Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Starbucks did what?

I came across this today - something I'd written for the Tripod Insider soon after graduating from Syracuse. A note from a magical era in Billsville . In 1999, I was a rookie marketeer that was assigned to this newsletter.

Anyways, I digress - the reason I mentioned that was: 1999 for me was the year of Starbucks. The first year I could afford their wares on my own dime. Soon, I went ev'ry week past a store - honest - to the nearest Dunkin' Donuts.

That was the time Starbucks was opening a store a day, two stores a day. Barnes & Noble stores and Starbucks in them. They opened Starbucks stores within Starbucks stores.

And now I hear this - they're cutting staff - Starbucks is? What, they aren't selling that many overpriced double espresso soy lattes (I'm sure I heard this order)?

And look what they're doing today - Tuesday .They're shutting down all their 7100 U.S. stores for three hours of 'employee training'.

The coffee chain said the in-store training program which will begin at 5:30 p.m. local time, would foster enthusiasm in its 135,000 U.S. employees and improve the quality of drinks made by Starbucks baristas.

"We believe that this is a bold demonstration of our commitment to our core and a reaffirmation of our coffee leadership," said chief executive Howard Schultz in a statement.

It came to this and some publicity. Can the milling coffee throngs wait while their leadership hunkers down for three whole hours?

Dunkin' Donuts - "to ensure that no coffee lover is denied a delicious espresso-based beverage" - announced that it will offer small lattes, cappuccinos or espresso drinks for a promotional price of 99 cents on Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Way to go, Dunkin' Donuts . They didn't need to do this, actually. I (and many others) would stop by anyway.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Iron Maiden were back - Caught Somewhere in Time

Two Maiden shows within twelve months. Was it real? Was I really there - again?

Excellent weather. Great fans. An amazing mosh pit, even hanging by the periphery.

Our metal gods kicked off their 2008 tour in Bombay, and I was there this time - Aces High. At my III Maiden show, it all only got better.

They played plenty from their amazing '80s, and they were as always awesome. What else did the faithful need?