March 30, 2006

DoubleShot Coffee in standoff with Starbucks over name DoubleShot

Usually I am very pro-business. I believe business is the lifeblood of the American Economy. Our ability to open a business is the cornerstone of American success. That we can use our own money, sweat and hard work to get ahead is what makes capitalism work. Wal~Mart started as a small mom and pop; Kmart and Starbucks did too.

But when these companies grow and start to use their strength to crush competition and threaten the very institution of small business that drives this country then something has to be done.

Stores like Wal~Mart threaten small business through their ultra low prices and selection, but Starbucks is a great example of a true corporate bully. The way many people view Starbucks as a bully is through it's use of litigation or threat of litigation against its competition.

Some recent examples are quite shocking. You probably heard of some of them. Recently they shut down an independent company named after it's owner, Sam Buck, causing her to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to Starbucks. She is also required to change the name of her small shop.

They also attempted to stop a brewer from selling a beer called Star Bock. For those of you who don't know, Bock is a type of strong lager.

Another recent suit involved a small roaster who had a very dark roast called Charbucks.

We also can't forget the artist who parodied the Starbucks siren or the small sandwich shop in a remote section of Canada.

And my favorite annoying stupid lawsuit, threatening legal action for linking to their website

Fortunately for Star Bock, HaidaBucks, and Charbucks, Starbucks did not win. But that did not stop them from incurring legal fees that nearly bankrupted them.

A small privately owned company with half a dozen employees does not have the money that a company like Starbucks has at its disposal for legal and court costs. Sometimes just the threat of a lawsuit can wield results.

The most recent target of the ire of Starbucks is a small independent coffee shop and roaster of ultra-premium coffees located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. DoubleShot Coffee Company recently received a letter asking them to change the name of their store. It turns out the name DoubleShot Coffee company is close to the name of a Starbucks product. Starbucks Doubleshot is an espresso and milk drink served in cans and sold at convenience stores and supermarkets. The similarities end there.

Starbucks Doubleshot is a mass produced coffee-drink sold in stores nationwide, and DoubleShot Coffee company is an independent roaster of beans selling whole bean coffee and operating a small coffee shop in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. Starbucks contends that you will mistake the two. Judging from recent suits against Sam Buck's and Charbucks, I say they just don't want small independent coffee shops anywhere in the country.

Brian Franklin, owner of DoubleShot Coffee Company, explains the name of his store comes from the term "doubleshot" a common way to order espresso, something his coffee shop is especially known for in and around Tulsa.

"It's a common thing you'd find in any coffee shop," Franklin explains, "it would be like Starbucks suing over the name 'coffee' in our name. It's ridiculous.".

But regardless of whether it's reported or not, the ends that Starbucks goes to pick on and attempt to put these small coffee shops out of business speaks volumes for the attitude Starbucks has regarding their competition. Rather than compete on a relatively level playing field by innovating and offering better products, they silence competition by threatening to sue.

Starbucks worldview is that there should be a Starbucks in every town in America, which is all well and good. They have done great things and have raised awareness about coffee. Something that has lead to more informed consumers wanting quality products. But these advances come at the expense of small businesses like DoubleShot Coffee Company.

As John Stossel frequently says during his many personal appearances, "Lawsuits are so destructive that we treat them like missiles, force is government in litigation. We need some, but force wrecks lives.", That force of litigation also hurts competition. Because when litigation causes a store to close or someone who may have a fabulous idea on how to improve a product to rethink opening a store, we all lose.

The only one who wins is the corporate bully.

DoubleShot Coffee

Starbucks Doubleshot

Posted by tbux at 07:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Starbucks sues small independant coffee roaster...again.

My favorite small batch roaster, DoubleShot Coffee Company, is being sued by Starbucks because their DoubleShot coffee company name is close to that chocolate milk in a can Starbucks sells under the name Doubleshot.

This is bad. Brian Franklin who owns Doubleshot runs a good business and is just a small Tulsa, OK. business and cannot afford this litigation. I've read stories of Starbucks going after the little guy and closing them down. Now it is hitting home. A product I care about is being attacked. Please pass the word along to everyone in your coffee corners about this.

It just happened in the last day or so, and there is no press on it yet.

If I lose my fresh roasted Doubleshot coffee, I'll be really fucking pissed.

Posted by tbux at 06:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Jack Radio is FM newest format

I mentioned earlier that a cool classic rock station, Channel 97 in Pittsburgh, changed formats to Bob. This change is a growing trend in what is called "Jack FM"

Chances are if you haven't heard of him, you soon will. Radio's answer to ubiquitous MP3 players — the so-called "Jack" format — has hit the waves with a frenetic speed. Heavy on hits of the '70s and '80s, and minus the typical DJ chatter, the new "adult hits" stations are taking on standard formats like Top 40 — and they're making strides.

"Oldies for younger people" is how the genre was described by Scott McKenzie, editor in chief and managing director of Billboard Radio Monitor. He noted that although the stations promote not having a format, they really are heavily programmed. However, they use much larger playlists — up to 1,200 songs compared to the usual couple hundred — which translates to the "playing what we want" feel that they promote.

Though the idea sounds good, I can only take so much of the shuffle. To hear a song like "At the Hop" right up next to "Dancing Queen" does not appeal to me, and I can only stand so much of the constant variation, though shows like Cousin Brucie's where he plays really deep hits works because of him and his instant feedback he gets from his listeners.

In the end I think that the trick is having speciality stations that play more than 2 or 300 hundred songs. If I want to listen to oldies, I listen to oldies, or whatever. That is why I never listen to terrestrial radio anymore, and Sirius is my medium of choice.

Posted by tbux at 12:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 29, 2006

New Camera Pics

I told you earlier about my new camera. Well, I finally got the first batch of photos developed. I scanned them, and here are some examples. They are pretty good, and I've attached a few of my favorites. They are thumbs, so click on them for full sized goodness.

Here is one of Toby

Here is one of me

Posted by tbux at 11:40 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 27, 2006

Spider and Sex

A few months ago I dusted off my old video cassettes I made of From the Earth to the Moon. I believe it was on HBO new around 96 or 97. My favorite episode is "Spider" where they go about building the Lunar Module or "Lem" as they called it in the show. It's also Sarah's fav.

One thing sruck me. It was funny to see ads for this new show, "Sex in the City"? Hmm, I wonder how that did.

Posted by tbux at 05:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 25, 2006

Channel 97 Pittsburgh is now BOB 96.9

When traveling to Pittsburgh to visit in-laws I always enjoyed listening to 96.9 WRRK "Channel 97". One of the best classic rock stations I ever heard. I was dismayed though to find today that "Channel 97" is not BOB FM. I heard it, it is perhaps the biggest pansy suck ass music station I've ever heard.

I know what is going to happen. In about 6 months to a year they will undergo another format change and become crappy smooth jazz or something. Not that I hate smooth hits or jazz, but when a rockin station becomes crappy it's like seeing your favorite movie star or football player become an overweight has been.

Sad indeed.

Long live Satellite Radio and SIRIUS!!

Posted by tbux at 10:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I say shoot illegal immigrants, but then again I'm an evil conservative

I don't know why many in America think it's okay to break some laws, but not others. Take immigration for an example. I'm for immigration. Legal immigration. My family emigrated to America from Germany and Lithuania. They did it legally. But nowadays the cool way for many to get to America is to cross illegally. And some people don't appreciate that we are cracking down on this crime.

In Phoenix, police said 10,000 demonstrators marched to the office of Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, co-sponsor of a bill that would give illegal immigrants up to five years to leave the country. The turnout clogged a major thoroughfare.

"They're here for the American Dream," said Malissa Greer, 29, who joined a crowd estimated by police to be at least 10,000 strong. "God created all of us. He's not a God of the United States, he's a God of the world."

Kyl had no immediate comment on the rally.

At least 500 students at Huntington Park High School near Los Angeles walked out of classes in the morning. Hundreds of the students, some carrying Mexican flags, walked down the middle of Los Angeles streets, police cruisers behind them.

I'm going to start a demonstration to protest DUI laws. These people are only trying to have fun. It says in the constitution that we have the right to pursue happiness. If drinking makes me happy, why should they crack down on me driving home.

How about we protest going after child molestors. They are just trying to be happy with their little boys and girls.

Plain and simple, the people who cross our borders are doing so illegally. If they want to come to this country they should do it legally. We should make it easier to come to this country. Right now they break the law because the legal way is so convoluted and filled with red tape. If we made legal immigration easier, people would not be crossing in this way. Though that doesn't excuse this blatent disregard for our national soverignty.

Posted by tbux at 09:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 23, 2006

Just Shoot Me

We decided to get a new camera. I like digital, but I've lost a lot of pictures due to the slow speed in which my Sony Cybershot decides to actually take the picture. Plus I've lost pictures when I had a hard drive error, and printing pictures uses a whole ink cartridge.

So back to 35mm. We can have prints, and get them on a CD when we get them developed.

The 35mm cameras are pretty cheap nowadays. You can get a great one for half the price of what they were 5 years go.

So I stopped in an actual camera store. Haven't seen one of them in a while. And after talking to the friendly store owner, I decided on the Canon EOS T2 SLR.


No I just have to figure out all the cool features like apature, exposure and all that.

Posted by tbux at 05:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Religion of Peace my ass

I am sick of the religion of peace. Islam is a bastard fuckwhit of a religion.

Need proof?

How about the man in Afghanistan who converted from Islam to Christianity, and is now facing the death penalty.

Muslim clerics are calling for the man to be executed.

"Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," said cleric Abdul Raoulf, who is considered a moderate and was jailed three times for opposing the Taliban before the hardline regime was ousted in 2001.

Rahman, a 41-year old former medical aid worker, faces the death penalty under Afghanistan's Islamic laws for becoming a Christian. His trial, which began last week, has caused an international outcry. U.S. President George W. Bush has said he is "deeply troubled" by the case and expects the country to "honor the universal principle of freedom."

If they find this man guilty, and do indeed put him to death, I say we pull all our troops out of there. We should hand Afghanistan back over to the savages who rape women and kill children. Afterall, they like death so much, at least in the eyes of the "moderate" clerics who want this man dead.

Posted by tbux at 03:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Best things in life are free

Via CNET. Here are some amazingly powerful and FREE applications.

Too bad I own a mac, but my business laptop will utilize these products wonderfully. I especially appreciate the free anti-virus software.

Posted by tbux at 02:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Double Standard

So Debra Lafave will not got to jail. Apparently, she is a victim. She, as a 25 year old teacher, had sex with a 14 year old boy. Taking into accounty the unbelievable luck of the 14 year old boy to make it with teacher, it is still against the law. If a 25 year old man had sex with a 14 year old girl, you know he would practically be chemically castrated.

Posted by tbux at 11:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 21, 2006

Tom Cruise Watch

Will Tom Cruise's crazy actions (jumping on a couch, fighting with Matt Lauer) cause people to shun his upcoming Mission Impossible 3 movie, Foxnews asks

That’s what Cruise has to count on now: that the typical moviegoer has ignored every public encounter with Cruise in the last year, and that they really just want to see his new installment of "Mission Impossible."

I think Tom Cruise is creepy. I think Scientology is creepier. But whatever floats your boat, I don't care if he believes in Scientology. It probably will not influence me to see or not see a movie. It's like politics. Generally I can tune out people's politics when it comes to movies. It's only when their politics get to the level of becoming insulting to my beliefs that I draw the lines.

What Tom Cruise has done has not really risen to that level...yet.

Posted by tbux at 11:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 19, 2006

In Memoriam

Baxter the Goat

God speed Baxter

Posted by tbux at 10:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 14, 2006

Mile High

I'm in Denver right now. I'm mildly suffering from Acute Mountain Disorder or whatever it is called when you can't breath as well as you did at sea level.

Two things I've noticed about Denver. 1st, there are a lot of revolving doors on buildings here.

2nd. There are quite a few homeless, unlike Philadelphia homeless who look scruff and, well homeles, these look like laid-off ski instructors.

Posted by tbux at 10:50 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 10, 2006

Sirius drops Laura Ingraham and Tammy Bruce

I love satellite radio in general, but I am getting thoroughy disgusted with Sirius. Generally I like my Sirius service, but changes coming on the 14th of this month have got me really upset.

They are bringing back Foxnews and Foxnews Talk. Good. They are adding Cosmo radio, Playboy (which did horrible during its stint at XM) and Blue Collar (yuck).

They already have two comedy channels that play mostly all standup, now they are adding a channel to play non stop skits centered around some uneducated redneck saying "Get R. Done" and boring overheard "You might be a redneck" jokes.

But what adds insult to injury is that they are adding this crap at the epense of hugely popular talkers Laura Ingraham, and Tammy Bruce.

That leaves a huge hole in their 9am-3pm time slots.

I'm sure once I get into the swing of things, I'll be fine, but as soon as I get used to the new lineup, BOOM, they'll change it again.

What fucknuts.

Posted by tbux at 11:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 09, 2006

Hurry up and wait

So I had Jury duty the other day. I wasn't picked, but did get a good view of what it is like to be a prosepective Juror. Generaly, I found two things.

1. No one wants Jury duty

2. You have to learn to wait a whole lot.

After sitting in the main courtroom, we watced an up-with-people produced video all about being a juror, complete with a cross section of Americana; a farmer, a latino mother, a chinese dental hygenist, and a black businessman, all touting how much they loved jury duty.

Then they divided us into groups of 40 to go in for Voir Dire, or french for waiting and being asked questions by lawyers.

It turned out I new the plaintiff of the case I was a pool juror for, and was immediately disqualified.

Then we waited, hungry, thirsty, and bored in a room where we got to watch court attendants eat their lunches.

About one, we were sent home.

Posted by tbux at 11:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 07, 2006

Jury Duty

I've been off on Jury Duty, and haven't had the mental power to blog. Will blog more later.

Posted by tbux at 08:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 02, 2006

Subliman KFC Ad

In case you haven't heard, KFC is giving away free Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches to those who can find the hidden message in their Latest Ad

ABC doesn't like it, they think it's too subliminal.

But one thing I noticed; That black guy in that KFC ad is the same guy in the Direct TV ad that promotes their DVR service. The one where his son wants him to read him a story, and freezes the game. That DVR service is same type of DVR service that you can use to pause live TV to see this commercial.

Weird huh?

Posted by tbux at 04:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack