What can I tell you about coffee? I suppose it's best to start at the beginning, trouble is I have difficulty remembering when exactly "the beginning" was, and I have an odd way of remembering when it "sort of" was. I remember sitting at a coffee roaster when the verdict to the O.J. Simpson case was delivered, and that was October of 1995, so I have to figure that I got into coffee around 1993.

Back then I was working as a delivery driver for the St. Cloud Times, it wasn't a bad job for the most part. I worked four days a week, drove a big, blue van and dropped off newspapers to stores, vending machines and route carriers (paper boys).

My route took me northwest of St. Cloud to Avon, Albany, Freeport, New Munich, Melrose, Sauk Centre, Long Prairie, Grey Eagle, St. Rosa, back through Albany to St. Cloud. The only day that sucked was Sunday.

Check in time at work was 10:30 PM on Saturday night and I'd be lucky to get home by 7:30 AM on Sunday morning. Let me tell you, having to be at work at 10:30 on Saturday night put a huge cramp in my social life, but a guy's gotta eat.

I have to admit, I saw a lot of beautiful things working that job those hours. Once I saw an entire herd of deer run across the highway in front of me. They were led by the largest buck I've ever seen and ran like the wind! Another time at sunrise I saw an entire fogbound field turn bright orange in the reflected sunlight. It was amazing.

But ultimately the job started to take it's toll in my personal life and in my musical endeavors. The last straw, however, was a day in the coldest, hardest part of winter when I was driving through Sauk Centre and I looked at the digital clock/thermometer on the bank and it flashed alternately "4:35 AM" and "-35ยบ F."

"I have got to get a different job," I said to myself.