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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The People at Urban Outfitters Must Really Love Jesus Christ

posted by on October 29 at 1:25 PM

...because they've had Christmas decorations in their store windows for at least a week and a half.

Sorry to get all Andy Rooney on your behinds, but when did Christmas decor before Halloween become okay?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Move Over, Mini Zen Rock Garden

posted by on October 15 at 10:26 AM

The fad of soothing desktop toys may have passed in the 1980s, but that doesn't mean the market will surrender. Now you can "Take a little time to relieve the stress at your desktop" with the Normandy Beach Executive Sandbox.


Nothing says to you colleagues that you're a cool cucumber like the Normandy Beach Executive Sandbox. For only $24.99, you can practically hear the the rifles riddling the sandbags by your monitor.

PS: I came across this lovely toy while searching for the right Sea Monkey kit. I still can't make up my mind.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Goodwill Store to Be “Hip, Trendy”

posted by on September 18 at 4:47 PM

Just in time for an economic implosion, Goodwill will open a new used-stuff parlor on the The Ave this fall. It won't be like the big Goodwills packed with mattresses and stuff for old, old, old people. Oh, hell no. It will be a smaller space, and the "Hip, trendy new store will appeal to younger shoppers." [Emphasis added.] The Goodwill brass says it will occupy the old Lox, Stock and Billiards--just south of NE 47th St--better known to lovers of sprouts on dough as Lox, Stock and Bagel. They're "shooting for a November opening," says David Sandler, a first-class spokesman for second-hand stuff. He says the U-District is becoming a hot spot for vintage clothes (the Goodwill will be close to Red Light Clothing).

Very hip and trendy. But you can also buy things at Goodwill that are just plain weird. My housemate Kyle, for instance, buys cheap stuffed animals and cuts them up and sews them back together. For Christmas, he gave me a plush spider with bunny ears and a Telletubby voicebox to treat my arachnophobia. And using stuff purchased exclusively from second-hand stores, he made this Giant Ball of Pooh.


Photo by Nafun.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pretty Pretty Progress

posted by on September 16 at 3:17 PM


Easy, breezy, lesbian...Cover Girl:

Ellen DeGeneres has signed on as the latest face of CoverGirl Cosmetics and will star in a new print and commercial ad campaign that's rolling out in January.

"That's the first thing they teach you when you're a cover girl," DeGeneres said, striking a modelesque pose for her studio audience on Tuesday's edition of Ellen, where she also showed off a picture of her, mid-touchup, during a recent photo shoot. "They're putting some lip liner on me—man they love lip liner," she said.

That's it: Everyone I know is getting Cover Girl cosmetics for Christmas, accompanied by a lovely Hallmark card.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Halloween Dream of Babies Dressed as Hookers is One (Squishy) Step Closer to Reality

posted by on September 10 at 9:24 AM


From King 5:

Two moms from Bellevue have launched a business that sells baby high heels. The crib shoes are only made for children up to 6 months old, and the heel is squishy for safety reasons. They could very well possibly be the smallest stilettos ever.

As King 5 mentions, the makers of "Heelarious" shoes "admit some have criticized them, saying heels, even fake ones, are inappropriate for babies. But they insist it's all meant to be in good fun."

And as I must add, watching a 6-months-or-less baby rolling around in a pair of suckle-me pumps—perhaps with a wig?—would be the funniest thing in the world.

(But maybe that's why I should only have dogs, not babies.)

Friday, August 29, 2008

If You Ever Want to Smell Like Tim McGraw

posted by on August 29 at 7:33 AM

Now you can. Available at the fragrance counter at Walgreen's.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"AFA Protest, Emails and Hallmark"

posted by on August 28 at 11:46 AM

This just in from Hallmark public-relations queen Sarah Gronberg Kolell:

Hi Dave,

I was just reading the Slog and the comments from your readers are very

If you would be so kind, would you mind removing my email address from the comments? The emails aren't reaching Chairman Hall, just me! They then go to customer service. The AFA provided my email without permission, of course, and is giving their members incorrect information!

It will be much more effective for your readers to email our customer
service professionals, via this link.

This feedback will be compiled and sent through the proper channels.

Thanks so much!

Warm Regards,

Dear Sarah: Your wish is my command. Thanks for the update.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"A Silvery Tribute to All Who Were Lost on That Tragic Day"

posted by on August 27 at 1:00 PM


Last night during a USA network rerun of Law & Order: This Baby's Been Raped!, I saw an absolutely astonishing two-minute infomercial for the product pictured above.

The basics:

The National Collector’s Mint makes history with the release of this Government Authorized non-circulating Liberian legal tender September 11th commemorative. This $20 Silver Leaf Coin-Certificate displays a standard $20 denomination on one side. But on the other side, it’s the first time ever that two separate denominations have been used to add up to the full $20 face value—it uses 9 and 11 to commemorate the 7th anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy.

The specifics:

On the front, the frosted Twin Towers stand out against a mirror-like background, double dated 2001-2008 with our promise – “We will never forget!” On the back , the Statue of Liberty heralds a stunning design of the new Freedom Tower skyline in a silvery tribute to all who were lost on that tragic day.

So for $20 (plus shipping and handling), you can purchase a $20 Commemorative, essentially commemorating the $20 you just threw away on this garbage. But this isn't just a $20 Commemorative—it's a September 11th $20 Commemorative.

I like non-circulating Liberian legal tender as much as the next person, but this is just gross.

(Those interested in seeing the instigating commercial can go here.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

About Those Same-Sex-Wedding-Celebrating Hallmark Cards...

posted by on August 25 at 9:29 AM


As Dan predicted, Hallmark's introduction of same-sex wedding cards has inspired a boycott from the American Family Association:

Hallmark Greeting Cards has announced it will begin selling same-sex wedding cards, even though same-sex marriage is legal in only two states...We've all given or received Hallmark Cards—remember their slogan—"when you care enough to send the very best." But promoting same-sex marriage for profit is not the very best for families or our nation.

Hallmark is a private company obviously driven by greed. Let them know you do not appreciate Hallmark promoting a lifestyle which is illegal in 48 states. American Greeting Cards, Hallmark's competitor, does not offer same-sex marriage cards.

Send an e-mail to Hallmark. Ask them to stop promoting a lifestyle that is not only unhealthy, but is also illegal in 48 states. Forward this to your friends and family.

And as Slog Tipper Stephen notes:

They even put up a link taking readers to a readymade complaint email which they urge everyone to send to Hallmark. They filled the form in with words of protest, but the forum I was on urged everyone to go and edit the text and send them a thank-you instead. Spread the word!

Thanks, Stephen, and will do. Hey everyone—send Hallmark an AFA-generated thank-you note here!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Here's Your Damn Coupon!

posted by on August 12 at 4:23 PM

Oh, the wretched doubters of me! Rude infidels! Unbelievers! How silly they are. Behold the following, comment 26 from this post:

I think this is a crock of horse hockey. Fred Meyer coupons are very specific about the products they're good for. And I've never seen a manufacturer's coupon for "any dairy product." Scan the coupon for us to see.

Posted by smells like a fish tale | August 11, 2008 9:19 PM

"Horse hockey", indeed! Well, then, dear “smells like a fish tale”...because you insist:


Yes. There it is, the coupon: all fugly and scanned and coupon-ey, just for you. And as you can clearly see, it says, ahem, ANY FUCKING DAIRY PURCHASE, just I like I said it said--and just like you insisted it probably didn't. There are no restrictions, and nowhere--front or back--does it say anything resembling, "Oh! And, uh, cheese doesn't count for some unfathomable reason!" And so. I win of course. And I shall expect your sincere apology, in writing, double spaced, immediately. Notarized couldn't hurt.

And thanks in advance.

Friday, August 1, 2008

This Doesn't Fit into Our Calendar Anywhere...

posted by on August 1 at 12:16 PM

... but I feel like everyone should know about it.

Via the Northwest Film Forum mail list:

We are pleased to announce that the 6th annual Cephalopod Appreciation Society meeting will be held on the afternoon of Sunday, August 10th at our favorite location—the Northwest Film Forum (1515 12th Ave - off Pine St. on Capitol Hill - Seattle, WA).

We'll kick everything off at 12:30 pm with some cephalopod-inspired music, art, poetry, impassioned speeches & Other, and end with a cephalopod film (TBA).

The Specifics:
Sunday, Aug. 10th
12:30 - 2:30 pm
@ Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave / Seattle, WA
All ages!
$5 suggested donation
Free stickers!
More info:

Here's what you can do:
* First - save the date & come celebrate!

* Second - spread the word to your friends and favorite cephalopods. (Reminder: Cephalopods include the octopus, squid, chambered nautilus, and cuttlefish. All molluscs are welcome, but we'll only be celebrating cephalopods on this day.)

* Last but not least -- if you have (or will have) a CEPHALOPOD-INSPIRED SOMETHING to present or perform at the meeting, please let me know so I can schedule you in! We're open to all media (music, dance, lecture, fashion, multi-media, art, poetry, puppets, interactive, super-8, slide-show, Other), and although it's a fairly lo-fi affair we'll do our best to accommodate your technological needs.

And if you know of someone who might be interested, please pass this on.

Hope to see you there!

This seems like the right time to mention that if plain old Moleskine notebooks have become too dull for you, you can purchase all kinds of etched modifications from Modofly. Those by Dan Hillier tend to involve human-cephalopod hybrids:


(Thanks, Caroline.)

How Much is That Binge-Drinking-Game in the Window?

posted by on August 1 at 12:09 PM

Shot-glass checkers:


Half the shot glasses are round, half are square, and the set comes with a checker board. According to the rules on the back of the box, you're supposed to fill the shot glasses with booze and when one of your glasses gets jumped, you have to do the shot. One game should put you under the table. Two should send you to the emergency room.

The round and square glasses would seem to obviate the need for booze of two different colors—but, hey, if you like shots of Blue Curacao, go for it.

All yours for $14.99 at Value Village on 11th.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Good Point

posted by on July 31 at 12:31 PM


...brought up in the comments to this post, by the enticingly named crk on bellevue ave:

Until Pike Place Market is open until at least 8pm, it is nothing more then a quaint tourist trap. I love the produce vendors there... but 6pm? Too early for me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

American Nails

posted by on July 30 at 12:56 PM

The new natural:

You Can't Crush the American Entrepreneurial Spirit

posted by on July 30 at 12:02 PM

This just in from Slog tipper/budding entrepreneur Honest Genius:

I want the thank the Mayor and city council of Seattle for opening up a huge money making opportunity for me! Starting in January, 2009, I plan to be standing outside your nearest grocery store selling bags, just off their property, next to a Democrats political sign and a homeless person, for only 10 cents each! For starters, I have purchased 50,000 of these at a cost less than one cent per bag. And I will be shopping just outside the city limits and will never shop in town again! And if you want to tax me for making a profit, and using public or private land to do it on, you will also have to remove the political signs for being placed on that property illegally and tax the homeless for making money also! So thanks again!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Bike Store Survey

posted by on July 29 at 2:13 PM


Photo by cloverity in the flickr pool.

You don't need the New York Times--or any of a hundred small-town newspapers that have run likewise stories--to tell you that cars are out/bikes are in. Not if you work above a bike shop. There is seemingly a new bike in the window at Velo, the bike shop below The Stranger's offices, every day. The other day there was nothing in the window--and they weren't just faking people out. "We're selling 13 or 15 bikes a day on weekends," says Velo sales associate Annie Gillberg. "Our mechanics are having trouble keeping the shelves stocked." (There's currently a 6 to 9 day wait for tune-ups at Velo, even though they have several mechanics and a tune-up is a one-hour job.) Ben Atkinson, a mechanic at 2020 Cycle, says the shop has been "absolutely insane"--not so much with new purchases as with repairs on bikes that people haven't used in years and just hauled out of the basement. Wayne Fujiki at Gregg's Cycle says "racks are flying out the door"--lots of new customers retrofitting old bikes, "putting racks on them to carry stuff to work." He repeats, "Rack and panniers have been going crazy." Erica at Recycled Cycles says, "It's really busy in here. A lot of people who come in say they want to start commuting," and are buying bikes to ride to work.

Just felt like scaring up some good news, bike-wise, to counterbalance all the acrimony over the Critical Mass mess.

(With reporting by Julia Mullen Gordon.)

I Like to Think These Make Attempts at Sexual Abuse Bounce Right Off

posted by on July 29 at 9:00 AM


Ladies and gentlemen, Armor of God PJs.

Thank you, Slog tipper Jonathan.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Activism That Really Means Something

posted by on July 22 at 1:37 PM


Yesterday, out of morbid curiosity, I typed into my browser. Lo and behold, there was already a website protesting the 600 closed Starbucks. There are lots of complaints like this one:

We must stop this insanity. People are losing their jobs. Starbucks has been a responsible addition to the communities they serve, their employees and customers. Loss of community is NOT the American way. Time to rally and save our Starbucks. No more java jive!

And people are getting involved in more specific ways, too. The above photo is from a website devoted to saving the lower Greenville Ave Starbucks (store 6262, Dallas, TX). It's good to see that people are out there fighting for what's right. They've embarked on a letter-writing campaign, an online petition, and a protest. It's unknown if any of the protesters know what a "Darfur" is.

In more understandable angry consumer news, this website is devoted to convincing frozen-yogurt chain Pinkberry that these juicers:


are racist and shouldn't be sold in their stores.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Black People Toothpaste..."

posted by on July 13 at 10:00 PM

"... because black people have the whitest teeth."

(From a Shanghai grocery store.)

This is going to be the best Olympics ever!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Where Are the iPhones?

posted by on July 11 at 9:58 AM

The downtown and E Pike Street AT&T stores are sold out, now offering a presale for delivery 10 days from now. Anyone standing in a line where they're still in stock?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Whither the Squiggly?

posted by on July 10 at 3:00 PM

Adfreak informs us that Wal-Mart has changed their logo:


The important thing that is lost here is the hyphen, which was represented as a star. This is actually a change in company culture.

When I lived in Colorado Springs, I worked many, many shitty jobs. I worked at a Wendy's for three hours, I was a landscaper, a mall Easter Bunny, a K-Mart shoe salesman and more. But worst of all, I worked to set up a Super Wal-Mart at the very end of my time in the Springs. I was desperate for cash. There were no customers, since the store had yet to open, which was a major plus.

The downside was that we had storewide meetings every single morning. Every single day, the store manager, whose name was Gary Peacock, would blast the song "Takin' Care of Business" on repeat and I and all of my other blue-vested compatriots would assemble around the makeshift stage, clapping in time with the music. At the end of every meeting, where we would hear about the progress of the store—mostly our job was assembling and stocking all the shelves, which, in a Super Wal-Mart, is a hell of a job—we would do the Wal-Mart Cheer. This is apparently the Wal-Mart way; other former Wal-Mart employees have told me that they've done the cheer, as well.

Peacock would shout, "Gimme a W!" and all the adults, dressed in their blue smocks, would hold their hands above their heads to make a giant W with their bodies. Then, he would shout "Gimme an A!" and we'd put our hands together to form an A and so on and so forth. It would end with a cheer, of course, and our morale would be suitably boosted for another day of shelf-stocking.

But the most demoralizing part of the whole thing was the hyphen. When we got to the space between the L and the M, Peacock would shout: "Gimme a squiggly!" and everybody would have to do the twist and lower ourselves to the floor before twisting back upright, while making a "Whooooooooooooop!" noise that got lower as we went down and higher as we stood back up. Never mind that it was a hyphen and not at all squiggly, a fact which drove me insane every single day. The worst part was that some of the employees fucking loved doing the squiggly. It was probably the high point of their days. They would laugh every time.

So what are the Peacocks of the world going to shout now, between the L and the M? Is there still going to be a squiggly? Are they going to acknowledge that it's an asterisk at the end? Or are they going to shout "Give me a Kurt Vonnegut asshole!" instead? And what will happen then, dear Lord, what, exactly, will happen then?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

3 Musketeers Busts Out of the Consolation-Prize Candy Ghetto

posted by on July 3 at 11:36 AM


It's not like they taste like poop—or worse, carob—but 3 Musketeers has always been the candy bar you eat when there's nothing else. With their blandly sweet, fluffy inside and cheap milk-chocolate outside, 3 Musketeers are essentially virgin Milky Ways, or neutered Snickers, and are the preferred candy of no one on earth. (Not even those with nut allergies and/or caramel paralysis.)

However, last night I sampled the new 3 Musketeers Dark Chocolate Mint, and it is a candy worth loving. Thinner than the old-school Musketeer nougat log and split into two perfect-sized pieces, 3MDCM is a perfectly harmonious candy. Wrapped around the more slender form, the dark-chocolate enrobing achieves a bit more thickness than its milk-chocolate counterpart, and the dense mint-nougat center is like an Andes mint making love to a York Peppermint Patty. It's perfect.

Also, while we're on the topic of candy, can anyone tell me the difference between the impossible-to-find (perhaps discontinued?) Mars Bar and the ubiquitous Almond Snickers?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

For Sale At "Anti-Abortion, Pro-Date-Rape" T-Shirts

posted by on July 2 at 12:13 PM

And it can be yours for a mere $15.00:


The seller is a company called, which also stocks a large number of political T-shirts, band shirts, and "humorous" shirts like this one:


Amazon's seller policy prohibits the sale of items that are "illegal, inappropriate or offensive," which "includes any good or service that violates local, state, or federal laws or regulations or that would be generally offensive to others."

I think the "anti-abortion, pro-date-rape" T-shirt almost certainly qualifies--and so do the many customers who reviewed it.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Thank You, FLDS Dress!

posted by on June 30 at 1:18 PM


Have you been craving that Mormon Fundamentalist Polygamist look for yourself and/or your pet? Then you simply must check out, where all the fashions that marched across our TV screens during the recent FLDS flare-up in Texas are available for sale to any and all.

As Slog tipper Tom wrote, "The Teen Princess Dress is every pedophile's dream!"

Personally, I think the site works best as an adolescent rebellion deterrent: "If you're not home by 11:30, young lady, your entire back-to-school wardrobe comes from here!"

Monday, June 16, 2008

American Apparel Waves Magic Wand

posted by on June 16 at 12:47 PM


Jezebel informs us that American Apparel has started selling the Hitachi Magic Wand. This is the first time that American Apparel has been linked to masturbation, ever.

(As a side note: I think that this is good news for cities that might not have great sex shops, but Seattleites should continue to buy their Hitachis from Babeland.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fuck You, Pompeii Me

posted by on June 10 at 10:56 AM

So, what do you exfoliate with? Apricot pits? Sea salt? That's cool.

Oh, me? I exfoliate with volcanic fucking ash.
Thank you, M.A.C. Cosmetics, for providing me with (please read the following in Cookie Monster voice) theee most brutal exfoliating product of all tiiiiime (end Cookie Monster voice). And when I say brutal, I mean that only in the death metal sense of the word. This stuff is surprisingly gentle on the skin, especially when you consider its origins in the fiery molten depths of the Earth. Also, I heard it was made by Orcs.

Monday, June 2, 2008

YSL Sendoff

posted by on June 2 at 2:22 PM

Yves Saint Laurent

Northwest Film Forum just happened to be playing a pair of films about Yves Saint Laurent the weekend he died.

If you'd still like to pay tribute to the inventor of the pantsuit, you still have time.


NWFF is playing the biographical documentary Yves Saint Laurent: His Life and Times again this Friday at 7:15 and 9:15 pm, and Yves Saint Laurent: 5 Avenue Marceau 75116 Paris, a doc about the designer's old-school, labor-intensive atelier in the year before it closed, on Friday at 7 and 9 pm.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Another Hot Tip For the Ages

posted by on May 29 at 12:46 PM

I know I have an especially affecting Last Days Hot Tip when the Stranger copy editors hunt me down and berate me for torturing them.

They did just that after reading Friday's item in this week's column.

FRIDAY, MAY 23 Today brings a valuable lesson from Hot Tipper Caroline: "I was browsing for jeans yesterday in the Capitol Hill Value Village. I found a cute pair, but they didn't have a price tag on them, so I thought I'd try them on and if they fit then I'd ask someone for the price. I draped the jeans over my arm and continued going through the racks. While browsing, I smelled the distinct odor of pussy. Then it got stronger and became the distinct odor of pussy and piss. I looked at the jeans draped on my arm and, hating myself, leaned in slightly to see if the offensive odor was coming from them. It was. I hurried to get the jeans off my arm, only to realize they were soaking wet from the crotch through the thigh with still-warm urine. Obviously, someone had wet their goddamn pants, gone into Value Village, put on a different pair of jeans, and hung their piss-soaked jeans back on the rack. It's been almost 24 hours and I still have a grimace on my face. What continues to haunt me is that, in total shock and horror, I put the jeans back on the rack. Ladies, beware."

Caroline: My thanks.
Copy editors: My apologies.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Boobies Offensive to the Insane

posted by on May 9 at 12:27 PM

Ad Age reports that "The Resistance"--a self-identified "Christian group" whose web site is sort of a delightfully nutty road map to pretty much every conspiracy theory ever conceived (VeriChip, we're told, is "the Pandora's Box of the mark of the Beast")--is launching a boycott of Starbucks because its new logo features "a naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute."


Not to get all fact-y on the Resistance or anything, but actually, that logo's of a mermaid with a split tail, not legs--which, as Annie Wagner points out, is an image from Hans Christian Anderson's original Little Mermaid tale, in which the Little Mermaid drinks a potion and goes through indescribable pain (and loses her voice) in exchange for legs so she can pursue her Prince. In the end, the prince marries another woman (maybe he wasn't into mutes?), and the Little Mermaid flings herself into the ocean. So the moral of the Starbucks logo, if anything, is: Stay chaste, keep those knees together, and wait for your prince to come.

But, yeah. Boobies=Eek!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Best Part About Today's Medical Marijuana March

posted by on May 3 at 5:50 PM

Sister VixXxen of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.


The best part about Sister VixXxen's outfit?


"It's all E-Bay, honey," she says.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Rice Riots; Or, Why Michael Pollan Is Also Right

posted by on April 9 at 4:21 PM

OK, I'm not just picking a fight with ECB. I'm also linking to Paul Krugman, who for the first time in forever is not making up specious reasons why Hillary's policies are kind of sort of better than Obama's.

One reason why grain prices are skyrocketing, according to Krugman:

First, there’s the march of the meat-eating Chinese — that is, the growing number of people in emerging economies who are, for the first time, rich enough to start eating like Westerners. Since it takes about 700 calories’ worth of animal feed to produce a 100-calorie piece of beef, this change in diet increases the overall demand for grains.

Pollan's mantra: Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants. Cut down on meat, and grain prices should respond.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Macy's: Department Store of Doom

posted by on April 1 at 3:44 PM

First: A 32-year-old, 400-pound man expires after being detained by store security for trying to steal a hat from Macy's.


Second: A 22-year-old man was stabbed in the neck by a stranger while shopping at Macy's: "The suspect turned around, grabbed him from behind and stabbed him in the neck with a knife. The victim turned around and said to the suspect, 'What are you doing? I don't even know you.' The suspect replied by stabbing the victim in the shoulder three times."

Third: Macy's CEO's salary fell $2 million in 2007.

Fourth: In honor of its new "eco-awareness campaign," Macy's has mailed out a bunch of swag bound for dumpsters across America.



Sunday, March 30, 2008

Our NSFW Threads

posted by on March 30 at 12:39 PM

They aren't all about edgy art. Underneath it all, Slog is just naturally risqué. But we wear it well. These sure are sexy...


This picture of Sloggi brand undergarments was taken in France by my father, who is cavorting about, uh, photographing women’s panties.

Via Seattlest.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Dept. of Customer Appreciation: "And of Course, Cake"

posted by on March 28 at 4:22 PM

The Wine Outlet celebrates its third anniversary with a pig roast on Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be three pigs this year, one at the SoDo store and two at the larger Interbay store. There will also be cheeses, breads, and of course, cake. There will also be lots of specially priced wines for the event.

The owner, Richard, is the wine columnist for the P-I. I've never been to the Wine Outlet, but this all sounds pretty great.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Starbucks Promise: Un-Messed-Up Coffee

posted by on March 10 at 3:52 PM

Following the recent three-hour nationwide closure of all Starbucks stores for employee--pardon, associate--"Espresso Excellence Training," it was speculated that Starbucks might return to hand-pulled espresso (as opposed to automated, push-the-button machines). Nope: It was just a publicity stunt--pardon, remedial education for the baristas--sorry, pardon again, an effort to "elevate the Starbucks Experience.... revisit our standards of quality that are the foundation for the trust that our customers have in our coffee and in all of us.... But...equally celebrate who we are" (from the ominously entitled "Howard Schultz Transformation Agenda Communication #8").

Then, yesterday in the first section of The New York Times, a full-page ad saying that if they mess up your coffee, you are free to let them know and they'll "make it right."

We believe that our baristas can hand-make any espresso beverage perfectly.
"We believe"! We're not totally sure, though. But if YOU clap your hands and shout it, too, Starbucks won't die! And the espresso beverages are kinda hand-made. It takes a hand to push a button!
This is why we promise that if your drink isn't perfect, every time, let us know and we'll make it right. This isn't a promotion, this isn't "for a limited time only," this isn't "while supplies last." This is every coffee, every day, forever.

Welcome back to basics--pardon, excellence--where it is believed that you can expect un-messed-up coffee but, should your coffee prove to be messed up, you may ask to have it re-made, which will be really fun for everyone involved. Excellent!

Can We All Just Take a Moment...

posted by on March 10 at 3:45 PM

... to appreciate the fact that the service was called the Emperor's Club VIP?! How skankily obsequious.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

E-meter Incompatible with Ebay

posted by on February 19 at 3:38 PM

In 2000, nerd news mecca Slashdot reported that eBay was actively complying with Church of Scientology requests to take down auctions of used e-meters. At the time, eBay's explanation went as follows: "...someone who claims to be an owner of Intellectual property can send a notice sworn under penalty of perjury that an item is infringing." Plenty is said in the Slashdot piece about the ridiculousness of that allegation, along with the legal reasons nobody has challenged it--or, more specifically, has enough cash to file suit. Because they blew all their cash on those e-meters in the first place. Vicious cycle, much?

The story has resurged this week because this auction-canceling process has become mighty efficient. As reported by Reality Based Community, it turns out the CoS is now removing e-meter and other Scientology auction listings as a member of eBay's VeRO program. Wuz that mean?

If you’re uninitiated to eBay, you’d probably think that for each of these removals, the Church of Scientology informs eBay of the violation of its rights, eBay considers the merits of their argument, and then only then does eBay yank the listing. But that’s not what happens at all. Instead, eBay effectively deputizes Scientology, which logs into eBay and removes the listings itself.

VeRO was started to help legitimate companies clear out widespread false auctions (fake designer handbags, etc.) without nagging eBay over and over. Thanks to creative legal wording, the CoS is in the legal clear to join the program until someone effectively complains, even though it further blurs the CoS's line between religion and business. The whole thing cracks me up, really--with all of the negative press Scientology has gotten lately, are their leaders really worried about a booming stay-at-home membership surge? Do these new Scientologists join up after taking a particularly brutal personality survey on MySpace? Is an outlet store on the horizon in Burien? Quit with the overreacting, guys. Resold Scientology equipment will never have the same effect as the original material--the good shit. Handed to you by someone who can stand at your side and tell you that you're not good enough yet. Everybody knows an e-meter's worthless without that new-insecurity smell.

Weird Hyphen

posted by on February 19 at 3:32 PM


Monday, February 18, 2008

Millard Fillmore, I Love You

posted by on February 18 at 10:14 AM

Today is one of Value Village's many 50%-off sales, this one because a bunch of American presidents have been born and then died. I was really excited about working at The Stranger for many reasons, and one of those reasons was the proximity to a Value Village.

The whole Value Village shopping experience is magical: Easy listening music, including songs you may not have heard since the late eighties! Six t-shirts and two pairs of pants for 18 bucks*! Crazy old men wandering around wearing Tommy Hilfiger sweats two sizes too big! Women faking orgasms over purple faux-silk tops!


Forget those semi-nude Lindsay Lohan pictures, this is the story of the day. There are still plenty of Christian Youth Group t-shirts to be bought, so get to it.

Continue reading "Millard Fillmore, I Love You" »

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Solar Capitalism

posted by on February 13 at 8:59 AM

Let the alternative energy bubble begin!

Phoenix-based thin film solar-module maker said fourth-quarter earnings brightened to $62.9 million, or 77 cents a share, from $8 million or 11 cents a share in the year-ago period. Profit rose about 50% from the third quarter.
First Solar said revenue climbed to $201 million from $52.7 million in the year-ago period.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial forecast earnings of 53 cents a share and revenue of $180 million, on average.

During the fourth quarter, First Solar said it benefited from the full capacity of its new Frankfurt/Oder plant.

Shares of First Solar rallied 18% to $207.91 on Wednesday.
The stock traded above $270 a share in late December, but fell to the $150 level amid rocky market conditions in recent weeks.