Dear Starbucks

Dear Starbucks,

I am, over all, a satisfied customer. I do not pretend it is easy to work at your stores or, even, to make a decent cup of coffee. But if it is well known that a Starbucks cup will leak if the lid’s opening is aligned with the cup’s seam, then why isn’t this passed on to your baristas? Just asking.



[12:40 PM] Bob: Subject: I’m thinking…4 partsJamaicanBlueMountain…1 part French roast

[1:23 PM] Me: I’m thinking you wouldn’t know Jamaican Blue Mountain from motor oil….

[5:08 PM] Bob: Really… now where did that come from…I was in Jamaica…saw the Blue Mountains…listened to the locals as they toughted their coffee…rum and peanuts…I also spent a little time with motor oil…further more the ratio I discussed earlier offers the best of both worlds the sweet after taste of the Jamaican is cut short by the hearty acidic full flavor from the French roast…without the overbaring taste a naked roast gives…matter of fact…I believe the French went with such an obtrusive aroma and flavor…because of their continued failures over time to hold onto a place of world influence…there is no need for coffe to be that bold and acidic…that’s why there is expresso…The Italians did it right…double up for purpose…not a false claim of taste

[5:47 PM] Me: Really? Two hours bouncing aroundJ amaicain a jeep makes you an expert? In seat cushions, maybe. French roast is a dark roast. Dark roasts are the least acidic; light roasts, as in your precious Blue Mountain Turd, or whatever, are the most acidic. You should have paid more attention in chemistry class and less time falsifying time sheets at the Amoco. …. I bet the acidic taste you are experiencing is the mineral deposits in the coffee maker you never clean. Though with your palate, raped as it is by chilis and Pabst Blue Ribbon, who can say?

[5:53 PM] Me: I don’t think my remarks have emphasized this enough: You are a doofus. This is going S.T.B. (straight to blog).

[6:19 PM] Bob: So…your not a fan of Jamaican coffees…what about their steamed peanuts…

[6:34 PM] Me: I hate steamed peanuts. Boiled, too. But I’m fine with Jamaican coffee. Just don’t have call to drink much. Don’t know that I see it at Starbucks.


Preoccupied With Wall Street

Why the Current Crop of Twentysomethings Are Going to Be Okay — New York Magazine: “Nearly 14 percent of college graduates from the classes of 2006 through 2010 can’t find full-time work, and overall just 55.3 percent of people ages 16 to 29 have jobs. That’s the lowest percentage since World War II, as you might have heard an Occupy Wall Street protester point out.”

from John
to [all]
date Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 10:33 AM
subject Re: Me and Your Ire

Not to pile on [him], or anything, but while I stand by the point I made
in the original e-mail (i.e., who thinks woodworking is a lucrative
career?/ also, young people irritate me), [she] brings up a
well-articulated point that I think is the most serious result of the
current, uncorrected economy, which few people seem to be emphasizing,
and that, as an unreformed copy editor, I cannot resist elaborating

[She] writes that “there’s just no up to get to,” which to me is
another way of saying that the forces that buoyed the savings (and
emboldened the crotchety, hairy-eye-browed ire) of millions of older
Americans (i.e. the order-of-magnitude increase in the Dow from 1980
to 2000, consistently appreciating real estate values, etc.) have
seemingly evaporated. It burns my rump a little that the “53 percent,”
the shrill, hard-to-believe-they’re-organized blue-collar critics of
the Occupiers, can’t see that. Because it is the plumbers and former
Marines of the world who are going to be plopping into the toilet of
poverty next.

To wit, the model my father followed to retirement, while not exactly
broken, will not work for my niece anything like it did for him. If I were
her, I’d be pissing (squatting?) in a Zuccotti Park shrub, too.

What holds this country together is not a sense of patriotism or the
glow of American exceptionalism or the well-tended interstate-highway
medians, but the promise of personal prosperity, however naive. I
don’t think America is broken, but I think it is telling that in the
always-churning, repeat-customer marketplace of illegal immigration,
incoming traffic has steadily declined (it may be leveling off now)
since 2007. When the Mexicans stop thinking America is the place to
be, it might be time to get out the placards and big magic markers.

A Discontented Summer

From: John
Date: Sun, Jun 5, 2011 at 2:19 PM
Subject: Re: ** The Times & the word, Anglo **
To: Tom

The interesting thing to me about Q.P.R.’s transition to the Premier League is the steady march of “bad” news that their fans have had to digest.

First of all, the club eschewed a celebratory parade because, it said improbably, of the cost.

Second, as you pointed out, tickets were jacked up by nearly half from prices I am led to understand were fairly dear for the Championship.

And third, the bizarre ownership standoff seems to indicate that the club won’t be spending much in the off-season. It is a reticence that does not fit well into my American mind. I suppose hay can be made from the Premier League TV money for one season and the parachute payments given to newly relegated clubs, as in the style of revenue-sharing baseball teams like the Kansas City Royals and the Pittsburgh Pirates. As Ben Kosky of the “local” Kilburn Times writes, profiteering may be too high-minded a motive to assign to the owners, Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone:

Briatore and Ecclestone have only ever had one ambition for Q.P.R. – using it as a vehicle for corporate crowing and boasting, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Roman Abramovich, Malcolm Glazer and Mohamed Al-Fayed.

Now they finally have the chance to indulge themselves – although let’s not forget that, for two and a half years, they made a total pig’s ear of it, leaving a trail of sacked managers, sub-standard players and embarrassing public relations disasters in their wake.