Margaret Bourke-White

I spent a lot of time looking at Margaret Bourke-White’s photos, on this The Atlantic article. Such amazing work, still relevant today. What a life!

Bourke-White held numerous “firsts” in her professional life—she was the first foreign photographer allowed to take pictures of Soviet industry, she was the first female staff photographer for LIFE magazine and made its first cover photo, and she was the first woman allowed to work in combat zones in World War II.

Alan Taylor, The Atlantic

I am loaning money to Starbucks

I subscribe to, and enjoy, Dave Perell’s Monday Musings newsletter. This morning’s contained a link to an article on Starbucks, which I found very interesting.

Basically, when Starbucks customers add money to the company’s app, they are effectively giving the coffee giant a free loan. At Starbucks’ scale, the benefits are enormous. 

Dave Perell

Per Dave Perell, “Some sections that caught my eye:

  • Starbucks has around $1.6 billion in stored value card liabilities outstanding. This represents the sum of all physical gift cards held in customer’s wallets as well as the digital value of electronic balances held in the Starbucks Mobile App.* It amounts to ~6% of all of the company’s liabilities. This is a pretty incredible number. 
  • Stored value card liabilities are the money that you, oh loyal Starbucks customer, use to buy coffee. What you might not realize is that these balances simultaneously function as a loan to Starbucks. Starbucks doesn’t pay any interest on balances held in the Starbucks app or gift cards. You, the loyal customer, are providing the company with free debt.
  • The only way to cash out of Starbucks balances is to buy a coffee–a promise that Starbucks can always keep! And so Starbucks can immediately put its customer loans to work in higher-yielding opportunities like funding its operations and expansion.
  • Each payment made through the Starbucks app is a payment that isn’t made by credit card. Since each credit card payment will cost Starbucks 1-2% in interchange fees paid to the card networks and banks, the company saves a lot of money by guiding customers to its payments app.”

Life-changing writing prompts

On a suggestion from an email newsletter that I subscribe to, I ordered a set of Life-Changing Questions. It looks like they won’t print and ship to me until mid-September which gives me something to look forward to.

I’m looking forward to using them as writing prompts. I envision using them for blog and (private) journal posts. I also like the idea of using them for social gatherings and fun discussion prompts.

Anna Larson’s “Acting Alone”

I first heard this track as part of this week’s “New Mix” episode, from NPR Music. It’s haunting, poignant, genuine. It’s worth listening to with complete focus.

Anna Larson wrote [Bob Boilen] to say, “I wish I didn’t live in a world where writing a song about senseless gun violence was something I had to do.” But “Acting Alone” is a poetic and powerful approach to an all-too-common event. The song was written to benefit Moms Demand Action.

~ NPR Music
Shifting Sand by Anna Larson

checking in


I had to take a little break from posting here. In fact, I took a break from doing a lot of my usual things. I recently got some news that shook me enough to warrant changing some of my lifestyle very quickly.

And in doing so, I fell into a state of confusion, anxiety, and overload. Thus, I had to break from some things.

I’ll write about all of this in the future, far less cryptically. I’m feeling good about everything this morning. I spent an hour on my front porch, sipping coffee, just taking it all in. Allowing myself to sit, think, and breathe in the morning air.

Stay tuned… more to come soon.