23 May 2014

Friday Follies...
And here we are again...knocking on the door to the Memorial Day weekend (a "threebie" in the days off column) and with it comes all the trappings we've come to know and love.
The Hoosierland weather will be fair today with a high around 70 (nice and comfy for yours truly), and enough sunshine around that you practically HEAR the grass growing (I've gotta mow again this weekend).
A nice day to get outside, blow the stink off, and tend to your gardens...or get those last-minute errands taken care of, right?
So go pour a cup of your favorite morning beverage, and let's see what trouble we can get into, okay?
*** First off the grill today, those of you familiar with the EAST coast (where I originally hail from) remember the HESS gas stations all over the place,...well, they're about to go "bye bye". Don't worry, they're not closing UP, just changing hands.
We're doing WHAT? When? With WHO?
Here's the story from today's business section:
Yepper, Marathon/Speedway is buying Hess out...to the tune of $2.87 BILLION bucks (that's one HELLUVA song, folks).
The good news is that the Hess toy trucks, a staple at Christmas time on the right coast WILL continue, with online shopping starting in 2015.
Interestingly, this year marks the 50TH anniversary of those Hess gas trucks, and if you have ALL of them so far, that's worth a LOT of MOOLAH!!!
The 2013 edition
All the Hess stations will be re-branded to Speedway over the next several years.
There USED to be a PLETHORA of service stations just in the Philly area (we had a huge ARCO refinery down by the airport), but one by one they either closed shop or merged with other companies...and through ALL that time, not ONE...SINGLE...NEW refinery was built.
(no wonder gas prices are so damn high these days, and we ship so much petroleum overseas to recoup the lack of refinery facilities)
Moving on...
*** This story was also in the business section (amazing when THIS section becomes better than the metro section...lol):
Can you imagine that...SEARS and BEST BUY are griping about poor ELECTRONICS sales?!?
I can see Sears, but Best Buy?
Well, it comes down to ONLINE retailers such as AMAZON, as well as discounters like WAL-MART, who manage to undercut prices for the other players in this technological arena. And that's got Best Buy and Sears making changes.
Those two stores have been cutting costs (good for us), and revamping merchandise in order to draw more customers through their doors.
Not working exactly as planned, is it?
Who can keep up with all this?
Consumers are holding out for future launches of smartphones and tablets (the keeping up with the Joneses syndrome, no doubt), and those ultrahigh-definition 4K televisions (let's just call them video monitors, because REAL TVs died when they stopped making the cathode-ray tube with cabinet versions).
Sears cites weak TV sales at their K-Mart stores...well, since the K-Mart we USED to have near us CLOSED, we can't go and get ANY TV (which I would like to do and keep the CRT sets for backups), so they basically lose our business...yeah, go ahead and blame ME for that...lol.
Personally, I feel that when it comes to electronics, we're reaching a "saturation point", where damn near everyone has something that's being tossed at us...and we're not slowing down when it comes to such purchases. Why not?
Do we really need ALL this crap?
Can we seriously expect to keep affording to get EVERY new device which supersedes the previous one we got only a few months ago?
Well, the WEALTHY can, but we're talking more about "Jane and John Consumer" here, right?
And let's not forget the lack of etiquette and diversion that such devices (especially the handheld ones) already cause.
Makes for curious times, indeed...
*** And while we're at it, the fast food business is "cashing in" on this tech boom with an APP for ordering your favorite artery-clogging delights.
Welcome to the newest form of LAZY.
Here's the story from the Washington (com)Post:
Yeah, this will become the NEW "drive-thru", or so they say.
I miss the other way around days.
That's all we need...people too damn busy ordering tacos or Big Macs on their damn smart phones or iPads that they get into a car accident...because you just KNOW that will happen soon enough.
People are not as SMART as the phones they hold in their primate paws.
((shakes head))...
WHERE will the lunacy end?
*** I watched STOSSEL on Fox Business last night (The Good NEW Days) and he had some very interesting stats on POVERTY...
We have FEWER people in poverty than what we had just TWENTY years ago...but, according to some liberal pundits, you/'d NEVER know it.
Here's what the show was about:
It was worth an hour of my time to see what I mostly surmised.
In many ways, we are doing better, like when it comes to world poverty, but other parts of society (just in America) have gone the other way like with energy, and over-regulating.
Big government tends to do that.
I was also watching Megyn Kelly on Fox News...great show on the V/A, with a special set to air tonight.
*** Last back to the pool today...yes, it's Memorial Day weekend, and we've certainly had our share of SALES flyers in the papers and on TV.
Now, those businesses that provide DISCOUNTS to VETS...got no problem with that at all.
But there is this commercialization of this (solemn) holiday, and all you have to do is look at scout troops placing flags on military graves around area cemeteries, or the Old Guard doing the same thing in Arlington to find out what the REAL message is here, right?
Now, I'm not against having a good time and celebrating the holiday...BUT (uh oh, here it comes)...there is a REASON that all of us CAN have that good time, isn't there?
And that reason is often paid for in blood, as in the blood of our soldiers killed in battle.
It's also paid for by those who DID return to us, some relatively intact, while others suffering other aspects of warfare.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying oneself, but there is ALWAYS a reason WHY we are capable of doing so in this country, and we must never forget that. Sadly many living around us will never be able to comprehend such basic tenets of our AMERICAN culture...that which made this nation great.
So, if I take the time to thank our troops and vets for the job THEY did, I must also pity those who cannot acknowledge such things, or treat such things with a level of triviality that would anger me to no end, if I allowed it. Better to feel sorry for them than to get PO'ed at them.
I believe we, as a nation are better than this, and we must continue to strive along those lines. Just as our troops are on a mission (of liberty), so must we also be on a similar mission to get the message out as to WHY we celebrate Memorial Day.
DO have yourselves a enjoyable and blessed weekend.
Don't forget the Indianapolis 500 this weekend (last time for Jim Nabors), and take time to remember our soldiers, living and dead,  both here and afar.
I'll see you all on the other side of the weekend, God willing.
Be well, make a difference to someone today, and as always...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


CWMartin said...

Little out of focus today- story forthcoming- so my powers of cognition are a bit down. I found myself going more up and down on your blog than comprehending.

Hess_ Remember when we had a T.R. to keep that from happening? (not literally, I know you were just s little guy, lol)

Sears- one who ties a millstone about their neck shouldn't complain when they sink. Best Buy, who knows? Perhaps the day of palatial stores and in-store service are over. If so, this world is about to get a whole lot worse...

Memorial day- thought it was next week until about 1/2 hour ago...

Bob G. said...

You bring up a great point...stores that tie "millstones" about their neck.

Saw first hand w/ Circuit City...it's called OVEREXTENDING.
And it ALWAYS comes from corporate...first sign of competition, they get scared.
(gotta keep up or pass everyone else)
Prime example...where are all the REAL fast food hamburger joints?
McDs. BK...they've all gone to "alternative" menus.
TOO Many choices isn't always a good thing.

Hell, even RED LOBSTER has so much MORE (now) than JUST seafood (which they originally did very well in selling exclusively).

Why be GOOD at one thing, when you can be mediocre at MANY, hmm?

I dunno...Coney Island (here)has done alright over the last 100 yrs.

Thanks for swinging by today and commenting.

You have yourselves a blessed weekend and do stay SAFE up there.

John DuMond said...

I'm actually not surprised to hear Best Buy is still having trouble. I read an article about a year ago about how they had made several serious blunders in rapid succession, including holding a much-hyped sale (at Christmastime, no less), then not having enough merchandise to support it. (Doh!)

They're closing our Kmart too. I guess it's done for good next month, along with several other area stores, leaving the region with two Kmarts, neither of which is near me. I'm betting the whole chain will be belly-up within a year or two. I figure Sears isn't far behind. It's a shame, really, but there's a price to pay for bad business decisions. (Are you listening, Best Buy?)

Have a nice Memorial Day weekend, Bob.

Bob G. said...

John D.:
The "big-boxes" often jump out of planes without strapping on that damn 'chute...lol.

CC went and got into USED CAR SALES...whatta mess.
That's when I knew time was running out.

--You can grab some GOOD deals at that K-Mart closing...jewelry (for your significant other) can be had over 50%OFF.
There's also sporting goods (fishing gear and such) for cheap too. Maybe a mountain bike 40% off?
Car supplies (stock up) and electronics (they go first).
Even towels and sheet sets can be had for dimes on the dollar.
Get it while you can.

Thanks for stopping by to comment.
Right back at'cha with yourselves a great Memorial Day weekend.
(always remember, never forget).

Roll safe out there.