Inauguration and Chantico

I missed the Inauguration festivities today, although I really enjoyed having the day off.  Tomorrow is Friday, so it feels almost as if I have a 4-day weekend (five hours of Korean class notwithstanding).  I could have gone to the inauguration and would have liked to because I’ve never had the opportunity to do so.  It doesn’t matter so much to me who’s being inaugurated, at least when it comes to attending the ceremony–I would have gone regardless of whether President Bush or Senator Kerry had won the Election.  In either case I would still have enjoyed the pomp and circumstance of the occasion, not to mention the beautiful winter scenery surrounding the ceremony.  The Inauguration Parade would have been fun to see.  If I had had an extra $300 I could have bought a couple $150 Inauguration Ball tickets for my wife and me.  Alas, I stayed home with my family.  I would have been ill-advised to drag my young son out into the cold to see something that he would not have enjoyed anyway.  I also did not want to leave my wife to take care of him without me, because I already do that while I work full time.  Perhaps when he’s older and another president is inaugurated I can take in the festivities. 

Today we all headed to Barnes & Noble and Starbucks.  Mommy and baby checked out the kid’s reading area with the wooden train track, and daddy headed over to Starbucks to settle in with a Korean workbook and a Frappuccino.  I absolutely love Starbucks.  It always reminds me of Seattle, my old home.  It’s a Seattle experience I can enjoy around the world, even in Seoul.  I like Starbucks so much that I designed their first web page (I write tongue-in-cheek).  Back in the mid-1990’s I built my first web site and put together a list of popular Seattle companies.  Starbucks was much smaller back then.  I looked for Starbucks’ web site and could not find one, so I built a page of my own with the title, "Here’s why Starbucks needs a Web site."  I added a counter to count the number of page hits.  I think the page generated a few thousand hits while it was still online (I removed it a long time ago).  I never reported the results to Starbucks, but I’m glad they took me up on my advice in a big way.  I digress.  Today I went to Starbucks today and studied Korean.  I noticed a new drink called "Chantico," a "drinking chocolate."  I had to laugh.  Of course it’s glorified hot chocolate.  But if you brand it, give it a fancy name, package it as gourmet, and convince people to pay a premium, you can make a lot of money.  Starbucks is famous for turning commodity products into "affordable luxury."  If they could do it with coffee, why not hot chocolate?  A brilliant idea.  I might just have to try one.

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