Posts from November 3, 2003

New stupid human Starbucks tricks

New stupid human Starbucks tricks
: I’d reached peace with Starbucks. I like my coffee. I like it large (not vente, damnit, just large). I like it black. So I grit my teeth and go to Starbucks to drink the grit.

But they do find new ways to irritate me.

Lately, they have taken to asking for a name — “first name only” — with every order. And I want to shout: What happens when three Ashleighs come in and order caf and decaf and halfcaf and they all get the wrong frigging coffee and end up in caf-induced fits and you end up with a riot of over-and-under-caffed Ashleighs? Huh? Can’t you just give somebody a number? Can’t you just make the coffee faster instead?

I went to a coffee place in Cambridge during Bloggercon and they put the orders into a computer so we were spared all this Starbucks shouting: “Vente skim decaf latte!” “Vente skim decaf latte!” “Aye-eye captain!” “Battle stations!” “Battle stations!” “Dive!” “Dive!”

And then today I went to Starbucks get my plain large (not vente, large) decaf, which is usually poured by the person who takes my money and I’m on my way. But my wife also wanted a large iced coffee. The cashier didn’t pour that. No, that had to come from a barrista. But it’s just ice and coffee, said my whining look. The line is long. If you took all the people — all the Ashleighs — waiting for their overpriced coffees and laid them end-to-end they’d reach halfway to Bloomingdale’s. Can’t you just pour the damned coffee over ice? I wonder if it would help if I shouted it: “Ice!” “Ice!” “Coffee!” “Coffee!” “Roger!” “No, Jeff!” But he just points to the barrista. The coffee artista.

I wait. I wait longer. They spritz and steam and shout out orders and names.

And finally, the barrista reaches into the fridge for the pitcher of cold coffee. He pours it into the special Starbucks patentened iced-coffee thing. Then he pours in ice. Then he shakes it. I swear, he shakes it, with flourish, as if this were a martini and I were a spy. “Vente iced coffee for James!” “Bond!”

There’s nothing to mix. But he shakes it. OK, the gags on me and it’s over, I think.

But no. Then he lets it sit, as if this is going to do anything besides melt. He goes back to more shouting and spritzing and steaming. Then, at long last, he goes back and pours the damned coffee and ice into a plastic cup and gives it to me. Ah, that special barrista touch.

Damn, they do find ways to drive a person nuts. I paid a premium for this twit to shake this coffee.

I think I’ll go back to drinking too much Coke.


: I found Zell Miller’s endorsement of George Bush to be about as appealing as a finger down the throat:

I am moved by the reverence and tenderness he shows the first lady and the unabashed love he has for his parents and his daughters.

I admire this man of faith who has lived that line in that old hymn, “Amazing Grace,” “Was blind, but now I see.” I like the fact that he’s the same on Saturday night as he is on Sunday morning. And I like a man who shows respect for others by starting meetings on time.

Oh, ferchrissake. Let’s make him Pope, too. Or at least bishop of New Hampshire.

Unlike Miller, Roger L. Simon, and other once-Democrats, I’m not ready to vote for George Bush.

I’m not a Democrat-Republican.

Or a Republican-Democrat.

I may be a liberal hawk or a hawkish liberal.

But I’d prefer to think of myself merely as open-minded.

I find lately that I can sit with conservatives and not feel as if I’m about to be turned into the FBI; that’s relatively new for me (it helps when I’m wearing the flag on my lapel). I also find that I can sit with reasonable liberals and find ground for agreement (Saddam was a bad guy, very, very bad). I can disagree with the Bush-backers over the Supreme Court and the tax cut and lots more. I can disagree with the Bush-wackers over support for human rights in Iraq and such. Wishy-washy? Ha. Fence-sitter? Hardly. The war on terrorism and weblogs, among other things, have merely made me selective.

And I’m still quite selective about my presidential candidates. I’m still selecting. Just because I’m willing to support the president in this war on terrorism, that doesn’t mean that I’m ready to turn into a damned jelly-filled donut like Zell Miller. You have to admit: His valentine to Bush would make a Hallmark writer gag.

Those were the days

Those were the days
: Yup, those Iraqis were sure unhappy to see us coming. From tomorrow’s NY Times:

“If I catch Saddam I won’t kill him. That won’t be enough. I’ll suck his blood. And if he escapes I’ll follow him to the ends of the earth.”

Rage of such intensity courses through Iraq, where the dead, the maimed and the missing consume the thoughts of the living.

Six months after President Bush declared that major combat was over, countless problems crowd in on Iraqis, not least unemployment and the absence of security. But nothing seems to preoccupy them quite as much as the urge to settle accounts with the old government.

Suspected mass graves continue to come to light, replenishing the stores of grief and anger. Aided by forensic specialists and satellite imagery, American legal experts in Baghdad say they have found 262 sites that may contain multiple human remains.

PC terrorism

PC terrorism
: Both Josh Marshall and Atrios are trying to stage a PC takeover of the word “terrorist.”

Marshall says those on a killing spree in Iraq today are not terrorists but, because they’re killing soldiers in the mix, are “insurgents” or “guerillas.” Atrios says, “what he says,” and then glibly adds, “Pretty much everything is now called ‘terrorism’ from graffitti to smoking bongs to fake bomb threats.”

Cut the crap, boys.

I’d say that people imported from another country to wage battle and raise mayhem for the sake of trying to disrupt the civil order and population in the supposed aim of a sick cause are terrorists. Fits in my dictionary.

But by your definition, boys, just because the September 11th murderers killed some soldiers at the Pentagon, they’re not terrorists but “insurgents”?

Crap, boys, crap.

Because these people in Iraq are happening to kill some U.S. soliders while also killing civilians and health relief workers, they are “guerillas”?

Offensive crap, boys.

This is newspeak a la Che: insurgents as the brave resistance fighters in the jungles of the new world order. Yes, I can see the poster art now. Make mine suitable for black light, will you?

The killers in Iraq today are trying to stop the nation from achieving order so as to defeat America in a larger war that has nothing to do with Iraq.

I dare you to call the families of the Red Crescent workers and tell them that their loved ones were killed by “insurgents” with a cause. I dare you to call the families of the 16 Americans killed on their way to R&R and tell them their young ones were killed by “guerillas.” I dare you to correct them if they dare use the unPC word “terrorist.”

It’s terrorism, boys. It’s terrorism.

Bush bites

Bush bites
: Jackie at Au Currant got herself a news exclu: Nigella Lawson, famed TV chef, will be cooking for George Bush when he visits Britain.

The day after Tony Blair’s heart scare, TV cook Nigella Lawson piqued the interest of the media by arriving at 10 Downing Street for a meeting that, spokesmen insisted, was with neither the Prime Minister nor his wife. Some — rather cluelessly and hilariously, to anyone familiar with Lawson’s “Bring on the butter, cream and Marsala” dietary ethos — speculated that she may have been advising Downing Street nutritionists (do such roles exist?) on a more heart healthy diet for the PM.

Speculate no longer. In what I am quite sure is a blogging exclusive (blogclusive? Ugh.), I can now reveal that the real reason Nigella was hunkered down with the PM’s people is because she is planning the menu for President Bush’s upcoming state dinner with the Queen and Tony Blair.

The Guardian picks up the news (attributing it only to a web site — how unblogsmart of them!) and adds this choice journalistic morsel:

On President Bush’s recent visit to Thailand, 10 mice were assigned the task of tasting the president’s food first for poisoning. Whether such security measures apply in the UK is unknown.