It’s been a while since I’ve had an update from the Mermaid’s Lair, but, well… it’s been boring lately. Granted I don’t spend as much time there as I used to, now that my manuscript is done, but the product line seems to be gotten stagnant lately… I think their malt-frap drinks were supposed to be the big release of the summer, but they didn’t *wow* me that much… It hasn’t been completely dead there, though – so what’s the latest from my local Starbucks?
The most recent thing that I’ve discovered is that the Mocha Valencia – which is a great drink when it’s served as hot drink – should never be sold as an iced drink. Maybe I caught a badly made one but I really don’t think so. The Valencia is a regular Mocha with an orange syrup added; I think the iced version just makes the syrup seem way too strong or something. I had to chuck the whole grande, actually, which was a first for me – even if I caught a bad one, there’s no way I’m ordering it again. I guess it’s my own fault for wandering off their main menu but I was looking for something new to try; I found something, that’s for sure!
Then there’s the malted fraps. I’ve had a couple of them over the last couple of months but they’re still just not that thrilling. I am glad to see the creme drinks are still on the main menu, as well as the Mocha Coconut frap, because both of them were supposed to be a “limited time” thing… I just think they’re due for a new drink. They do have a new Chocolate Cheesecake Bar now – at least here in CT – which is killer; that’s definately worth getting, unless ya don’t like cheesecake or chocolate. Of course not liking both would make you a freak and probably someone that also doesn’t like coffee, so why are you still reading this? Shoo! to you if you’re one of these coffee heating people!
People-wise, from my local store, my Evil Padiwan is still studying abroad for a while longer, so I haven’t been abused by a barista in weeks. Everyone else seems to be keeping a low profile – at least I haven’t gotten any fresh gossip in a long long while, which is the same thing.
I did finally get around to trying out my free one-day trial of the wireless service that T-Mobile was offering until the end of June. That was pretty painless to set up, and the Orange store has good signal strength but I just don’t think that I’d ever pay for the service. I mean it works well, but I have wireless Internet access in my living room and I pay for DSL already… why would I pay for a service twice, unless I really needed it?
This is what wireless carriers seem to consistently miss when they market their wireless web services. They keep looking at Europe and Japan and the success of the wireless web there, right? They keep thinking that if it worked well there, it should work well here, in the US. Here’s some general advice for the carriers: get a fuckin clue!
First thing to learn: US customers don’t pay extra for Internet related services. We simply don’t do it. We’re too used to getting information and extra services from a PC for free. If you offer that a plan is $20 and you have to pay $10 for the wireless web, Americans will say “gimmie the $20 plan”. If you offer that same plan and include the wireless web with it but jack up the price to $35, we’ll probably buy it without asking any questions – yes, we’re that dumb! What’s worse is that the carriers are even dumber than we are and continue to try to make money on these “add on services.” Second thing that the carriers need to learn is that PC’s are far more common in the US than they are in Europe and Asia. See, this is the other reason why people will spend money to get sports scores and video clips and stuff like that outside the US. Think about it. Use sports as an example. You get live sports on your cable/satelite system. You’re already paying for it there. You can get the recaps on your PC via broadband or dial up and you’re paying an ISP to get that connection. Why on earth would you spend more money a third time just to get a final score or see a video clip on a phone? Maybe you would spend a little extra to get a “geneic” browser connection for a sports site on a phone if you were out somewhere, but who in their right mind would pay extra money to specifically see only that sports information? In an part of the world where there’s not a lot of PC access, then it makes sense. Explain how it makes sense here? Same thing applies to the WiFi service that people are offering. If I’m not going to be travelling everyday
, or if my company isn’t paying the bills for roaming WiFi access, there’s no way I’m going to sign up for this service; I’d only be buying the same service twice!
Oh, there is another new thing now for sale at ‘bucks. Seems that they’ve started to carry some Muppet type candy/toys. I almost peed when I saw a Beaker-on-a-Candy-Stick the other day. Tis some good times, that, even if it does look like they have a piece of candy shoved up their bottom and in a most painful location. Was definately worth it, to watch a wasp-looking prissy-woman pick up a Gonzo and gawk at his nose – I don’t think she’d seen him before.
Anyway, I’m hoping for the introduction of some new drinks, soon – *hint hint* – because they usually don’t let an entire summer go by without a few new things being released, so maybe I’ll be surprised soon… or maybe not. At least the caramel drinks are still there!