The Modern Fairway Carny: Itinerant Street Vendors

Growing up in the Midwest, there was a yearly visit to the State Fair that — during my childhood, at least — was always tempered with a tremendous terror.

For many months, there was a story in the newspaper about a young boy who visited the Nebraska State Fair in Lincoln and then disappeared.  He was continuously searched for on the Fairgrounds and communities in the area would get together and search other pockets of the city so the boy might be found.

A long while later, the boy’s decomposing body was discovered stuffed inside an empty train tank car in a faraway town.  The thinking at the time was that the boy had run into a carnival worker — a Carny — and something horrible happened and the boy was killed and stuffed, and sealed, into the tank out of convenience since the railroad ran straight through the Fairgrounds.

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You Are Part of the House

I love discovering new interoperative cultural memes, and I happened upon one over the weekend at the local McDonald’s.  I’m not a big fan of McDonald’s, but they do try to offer some healthy food, and I appreciate they set a major agenda when it comes to creating an entire landscape of community dietary choices.  There is grand power in creating caloric counts.  Oftentimes, the only affordable meal in an urban neighborhood is found under the Golden Arches — and that creates a static economy and a trapped customer base. We’ll discuss more about that dangerous, if unassailable, economic power tomorrow.

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The Summer Starbucks Teavana Review

I have always been a big coffee drinker.  I also enjoy a good cuppa green tea — even though I’m an infamous bagger and not a loose leaf sort of fellow.  That all changed across the last week as I discovered Teavana — the Tea Heaven place now owned by Starbucks.  Lately, Starbucks have been making a big tea push.  They purchased Tazo tea and now Teavana are deep in the mermaid fold.  Starbucks seems to know their future is read in tea leaves and not coffee beans.

The key to making a great cuppa loose leaf tea is in the tea maker and Teavana makes a perfect one.  You just steep and let gravity do the rest.  Cleaning up tea leaves is a much simpler and crisper job than having to clean up coffee grounds from a French press.

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I am Now Starry Starbucks Gold!

Today, the mailman brought me something I’ve been waiting exactly six weeks to arrive:  My Starbucks Gold Card!  Yes, it’s crass, and indulgent, and unnecessary, and gaudy — but oh, do I love it so!

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My Weekly Friday "Flowers" Struggle At Starbucks

A number of months ago, it came to light at my office that I do not bring flowers home to my wife Elizabeth every Friday afternoon as many Jewish men do, in honor of the Sabbath. One of my coworkers gave me a hard time about this, saying that it was important that I honor the Sabbath this way, as well as doing something nice for the person who was spending so much time getting ready for this holy twenty-five hour period.

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How to Ruin Your Retirement

We live in a day-to-day economy.  Lots of people are surviving paycheck-to-paycheck and paying more for healthcare costs or dealing with impending furloughs.  The lack of money can send an entire family into a depressive spiral from which it is almost impossible to recover.  Few young people are interested in saving today for their retirement tomorrow because they worry about being able to eat tonight.  Even middle age folk have a tough time tucking away some money for when they are no longer willing or able to work.

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How Very Impertinent: Ten Sentence Story #130

Veronica entered a bakery to purchase a cup of coffee for her husband, waiting for her with their baby at an outdoor event.

Continue reading → How Very Impertinent: Ten Sentence Story #130