Starbucks Encounters

Starbucks Logo

Starbucks is an interesting place to observe people.

I’m sitting at a small table, waiting for the traffic to die down. I’m blogging, which is also kinda normal for me. But as I was blogging, I thought to myself there are all kinds of stories here. 

There are the usual students, and hipsters. The hipster kid in the beanie on his Macbook FaceTiming on the free WiFi, heedless of the impact he’s having on all the other patrons in the place. 

The disgruntled looks from the other students trying to do research who now have throughput that’s slower than 300 Baud ever was. (You whippersnappers, look it up.)

The annoyed patrons around the kid, as they’re being forcibly included in the kids’ conversation. 

Hipsters1

I’m immune to the throughput issues, because I’m using the hotspot on my phone. I’m at a small table with only one chair in a far corner of the room. The Kid notices me looking at him as he fairly shouts into his headset “I like having you play with my asshole!” 

Ahem, he forgot that the muffling effect of his earbuds meant he couldn’t hear himself and when you can’t hear yourself speak, you tend to yell.

There’s no embarrassment for his part, he’s looking at me with doe eyed innocence, either not realizing that the entire place now knows he likes having his ass played with or simply not caring.

WOW! 


Standing in line

Two people ahead of me. 

Starbucks line

First person has gotten to the counter but has still not decided what they want. Suddenly everything is in slow motion. I’m questioning if I actually need coffee. 

The person finally figures out what they want, and pay for their order.

The next person steps to the counter, “I don’t know what I want…” TIME STOPS! After slow tedious questions and descriptions by the counter person a beverage decision is made.

Only NOW does the lady start digging in her purse for her wallet and a method of payment.

While the lady in front is learning about the merits and growing conditions of Columbian coffee beans, (Which by the way she didn’t buy) Another lady is behind me.

And she’s stepping into my personal space, on my left, then on my right, then on my left, then on my right and she’s bumping me in the process.  All this un-necessary motion in close proximity activates my security instincts.

I turn to carefully look this woman over. I mean carefully, with intensity and precision. 

“What are you a perv,” she asks annoyed at the attention.

“No, I’m just making sure you don’t have a bomb vest on, since you’re obviously agitated, in a rush, and had NO PROBLEM trying to bum rush me out of your way. DO YOU WANT TO GO AHEAD OF ME?” I replied firmly.

Now “crazy lady” is looking at me like I’ve got two heads.  Hey, as far as I’m concerned her opening line about my being a perv was intended to be shocking. So I replied in kind and I think I trumped her

The lady at the counter is still getting her education about coffee beans. 

Crazy Starbucks Lady.

“I’m an American!”

“As am I, ma’m, however apparently I’ve got much better manners and understanding of “waiting in line” social etiquette, than you do.”

“I repeat, do you want to go ahead of me? Honestly, your invasion of my personal space and obvious impatience is putting me very much on edge.”

She blinked like I’d slapped her.

“Uh no.”

“As you wish.”

I turned back to the counter. The lady ahead of us having now completed her coffee bean education, digs into her purse for her wallet… Sigh.


Placing orders.

your order please

My turn: “Cafe Mocha, no whip.” I flash my Starbucks App barcode at the scanner and I’m on my way to the pickup station. Before I get to the pickup station, my phone vibrates telling me that the purchase receipt has arrived.

“Crazy Lady” is asking questions about the coffee drinks… Four minutes later, Cafe Mocha in hand, I’m heading out the door. The line too is out the door, “Crazy Lady” is only now digging in her purse for her wallet…  

There oughta be two lines. One for those of us who know what the hell we want, and another for those who don’t know what they want, and aren’t organized enough to have their method of payment ready.

I know you can place your order on-line, I’m just enough of a luddite I still like having the interaction. 

I’d like the lines…

If you get in the “I know what I want line,” and don’t have your order and payment ready, you get asked to step to the other line.

10 Seconds! That’s all you get, If you don’t have your cash out, or payment thing ready, your order is canceled and you’re asked to step to the back of the other line. 

Fitting punishment, I’d say.


Sitting at a table

Starbucks Table

When I sit at a Starbucks table, I like to hang out, out of the main flow of people.

I’m often working on a book or a blog, or coding something on a website. Generally, I can shut out the hustle and bustle around me as white noise and be in my own little world.

Sometimes though, my attention is drawn to the mini-dramas playing out in the rest of the place.

The crying child. The angry person on their phone. The older person having their first experience with Starbucks. The students, and hipsters grooving to their own beats. The gaudy dude in the tasteless suit wearing fake diamonds bigger than the Hope diamond in his ears, and the cheap flashy Rolex knock-off. (Dude, here’s a hint, we know it’s all fake because of your shoes and the POS beater car we saw you get out of.) The homeless guy outside on the patio trying to stay out of the wind and find a little shade drinking the left-overs, and getting a little charity from the occasional good soul.

Starbucks Crowd

It’s a cross section of humanity, and very often an interesting mélange of people. There’s a texture to the people at Starbucks, with some variations dependent on region, all Starbucks are the same.

The mélange of people is essentially the same, and when you’ve been in enough Starbucks you start to think you’re seeing even the same individuals in every store.

So much for originality or uniqueness! 


Relaxation

Crowd1

Sitting there doing my thing and tuning in and out of the mini dramas is strangely relaxing for me.

I’ve never run into anyone I actually knew at a Starbucks. Everyone in the place are strangers. I get to engage in judgement without guilt.

Starbucks mini dramas provide material for my writing. I think I’m relieved that I don’t actually have to live all of the drama to get a feel for what it’s about.

I think I’m relaxed because I’m reminded that my problems aren’t unique, and my focus is expanded beyond my immediate crisis. 

What’s that old saying?

Misery loves company…

When 3-ways go right they’re a lot of fun!

Hell.pngI’m sure I’m going to hell.

I’m equally sure that I’m going to be in good company!

Got involved in a little 3 way action recently and while we weren’t doing anything too wild and crazy, aside from being naked and aroused with each other, we all ended up satisfied.

naked6.jpgIt felt good to touch and be touched. It felt good to engage in simple play instead of pulling out implements that would make Torquemada and the Marquis de Sade, envious. I’d guess that the reasons for their envy would be different, In his pictures Torquemada looks like a man seriously in need of a blow job.

The Marquis on the other hand looks like a party animal.

In any case, this situation was particularly nice because of it’s spontaneity and simplicity.

oral-sex-221010-large_new.jpgJust sex, no expectations of love, romance, or anything beyond NSA (no strings attached) lets’ get naked and get off.

I’d bet if you asked men generally what they really want, they’d say simple NSA sex regularly would do them just fine. Regardless of if they were in a relationship or not.

They’d probably say that the occasional 3 way involving their spouse would be A-OK too.

To frame this in the context of Christmas, each new person I get to see naked and have fun with… Well, It’s like opening presents on Christmas Morning.

ChristmasCard2.pngFun, Exciting, and you’ll never know what you’re going to get.

I suggest opening as many presents as you can, and be a present to other folks too.

Now I’m off to go shopping

Forced into computer maint

Which is boring… ON the up side I can still use the system while it’s fixing one of the drives.

Which means that I can blog, and I can watch the crazy shit on YouTube.

Let me make a couple of things clear. 

I absolutely believe in the Drake Equation. More information about the Drake equation can be found here.

The short explanation is that a guy by the name of Frank Drake attempted to calculate the potential number of civilizations that might be in our galaxy.

The equation itself is 

NewImage

 

where:

N = the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which communication might be possible (i.e. which are on our current past light cone);

and

R* = the average rate of star formation per year in our galaxy
fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets
ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
f = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop life at some point
fi = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life
fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
L = the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space[5]

My belief in the math, doesn’t automatically mean that I think there are aliens around every corner. 

On the other hand I do think that certain anomalous structures on this planet and on our near neighbors deserve investigation.

I’m talking about real science. Not some preconceived beliefs where a scientist is trying to make the evidence fit what they want to believe. I’m talking about an objective dispassionate analysis of the quantifiable facts.

A couple of Earthbound examples would be the Sphinx and the pyramid complex at Giza.

No I’m not suggesting by default that these sites were built by Aliens. I’m suggesting that there is considerable evidence to suggest that the Sphinx is far older than the current accepted age. But that evidence and the theories surrounding it are being ignored or in some cases suppressed.

In the case of the pyramids I’ve just wondered why the Great pyramid is so light on the writing. I mean practically every monument from ancient Egypt is covered with drawings, art, and hieroglyphs why is the Great pyramid so … bare? Just one of those questions I’ve always been curious about.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to discover that the grandeur of Egypt actually went back further than the accepted timeline? Imagine discovering that civilizations in what is now known as Egypt went back 10, 15, or 20 thousand years. Talk about rewriting world history… The Sphinx enclosure seems to point that direction. 

We as human beings deserve to know if our history is richer than previously thought. If our ancestors moved from a hunter gatherer existence to an agricultural civilization earlier than previously imagined then those chapters of our history need to be told and explored.

None of which implies that Aliens were here then or are here now.

Our species is amazingly clever and resourceful. It’s a pity that all too often we choose to use our cleverness to kill each other over some of the stupidest things.

It’s not any more outlandish to say some of our ancestors advanced 5000 years earlier than we thought they did than it is to say Aliens showed up 4000 years ago and taught us farming and building techniques.

All that being said, I’d love to actually meet a benign Alien. I specify because the thought of meeting an Alien that was anything but benign is terrifying. I’m not entirely sure that I’m ready to be someones dinner.

I’d really like to see serious investigation into some of the strange pictures the alien conspiracy people use as their proof of civilizations on Mars or the Moon.

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I’m not talking about the guy who magnifies Nasa photos to the point that they begin to pixelate and then does a color shift to enhance & show “buildings”. Although his photo montages with the spooky music are good for a laugh.

Come on, I can take a picture of my dick, and magnify it to the point of pixelation, do a little color shifting and “prove” that aliens have a civilization on the head of my penis. Hummm probably not the best example…

That sounds more like a commercial for the latest product in body lice removal. (Note to the lice shampoo manufacturers, If you use this idea as a marketing campaign I’m going to want my cut.)

Don’t let invaders build a civilization in your nether regions. Get a bottle of alien kill and wash those itchy devils down the drain. Only 9.95 at your local drug store.

Caution: Alien kill may cause flushing, irritation, skin sloughing, uncontrollable erections, premature ejaculation, impotence, and tenderness in the breasts.”

NewImage

There are interesting anomalies in some of the Nasa photos that sure as heck look like regular structures. They could just as easily be lava tubes but I’d like to know.

The bottom line is that I’d like to believe we’ve been visited, I’d like to know for sure one way or the other.

I’m not so gullible as to watch these YouTube videos with anything but the utmost skepticism. 

NewImage

One video that really cracked me up today was where this guy is in all seriousness talking about a “UFO crash site” in Antarctica.

He sees four “Tanks” and a trench gouged in the snow by the “Crash”. 

I see four tents. 

He sees the gun barrels of the tanks.

I see the shadows cast by heater/stove vents sticking up through the top of the tents.

I see what looks like a camp.

This “proof” is from Google Earth for goodness sake.

Looking at the shadows, these are not four tanks, their shadows are different indicating to me that the structures casting those shadows have differing shapes which tanks don’t. It looks like the sun is kind of low on the horizon so the object at the top of the frame has something large and boxlike sticking up that’s casting a square shadow. 

NewImage

Whatever these are, they’ve been there long enough to have created snow drifts from the wind blowing. I doubt seriously that a military recovery of a crashed UFO would have taken that long.

The gouge and the mysterious pile at the end of it, look like a trench dug with a bulldozer. I’m thinking the trench and tents are some kind of research. Maybe some scientists wanted to look at snow / ice deposition with a wider view than is possible with Ice cores. Maybe they’re trying to get an idea of how fast meteor crater impacts would be covered over in Antarctica. It could be a poop trench for all we know.

But unlike the spooky music folks, I see nothing conspiratorial in this photo. 

I really have to ask this… Since Google is an American company. Don’t you think that the NSA, CIA, and FBI would have the ability to censor images?

If indeed there is a conspiracy do you think these organizations would leave a UFO crash available to be seen by the general public?

I kind of doubt it. 

The thing our government is good at, is cover-ups.

There are a couple of things that these YouTube UFO conspiracy videos prove. 

Humans are immensely imaginative. We see exactly what we want, need, or expect to see. Often what we see is in direct contradiction with reality.

When early man looked up into the void is it any wonder they saw powerful beings in the patterns of the sky and stars? Their brains were wired to see familiar patterns.

For all our sophistication and technology it’s amusing for me to discover that we’re not much different from our early superstitious ancestors.

The only thing that has changed is how we’re getting the patterns to look at.

Be cynical, question the “truth” of what you see and hear. It’s the only way to be sure you really know what you think you know.

I’m going back to the Nasa is lying to us thread on YouTube.

This shit cracks me up!

Last night, I lost another two hours practicing

Who knew you could lose yourself in practicing? When I tried Piano… I couldn’t sit still for more than 10 minutes and I like piano. I hated the teacher though… God she was an unpleasant person.

Last night, I just lost track of time while I was just working on simple stuff at the beginning of the primer.

I’m not even to the level of sucking yet, but I’m having a damn good time practicing the guitar. 

My finger tips hurt and I don’t mind. 

I’ve even been able to play 8 notes of Ode To Joy in a recognizable way. (Told you I wasn’t yet to the level of sucking) But damn! I’m enjoying myself.

If I’m enjoying myself half as much in a month I’m going to be a happy guy.

I’m still working the chords and when I’ve had enough of that I’m trying to pick out the notes of some of the more recognizable songs in the primer.

Yeah it’s not the “Traditional” way of learning music but each day the chords sound better and the notes ring clearer… Even if it sounds like I’m a 78 record being played at 33 1/3.

There are a whole bunch of young folks out there who are saying what??

For those of us that know what I’m talking about… You get the picture.

I’m not close enough to Geddy Lee or The Edge to even breathe a single molecule of the same air.

But someday before I die I’m hoping that I can play some music on my beauty that actually sounds like music.

Only time and practice will tell.

In the mean time… I’m having a good time and well the guitar doesn’t seem to mind.

I guess there’s some truth to you’re never too old to try something new.