"You Can Do It!"

Updated August 29, 2005. Still incomplete, but log continues here

Time on the road (excluding NSC): 4 days, 20 hours
Miles driven: 1890 (excludes 50 Scrabble miles)
Spent on gas: $263.50
Spent on coffee: $23.30
New stores visited: 8 (Nevada/South Lake Tahoe) + 90 (California)
Secret stores discovered: 1
Coffee consumed (NoCal): (X - 11) * 4 + 8 = 324 oz coffee, 6 solos, 4 DoubleShot (4 to drink), 4 oz French press

August 19

I left for the National Scrabble Championship in Reno, to be followed by five days of starbucking in California!

August 20

In between Scrabble, I visited two new stores in Reno, two in Carson City, and one in South Lake Tahoe. Scrabble sucked ass.

August 21

Scrabble continued to suck ass in the most unimaginable way.

And the dark side of the media reared its ugly head again. I was contacted in the morning by yet another local (Reno) new station. The producer called me after Scrabble and wanted to get something on the air Monday night. I explained that I was already scheduled to film a segment with a rival station, and that I wanted to consult with them first. The lady was trying to convince me that it wouldn't matter to them, but when I called the other producer, of course he wanted his to air first. And since they had contacted me two weeks earlier, I decided that was the fair way to go. When I called the lady back to report this, her tone changed completely. She wasn't overtly rude, but definitely curt, like she couldn't wait to hang up the phone, and the tone was definitely one of "fuck you, your loss."

And the funny thing is, it probably only matters to my conscience, because I bet the producer from that other station, if he's still working there when the movie comes out, probably won't give me credit for having allowed him the courtesy of airing first.

August 22

Did my second in-studio radio interview, for Cub Country 94.5 in Reno. After Scrabble, I did a news segment for the local NBC affiliate, KRNV.

August 23

Scrabble continued to be a disaster, and I was anxious to get the hell out of Reno. But I had to wait for Bill to arrive at the airport. The flight was delayed by an hour, and so he missed filming my final game, but he still came over to the Hilton to get footage of the signs and interview me. Then he filmed me burning my scorecard, results slips, and badge!

After rolling through downtown Reno so Bill could get footage of the "Biggest Little City in the World" sign. meet Jason, Pollo Loco

Whew! Caught a break for once. I left my debit card on top of the rental car when I gassed out near the Robb store, and when I drove off it blew onto the pavement. Someone actually turned it in to the cashier, saving me the hassle of having to cancel it, which I had doneabout two motnhs earlier when I thought I lost it (and found later).

heavy construction on I-80, take winding 193 to Lincoln, new road Sun City, golf cart community, quiet neighborhood, past midnight

August 24

Shortly after 4:30 I started feeling antsy and couldn't get back to sleep. The Starbucks opened at 5:00, so I went ahead and go myself moving and headed over there. Sure enough, "golf cart community" means geezerville, and even as early as 5:15 there were already a couple of carts parking in front and a couple of old guys hanging out. The sun hadn't even come up!!! Don't these people know about sleeping???


lost 15-20 minutes looking for Rocklin store on West Oaks misplotted

forgot about my 6:45 interview, but it was a pre-taping, so the radioman caught me at 6:50 after I visited the Loomis store. I was in a hurry to stop in Roseville and then reach Sacramento by 7:30, so I had to do the interview while driving, and I even had to go inside the Roseville sore and order while still on the air. Eh, it made the interview more interesting.

Meet Rob from Cockeyed.com

Bill leaves car


Placerville, cute girl from San Antonio

From Placerville we headed back towards Sacramento. After a couple of stores we dropped into Gold Cup Centerfolds, a strip club in Rancho Cordova that offered $10 VIP dances in Wednesdays and Sundays. I asked the manager about filming in the club, and he called his bosses, but I didn't expect them to approve it. Asked a few dancers if they wanted to do some filming outside the club, but no takers. Tried dances from a few dancers, and all were tamer than I would have hoped for, but still things got a little out of control with the last one, and I had to get out there fast.

tapped some older lady's rear end

dread 99 took river road

some fool didn't just run the red, but weaved back and forth across both lanes, meadowview rd toward elk grove

misled about Bruceville and Laguna, but only 2 miles from another store on Bruceville, so i didn't waste but a couple of minutes

crashing on way to SF, Fairfield

August 24

5:40 AM, new store suisin, misplot Fairfielkd, C-Springs interview

Denny;s guy

random encounter with hot Starbucks marketing chick

TransaAmerica building


coffee shop guy mad art

enthusiasam in larkspur

freelance reporter

crazy Kelly

Rushed down to Castro Valley to meet a stringer for HDNet. The segment was very quick--just me going into the store, getting coffee, coming out, and then answering one question--"Why?" Oh, well, if at least one person goes to see the movie from seeing that piece, it will have been worth it.

At a store, in San Leandro I think, I saw something really queer, small sample cups with no Starbucks logo!!! I thought they all had to order the same supplies?

AARRGHH!!! Stupid DVD player on my laptop has a tendency to pop open, and it was open when I grabbed my laptop from back of the car, and I ended up wrenching it partly of the slot. I had to shove it back in, and I'll be surprised if it still works. Stupid Dell!!!

Things got wacky in Hayward as a girl overheard me discussing my project with the manager and became very excited. She ran to her car and got her video camera, and then it became a media blitz as I had about three or four cameras on me, the most ever.

I started to feel nauseated, so I hung out at the first new Fremont store for over 30 minutes updating my site while I metabolized some of the caffeine from 15 stores. When we left, I was starting to feel the hint of a headache and decided I need to get some food in my stomach. Next to the next store was a Quizno's and I went for a cup of chili. It helped. But not too long afterwards, the hint of a headache got stronger, and I popped some preventative pills.

At a store in San Jose both partners were extremely cute and wanted a photo with me. Each one put her arms around me, and it took all my strength to keep my hand from sliding down lower than her waste. Ah, these are the moments we live for!

Around 8:00 I started calling stores to see when they would close for the night, and the racing started. First it was a race to a store in Mountain View that closed at 8:30. Then to a Menlo Park store that closed at 9:00. Then Burlington that closed at 9:30.

I dropped Bill off at the parking garage, and I turned right around on Mission St and headed straight to the All Star Cafe, the first restaurant I had spotted. I needed to eat something, anything, before crashing! They didn't have any hot food, but I didn't have the energy to leave, so I just went for a banana and this bread thing with barbecue pork inside.

trunk was open

small street across from diner, 2:00 AM, usual wackiness on Mission, change plans drive to Half Moon Bay

just south of Pacifica where highway 1 stopped being a freeway

August 26

Think it's interview, but really work issue wakes me 6:50, wanted to sleep more

Half Moon Bay, traffic on 92 east, traffic on El Camino Real to Menlo Park, super hungry, coordinate with Bill

I decided to reshoot the store down in Menlo Park, only a few miles down El Camino Real, and I lost a lot of time when traffic slowed to a crawl, and I had nowhere I could go. I didn't mind slowing the pace of the coffee still, but I was really really hungry and starting to get a headache.

I was also slowing my pace to give Bill time to get over to my area so we could coordinate where to meet and leave his car. He was running into some delays, but that was okay with me, because I was feeling really queasy and wanted to ease into the day's caffeine.

I spotted a cute-looking place, Tara's Willow Cafe, and ordered a to-go breakfast. Eggs, home fries, bacon, and toast. Other than the butter on the toast, it was the best breakfast I'd had so far during the trip.

Bill and I finally intersected at the new San Jose store on Capitol Expressway. I was told it was safe enough for Bill to leave his car there, which made things easier.

Scott's Valley

Outside the Capitola Mall I spotted a breathtakingly cute sweet young thing and asked her where the Starbucks was, just so I could check her out from up close. Bill seemed to think she was just a kid, 14 or so, but I preferred to think she was older, at least 16.

Inside the Starbucks the shift supervisor became excited about my presence. Turned out she was Lidi's friend and former roommate, and she show us something really cool, a yearbook a friend had put together showing pictures of about 50 people who hung out at her (former) Starbucks in Pasadena, dubbed the "Circle of Friends". I thought it was a cool idea!

I had to break off the conversation when I spotted the young girl walking past the store, and I rushed to finish up so I could chase after her and ask her to be in the movie. But she disappeared, and my heart was broken, forever to remain in Capitola.

I found a decent review online, so after visiting the really cool Starbucks in Cannery Row, we headed over to a Mexican restaurant, El Torito. I asked to sit by the window so we could see the otters. It took a while, but one or two showed up! They were so cute!!! And so was the waitress Nataly! And the food was good too, although I could barely eat half. Later, in Coalinga, I tried to eat the rest, but it hadn't held up well over the course of the evening.

Oops! Del Monte Center was actually open since '94, making it the oldest store I had never visited. How did that happen???

tired, sucky drive 198 to Coalinga

Bill motel, residential streeet around corner, nothing happening after 2:00 AM, cat staring at me

August 27

At 6:45 I called Bill and told him where I was parked, and to come get footage of me in the car after he got ready. I tried to sleep as much as I could for about 20 minutes, and then just as I decided to go ahead and get going he called. I didn't answer, figuring I'd just find him at the hotel. He was actually out on the main drag, having misinterpreted my directions.

It was 65 miles to Visalia, and I was famished and very glad for the apple I had leftover from the previous day. In downtown Visalia, where I was taking one of three reshoots, I spotted a bakery and bought the fattest donut I had every seen in my life. At the fourth store, the new store, I saw a sweet, sweet photograph of a store in New York City. That was the type of photography that I hoped to one day be able to do. But for the moment, snapshots was all I had time for. Oh, and to clean up some, as I was getting funky, and I really needed to shave.

After Sanger, I had 17 new stores to visit in Fresno and Clovis, and I figured I'd have to space out the coffee, so I decided to reshoot some stores. Next to the one at 741 E. Olive was Irene's Cafe, and I had been looking for a good breakfast. Well, it was adequate, and they did have biscuits. During the meal I realized that Bill was going to have a problem if we arrived back at his car too late, because he had to drive

Irene's Cafe adequate

Bill's flight at 6:00 AM!!! have 2 hurry! Huirry hgurry hurry.

At about 15 stores, it occurred to me that I might be able to break my 29-store record. I didn't really want to drink that much caffeine in a day, especially since I had already bought 4 DoubleShots that I'd have to drink in a 24-hour period to qualify for the record. But I did want to knock off those stores!

27, rush bill 2 car, skip 2

AM/PM underground hip hop

still no finish leftovers, search toilet, chevron, 7-11, finally shell

2:45 despierate need restroom again, drive, San Ramon Applebee's/Homestead

August 28

I started my wind-down day in Concord, and the partner showed me a Scoop that stated there were a little over 4700 company-owned stores. That's gotta be way off, since I've now visited Scoop little over 4700

almost slaughtered bright red corvette

$5 for a bagel sandwich at the Bagel Club!!! No way!!! But they have Wi-Fi! Fresh-squeez OJ is good, but expensive at $3.

hiddfens gtore

autograph birthday

DSCN 9999

As I removed my things from the rental car, some sort of police officer came up and asked for my license. He claimed I had run a stop sign. I said I hadn't seen any stop sign. After running my plates. I was in the midst of removing my things from the rental

As much as I hated dour TSA officials, I found the personnel at the security checkpoint in Reno a bit too jolly and jovial for my tastes, making with the stand-up comedy and such.

I was about to crawl into a corner and try to sleep when I felt a twinge of hunger. I realize that it was 7:00 PM and all I had eaten was 1 1/2 donuts, a bagel, and Pollo Loco. No meal would be served on the flight, so I decided I better get something in my stomach.

Gate C2 was right next to restroom, and I noticed that nobody was waiting at any of the seats. I checked the monitor and discovered that no flights were leaving on C2 that night, so I curled up in a corner and managed to drift off a few times. Airport personnel went up and down an adjacent staircase, but they didn't bother me. The only things that did were some screaming kids, and a driffy-draft chilling up my legs.

Comedy hour continued on the plane, as the wacky stewardess had quite a gig going as she traded jibes with some kid. The kid was one of three or four siblings who would prove to be poster-children for birth control. As they loudly oohed and aahed at the Las Vegas lights on descent, I prayed with all my heart that her mother had had her tubes tied!

In sharp contrast to the one drive I did between Las Vegas and Reno, the flight seemed like it was over right away, before I ever had a chance to fall asleep. And in sharp contrast to the near-deserted Reno airport, the airport in Las Vegas was just crazy! There was even a light for the women's bafroom. We arrived at 9:45, and my flight to BWI boarded at 10:15. I thought about trying to doze, but I lost the entire time traveling to a different terminal and stopping for a pizza. By the time I finished brushing, the flight was boarding.

The flight was practically full, and I got stuck in a seat with a heavy couple. Across the aisle from me was the luckiest man in Vegas--he had three seats to himself, and as soon as we took off he was spread out. I had been eyeing the row, but it was the Asian kid behind us who worked out the courage to ask the guy--his reply "yes, I mind." Later, I saw that the guy had given up on laying down, and I wondered if it was because the flight attendant made him put his seat belt on when we hit turbulence. It seemed like the airlines had gotten more strict about that.

Mercifully, I was able to sleep, and the flight was landing before I knew it. I rushed back to my car so I could get as much sleep as possible before work. Funny thing is, after the disaster of the Scrabble tournament and the intensity of the 4 1/2 days of starbucking, work seemed like a vacation!

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