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« Rohdesign Weblog's 3rd Birthday! | Main | Music-Driven Moleskine Sketches »
Wednesday
Feb152006

Surfacing

I can't believe it's been nearly 2 weeks since posting my Music-Driven Moleskine sketches; life has been increasing at a furious pace here, and my blogging time has suffered as a result. Well, I thought it was time to at least surface and let everyone know I'm just fine — but very busy! :-)

Been thoroughly enjoying The First Crusade by Thomas Asbridge. Quite an amazing story of the Crusades genesis in 1095. The book is a detailed historical and cultural description of the people and times which caused a monumental shift in history — so monumental that we're still feeling the shock-waves today. While you'd think such a detailed book of history would be dry and unreadable, it's actually quite an interesting, well-written book. I recommend it highly.

Haven't been sketching as I should be, but I've resolved to get a few more sketches in my Moleskine this week so I can post them here. Funny how when you aren't sketching you miss it terribly. I suppose I'm addicted to sketching. :-)

About 2 weeks ago I ordered my first Starbucks "Short" Latté, and it tasted quite good. If you haven't heard, Tim Harford recently wrote about Starbucks' 8 oz version of their drinks, called the Short (as opposed to Tall, Venti and Grande). What's good about the short? Well, the ratio of espresso shots to milk is better, and it's about 30 cents less than the Tall. It takes some nerve to order one at first, but now I'll order them when I get fancy coffees at Starbucks.

Thanks for stopping by! I promise a full post of some sort later this week.

Reader Comments (5)

How interesting. I don't visit Starbucks much, mainly because I'd quickly become financially destitute if it became a habit (!), but I might just pop in and try this to see if Starbucks in the UK knows about the "short" as well.

Tim Harford's piece is an interesting read as well, thanks for the link (and the reminder that Slate exists -- hadn't thought about it in months with all these good blogs to read). Interesting that he mentions Tesco's Value range in the UK. One point that i don't think comes across in his piece about this, however, is that it's not just the packaging in the Value range that is dummed down, and it's not just to dissuade the consumer who would otherwise pay more. The quality of the product itself is lower as well. For some things, this is fine -- I will happily buy Tesco Value long life skimmed milk at nearly half the price, if all I'm doing is putting it in a cup of tea, but I wouldn't touch any Value product that contained meat, simply because I would be unsure of its provenance. (I'm not saying it's bad, just not the quality I can get from other, more expensive, products produced by Tesco.) Also, Tesco make a big noise about their value range: they don't hide it under the counter like Starbucks "short" measures. I don't think the analogy was entirely appropriate.
February 15, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNeal dench
This place is amazing!

Keep up the great work!

Cheers,

amit
February 16, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteramit
Thanks Amit, stop by and stay a while. :-)
February 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Neal, I don't visit Starbucks much for the same reason -- saving money! I prefer to make fancy coffees (lattes and cappucinos) myself at home, though I occasionally splurge when I go out.

Generally I'm a drop coffee orderer at Starbucks and the like, but the chance to try ordering a Short Latte was too tempting. Be interesting to hear if the Short exists in the UK as well.

Thanks for the added info on Tesco; I'm not aware of that brand being in the US; is it anything like Aldi? From our experiences, Aldi seems to provide very good quality, private labeled products, maybe better than Tesco, by your descriptions.

Thanks again for the comments.
February 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
(Assuming that Aldi is the same in the US as it is in the UK ...) I think that Tesco is probably a cut above Aldi. It's the most successful UK supermarket by quite a wide margin, and probably hits the same target market as Sainsbury's and Safeway. The Tesco Value range is just one of many ranges that they do, and is very cheap (at the other end of the scale is their Tesco Finest range: expensive, well-produced, over-packaged). Probably a loss-leader for many of the Value products as well.
February 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNeal dench

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