Paul Bogan has a piece on the failure of big box retail, followed by a chilling list of chains with store closings. Notables (to me, at least) include Barbecues Galore, Dell (their kiosks?), Loews, Office Depot, Sprint/Nextel, and Starbucks. Check it out, the list is huge! If this keeps up, that $79 for Amazon Prime will easily be worth it.
Starbucks is now giving away 2 hours of free wifi per day. Yeah, there’s a catch. From USA Today:
The Wi-Fi freebie will be available starting Tuesday to customers who purchase a minimum $5 reloadable Starbucks Card, register online for the Starbucks Rewards Card program, and use the card at least once a month. The two hours must be consecutive. New members also receive a voucher for a free drink.
Also, if you register your gift card, you get perks:
Rewards program members who register online already receive free syrup and milk options with drinks as well as free refills of hot and iced brewed coffees and a free drink when they buy a pound of coffee beans.
Crack Team Agents have discovered a new way to order Starbucks coffee, hidden from the general public. It is the Short, and it is an 8oz. cup with a single shot of espresso (for espresso drinks, of course). This gives it a coffee:milk ratio of 1 shot:8 oz., the same as the Grande. If you are like me, you occasionally want less than a Grande, but don’t like the watered down taste of a Tall with it’s 1:12 ratio. The short gives the same, balanced flavor as the Grande. I should also point out that the 20 oz. Venti only has 2 shots, giving it a ratio of 1:10; better than a Tall, but still a bit weak. Even a Grande can taste watered down if they overfill the milk. I am consistently amazed at how inconsistent some baristas are.
While I’m here, I also found a good way to order a White Chocolate Mocha, which I find has gotten much sweeter than when first released. Since a Grande takes 4 pumps of syrup, you can order a “3-pump white mocha” and get the original, more reasonably sweetened drink. Again, your mileage may vary.
The Starbucks in Barstow is off the Lenwood exit:
2843 Lenwood Blvd.
Barstow, California 923119587
It has the strangest but most logical closing times:
Friday – 1:30am
Sat – 10:30pm
Sun – 11:30pm
Clearly, this is critical info for all members of The Crack Team.