The View From 32


JULY 7, 2007   More below: MUSIC AT THE MARKET

Do we really need push-button hot chocolate?

Cans of self heating hot cocoa on shelfI have to admit, it sounded pretty cool. Containers of chocolate or mocha latte that heat themselves up when you push a button on the bottom. Probably our tax dollars at work, being used to sell us more stuff we don't need. Most likely the technology that provides us this magical hot chocolate you can buy at Marc's for $1.99 is an offshoot of military MREs (Meals Ready to Eat).

I was a few sceonds away from grabbing one off the shelf so I could see if it really worked, how hot it got and what it tasted like, when I thought how crazy—and American—it was. Talk about wasteful and unnecessary!

The containers look like they hold about 16 oz, but actually hold only 9.5 oz. The rest of the space is chemicals and compartments used to generate the heat. Lots of technology for a simple cup of hot chocolate. And what's the purpose of all this non-recyclable liquid and solid waste?

Convenience, I suppose. With one of these babies you don't have to slave over a hot stove, warming milk and mixing in the chocolate. Or you can zoom right by your neighborhood coffee shop, not have to interact with human beings and warm your own mocha latte in the car. Ain't it grand?

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Band playing at Market Square Park

Music at the market

When I do my West Side Market shopping on Saturday during the summer I generallly take a cup of cappuchino from City Roast or a can of pop from Frank's Bratwurst stand and sit in the sun at Market Square Park for a while. There's an open-air market and music.

Today the merchandise seemed to tend toward the sentimental and kitschy, and the music was a little rough around the edges. The band played a combination of country and zydeco that wasn't bad. The singers' voices weren't strong enough to carry the band despite decent playing. I listened to a song or two, but the music didn't make me want to linger.

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