(the beard is temporary, for blending in a bit)
Next week Annette and I are leaving to spend Christmas with Annette's family. Normally that's not particularly newsworthy; however this year the whole clan is setting out on a highly non-traditional Christmas "vacation" (and i used that word loosely). Our destination is so out-of-the-ordinary, that I'm only going to hint at where we'll be on Christmas day. Here goes:
Legend has it that in 850 A.D. a goat herder named Kaldi discovered � in our destination country � what we now know as the modern day coffee plant. Curious, Kaldi wanted to know what could be responsible for the "queer antics of his flock." Fearing his sheep possessed, Kaldi paid close observation from high on the mountain and watched as his herd nibbled red
berries from the branch of a strange tree. When he sampled the berries himself, he felt a surge of exhilaration and rushed to tell the local Imam. That night the two shared a concoction made of the berries, pranced around, and generally got pretty wired on caffeine.
When they finally dozed off, legend has it that Mohammed appeared to the Imam and said the berries enhanced wakefulness � and wakefulness promoted prayer. Prayer, counseled Mohammed, was better than sleep. Sooner than you can say percolate, the Imam and his monastery became famous throughout Arabia for the spirited praying of its coffee-drinking brethren.