December 11th, 2006

Boss Coffee

Some changes are good

Met up with P in the Skyroom over at Dayton's Marshall Field's Macy's for a run at the salad bar, and since it was a pleasantly balmy 44 degrees outside I walked from the Tower down 7th to the Big Store and passed through the first floor to the express elevator.
It was hard not to notice that Macy's had given that floor of the store a pretty complete makeover. Sure, it's still all purses and coats and gloves and Coach and Louis Vuitton and cosmetics, but there's a much more open feel to the place. The old layout, which hadn't changed since the Dayton's era, reminded me of what people complain about when they talk about Wal-Mart: narrow, claustrophobically crowded aisles. That's gone, and you can now see from one end of the floor to the other so long as you're not a dwarf. I'm not any more likely to shop there than I was (most of the astuff they sell is way too upscale for me) but it's a lot nicer to visit and walk through.

The Skyroom now has a maitre d' who arranges your seating for you; ISTR there was one back in the Dayton's days, and it's good to see one on duty again. No other changes apparent, except that the napkins now have the Macy's logo instead of Marshall Fields'. Salad bar still rules.


I remember seeing copies of Iron Storm at Best Buy when it came out and thinking that it looked sort of interesting even if the central concept was brain-damaged.
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So the history is dumb, but even so a strategic game set in a world where nobody came up with the bright idea of armored fighting vehicles (or there's no internal combustion engine, thus ruling out air power, tanks and trucks as well) sounded kind of interesting. Unfortunately, the game turns out to be a first person shooter, and one with an even more ridiculous plot to boot, clearly whipped up by people that don't understand economics. Military formations trading on the stock market, indeed.

On a not-entirely-unrelated topic, I've been leafing through A Quick And Dirty Guide To War by Jim Dunnigan and Austin Bay. I have the 1991 trade paperback edition, and it's interesting to page through there, check out their evaluations of the various crappy Third World (and occasional Second World) spots they thought might burst into flames. Sure, it's a bit dated, but a lot of the underlying history behind various regional animosities hasn't changed a whole lot. Back then, Dunnigan and Bay hadn't really made their reputation as military analysts yet; I recognized them mainly from their involvement with SPI.