Starbucks has announced a 21 percent drop in year-to-year earnings, as the recession has perhaps finally proven to be the silver bullet to kill the mega-coffee beast. I have never understood the allure of paying way-over premium prices for coffee, even as my own wife has made it a daily part of her caffeine routine. I always took solace in the fact that I made my morning java stop at Seven-Eleven, and paid less for my 24-ounce fix than Robin did for her 16-ounce glob of sugary coffee-like goo... At least we balanced each other out that way. I guess in hindsight, Starbucks was the perfect symbol of the good times... Charge more for common goods, put a "premium" label on it, and buy up a cache of wheelbarrows to cart the cash away. Well, where are the good times now? Pretty soon, the baristas will be joining me in the unemployment line!