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  • Michael Krakovskiy 1:55 am on January 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Great Leader, Howard Behar, Kim Il-sung, Little Red Book, Mao's "Little Red, Moscow university, , ,   

    What It’s All About? 

    I recently picked up “It’s Not About the Coffee: Leadership Principles from a Life at Starbucks”.

    As you might know, I am a bit of coffee coin-a-sewer, owning a $2000 espresso machine and such. You might also remember the only popular blog post I’ve ever written – the one about the Starbucks logo. I was always very interested in everything Starbucks. The reason? Well, I really could not understand how a company with coffee that is so bad could be so popular.  I mean, have you tasted the stuff?

    “It’s Not About the Coffee” – wow, I thought, this should clear some things up. Because, I for sure know that it’s not about the coffee. I’ve had good coffee. It just can’t be about the coffee. 

    The first sentence of the book (int the A Note to Readers) reads: “Although this book is titled It’s Not About the Coffee,  of course it is about the coffee–it’s about the people and the coffee.” Leadership lesson number one: start out with a lie, then weasel out. 

    Cloying, sacchariney  corporate doublespeak only got worse on the following several pages, I am not even sure I can get through the book at all.  There might be some interesting Starbucks anecdotes further down, so I’ll keep trying. Meanwhile I get a weird feeling about Howard Behar – the same I used to get about Soviet Politburo members: I could not understand if they believed themselves in the ideals that they extolled. 

    Ok, I read a couple of more pages, and was instantly rewarded by learning this interesting, although disturbing fact: besides the coffee passport, which I knew about, there’s a piece of corporate propaganda known as the “Green Apron Book.”  Almost like Chairman Mao’s “Little Red Book”. Neat.

    All of this reminded me a story that I’ve read somewhere about a North Korean student at a Moscow university that used to carry around with him a little portrait of the Great Leader, Kim Il-sung. He would meditate, looking at the picture for hours, and even used it instead of a mirror while shaving. When asked – how could he shave without a mirror, he said – this is better than a mirror.

    I guess, if you can make people shave in front of a portrait, you can make them believe that Starbucks coffee is tasty. There are ways…

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 11:13 pm on June 2, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cryptozoology, , , , , Loch Ness, Loch Ness Monster, Monster, , Pseudoscience, , Scottish folklore, Sea monster, , The Loch   

    Latte Art Nessie 

    Slowly, but steadily I continue getting better at latter art. Still, about half of my pours come out as abstract blobs of crema and milk foam. Sometimes they are unintentionally less abstract, as in this case:

    There’s only one explanation for this:

    News Item:

    EDINBURGH, Scotland — The Loch Ness monster is back — and there’s video. A man has captured what Nessie watchers say is possible footage of the supposed mythical creature beneath Scotland’s most mysterious lake.

    Nessie is one of the famous sea monsters, but it looks like if you dig a bit, almost every body of water has its own monster. For instance, recently I learned that Black Sea upon which shores I grew up, is supposed to have its own Nessie – the so-called Karadag monster, sightings of which are reported since pre-WWII period. Karadag is a nature reserve of amazing beauty.

    Even Lake Bill, an artificial pond upon which shores Microsofties like to drink beer, has its own monster sightings. I’ve heard rumors that Steve Ballmer took a swim in it after losing a bet.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 6:24 pm on October 11, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Brian Welch, , , , , ,   

    Latte Art 

    Slowly, but steadily I am getting a little better at latte art. Once I’ll figure it out completely, I’ll make a couple of videos and write a how-to article. Meanwhile, head over to youtube and look at some of the videos that they have of rosetta pours. Neat, eh?

     
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