I Love the Smell of Coffee in the Morning…

Posted November 23, 2008 by Eyes Only
Categories: Collectibles, Hobbies, Trivia


Since we’re talking about subjects that you can talk with a friend over a cup of coffee, I would like to share to you my small collection of Starbucks Coffee city mugs.


These collectible items first appeared on shelves in 1994 and since then, there are a lot of different styles or editions that have been or are being produced.


I started my collection in January of 2006 during my two-week business trip in Shanghai, PROC.  Now, I have 15 of them: for the USA cities, I have Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Orlando, Pike Place, Vancouver and Washington, DC; for cities from other countries, I have Athens, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mexico, Paris, Scotland and Vienna. Most of these came from my aunt who travels frequently, and from friends who gave them as pasalubongs.



Of these mugs, my favorite is the one Beijing. This was given to me by a friend. This mug was a décor in her office area but gave it to me when she learned that I collect these things. I like this mug because of its very Chinese oriental style, shown below. Compare it with the ones from Paris and Vienna, also shown below.


Beijing Starbucks city mug

Beijing Starbucks city mug



Vienna and Paris Starbucks city mugs

Vienna and Paris Starbucks city mugs


As you can see, you can associate the Beijing mug with China right away, with its red and yellow background and dragon illustrations.


Of course, the collection wouldn’t be a collection without the Pike Place mug. The original Starbucks opened in PikePlace Market in Seattle in 1979.


Pike Place Starbucks city mug

Pike Place Starbucks city mug

[More Trivia] – Starbucks founders Jerry Baldwin (English teacher), Zev Siegel (history teacher), and Gordon Bowker (writer) got the name of their company from an old mining camp in the Cascades, called Starbo. The name Starbo led Bowker to think of the first mate in Starbuck, Captain Ahab’s first mate in the book Moby-Dick. Incidentally, the ship was named Pequod.


Also, the image in the Starbucks logo is that of a “twin-tailed siren” (from Greek mythology). The vintage logo showed the siren’s bare breasts and has sparked some controversy.












For comments, suggestions and requests, you can contact me at Eyes.X.Only@gmail.com




Of Trivia, TV shows, Romans and Being Beautiful…

Posted November 22, 2008 by Eyes Only
Categories: History, Philosophy, Trivia



I’ve always been a lover of trivia – bits of information that nobody seems to care about. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defined trivia as unimportant matters, facts or details. Let me share to you why I disagree with this. One of the books I’m trying to finish lately is Everything I Know I Learned from TV by Mark Rowlands. This book tries to explain philosophical ideas using storylines from famous TV shows such as Friends, Sex and the City, The Simpsons, etc. One of the ideas that Rowland explained is the concept of relativism. In a nutshell, relativism is the idea that all systems of value are equally worthwhile – what could be significant to me could be insignificant/trivial to you, and vice versa. It’s like saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. For me, trivia are bits and pieces of something of just about anything – anything under the sun, as they say.  



Bart has exactly 9 hair spikes

Let me also share where the word trivia was derived. Trivia is the plural of the Latin word trivium, meaning three roads. One popular explanation of the origin of this word is that during the Roman times, messengers[1] traveled the Roman Empire taking messages from one province to the next. At crossroads (or the intersection of the three roads) notice boards would display gossip or news from Rome. Incidentally, the study or collection of trivia is known as spermology, which literally means collection of seeds. 

I recently learned that Trivia can also refer to the Roman goddess equivalent of the Greek goddess Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft, the three-way crossroads, and the harvest moon. She was also known as the Queen of Ghosts.


Lastly, speaking of beauty and relativism, you can argue that everyone is “beautiful”. However, I’m sure Plato will disagree with you. I’ll tell you when I reach that part of the book. J







Everything I Know I Learned from TV by Mark Rowlands



For comments, suggestions and requests, you can contact me at Eyes.X.Only@gmail.com


[1] Cursus publicus was the courier service of the Roman Empire. It was created by Emperor Augustus to transport messages, officials, and tax revenues from one province to another.