Starbucks Red

CNN: Starbucks responds to holiday cup controversy

I picked up my last Pumpkin Spice latte of the season yesterday and it was in a red cup. I thought to myself “Yep, it’s after Halloween.” In the back of my mind I also noticed it was just red which made me think of all of the travel mugs and real cups from ‘bux this year, which opted for a plain colored dot in place of the mermaid – made me think that the train was continuing.

Over the 24 hours, however, other people looked at the same cup and have proclaimed that Starbucks hates Jesus and/or Christmas.

My first reaction: what the fuck is wrong with you people that is a new story of any way shape or form?

Second reaction: please boycott – it will mean fewer people in my coffee lines.

Third reaction: are you telling me that you love Starbucks so much that you find a little bit of God in your cup?

Ultimate reaction: as a shareholder of SBUX, thank you all for the free press and the religious implications that the Messiah is found in coffee beans.

Baby Amnesia Baby’s day care death blamed on popular napping practice

The all up cause here is unknown, except for the fact that the kid was asleep in a car seat, something that “The Journal of Pediatrics declared an official danger just a few months ago.”

Totally sucks – completely agree – and maybe this new advice is akin to the firm crib mattress and no blanket and no pillows advice every new parent gets, to avoid SIDS. What I find funny is this quote from the article: To minimize this life-threatening risk, it’s as simple as waking your baby up and moving him to his crib when you get home from day care or the grocery store. You can also share this information with grandparents and childcare providers to make sure everyone caring for your infant is on the same page.

The author simply hasn’t had a baby in two or more years. No parent – and I mean no parent – in the early days of their infant months ever has anything like “as simple as waking your baby up” cross their mind. Ever. Anything that involves their infant sleeping is planned to let the infant sleep for as long as possible. No, no, no – this author is far, far away from the sleep deprivation that comes with year one to suggest you ever awake an infant so the kid can sleep [allegedly] safer. Remember that it wasn’t that long ago that the “solid” advice was sleeping an infant on hir stomach.

I remember the infant years clearly and I believe that I probably have let infant Kyle hug a half empty bag-o-glass if he fell asleep next to one rather than wake him up for plausible safety.

Syntax For the Masses

MSN: During the registration process at Harvard University, students are now allowed to indicate which pronouns they use, with suggested gender-neutral options like “ze” or “they.” Harvard isn’t the first college to embrace gender-neutral pronouns, but it’s among a wave of major institutions that are widening their policies and pronouns

While reading the Star Trek New Frontier books, I found it interesting that when they encountered an asexual race that they changed the “common language” – aka English, thanks Gene! – to update their pronouns as s/he and hir, pronounced shi-he and heer respectively. I remember thinking that it must have been a painful habit for the authors to support that, knowing that there would never be a practical usage in common practice. Ya know, until we encountered an asexual race. Who would have thought they were simply forward thinking?

Of course, the larger question is how in the hell does Spanish adapt itself to be gender neutral, seeing as everything in the language reflects gender?

And So It Begins…

MSN: Devouring a McDonald’s Big Mac or a Chipotle burrito is on a fast-track to becoming a luxury for many U.S. consumers. It’s not as crazy as it sounds, given the surging costs for beef and, above all else, hourly workers.

In May, San Francisco joined the city of Oakland in having the highest minimum wage in the nation at $12.25 an hour. Minimum wages in San Francisco will reach $15 per hour by 2018. These hikes have led to recent price increases at Chipotle of 10% in San Francisco and 7% in Oakland.

“In San Francisco, our occupancy costs are about double the Chipotle average as a percentage of sales, and our menu prices there [were] right around the average for Chipotle restaurants around the country, so increases to wages can have a greater impact than they might elsewhere,” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said in an email. Occupancy costs are the expenses related to doing business in a location, including charges for rent, electricity and water.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. This post is over a year old.

Rush’s 40th Anniversary Tour at KeyArena


It’s not often that I put this much media in a blog post, so call this a special occasion. You see, it’s not every day you get to see Rush live. In fact, it’s been almost 20 years since I last saw them in concert. I always knew they couldn’t tour forever. I always said that I had to somehow get into the front row for one of their concerts. When I heard that this might be The Last Tour of this size for the Canadian Trio, I grabbed a fist full of cash and ran to Ticketmaster.

I stood in front of Geddy from the second row for the entire show. And it was worth every. Single. Fuckin’. Penny.

My only regret has been not going to see them in Portland two nights later but I have no way to get these kinds of tickets again.

Videos – and there are 33 of them! – are on YouTube and unlisted, so you’ll only find them from here.

You still here? Thanks! It gives me a chance to put a bow on this geekout I’m having, a full 24 hours after the show.

You see, the very first time I heard about Rush, it was from my mother. She was teaching at a middle school in 1980 and a group of “burn outs” walked by. My mother took me aside and said, “Don’t you be like those boys!” and pointed to a couple of the long haired boys that were wearing a jean jacket that had a red star in a circle and a naked man, painted on the back of it.

Moth, meet flame.

During high school a couple of friends and I started listening to the 70’s incarnation of Rush, with our interest stopping with Signals. In fact, I recall lamenting that “Spew Your Fire” was a waste of their talents. Of course, it was a poster from the Grace Under Pressure tour that educated me on the fact that there are just three guys in the band. And have only been three guys in the band. Oh and that guitar riff I love so much in YYZ? That’s from the bass player.

I don’t think I’ve ever recovered.

Sometime during high school, I moved up on from the heavier and artsy rock and moved into the 80’s version of the band, realizing that every four albums there’s a live one which somehow magically reboots the band. And now – as poor Geddy can likely attest to after standing in front of him for 3 hours – the entire catalog is forever percolating in my brain with pretty accurate recall of every fill, lyric, and standing out riff or bass slap. After college, I stuck with them through the re-mastering of the catalog and new discs as they came out.

I saw them for Presto, twice for Roll the Bones, twice for Counterparts, once for Test For Echo; two of those tours were kicked off in Connecticut so I saw them in the raw and again when they had tightened the show up. As I got older old I found that optical discs and streaming HD got me closer to the band compared to when I actually went to a show…

Until this show.

Boys, if you never tour again, enjoy the retirement and thanks for the memories.

Business as Usual

“We live in an age where mass communication has counterintuitively turned all attempts of verbal debate into a basketball game where the teams are on different courts and stand around the baskets racking up meaningless points and throwing shit over the dividing wall.”
– Ben “Yahtzee” Crowshaw, Zero Punctuation

Kinda scary when you can lift something so profound and accurate from a blog-based video game review. Especially when you consider the author lives in Australia and likely doesn’t follow American politics or want to. Yet it accurately captures what I’ve been feeling lately about politics, Facebook, and – sadly – my fellow citizens.

And it’s likely going to continue to be accurate, as I don’t see an end in sight.

You see, the conservative GOP supporters continue to get religion confused with government and the liberal Democrats supporters keep telling me “you have freedom to think what you like, so long as you agree with us; if you don’t you must change your mind” and the seemingly inability of either side being capable of fixing things that they themselves fucked up in the first place. Both sides suck and neither side wants to fix problems; the invisible third party has little to no traction either. The supporters of seemingly every party sides mindlessly preach what they are told to say and are just as fast to prove that the “other side” is wrong… the only hope left is that a party wakes up to it’s botched marketing message and reboots.

Meanwhile, the nation obsesses over whether a woman in a relatively small city in eastern Washington lied on her job application when she was asked to proclaim her race.

I think I’ll go play some Viva Piñata for a few hours – better use of time.

Randy No Arms' ongoing commentary on life, gaming, and the rest of the world