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Law and the Starbucks Diet

This is my official diet request. Isn’t there someone out there who can develop the ice cream diet and have it approved by nutritionists everywhere. I would like it to include the soft cone ice cream from Dairy Queen. Having the cone dipped in chocolate would be helpful. OK, maybe even a peanut butter topping.

I am getting carried away here because a librarian from George Mason law school has come close to this plan. CNN reports that Christine Hall has lost over 80 pounds after she started almost exclusively eating at Starbucks about two years ago.

Hall says that she is eating a healthy variety of foods and has become so familiar with their menu that she knows the calories in everything that she orders. She initially became concerned about her weight after being rejected as a possible kidney donor. She eventually lost enough weight to allow her to be part of a 32-person kidney swap (video here) that was performed in November 2010.

She reports that she typically ate oatmeal and coffee for breakfast; a bistro box with fruit and cheese for lunch; and a Panini for dinner. This 66-year-old now weighs 114 pounds. She’s not afraid to discuss her age or her weight!

I’m not sure if we will start to see Subway’s Jared switch diet teams. I’m guessing that there’s no hope for my ice cream diet. How about the all mashed and baked potato diet. Now we are talking!

For pic o’ day, I went with a dog who must be on the Starbucks plan too:

Ole Fashioned E-lectricity

Because of the storm in Richmond yesterday, we had to close our Richmond office. Virginia Beach and South Carolina offices probably had mixed emotions. Nice to close, but thankful that they had power. It’s the first time that I remember closing “because of rain”. It also slowed down the blog this morning.

As a kid, I used to be excited to know that I was going to a Tidewater Tides baseball game. One time, it was raining; but it was still early in the morning. I called the ballpark and the receptionist said that the game had been canceled.

I know that it was canceled because of rain, but a twelve-year-old who is excited about going to the game cannot  accept that. I called a few more times until I got the Assistant General Manager on the phone. I think his name was Pat Mooney.

“Come on Pat, why have you canceled the game”, I said. I could tell that he didn’t feel like dealing with a kid. “Grounds too dry”. I still laugh at that one.

Yesterday, the ground was definitely not too dry. But, this morning, I saw business success in action.

I like coffee in the morning… I need coffee in the morning!  So, I headed off to find a coffee place. I had to travel a few miles because, just like my house, there was no electricity. Finally, I saw a stop light that was lit up. It was unusual to feel some excitement in seeing a red light.

I could see cars in front of the stores. Side by side stands an Einstein Bagels and a Starbucks. I am one of those “anything but Starbucks”.

When I got up close, I quickly saw that Einstein’s was closed. But, there was Starbucks doing a booming business. Had to give Starbucks credit. A good reminder on how to beat the competition. Someone at Einstein’s had decided early that they were not going to open, because of the lack of power. Sometime during the night… good ole fashioned e-lectricity.

Last night without even a fan, it felt like camping. Well, except for the 500 thread count sheets.  I was like pic o’ day, I finally just collapsed:

Charbucks or Starbucks

What is the importance of a name. The Bible tells us that "a good name is above riches". The University of Harvard has their own name story.  It involves the Statue of Three Lies. (Boston Online) That's because Harvard is supposedly named after its founder.

If you go to the front of the University Hall building at Harvard, you will find a statue with the following inscription, beneath the statue: "John Harvard, Founder, 1638".   It is called the Statue of Three Lies for the following reasons:  John Harvard was not the founder of Harvard. Initially it was founded as a college in 1636 by the Massachusetts Bay Colony and called New College. Because the college was apparently hitting some financial need, John Harvard became a benefactor, by donating half his estate and his entire collection of books. Because the donation was large enough to provide the school with financial solvency, it was renamed after Harvard.

When it came time to do a statue of John Harvard, there were no pictures or images of him. so the sculptor, Daniel Chester French, chose a student, to be the model for the statue and dressed him in 17th century garb. One detail was included though. The statue of John Harvard has skinny legs to reflect that Harvard died very thin, after suffering the effects of Tuberculosis. Ironically, This statute now stands in front of a University whose motto is "Veritas", which means "Truth".  

While no one is quibbling over New College being named Harvard, there is an ongoing wrestling match over coffee names. Starbucks had filed suit against a family-owned New Hampshire coffee roaster, to make them stop selling a blend of coffee called Charbucks. Originally, the Federal District Court ruled in favor of the family owned business. Starbucks appealed.

Now, the Federal Appeals Court has revived the suit to allow Starbucks an opportunity to prove that Charbucks is diluting its brand. According to the decision, (Bloomberg story) "the District Court erred to the extent that it focused on the absence of 'substantial similarity' between the Charbucks marks and the Starbucks marks to dispose of Starbucks' dilution claim".

According to Starbucks, Charbucks chose its name to highlight the "charred" nature of its coffee and to associate itself with Starbucks. Charbucks asserts that it has been doing business on the internet for years, as Mr Charbucks, and that Starbucks has not been able to prove any impact on the Starbucks name. 

To me, it all means just a lot of bucks that is being spent. From a stock standpoint, Starbucks is up for the year, so maybe Mr Charbucks really shouldn't be their worry. I'm just glad that they didn't make a statue and put it out front with the name of "Founder: Mr Starbucks". It does sound good to have a cup of Charbucks about now. Wait, don't tell anyone that I said that.

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