buzzed on bazza

Yay! A new low-calorie energy drink that doesn’t taste like ass!

In recent years, the bottled drink market has been flooded with a variety of so-called "energy drinks" that claim to use natural (and sometimes not-so-natural) ingredients to boost energy better than the standard caffeinated and sugar-filled drinks. Whether the claims are true or not is a matter of some debate. Most of these drinks contain a higher quantity of caffeine than what the FDA recommends for standard soft drinks (68 mg. per 12 oz. serving). One might unscientifically conclude that the energy drinks get most of their oomph from the extra caffeine and sugar rather than from any herbal additives.

Personally, I do not care either way. Almost every one of the energy drinks I have tried has tasted so nasty that I concluded that any buzz I might gain from them is not worth the effort. Until recently, the only exception to that has been Bawls Guarana — not the sugar-free Bawls Guaranexx, which tastes as nasty as the other energy drinks — but for 80 mg. of caffeine per 12 oz., I would rather drink something with less than 100 calories, like unsweetened coffee or a diet cola.

BAZZA High-Energy Tea bottlesEnter BAZZA High-Energy Tea.

I first noticed this recent addition to the energy drink market a few weeks ago at my local 7-Eleven. I didn't give it much thought beyond an "oh, great, now they're making energy teas." Then the press release for BAZZA came across my inbox, so I decided to give it a try. Color me impressed.

Right now the drink comes in two flavors: raspberry tea and green tea. I had both, and they are quite tasty. In fact, they do not taste like a sugar-free diet drink at all. I prefer the green tea over the raspberry because it is not as sweet-tasting, but your mileage may vary.

As for the buzz, the 99.4 mg. of caffeine per 12 oz. is making its presence known throughout my nervous system. I feel far more jumpy and awake than I normally would, given the amount of sleep I have had recently.

If you are looking for a low-calorie high-energy drink alternative, give the BAZZA High-Energy Tea a try. Just be careful — too much caffeine can kill you.


I haven’t cooked something in a long time. I don’t think that reheating a frozen dinner or making microwave popcorn counts for cooking, and that’s about the extent of my time in the kitchen in recent months. I baked a few pies, but again, not exactly a dinner entre.

Yesterday I was at the grocery store picking up a few items, and I found myself browsing the beef section. For some reason, the strip steaks caught my eye, so I picked up a small package of them. Today, I made a single portion of rice, and while that was steaming, I fixed the meat. In a pan with a little oil, I added a single portion of the strips, dusted them with black pepper, and fried them until they were done. Just before the meat was thoroughly cooked, I added a handful of chopped onion. When the rice finished, I forked it out onto a plate and threw the steak strips and onions on top. Then I salted it.

Wow! Amazingly good tasting, and it wasn’t too hard or complicated to make. I really need to stop being so lazy about cooking for myself and just do it.

caribbean beer

It’s a tough job to write a guide to regional beers, but thankfully Mark McKenna’s ten years in the Caribbean gave him the opportunity to sample all 75 local brands. His experience is chronicled in his new book, McKenna’s Guide to Caribbean Beers: All the Islands, All the Brews published by Parrot. In the book, he goes through each of the 22 islands alphabetically, including Bermuda and the Bahamas because of their proximity and beer offerings.

Continue reading “caribbean beer”


I just finished reading Debra Bacon-Ziegler’s AfterWord column entitled “How Soon is Now? Today’s Trends, Tomorrow’s Libraries” in the January/February 2005 issue of ForeWord.

I just finished reading Debra Bacon-Ziegler’s AfterWord column entitled “How Soon is Now? Today’s Trends, Tomorrow’s Libraries” in the January/February 2005 issue of ForeWord. In the essay, she discusses her thoughts after a recent Michigan Library Association Annual Conference where the keynote speaker (Marshall Keys) addressed some of the current tech trends and their relevance to libraries. In her reflection, Bacon-Ziegler brings up a few points that I wish to examine in this forum.

Bacon-Ziegler mentions blogs and blogging, but rather than jumping on the “every library/librarian should have a blog” bandwagon, she asks the question, “Should librarians be mining blogs for current popular interests as they develop their collections?” Such a refreshing viewpoint! Yes, librarians should be monitoring blogs to get a sense of current popular interests, but keep in mind that according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, only 7% of American Internet users have created a blog. Not just any old blog will do if the intent is to monitor current popular interests. Librarians would be better served by monitoring topical group blogs that have reputations for being knowledgeable in their specialties.

Another trend that Bacon-Ziegler touches on is information overload. She brings up an excellent point about the difference between your local public library and your local big box bookstore. The bookstore arranges cookbooks under a big sign that says “Cooking” or something of that nature, with shelf labels for the different types of cooking traditions. The library arranges cookbooks in the 600s, and they are grouped by content, but the only indicators of this are the call number stuck on the spines. Bacon-Ziegler asks, “Why then, I wonder, do we cling to this complex, arbitrary classification system?” I would not want to get rid of the system entirely, for it does have its uses, but perhaps public libraries should consider putting up bookstore-like signs over the sections. Call numbers are very handy for finding specific items, but signs are much more useful for general browsing.

The author addresses other trends in the essay, but these are the two that made me think radical thoughts and step outside of the traditional librarian box, if only for the few minutes I spent pondering over this blog entry.