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Over Coffee With Ellen

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COFFEE FUEL – As I visit with friends over coffee on a Sunday morning, I think most of us around the table would agree we are fueled by coffee. But when we think of being fueled by the dark rich brew poured into our waiting mug, we think of keeping our bodies and minds operating properly (and for me at least that takes more than a single cup in the morning or in the afternoon or at night!)

Recently Late Night Talk Show Host David Letterman spoke in his monologue about a study in Europe reporting that cars can now be fueled by coffee. He joked at the expense of filling the tank at one of the well-known coffee chains.

This week I discovered there was truth to the Host’s commentary about cars being fueled by coffee. It seems in Brazil there is an “enormous oversupply” of coffee beans. These beans are now being pressed into briquettes, one article told me. These briquettes were being used for fuel in trains and in factories. Amazing! I thought perhaps a better use for an oversupply of coffee beans would be to share them with coffee drinkers worldwide!

Another article explained that researchers in Nevada reported that waste coffee grounds provided a cheap, abundant and environmentally friendly source of biodiesel fuel for powering cars and trucks. How delighted I was to learn this. I have coffee grounds – now all we have to do is figure out how to transfer the grounds into a biodiesel fuel to power my trips to and from Massena.

My favorite article came from England and told of a coffee-powered car, which is nicknamed “car-puccino” This car was making a 260 mile road trip to show a convention in Manchester, England where alternative fuels would be showcased.

I loved the name of the car and thought it was powered by coffee until I read it would burn the equivalent of more than 10,000 espressos. The article also explained this car averaged 56 espressos per mile in a system that converted used coffee grounds into flammable gas. I only hope the espressos aren’t wasted in a fuel tank with only the used grounds providing fuel for transportation.

I do have coffee grounds if there is a budding science student who might like to conduct an experiment with alternative fuels. Certainly there would be amazing connections in this line with Dunkin’ Donuts and Speedway or the coffee shop near Truck Stop Number Nine and there are Tim Horton’s Coffee Shops at Bear’s Dean Gas Stations!

What a marvelous fueling connection! I look forward to driving the first coffee powered car as I travel to Massena to be fueled with coffee and friendship before completing my Massena errands.

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WITH THANKS – With thanks to Joe White for Sunday morning coffee this week. Joe can brew a terrific pot of coffee, but on Sunday morning as friends gathered to enjoy good company and breakfast (and for some lunch) and a good cup of coffee, Joe made sure I had coffee in hand. And for that I am most grateful!

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BELATED WISHES – Dean at Hannaford’s celebrated his birthday on March 20. Although my wishes are a week late, they are most sincere. What a fine gentlemen Dean is – it is always such a pleasure to be able to visit with Dean as I check out at Hannaford’s. I wish you only the best in the year ahead, Dean. If you have the privilege of visiting with Dean as he tallies your order at the cash register, please wish him a very happy belated birthday!

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CONNECTIONS MADE – How wonderful it was to meet a loyal column reader last week at Hairitage House on East Orvis Street. In last week’s column I used a saying from a plaque I had seen on the wall at the Hairitage House. A woman had come into the hair salon and when she saw the plaque commented to Lori Collins, “That was in the newspaper.” How marvelous to know someone read this column and remembered and then connected! Isn’t the North Country a marvelous place to live? I certainly think so!

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WORD TO THE WISE – A tip for this week. If Jeff McCallus at Hannaford’s Supermarket tells you an upcoming event will be a “big” celebration, listen to him. I have learned in recent weeks that Jeff does indeed know exactly what he is telling you! And his prediction will in fact come true.

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK – No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. Hal Borland

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