact that i heard the name 'dankbean' A LOT.  and some of the people, after they put 2 and 2 together, were looking at me like i was going to set their booth on fire or something.  basically, i think i'll progress faster and have more fun doing it if i'm not known as the punk on coffeegeek.  not that i'm going to completely stop being sarcastic....that would just be too much culture shock for me.  but i think you get the idea.  anyway, the show had a vast effect on me, and lit a fire under my butt to say the least.  reading your reviews recently only fueled that fire, and for that i owe you a thank you.

anyway, i really REALLY gotta get back to work!!!!!  ~db~
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Reighlok
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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2006, 1:13pm
Subject: Re: SCAA Charlotte Final Thoughts., Road Reports
 

dankbean Said:

i guess part of the revelation was in the fact that i heard the name 'dankbean' A LOT.  and some of the people, after they put 2 and 2 together, were looking at me like i was going to set their booth on fire or something.  basically, i think i'll progress faster and have more fun doing it if i'm not known as the punk on coffeegeek.  not that i'm going to completely stop being sarcastic....that would just be too much culture shock for me.  but i think you get the idea.  

Posted April 12, 2006 link

If you weren't the punk of CG , nobody would have known who you were probably. You trying to be less the punk would be like J. Lo trying to shrink her ass. Use what you have!  There are many people on CG with similar amounts (myself included) or more of total posts who nobody would recognize by screen name (or at all) at that convention. Why rock the boat by stopping the boat rocking?
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Reighlok
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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2006, 1:17pm
Subject: Re: SCAA Charlotte Final Thoughts., Road Reports
 

Reighlok Said:

If you weren't the punk of CG , nobody would have known who you were probably. You trying to be less the punk would be like J. Lo trying to shrink her ass. Use what you have!  There are many people on CG with similar amounts (myself included) or more of total posts who nobody would recognize by screen name (or at all) at that convention. Why rock the boat by stopping the boat rocking?

Posted April 12, 2006 link

I'm not saying you aren't anything but a punk... Just like Jennifer Lopez, if you didn't have talent it wouldn't matter about everything else.
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dankbean
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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2006, 1:24pm
Subject: Re: SCAA Charlotte Final Thoughts., Road Reports
 

i'm laughing as i write this:

  1. J Lo did actually shrink her ass.  i read about it on msnbc a while back.  my co-worker was devastated.
  2. i like being recognized, but being recognized as a smartass does nothing helpful for me.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to change who i am.  Someone smart said "we're all in this business for the same thing.  but we all have different priorities..."

The fact of the matter is, while a lot of you enjoy coffee as a hobby (or an obsession), i enjoy it as an occupation.  and whether i like it or not, every opinion i post links back to the company i work for.  

again with the numbered lists:
  1. i'm not trying to discredit all the work that my employer has done, just to satisfy my own penchant for being a wiseass
  2. it's fun to be recognized, but i'm not trying to be notorious.
  3. basically, the show inspired me to stop farting around and get to work, and that's all i was trying to say...

don't worry, man.  i'm not going anywhere.  just re-prioritizing is all.....
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IMAWriter
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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2006, 8:56pm
Subject: Re: SCAA Charlotte Final Thoughts., Road Reports
 

dankbean Said:

i'm laughing as i write this:

J Lo did actually shrink her ass.  i read about it on msnbc a while back.  my co-worker was devastated.
i like being recognized, but being recognized as a smartass does nothing helpful for me.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to change who i am.  Someone smart said "we're all in this business for the same thing.  but we all have different priorities..."

The fact of the matter is, while a lot of you enjoy coffee as a hobby (or an obsession), i enjoy it as an occupation.  and whether i like it or not, every opinion i post links back to the company i work for.  

again with the numbered lists:
i'm not trying to discredit all the work that my employer has done, just to satisfy my own penchant for being a wiseass
it's fun to be recognized, but i'm not trying to be notorious.
basically, the show inspired me to stop farting around and get to work, and that's all i was trying to say...

don't worry, man.  i'm not going anywhere.  just re-prioritizing is all.....

Posted April 12, 2006 link

Wow...I swear I hear the opening musical strains of 2001 A Space Odyssey! (Strauss, for those interested)....
Seriously, though, who you've been so far has been alright by me, but I surely respect and admire someone who sees the bigger picture....and is willing and brave enough to step through the frame. I wish you great success on your new journey. my man!
Also, my synpathy to you and yours on your recent loss.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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