UFOs are just aliens looking for a good cup of coffee

Do aliens like coffee? We think so! What intelligent being wouldn’t? As readers of my blog and fans of my novels have long suspected, UFOs are aliens just looking for coffee. For years, I’ve been the lone voice in the literary wilderness pointing this out to anyone who would listen, and writing a few novels about it. But now other serious writers are beginning to take notice. Joe Queenan, well-known columnist for the prestigious Wall Street Journal no less, has come around and now agrees. They’re here, and they’re looking for coffee.

The Wall Street Journal Finally Agrees With Me

In a recent WSJ column, “Are UFOs Just Aliens Looking for a Cup of Coffee?”, Joe Queenan argues this very point. And we think this is good news, because it means UFOs probably do NOT have hostile intentions or planning an invasion. If the aliens are just looking for coffee, then logic dictates they are nice, peaceful, intelligent and witty, because in my experience human coffee lovers are nice, peaceful, intelligent and witty. We prefer to sit and visit while sharing great coffee over interesting conversation, rather than invade foreign countries – much less attack someone else’s planet.

Now, the more cynical among us may argue the opposite. Since, to the best of our knowledge, Earth is the only known planet in the galaxy that can grow coffee, might not aliens be tempted to take us over? As their logic goes, the very fact aliens are coming to Earth might mean they’re planning an invasion so they can get their hands on our coffee.

But I don’t think so. Alien visitors are likely to be intelligent – after all they’ve managed to invent UFOs that can travel trillions of miles through space to get here. If they are smart enough to do that, they are smart enough to realize it’s much cheaper to simply buy the coffee from us rather than attack.

Planetary invasions can get pretty expensive.

Buying a Cup of Coffee is Cheaper Than Planetary Invasions

Do the math – it’s not all that hard. How much is a pound of coffee? My local grocery store carries it for anywhere from $5 to $10 a pound. I usually spend $20 on premium Rwandan coffee from a roaster here in town. It’s much cheaper – and quicker, by the way – to go shopping than it would be to invade Rwanda.

As a matter of fact, as I write this at 5 o’clock on a Friday morning, I’m getting low on coffee. And I think I’ll simply go see my local roaster and spend $20, rather than launch a military assault on an African nation at the cost of several millions of dollars (not that I have several millions, I’m just trying to make a point). If I can figure this math out, I’m pretty sure any alien astronaut can as well.

They Are Here for the Coffee

I feel confident our alien visitors have come to much the same conclusion. And the proof? Well – they haven’t invaded yet and apparently they’ve been visiting us for decades, at least since the 1950s when people started to notice UFOs, and have yet to take hostile action. If they were going to invade, I think they would have done so by now.

And what did it cost the US to invade Afghanistan? 1.2 trillion dollars! If it cost that much to invade a little country right here on Earth a mere 8,000 miles away, think of the cost to invade an entire planet across the galaxy. For an alien visitor, wouldn’t it just make more sense to come to Earth peacefully, find a human willing to trade, and spend the $5 to $20 dollars a pound?

And it would be much more pleasant for both the aliens and humans involved. They could sit down, enjoy a nice cup of coffee while comparing notes on our respective cultures. Launching military invasions is no way to make friends. A pleasant cultural exchange is much nicer than shooting at each other.

As readers of my popular novels have long suspected…

Let’s hope the Pentagon is paying attention. If the American military brass realize that UFOs are really friendly aliens just looking for a cup of coffee, and not to invade, then they are much less likely to start shooting.

Another ‘staying sane in lockdown’ blog post

What are you doing to keep your sanity these days? We are just coming out of our third lockdown… (only two more lockdowns now until Christmas.) Restaurants can have patio seating, but still no indoor seating. Stores can now have limited numbers of people inside. So it’s a little better now, and most people have had their first vaccine shot – so things are looking up and maybe we are getting to the end of it. (I’m trying hard not to think of the new variants coming out. Eyes shut, ears covered, and I’m humming ‘nah,nah,nah,nah…’ to myself).

As those who have been following my blog will know, a favorite theme I’ve mine over the last 15 months is “staying sane in quarantine.” It’s about the various hobbies and other things I do to keep my sanity. I’m writing novels, of course. And blogging, which I find relaxing. And I’ve taken up cooking: I learned to bake apple turnovers a couple weeks ago, from scratch! I even made the pastry.

And I continue to do metal work. I forged this pair of fire pit tongs last week, for moving burning logs around.

Fire pit tongs forged from a truck leaf spring

I forged these tongs from the leaf spring of an F150 pickup truck. My wife came up with the idea one night while sitting around a campfire with the grandkids a couple weeks ago. We were roasting hotdogs and making s’mores, and my wife was struggling to rearrange some burning logs, when she said to me: “You know honey, we probably don’t need anymore homemade forged knives, as awesome as they are. The 87 you made, which are now filling up our kitchen drawers, are likely sufficient for our needs for the foreseeable future. But if you really feel like forging, we could use some fire pit tongs.”

I took the hint and had fun making them.

Having a pair of fire pit tongs made from a pickup truck is pretty awesome, not to mention manly. The ends of the tongs come together so they can be used to pickup small burning sticks and coals, as well as large logs.

We’ve all been doing different things to cope as best we can. I love to write, and I can write for hours at a time and not notice the time go by. But after sitting all day with the laptop, I enjoy getting out to the shop and hammering on hot metal.

For some interesting hobby ideas, visit my other website michaelmanto.com where I go into great detail on this fun hobby.

Thanks for stopping by to visit my blog. Stay safe, and above all, stay sane!

My New Time-travel Adventure is Here!

The girl from the future…

What does a girl do when she can’t tell anyone where she’s really from?

I’m excited about my latest novel – a fun blend of love, romance, dystopian future and time travel. It’s about Octavia, a woman from a dystopian future who has traveled back in time to our own day. She’s here on a mission: study us and learn how we lived prior to a deadly plague that almost destroys human life and brings on the dystopian world she grew up in.

Octavia never had a family, never knew a mother or father – she was raised on a eugenics farm by robots and impersonal guardians. She arrives in our time and meets Jake, the loving single father of an 11-year old girl, and it’s not long before they fall in love. For the first time in her life, Octavia becomes part of a real family. But she can never tell Jake that she’s from the future – how could he possibly believe it? And that’s not the only secret she has to keep from him.

But falling in love was not part of her mission plan, and the secrets she carries about herself and the terrible future awaiting them soon threaten to tear them apart.

I actually started writing this in 2016, thinking it would be fun to write a story about a world-wide pandemic and time-travel. I finished it prior to 2020 under a different title, and then covid-19 broke out. When covid-19 hit, I no longer felt like promoting a novel about a plague. Reading and writing stories about an apocalypse is fun until it starts to feel like you are really in one. So I shelved the project for a while.

In early 2021 I dusted it off and re-read it, and sent it to an editor for professional proof reading. I like the story and now that it looks like we are getting to the end of the covid-19 pandemic I feel good about publishing it.

It’s a fun, clean read with a feel-good ending. I’m a huge believer in happy endings… I mean, why read a book that leaves you depressed. I can go to CNN for that.

I hope you like reading the book as much as I liked writing it. Drop me a line and let me know what you think.

Available on Amazon

Octavia Seven Book Review

Staying Sane in Quarantine

The Writer

We just got through a period of roughly 3 months of almost complete lockdown in which we were barely able to leave the house. Recently things have gotten better. In my province, Ontario, they’ve allowed restaurants to re-open, and just last week I sat inside a restaurant for the first time in 4 months. But we still need to be careful, and medical authorities are already warning of a second wave. We might be subject to another lockdown come the fall or winter.

Knowing how to maintain your sanity has become a vital new life-skill in 2020, and not everyone is coping so well.

How do you stay sane while in quarantine during a pandemic? I’ve kept my sanity with hobbies, two of my favorites being: writing novels and making knives.

This is a knife I forged from steel cable, using deer antler, brass and leather for the handle.

As much as I love the creative process of writing, it has one serious drawback: it involves sitting down at a laptop, which is essentially what I do for a living all day long. I’m a Project Manager at a large financial services company, in which I spend most of my day on the phone with my laptop in virtual meetings. It had always been a dream of mine to write a novel, and I’ve spent the last fourteen years getting up between 4 and 5 AM to put in a couple of hours writing before going to work. People look at me like I’m crazy, but that’s what you have to do if you’re serious about writing. It’s worth it and I feel really proud of my writing. To-date I’ve completed 7 full length novels.

And I’m glad I’m pursuing that dream, but I also needed to find something that got me on my feet, is physical and hands-on and kept me in shape (more-or-less). Gym memberships never worked for me, even before Covid-19 made them unwise. I’ve tried them several times and I’ve always found it too boring to keep up, and they are not a viable option during a pandemic.

What I needed was something physical that wouldn’t bore me to death, and keep me interested enough to stand and use my muscles for hours. So in the summer of 2016 I started another hobby – knife making.

I forge them by hand from raw hunks of high carbon steel. It seems to be working. One hot Saturday in the summer, I rolled my forge and anvil out into the backyard under a shade tree and spent the entire day forging.

I was in complete bliss, and lost almost 10 pounds. It was in that moment that I realized I’d found something that holds my interest enough to keep me physically active for hours at a time.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so I made my own forge out of an old barbeque I found abandoned at the side of the road. For an anvil I use an old piece of railroad track that was given to me. Some good files and a couple of heavy hammers, and that’s basically all you need to get started.

The knife I made pictured below won’t win any prizes for beauty, but I had a lot of fun forging it.

I forged this knife from a car leaf spring. A piece of the leaf spring it came from is shown above it. The handle wood is from an old horse yoke that was left on the wall of our den by the previous owner when we moved into our house.

It’s important to have interesting hobbies when you are stuck at home self-isolating. Forging steel may not be your thing, but you could try baking bread. Take up cooking. Learn to sow and make masks. Take up carpentry. Start blogging or write that novel you’ve always wanted to. All these things have become huge since the pandemic. In my area stores can’t keep flour in stock because of the numbers of people who’ve taken up baking. I see that as a very positive thing. Stay safe and above all, stay sane!

Blogs for Coffee Lovers

Best Blogs for Coffee

As one might suspect, with novels such as “Aliens, Spaceships and the Occasional Latte”, and “Coffee to Go, With a Spaceship”, that I rather like coffee. I don’t think that should come as too much of a surprise.

In today’s post I thought I’d share links to some of my favorite coffee related blogs. Sometimes it’s just really nice to ignore the news, Facebook, Twitter and anything else on the internet that can get too serious, and go to a website to relax and read about something you enjoy without having to hear anything about pandemics, Trump, US Presidential elections, economical calamities, financial collapse, or Justin Bieber.

And 2020 is still only half over, but we won’t talk about that right now …

Not that I don’t take what’s happening seriously. I do. But sometimes we all need a mental break. So here are some good coffee blogs, carefully screened to exclude anyone who might be tempted to talk about Trump. I’ll be updating this list from time to time.

Roasting Coffee Beans at Home for Beginners. This article explains how to roast beans at home without special equipment, using a pan on the stove top, or in the oven, or using a popcorn machine. An excellent all-around article for the beginner who wants to try roasting without making a big investment in equipment.

Oddfellows Coffee Roasters. Small craft roaster specializing in beans imported from farms owned and operated by women in Central America. Ryan’s Honduran dark roast is fruity and full-flavoured, yet smooth and low in acid.

Paris Coffee Roasters. A specialty micro roaster, offering dark and medium roasts of beans from Oaxaca Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. Steve has been roasting for 18 years, and has learned how to bring out the best in every bean. His dark roast from Oaxaca is very popular with its creamy caramel and chocolate notes.

The Bean Ground Coffee gear buying guide and reviews. If you’re shopping for anything related to your favorite addiction, this is a good place to start. Also, good indepth info on coffee beans.

The Coffee Channel. A great all-round website for coffee lovers, with reviews, blogs, buying guides and recipes all about coffee. They also have a list of what they consider the best coffee blogs.

I Love Coffee. This is a fun website that focuses on coffee related humour, coffee quotes and fun infographics about the world’s greatest beverage.

Brewed Coffee. As they say in their About Us – “We are All about Coffee, including coffee news, tips, recipes, and more!”

The Coffee Hunters Journal These folks search the world for the perfect bean!

Have a great day and stay safe!

** Updated May 23, 2021

Alien abductions?

It’s way too hot to take anything seriously, and it is expected to reach 45c today, so here is a bit of humour I hope will give you a laugh.

This expresses in a nutshell why I am very suspicious of so-called abduction stories.