Today I picked up a Starbucks Verismo 580 for an unbeatable price. I saw the bundle pictured above at the Bx and couldn’t resist. The Verismo 580 sells for $149 through Starbucks (and on Amazon as well I believe) however the Bx had it for just $99 AND it included 6 boxes of Verismo coffee and espresso pods and a welcome pack with 10 additional pods (for a total of 82 pods!).
Boxes of Verismo pods sell for $12.95 each through Starbucks, so this bundle came with over $77 worth of pods all while being $50 cheaper than the machine alone elsewhere! I believe the bundle was leftover from the holidays, and I’m not sure how they lasted this long.
So far I’m really impressed with the machine. It has a water reservoir which is a really nice feature, allowing you to make quite a few drinks before it needs refilled. You feed the pods through the top and after your drink is done brewing you just flip the lever up to drop the used pods down into the used pod container. The machine looks wonderful and feels quite sturdy which is nice.
I haven’t tried brewing any coffee yet, but the espresso is done in a flash as you can see in the video below. I mixed in some chilled 1% milk and had a great tasting drink in under a minute! I’m looking forward to recreating my favorite Starbucks drink, the Vanilla Iced Coffee tomorrow after work.
The article is a discussion about how the dining rooms of fast food restaurants (McDonald’s is discussed mostly) are starting to look more like the insides of a Starbucks. In other words you see more and more customers ordering just a cup of coffee and taking up space at a table for extended periods of time. This is popular with the elderly (and sometimes homeless) especially at McDonalds. They’ll buy a small coffee and read the newspaper for 30 minutes or longer. McDonalds used to be a place where customers would buy food, eat and leave, but it’s starting to become a place where people do more than just eat.
This trend has annoyed some fast food employees and customers who have a more difficult time finding places to sit, but the article brings up a good point considering public space. The article quotes Don Mitchell, a Syracuse professor of urban geography:
“Whether they have been private property, public property or something in between,” he said, “taking up space is a way to claim a right to be, a right to be visible, to say, ‘We’re part of the city too.’ ”
The coffee drinking patrons could certainly do whatever task they’re doing at home, be it reading the newspaper, their mail or a book, but there’s a sense of participating in society that is gained doing these things in a public space. It’s the reason I love drinking a coffee at Starbucks or in a library; there’s stuff going on around you: conversations, people coming and going, etc. that makes life more interesting. It’s a welcome change of scenery for those who may not have a lot going on at home (some elderly for example). I don’t think this behavior needs to be discouraged. In fact we could use more of it.
Last night we watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which tells the story of a man who has been very unremarkable for most of his life but constantly daydreams about grand adventures. Eventually Walter is inspired to go on a wild adventure of his own which transforms his character and allows him to realize he is significant in the real world after all.
The movie is visually pleasing throughout with great scenery and vibrant colors and it’s set to an absolutely AMAZING soundtrack. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty features the best use of music of any movie I’ve seen in awhile. One of my favorites is “Dirty Paws”
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty tells an inspiring, feel-good tale that is certain to leave you with a warm heart. It also may very well inspire you to seek out your own adventures in life, no matter how large or small. In the end, just know that you have already done many amazing things and inspired many people whether you realize it or not.
Is it weird to continue to drink iced and frozen coffees in the middle of winter? Every time I’m at Starbucks I can never get anything other than a vanilla iced coffee, or a Frappuccino no matter how frigid it is outside. In the morning I don’t mind drinking a hot coffee at home, but in the afternoon I have to go with a chilled drink.
On a related note, does anyone have a Verismo coffee maker? We have a Hamilton Beach Keurig brewer but it’s pretty cheap and I really like the way the Verismo machines look. How do the drinks taste? I’m really thinking about picking one up once I get my tax refund as I think it’ll look a lot better on the counter and will last awhile longer.
Anywho, tonight we’re probably going to have a drink or two and play some Wii Bowling before watching either August Osage County or Her. I’ll be sure to post a few words about whichever we end up seeing.
Though not necessarily a New Year’s Resolution (I never bother to make any), over the last few weeks I’ve quit energy drinks…mostly. For years I’d drink at least one energy drink a day, seven days a week. Usually on weekends I’d have 2-3 a day. At $2-3 each (Rockstar Punched) that’s upwards of $15-20 a week, at least $80 a month and easily $700+ a year. The commissary often sells Rockstar’s for $1 which was nice, but even if I bought 400 in a year for a dollar that’s still $400.
In an effort to save money and cut a couple hundred calories (and mountains of sugar) a day I decided to give up the habit. I haven’t had a Rockstar in over two weeks! I did however have a couple of Mountain Dew Kickstart’s this weekend, but I consider them more of a soda than an energy drink.
I don’t think I’ll ever kick the caffeine habit, so I’ve been drinking coffee in the morning instead. It’s not as convenient because I have to take time to brew the coffee before I hop in the shower, and it doesn’t give as much as a kick as Rockstar, but it’s much easier on the wallet, and I imagine just a bit healthier. A $7 bag of Dunkin Donuts coffee has lasted two weeks so far and should stretch another week or so.
I’m hoping I can keep up the progress I’ve made. I’m sure I won’t quit energy drinks forever, but a bit of break will be nice.
Last night we watched Lone Survivor, the true story of how Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell became the lone survivor of an operation gone horribly wrong. The movie is action packed yet it also hits your emotions hard. The firefight scenes are intense and the firing doesn’t stop until the very end. The story is quite remarkable and I highly recommend it.
This week’s free PS3 game on Playstation Plus is Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. I haven’t played it yet, nor have I seen any gameplay from it, but I do know that it was talked about a lot as a game of the year contender for 2013 so I’m excited to give it a try when I have a chance.
Yesterday I picked up Gran Turismo 6 and played through the beginner series and first license test today. There are a few improvements over Gran Turismo 5, but not very many. First off the intro movie is just weird, and makes no sense. The piano music and even the second music piece feel out of place. Chalk that up to Japan just being weird I suppose.
The first thing that stands out like a sore thumb is the pathetically awful sound effects in Gran Turismo 6. The cars sound like vacuum cleaners and collisions sound like someone banging on a plastic drum. Downright awful sounds that distract from the racing experience.
The menu system is a bit cleaner than GT5’s, but it still has a long way to go. The computer desktop style just doesn’t cut it anymore. The in game music is another thing that distracts from the supposed ‘simulation’ racing experience. Sure you can turn it off, but then all you have to put up with is the godawful car sounds.
The fact that there are still license tests in this game is also puzzling. What point do they serve at this point? How many times do we have to do a brake test? I want to play a racing game to race, not to be faced with mandatory road blocks that slow progress in the game and can’t be skipped.
On the plus side GT6 does seem to load faster than GT5, but not by much. For example, when you finish one part of a license test you have to back out to the menu to get to the next sub step of the license test. WHY?
Overall GT6 is a slight improvement, but if you’ve ever played a Forza game you’ll notice the Gran Turismo series is miles and miles behind the competition. I can’t wait to get an Xbox One so I can go back to playing Forza.
How are you today? I’m sitting here enjoying a cup of coffee while reading the New York Times and listening to The Beatles. It’s a nice relaxing morning. I do, however, wish the sun would show itself in Boise. All week in Mountain Home it’s been sunny and warm (mid 40’s) yet this weekend in Boise it’s been overcast / foggy and cold. It’s due to the inversion I guess, which is unfortunate.
In this picture taken from Bogus Basin (the local ski mountain) you can see how the city of Boise sits below a depressing, everlasting cloud cover while the sun shines and the sky is blue above.
I’m glad to have today off, especially since we had to work on Saturday due to the squadron getting in trouble. I’m probably going to sit here and read for awhile longer and then I’ll probably get into some video games. I picked up Gran Turismo 6 last night and look forward to giving it a spin.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with an inspiring post our Command Chief made on Facebook this morning.