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Coffee house charges me large but serves me medium

Yhe medium-size mug my large lattes have been served in for years beside a large paper cup showing the coffee i've been losing.

The medium-size mug my large lattes have been served in for years beside a large paper cup showing the coffee I’ve been losing.

Here’s a fun fact that I’ve discovered about enjoying specialty coffees in my “favourite” coffee house in Vancouver—having my coffee served in a mug, rather than in a disposable paper cup not only reduces the waste that I produce but it can also significantly reduce the amount of coffee that I get to enjoy.

Hopefully this doesn’t happen your favourite coffee house but you should still be aware that it can happen.

At the Waves Coffee House that I frequent on West Broadway Avenue and Spruce Street, it turns out that—perhaps for years—when I’ve gotten my large coffee in a branded “Waves” ceramic mug, I’ve often been getting nearly a quarter-less coffee than if I had asked for it in a paper takeaway cup.

This became apparent when I ordered a second large latte and received it in a paper takeaway cup. I was surprised to find that I couldn’t pour the entire paper cup’s-worth of latte into the empty mug which the first large latte came in. When the mug was full to the rim there was still something like an inch-worth of latte in the paper cup.

Right off the bat, I couldn’t say if it was a case of the large paper cup holding too much or the ceramic mug holding too little. All I knew was there seemed to be a discrepancy between the two of nearly 4 oz (118 ml) in favour of the paper cup.

As the listed volume of a Waves large coffee is 16 oz (473 ml) and a medium is 12 oz (118 ml), or 4 oz less, I had to wonder if perhaps my large lattes were being poured in medium-size mugs.

And guess what?

After poking around the counter and looking closely at the fresh mugs atop the espresso machine I could see that there were many of the size that I had received, mixed arbitrarily together with a few larger ones.

When I brought this fact to the attention of the owner, she listened, paused and then readily acknowledged that I had been given the wrong mug size. She then made a show of telling the two baristas on shift that there were both medium and large mugs—a fact they had to learn sooner or later, right?

And she offered me a free drip coffee!

Hopefully this lackadaisical approach to portion control is unique to this particular Wave location, which, I should say is not what it once was.

Right into 2014 this Waves enjoyed a stable workforce of cheerful and super-capable staff. Since then, however, franchisees have changed at least once and there is now a steady turnover of staff.

I want to be loyal to this businesses, which I’ve frequented since it first opened over a decade ago but I may have reached my limit.

Knowing that this Waves has been—potentially, at least—short-serving me for years, is very disappointing. And the fact that it appears to be up to me to be on my guard against it happening in the future is more than  ridiculous! It reminds me that there are other coffee houses (every couple of blocks) to choose from in Fairview.

Anyway, I can’t say that this mistake is being made in any other coffee houses and I hope that it isn’t. It would be quite easy to avoid actually. All that’s required is to keep the clean mugs clearly separated by size, something that the Waves at Broadway and Spruce doesn’t appear to be doing. Click the images to enlarge them.

. Click the image to enlarge.

Michigan man faces 5 years in prison for bottle deposit scam


A resident of the U.S. state of Michigan is facing a possible five-year prison sentence for allegedly attempting to…um…defraud his state’s bottle deposit system.

According to reports, one Brian Edward Everidge stands accused of attempting to return more than 10,000 bottles from states other than Michigan. On June 14, the 44-year-old resident of Columbiaville, Michigan, pleaded not guilty in the 53rd District Court of Michigan to one count of beverage return of non-refundable bottles, which carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.

The scheme came to light after Everidge was pulled over for speeding by a Michigan State police officer on April 27 in Livingston County, located about 64 kilometres from Detroit, Michigan. The officer noticed a very large number of returnable beverage containers inside of Everidge’s rented Budget truck and Everidge admitted to the officer that they were all from out-of-state.

A report in the Guardian says that Everidge admitted to the officer that the containers (which the truck was full to bursting with) were from the state of Kentucky but he wouldn’t say where he planned to return them.

After an investigation by the Michigan State Police, Everidge was charged under Section 445.574a of the Michigan Beverage Containers Law, which makes it a felony to knowingly return 10,000 or more nonreturnable containers that were not purchased in Michigan—an offence punishable by a prison term of up to 5 years or a fine of up to USD$5,000, or both.
Read more…

What a “crate” idea for bike rack cargo box


Something borrowed, something green, something modded, something keen.

Wednesday evening (July 20) I was happy to see the particularly clever way that a cyclist re-purposed a green plastic milk crate to serve as a cargo box atop the rack over her bicycle’s back wheel.

I was even happier when she enthusiastically allowed me to photograph her handiwork (“I guess so”, was how she put it), in order that her example might inspire the whole world.

You see, this woman didn’t just tie a purloined plastic milk crate onto her bike rack, as millions of scofflaws have done over the years and will continue to do, so long as there is a supply of milk crates to meet the demand for free, light-weight, industrial-strength, storage add-ons for bicycles.

No, this woman nicked a milk crate and then innovated it, which is to say that she took the thing and then made it 100 percent her own—kind of like Apple has been known to do! Read more…

Minor archaeological find at the Santa Fe development


It appears that someone involved with building the new Santa Fe apartment tower at 2975 Oak Street, on the northwest corner of the intersection with 14th Avenue, dug up four old glass bottles. And they “dug them” (as the kids used to say) enough to keep them and put them on display for everyone else to see—construction workers and looky-loos alike.

Three of the bottles are un-coloured glass of the same size and shape and one is larger and made of green glass.

At least since July 22, the four bottles, specked with dirt and dried mud, have been grouped together on a low concrete wall, just a few feet in from the steel construction fencing along the Oak Street side of the construction site.

One of the three identically-shaped glass bottles still has its black screw top cap and another has enough of a paper label to identify it as an old Finlandia Vodka bottle. Read more…

Hey! This is your wallet. Let’s talk about your garbage


The following letter-size notice was found duct-taped to the inside wall of an alleyway cedar dumpster gazebo in the Fairview neighbourhood:


Please be mindful of what you throw in the thrash (sic).

We understand that after a hard day of work it is difficult to decipher between cardboard and regular garbage.

But if we keep putting cardboard in the regular trash bin our strata will be fined. No one likes being fined.

Also, please do not throw plastic bags OR K-cups into the compost bin. Most plastic bags are not composed of organic material, even the compostable bags are not allowed, and if this is seen by the pick up crew they will not take our waste. This equates to unhappy neighbours, large amount of fruit flies and you guessed it…a potential fine.

So, let’s keep our operating fund healthy by putting our waste in the appropriate bins.

If you have any questions on this topic and how to separate your waste, please feel free to ask any of the strata members and they will gladly help you.

Pokémon GO—a stealth issue in the U.S. presidential race


Fire-tailed Charmander—harmless Pokémon or cyber-demon?

In this presidential election year in the United States, everything is potential fodder for politics. Even Pokémon GO,

Believe it or not, Nintendo’s hugely popular location-based augmented reality game is being used as a partisan weapon in the polarized battle between Democrats and Republicans. The game has especially become a stealth hot-button issue in the United States among evangelical Christian voters courted by the Trump campaign. Read more…


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