Coffee that you can trust.



Running Green Bus and the roaster seems like the culmination of a lifetime of tinkering.

To me, fixing stuff is a metaphor for the more important, non-stuff, aspects of life.

Hence this blog.  It concerns the technical aspects of building and running the Green Bus and its associated support mechanisms.  Buying, renovating and maintaining a bus will either drive you mad or strengthen your philosophy.  This particular example is a 1996 International diesel with a Bluebird body that was transformed into a mobile kitchen in Ontario, Canada.  As with all such adventures, it is a work in progress. 

Throw a coffee roaster into the mix, and things get even stranger.

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November 5, 2011
Give me forty acres


The driveway seemed like a good, generous driveway.  It has a wide entrance from the highway.  The gateposts are far enough apart to hold a full-size farm gate.  The trees are trimmed well back from the gravel.  The turning circle is big enough that its eye could hold a decent size house.  The drive has hosted a variety of tandems, septic pumpers, stretched out duallies, trailers and other out-sized denizens of the highway food chain.

So, having said all that, why did I feel like a hippopotamus attempting to use an airplane washroom when I brought the bus home and tried to wheel it into its appointed parking spot?

We managed.  It cost us a little scraped paint and a seven-point turn, but we managed.

All I can say is, before you bring a school bus home as your driveway pet, have a look at the scope of your driveway, and give it some careful thought.

Think, "Epic".

Perhaps invest in a long tape measure, be generous in your estimation of how much room you will need for the bus.  Don't think in centimetres, but rather think of the metre as the smallest, trifling unit of length that someone of your largesse would even consider.

When you are finished, multiply by two.


November 1, 2011
On Removing Seats

I can still hear myself saying it.  At the time Cindy and I were standing in a school bus.  It was a beauty, and we knew it would be perfect for our planned mobile kitchen.  My words were something like, "Wow, look at all those seats!  I'll soon have those out!"

Have you ever wished for a little bell that would quietly ring beside you every time you said something stupid?

A 13 year old, full size Bluebird bus riding on an International chassis has a lot of seats.

Twenty-four of them, to be exact.

Up here, in Ontario, where the roads are salted, and any exposed steel fasteners quickly transform into rusted gargoyles, there is no easy way to remove them.

Wrenches of all kinds, vice-grip pliers, penetrating oils (do they ever really work?), hacksaws, chisels and hammers proved ineffective.  Eventually, an angle grinder was settled on as the weapon of choice. 

Keep a fire-extinguisher handy.  Wear some hearing protection;  the grinder is even noisier than the 72 kids.  Use a thin blade, be mindful of where the sparks go, stop when the floor starts to smoke, keep your shoes and pants away from the stream of sparks, and watch where the red-hot pieces of cut-off metal get to.

You will be amazed at the variety of detritus that inhabits the spaces between seat and bus wall - a whole universe of sticky candies, wrappers, pens, pencils, old notes, hair doodads.  It will wake the archaeologist within.

And what to do about all the seats?!