Starbucks “You Are Here” No More

Starbucks You Are Here Mug Collection

My near complete personal collection of Starbucks “You Are Here” mugs. A few mugs were either accidentally left in storage or are at the office.

As a coffee mug collector (or hoarder), I took a liking to the Starbucks “You Are Here” series of mugs that the company has for just about every city and/or state. Collecting such mugs while traveling over the years had become a semi-integral part of those trips.

That is why I was disappointed when I learned that Starbucks is retiring the “You Are Here” series. In place will be a new series of city and/or state themed mugs entitled “Been There.”

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First Night in Columbus: The Waiting Game

Downtown Columbus, Ohio

This past weekend, I ventured to the state of Ohio for a guy’s road trip, with the primary reason being to take in a Blackhawks road game in Columbus. The original idea was to leave early on Friday, stop in Indianapolis for lunch, walk around that city a bit, and arrive in Columbus by late afternoon.

About a week before the trip, one of my buddies suggested we add Cleveland as a destination and see the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. While I wasn’t overly enthusiastic over the idea, there were two other people on this trip and if they wanted to do it, at least I’d get to see a new city and maybe experience something cool at the Hall of Fame.

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You Will Not Be Disappointed

Muller Car Dealership, You Will Not Be Disappointed

One of the side discussions my boss and I often partake in at work are dissecting examples of good business and bad business in the outside world.

An example of bad business we have discussed on a few occasions are the Muller car dealership radio commercials, which have various Honda, Acura and Subaru dealerships throughout Chicagoland.

The signature ending for their commercials is recited by the owner Mike Muller, who says “you will not be disappointed.” To my boss’s point, “you will not be disappointed” is an awful way to end a sales pitch. So while a customer may not be disappointed, what kind of positive emotion might that person feel after doing business there? There is nothing inspiring about “you will not be disappointed.”

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GoDaddy Hell: Protected Registration


GoDaddy is well known for their edgy commercials. In the last ten years, they’ve created a brand that portrays a company that is cool and customer friendly. It’s no wonder that when any individual, especially a small business owner, is thinking about starting a website for the first time, he or she is most likely going to think of GoDaddy.

Among many web designers and developers, myself included, GoDaddy is a malicious company that intentionally deceives and confuses their customers.

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Blackhawks President John McDonough Discusses Business Philosophy and Workplace Environment

John McDonough, Blackhawks President

When John McDonough was hired to be the new president of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2007, I had never heard of him. All of a sudden, there was a tremendous amount of hype for this individual that many in the Chicago media crowned as a marketing genius due to his 24 yeas of work with the Chicago Cubs. Since then, while I had obviously been aware of who he is and that of his reputation, I never had the opportunity to learn more about him.

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Instant Cynicism Test

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

For job recruiters, this might turn out to be a valuable test for detecting cynical attitudes from potential hires. Simply ask each person what he or she thinks of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Since the Ice Bucket Challenge trend has gone viral within the last week, there’s been no shortage of those opining against the very act. These individuals believe we should just donate to such worthy causes without having to pour ice water over ourselves and share it online for all the world to see. Their common argument is that many of those participating will either follow-through with either a small donation or nothing at all. In addition, the stunt itself is simply driven by ego and narcissism.

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Observations on the NBA’s Christmas Jerseys

Christmas 2013 Bulls NBA Jersey

Photo courtesy of

The uniforms worn by NBA teams playing on Christmas Day this year have unofficially been unveiled. According to the Uni Watch, this style uniform will also be used for this season’s NBA All-Star Game.

They resemble what a poor knockoff NBA style practice uniform might look like or what a team might wear at the junior college level (no offense to junior college basketball players or to anyone who makes knockoff NBA merchandise).

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Office Max, Office Depot Merger: One Less Source of Confusion

Office Depot and Office Max Logos

With news that Office Max is merging with Office Depot, I can only selfishly hope that means the end for one of the two brands.

I could never tell the two businesses apart. I can think of several locations where either an Office Max or an Office Depot exists, but I couldn’t tell you which store is which to save my life. I previously wrote about my annoyance concerning this in November, 2009.

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Goodbye Dominick’s

Dominick's Store - Frankfort, IL

Dominick’s Store in Frankfort, IL

When news hit on Thursday last week that Dominick’s parent company Safeway had announced its intention to exit the Chicago market in early 2014, my phone went crazy. Everyone was eager to share the news with me.

In one sense, I was stunned. Not because it finally happened, but just because I had expected something like this to happen for so long that once it finally did, you can’t help feel a wave of emotions.

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