Redundant writing

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I love this.  The Daily Post prompt was about redundant writing errors, and I love this because my blog is full of them before I edit, and even then, redundant writing errors slip in.  It made me realize how wordy our everyday speech.  Richard always says “basically” before he describes something in less than basic terms and it always drives me crazy.


The Daily Post wrote:

An added bonus of blogging on at the present time is that occasionally your blog will come under close scrutiny by an Automattic staff member, who may choose to reblog one of your posts at a time when he’s in a rush and short on ideas of his own. He might not even collaborate together with you, choosing instead just to provide an example of the point you make in the blog post in question. Of course, one of the basic fundamentals he would need to keep in mind is that when using another blog’s content as a source, it’s polite to refer back to the originating blog.

How many redundancies did you find in that paragraph? Count them and then compare the ones you found to the neat lists Lisa J. Jackson, who writes for the scrutinized blog in question, has written about here and here. Did you find them all? Can you come up with others?

I went to Ms. Jackson’s site and read about common redundancies and it amazed me how common those mistakes were made and how, at first glance, they seem perfectly acceptable.  That is until you think about it.

Why would you say “added bonus,” or “close scrutiny”? They mean the same thing.


Anyway, this was just something to think about and another thing to worry about as I write.


Your local barista maestro



I finally made it, Barista Maestro.  I am a coffee master for Costa Coffee.  It only took 3 years and the change from a corporate Costa to a private Costa chain.

My Barista Maestro course was awesome and completely nerve racking.  After a little introduction to the day and a bit of review of the Costa brand and standards we dove into the practical test.  20 min to set up our space, grind and dose. 10 min to make a perfect latte, espresso, cappuccino, and flat white.  20 min to clean our space.  It was horrible.  Every day I make any combination of those drinks in well less than 10 min, but I almost didn’t complete it.  In the end I went for the understanding that “any drink was better than no drink”.  Our course director was watching everything we did and we got points for everything, as long as the drink got to the table, we got some points.

I was sure that I had not passed, but we still had 6 hours of the class and a written assessment to go.  During the rest of the class we learned what our new post would entail and how we will be successful teachers to the new recruits.  We learned a little about espresso tasting and a bit about taking care of our machines.  The written assessment ended up being a breeze.

So now I get to wear a double bean and will have my diploma on the wall at the store.  I will also get a name tag that will read Jessika, Barista Maestro.  Aw, it all sounds so exciting.  My co worker and I are very excited to get started on the training.  But then you get back to work and remember all the other crap.  The owners who only critisize, that 1% of customers who are rude and mean, and the annoyance of not being able to redo a crap coffee that you just made because the line is out the door and everyone in line is impatient because they are jonesing for their caffine, sugar and fat fix.



Telling It Like It Is

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Almost everyone I know would say that I am most likely to "tell it like it is". Whether my tone of voice gives away my true meaning or by saying something passive aggressively, I am sure they are right.

I have noticed a huge difference between the British and Americans on this subject. The British are very good at holding their tongues almost to a fault, in my opinion. But they would say that Americans are too good at telling it like it is.

Personally, I think it is good to tell it like it is, however, are you really "telling it like it is," or are you telling it as you see it? Everyone's view of "as it is" is different and therefore you are really just giving your opinion, which is horribly skewed and therefore can come across as mean and misguided.

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What I Love About My Home Town

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Gig Harbor and Mt Rainier

There are a couple of things I love about my home town, Gig Harbor, Washington (State, as I always have to add). I love the water, the trees and the fact that you can live on a 5 acer plot of land but still get to town in less than 10 minutes and the thing I love the most, is the awesome view of the great MT. RAINIER.

I have been away from my home town for 6 and a half years now and SO MUCH has changed. There are things that I used to love that don't exist anymore like the "quaintness" of the Harbor itself(downtown Gig Harbor doesn't seem to exist anymore and has been moved up town where a mass conglomeration of grocery stores, banks and shops are. (They have new terminlogy like "uptown", I don't even know if I used the right place). The population has EXPLODED. Gig Harbor was always a growing, shall we just say it, suburb of SeaTac, but I never expected it to grow the way it has.

When I was young, I always cursed the new houses being built, especially housing developments. I hated all the mini vans, which led to SUV's (wow I have been gone that long that I had to google the term "HUV" because it didn't look right and it wasn't, I was looking for "SUV") that carry soccer mom's and their 2.3 children. I still gurgle under my breath and I probably let out a huge agonizing sigh of depression at the sight of these things, but I try not to let them get to me, mostly because my parent's retain their 5+ acres that are in the trees, near a beach access where there is a great view of Mt Rainier, and is about a 10 min drive to town (and Target and Costco if you wish). We don't even have a view of our neighbours.

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A Difficult Choice I'm Glad I Made

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Moving to the UK was incredibly hard, however I was able to do it in baby steps, to a point a guess.

I originally made the move to attend a Master's Degree at the University of Bradford. About a month in, I met my future husband. As the year went on, many decisions had to be made revolving around our relationship in order to keep it going.

Unluckily (but a crucial cog in my decision making) was that my grandmother died. Before I left for Uni, I had been living with my grandmother, so not only would I be returning to no grandmother, but also to no real home. I suppose it made for the perfect excuse not to return. However, I was lucky that my future husband liked me enough to want to marry me. So we got married and we have remained in the UK. I have been here for 6 and a half years now.

I can't say that I love living here, but I guess I have gotten used to it. My preference is to return to the States, but most of that is because I miss my family and hate that they are missing seeing my son and missing seeing me be a parent. I also miss my brother and seeing his kids grow and being there for support. Something I miss allot though, is seeing my grandparents because, let's face it, we all don't appreciate grandparents until they are gone and that's a real shame.

So the choice to stay in the UK isn't exactly perfect, but it isn't necessarily set in stone and I got a loving husband, a kid, a cat, and a job out of it. Not too bad.

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Pottery gardening

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There are so many things I like to do that could be considered art. I love to knit and sew. I LOVE cross stitch (black stitch is my favourite) but I haven't done much lately. My new thing is patchwork and small crafts. The only problem is that all of these things need hands to do tiny movements and recently my hands haven't been working so well.

I love making a mess. I love puddle jumping with my son. I love throwing mud about and being muddy. I think I could do mud art. Mud…Jackson Pollock style. Mud…living art style.

Oh how fun. I guess I could throw in some gardening and do some kind of landscape/mud art. Gardening and mud art.

Why am I not a pottery artist, that would be perfect.

Oh, there we go…pottery (for the mud) gardening. Make the pots and fill it with a landscape garden. Perfect!

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Weekly Photo Challenge

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This weeks Weekly Photo Challenge over at The Daily Post is about something peaceful.  Although I can think of many things, at the moment this represents peacefulness; an empty Costa Coffee.  We have been absolutely smashed at work and the sight of no line at the shop makes me happy.

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