I like the occasional Starbucks latte or mocha as much as the next gal. But, given a choice, I'd much rather seek out and hang out in local coffee shops (for the most part, anyway). I like to support local businesses. I like the typical funkiness of local coffee shops---the atmosphere, the community, the decor. Sometimes, you can even find some real gems.
Luckily, there is now a web site (that I just stumbled upon) that allows you to locate your nearest local non-chain coffee shop. The site is delocator.net. You type in your zip code, and it comes up with a list of local non-chain coffee shops as well as a listing of the local Starbucks locations. The listings are are done by volunteers---anyone can add a coffee shop to the listings, along with photos and comments.
This is great news for me, because when I go and visit the Jane Fam, I always end up meeting up with friends at coffee shops, and invariably we end up at Starbucks because (a) I don't know the area well anymore and don't know where the good coffee places are, and (b) my friends don't "do" the coffee shop scene normally and are equally clueless. So now, I can actually suggest places! Woo hoo!
In other news, here is my Public Service Announcement for the day: If you are using harmful chemicals, do so outside. Yesterday I was working on a craft project, and had to use some spray chemical as part of the project. I was working in a very well ventilated room and taking frequent breaks, but after an hour I noticed that I was feeling very light-headed and nauseous. I stopped what I was doing, left the room, went outside....and it took a good hour before I felt ok. It was scary. Mr. Jane was out at the time, and I seriously contemplated calling him, and seriously started wondering when you should call for help (i.e., how do you know when you are going to pass out, and at what point before that should you call someone). So lesson learned....from now on, I will be working on this particular project outside!