CoffeeCrew Blog

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Because, hey, you never know.

Hot Wheels · 31.03.13 by colin newell

Hot Wheels. Got my first one in 1968. Played with them for a long time. Loved them. So long ago. Eventually, one has to move from one set of toys to a newer, brighter and faster set of toys…

Which brings up to this blog – hosted on a server that I run myself… to serve you better.

Welcome to the Blog on my own server cluster — administered by… me.

AND (whoops!) sorry for the brief black-out. Look who forgot to do some pointing and clicking and setting this and that!

And now that I am getting into some more stable hosting, please expect some more regular blogging! And to those that have been with me through the years… Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!


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Another rare Christmas medley from the Hans Steffan Singers. · 17.12.12 by colin newell

The Hans Steffan Choir Live

Merry Ho Ho with the Hans Steffan Choir

Still picking through my recordings from a Zoom H4 -

Enjoy and Season Greetings! I am somewhere down in the mix of these talented “older” guys!

If you cannot see the audio player above, click here for the mp3.


A Christmas Choir on a solemn Friday night... · 14.12.12 by colin newell

The Hans Steffan Choir Live

After a tough day we played 3 shows around Victoria – just grabbed a quick track. This choir has never been recorded before. Enjoy.

If you cannot see the audio player above, click here for the mp3.


Growing it for a cause - Movember · 2.11.12 by colin newell

Helping the cause against Cancer - Movember

Here is a photo of my UVic – Systems Movember team – feel free to help the cause against cancer – we are growing it, not mowing it – to raise awareness and fight a nasty disease.

Left to right: Paul S. (CIO UVic Systems), Matt S, Donny L, Yours truly, Ryan P, Ryan E, Corey S.

Click here to toss us a couple bucks.


1964 Pick up truck and a song · 7.03.12 by colin newell

In the dusty summer of 1964, I was a 5 year old looking forward to entering Grade One.

To be honest, I kind of new that the gig was up. Had been living free and easy all these years. No responsibility. Long days of shooting the breeze, watching over our 4 acres of hay and horses and apples.

One afternoon, late August, in a moment of mischief, I tossed my sisters one and only Beatles album around like a Frisbee – not understanding the dynamics of plastics, glass and other fragile items that might break – and this one did… into a million pieces.

So into the back of a 1963 Chevolet pick up truck I was tossed by a neighbor with the approval of my mom and 8 bucks (I think it was, if that – to buy a new copy)…
Twist and Shout by the Beatles – released in February 1964. Literally days before an entire continent would be glued to their TV sets as the fab-4 would perform for the first time on national television. And I was there.

In the year 2012 one never sees children flopping around the back of a hay filled Chevy but in 1964 it would have been commonplace. And so it was: Off to the Eaton’s on Douglas at View Street. It would be a year before the greatest Christmas catalog of all time would be released; the 1965 Wish book from Eaton’s.


After picking up the new LP I was whisked to a farm in the countryside where my older sister was riding horses. And much to her surprise she was curious that I was dropping off a brand new copy of a record – this was my parents idea of remedial justice. Thankfully, I was not judged too harshly.
“New Beatles album? What is wrong with the old one?”
Funny observation from that point – I replied, “They broke up…”
WHAT!” My 10 year old sister shrieked… NOW she was mad.
It took some quick hand gestures while looking up at this girl who was easily 2 feet taller than me… “No, no… record… broken… hundreds of…”

It all worked out after that.

From that point on I started paying very curious attention to each and every Beatles release – because my much older sister bought each and every one – and with each record their music was evolving – morphing into something more adult each and every day.

By February 1967, I was a much, much older 9 year old – with more sophisticated tastes. While watching American Bandstand one Saturday morning with a youthful Dick Clark, he introduced a newfangled “promotional film” by the Beatles (we can them videos now…) for the songs “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields”
I remember the reaction of many of the kids in the audience – of shock that the Beatles had moved on leaving many of them behind in their bobby socks.
Not me. I had known for some time that Beatlemania was over baby. It was well over by the summer of 1966… another hot and dusty Summer where old 60’s pick up trucks and beat up cars would play an important role…

In my life.


Victoria Summer 2011 Starting Fridays Off Chapter 2 · 8.07.11 by colin newell

It’s a ritual. In July and August, in lieu of taking any time off of work, we take every Friday off during these two bright months. It is amazing what it does to the overall look and feel of the week.

Let’s talk about today – our first Friday in July off (not counting last Friday as it was Canada Day…)

Dropped into John’s Place in the 700 block of Pandora Avenue. Photo above I have been going there since they first opened in October 1984. I have 35mm photos of friends clustered around tables from those “old days”. Truth is, little has changed in the 27 odd years they have been open; real food for real people… or something like that. Their grub is reliable as gravity – particularly the breakfasts… waffles, eggs any which way, bottomless mugs of coffee.

Today we were late for the breakfast so we opted for the late breakfast specials of Omelette’s – we had the veg and the meat ones with sides of toast and English muffins – I tend to pass on the “Home style potatoes” – they are breakfast plate filler.
Their coffee is strong enough to stand a spoon in and is great for kick starting a caffeine kind of day… like today.

Quick stops in City Hall to flash up my downtown parking card and then Capital Iron and Steel to look at some tools and hardware.

Second stop was Ken Gordon’s Street Level Espresso for a shot of the good stuff. Ken Gordon’s lilliputian espresso bar is super small but it kind of adds to the overall intimacy of the joint… because it is always packed with beautiful men and women. I do not know where they all come from but be prepared to rub shoulders if you are in for coffee – or hang out on the sidewalk for some of Victoria’s finest people watching near the corner of 700 Block Fort and Douglas Street.
Today I walked in for the espresso and Ken put a size large Street Level Tee on my back – the one with the 60’s era Diana camera on it.

Victory Barber and hard goods for men - VictoriaThird stop – Victory Barbers in the Atrium (going to do an entire blog on this place because it deserves it…) for my haircut. Victory is a barber shop with some interesting period energy from yesteryear – but totally in the 21st Century. They do conventional cuts for Men and straight razor shaves – as well as a wide selection of “hard goods” for men; shaving kits, colognes, pomades and knives… yes, knives. They even have a Bulldog mascot who does a cute trick. So, if you love dogs, handsome male (and female) barbers – and neat stuff, get on down to Victory!
Victory is the brain child of the devilishly handsome Matthew “Matty” Conrad – who would not be out of place in a wild west flick – He and his equally absurdly and unrealistically good looking staff are on-duty to bring out the manly-man in you.

Fourth stop – HABIT coffee and culture in the Atrium for decaf and some cookies from Origin Bakery

Victoria B.C. is a great place to spend a Friday – great food, coffee and attractions for everyone.

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