Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Bruddah Charlie's Innovative Fish Scaler
(Photo courtesy of Silas K. Aqui)

The Sound Transit 545 Redmond bus makes its last downtown stop at Olive and Terry before hitting the I-5 freeway.  On a whim, I decided that I would get off at this point and make the half mile up the hill to this newly renovated Starbucks I had been hearing about.

It was an experience well worth the effort.  I just love this coffee shop!  It is 2 to 3 times bigger than the average Seattle Starbucks store.  The average clientele (I saw about fifty people during the couple of hours I spent lounging here) are in their mid-twenties to mid-forties with a handful of seniors added to the mix. 

The baristas, all female, have a lot of energy and engage in a lot of witty banter with customers and each other.  Brandy helped me with my drink and was quite personable.  I told her that this was my first time at this particular Starbucks shop and that I really loved the atmosphere.  Without losing a beat, she said that this place is fondly referred to by the patrons as "...the Olive Starbucks or Gaybucks."  I found that quite amusing.

Introduced myself to the young black man sitting at the table next to me.  His name was Eric, and he was quite pleasant  as he shared with me the dynamics of this location.  Like many of his student peers who frequent this shop, Eric had a laptop and a pile of books on his table.  Oh, I almost forgot--he also had earphones in his left ear.  It's a twenty-first century cliche, after all, that bears mention in one's humble blog.  

I had written about the schizophrenic nature of the Seattle weather in a previous  post (see Morning Musings, January 13, 2011 post), and today was no letdown in that department.  Not unlike Hawaii, I might add, were the intermittent fluctuations of sun and rain...thankfully, as I write this sentence, it is very beautiful outside as I peer through a windowpane polka-dotted with water droplets.

So, where does Bruddah Charlie and his fish scaler fit into all of this?  Well, as I sat at my table working on my laptop, I came across an email from my little brother with a photo of an innovative fish scaler he had made out of a piece of fiberglass fishing pole, screws, and four Heineken bottle caps. 

I will share with you Charlie's own words as he describes this handy device he'd concocted:

Tim Carrillo gave me some 16" fiberglass cut offs that came from an ulua pole maker, so I had it for awhile. Then "lightning struck!" I said I'll make fish scalers out of them.  I have four Heineken caps screwed on the tapered end and a cord to hang it up.  They work real good 'cause your hand is far away from the fish, and you know how you can get poked from the fish fins or scales if you're too close.  
(Guest post from Bruddah Charlie)

Thank you, Charlie, for once again contributing to my blog.  

Simple is best.  

And just as with the fish scaler, the appeal of the Olive Starbucks is its departure from corporate cookie cutter store and a return to simple, nostalgic, roomy, and personable ambience.

Did I already tell you?  I like it here!  There is this certain--je ne sais quois--subdued hum of energy about this place, and it totally stimulates my creative juices.

I'll definitely be back!


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