Typewriters, Coffee, and Amateur Ornithology

tippa at verrado coffee

I took my little creamsicle-orange ’64 Alder Tippa 1 and a few sheets of mini-legal pad paper down to Verrado Coffee this morning to do a little spontaneous writing.  This coffee shop, while a bit generic and corporate from a Pacific Northwest viewpoint, is the closest thing I have to a hometown cafe here in Buckeye Arizona.  To their credit, Starbucks just opened a location across the street, complete with a drive-thru and more convenient entry and exit by car, and they responded with this:

verrado coffee kermitWhich makes them pretty cool in my book!

I ordered my coffee and a cookie and sat down outside to enjoy the view and write whatever came in to my head.

alder tippa yellow pad

The white wing dove is in fact indigenous to the Arizona desert, as is Stevie Nicks, who is from Phoenix.

peterson field guide white wing dove
Roger Tory Peterson’s entry for the White Wing Dove, from his Field Guide To Birds of North America

In another questionably relevant coincidence,  “Alder” translates to “eagle” in English, which is why their logo has an eagle in it.  I discovered this when I traced a vector version of the logo to use for the waterslide decal on my repainted Tippa.

adler logo inkscape

So that’s me: typewriter nerd, bird geek, coffee snob.  I love it when I find overlap in my eclectic interests – it makes me feel like more of a “Renaissance man” than “multifaceted geek.”

Notes on (or at least next to) a Grilled Cheese Sandwich


This afternoon my mom asked me to ride along with her to her dog’s obedience class, since it was in North Scottsdale, a long 45 minute drive each way.  She is working on getting her black lab “Tucker” certified as a qualified service dog, and today class was held at an Albertson’s grocery store, a busy environment with lots of people and delicious smells to serve as distractions for the dogs to overcome.

“Tucker” as Type

“Bring your phone or something to entertain yourself,” she suggested, “You’ll be waiting a while.”  So I packed up my Canon Typestar 7 portable thermal typewriter, and figured I’d get some cafe-writing experience under my belt.  I decided to travel light and just grabbed the typewriter in its case and a few loose sheets of nice  20-lb cotton-blend watermarked paper.  Spoiler alert: This didn’t work very well.  Thermal wax-transfer cartridges work best on nice smooth plain paper, and as you can see my fancy paper yielded some less-than-fancy results.



Achtung! 1957 Alpina in das Haus!

USPS just delivered my latest irrational late-night eBay purchase – a 1957 Alpina N24 manual typewriter (S/N 107038) with German QWERTZ layout.   She’s a beaut, and everything seems mechanically sound, despite having acquired a few extra scratches due to inadequate packing by the shipper.  It needs cleaned, oiled, and a new ribbon installed, but I just couldn’t resist posting a few “before” pics straight out of the box first.

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