That most wonderful time of the year

From our house to yours, enjoy the wonders of the human spirit throughout this string of holiday seasons that carry us into 2011. May your holiday spirit enjoy broad sprinklings of merriment, family, safe travels, and optimism for what lies ahead.

One-of-a-kind, On-line, Odd-ventures

double genache chocolate cheesecakeIn ongoing ventures as an E-preneur, I've gathered a marketplace for world-class goods that you can't find anywhere else. Please explore with me the worlds into which I've  wandered, studied long and hard the last 3 years, and discovered wonders -- gourmet specialty coffee roasting and blending; gourmet artisan chocolate; gourmet cheesecake; art prints, and artisan crafts by amazing family artists. MORE DETAILS

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Join in themes that support living in good cheer and overcoming anything the world throws at us. Favorite subjects: Family. Grandchildren. Dogs. Friendship. Excellent books. Incredible food. Cameras and photos. Espresso. Movies. Music. College sports. Baseball. Fountain pens. Cooking. Other stuff. Yours?

Talk back: Tell us how you found Be of Good Cheer dotcom.

Thanks for dropping by. Come again, and bring a friend.

E-Preneurial Odd-ventures

I'm a long way off the road from a long-ago college major of Theater/Speech/English, and from a four-decade career in sports journalism. Call me an E-preneur. E-commerce intrigues me.

double genache chocolate cheesecakeI want to sell you things you can't get anywhere else in the world. An absolute best specialty coffee blend. Gourmet artisan chocolate originals. Gourmet cheesecakes originals with Northwest ingredients. And some artsy items by gifted relatives.

The lure of learning, indulging, and exploring worlds of various fun things to drink, eat, and appreciate (artwork), led me into exciting, enjoyable, fascinating, pleasurably satisfying Internet commerce. The Web sat at the center of the career path at universities of Alabama and Texas A&M Athletics from 2001-2007, but what has followed has been syncronistic rather than planned.

Met people. Enjoyed the original, creative things they produce. Help them sell it.

Example: Love mocha espresso drinks (it's probably about time to go live with Long-time dear friend, best-man in our wedding, Bruce and his son Jordan have Longfellow's Coffee in NJ. We undertook putting it on-line in October 2008.

That led to a connection in hometown KC with one of the leading roasters in the U.S., and adventurous study with him, Danny, an espresso addict, and a roaster-mentor with 40 years of experience, Norm. Completely fascinating, the education on:

  • History of coffee
  • Nuances between, say, Ethiopian and Indonesian Arabica beans (the world's best)
  • Water and natural processing
  • Dark, medium, and light roast
  • The cupping of blends
  • Art of brewing muliple ways, from French press to espresso barista training
  • And the Specialty Coffee Revolution (hello, Peets; hello, Starbucks) in America over the last 45-or-so years.

Take just one - brewing. With what - machine? Pour-over? French press? Espresso-maker, or stovetop? What grind? What roast? Single origin, or blend? What kind of water? Proportion of grams of coffee to ounces of water?

Amid that whirlpool of study, the experts in KC helped me and a circle of 15 family and friends create a unique blend. We call it -- what else? -- Friends Blend. Contact me, and I'll send you a package at my cost. Email me on Facebook, or, or here at

[Back story. I've never been a coffee drinker. Sometime around the turn of the century, one dead-of-winter I got hooked on mocha at espresso drive-throughs. Now on my 4th espresso maker at home, a Nuovo Simonelli "Oscar" commercial-grade. With discovery of an organic 100% Dutch cocoa powder at a small, artisan chocolatier's shop in Bellingham, WA, over Christmas break a few years ago, the quest began to create the perfect mocha. If you want, let me know and I'll share my current recipe. Still don't brew coffee. Can't even down a straight shot of espresso. Except that Norm, the walking encyclopedia of coffee, taught me to French press precisely, and there are a few origins I've discovered not only palatable (Indonesian Sulawesi), but really danged good!]

So, a segue. Cocao powder and the chocolatier.

Next time. This has gotten too long already, and I want to tell you more details about Kevin G. Buck, artisan chocolatier. (Meanwhile, check him out on line....that's his original recipe Imperial Double-Genache Chocolate Cheesecake you see here.)

And, about Chuckanut Bay Foods gourmet cheesecakes (they hand-mix and bake Kevin's, plus 18 selections of their own). I manage marketing/branding and on-line stores for both of them these days. Still learning on the fly.

Next, then, I want to acquaint you with the fine art giclee prints we produced from originals by our extremely talented, award-winning nephew, John David DeFrance, my sister Patti's son (whose site I manage), and the artisan pillows crafted by our niece, Ingrid Bostrom, daughter of one of my spouse Laura's brothers, which sell on The Ing Thing. Samples of their work appear on the home page of this site.

And, as the cliche goes, bottom line: While you can purchase directly from any of the above on-line, I'm working on piecing together a store on line through which I can package a mix of the unique originals and send you the best of them all at once with value pricing.

You'll want more. They're that good.

Be of good cheer,