Comic strips and art:

Sci-fi and fantasy:

  • Keeping Up With the Cardassians. For months, this is what I heard every time someone mentioned the Kardashians. (What can I say? My brain is more attuned to Star Trek than to reality TV.)
  • Author Robert J. Sawyer answers pointed questions about Flashforward and the TV adaptation, including what went wrong. I have to agree that it was really hurt by focusing too heavily on the conspiracy arc.


Tech stuff:

Continued from volume one

  • You put a filter in the coffee maker, then go back to get…a filter for the coffee maker. And then put the bag of coffee back in the fridge…where you’ve never kept coffee. Ever. (Yeah, I was batting 1,000 that day.)
  • You get halfway up the stairs before realizing you left your travel mug in the car. (I’ve done this several times.)
  • You get impatient with the pour rate while filling your mug.
  • You pour cereal into your coffee mug instead of a bowl. (Well, almost.)
  • You come up with a great item to add to your “You know you need coffee when…” list and can’t remember what it was.

Don’t have time to go to Starbucks, but want something more than plain coffee? Here are some simple drinks you can make with ingredients that might be in your lunch room, or that you can easily keep at your desk.

Coffee + hot chocolate mix = mocha

Coffee + hot chocolate mix + cinnamon

Hot chocolate mix + mint-flavored black tea

Hot chocolate mix + cinnamon-flavored black tea

Hot chocolate mix + masala chai tea

Since I realized that this was more of a list of what you can do with hot chocolate mix, I’ve been meaning to fill in more detail for…well, months now. Apparently today is National Coffee Break Day, so I figured rather than letting it sit in the drafts folder forever, I’d post what I had in observance!

I can’t get worked up about Starbucks’ new super-size for iced drinks, the 31-ounce Trenta. Here’s why:

  • It’s only on iced drinks. Iced tea, lemonade, iced lattes, etc. Unless you’re getting plain iced coffee, you’re not getting 31 ounces of fully-caffeinated coffee.
  • Even then, there’s ice taking up a lot of that space. So you’re still not getting 31 ounces of coffee.
  • You can get a 32-ounce drink in any fast food place in America. Sometimes it’s called a large. Sometimes it’s called a medium.

A 31-ounce Frappucino might be a bit much…but how much do you typically get in a milkshake at a restaurant that specializes in them? I’m going to guess it’s 12-16 ounces in the glass, plus about the same in the metal mixing cup that they usually deliver to your table at places like Ruby’s or Johnny Rockets. That brings it to 24-32 ounces — in other words, about the same.

So, a little perspective. Is the Trenta bigger than any other Starbucks drink size? Sure. But compared to a Big Gulp? No one would think twice if you picked up a 32-ounce iced tea or lemonade at McDonald’s (except to ask why you weren’t getting a soda), or refilled your 12-ounce glass twice at a sit-down restaurant.