Bear and Big Spider
weekend, I was in one of those big box stores, you know, the sort of
stores that have been fighting county property taxes across the
country, claiming that successful stores are just failed stores that
haven't failed yet. I won't mention the name of the store but
rhymes with Hill's Heat Harm. In this big box store was a big box. In
the big box was a big bear. I wrestled the big bear out of the big box,
carried him around, and made him nod to people. When I was nearly
done having fun with the big bear, I set him on a waist-high
industrial shelf above the big box. I noticed the price on the side of
the box. It said:
$. 99. 99
ago in math class, I learned that a decimal point is like a huge wall
separating whole numbers from lesser, fractional numbers. The point of
the decimal is that it prevents lesser numbers from invading
whole numbers and stealing their jobs or some irrational fear. I don't
get it. Clearly the double-decimal price was beyond my arithmetic.
told the bear I had to let him go, and I let him go.
big bear immediately tackled me in a hug.
I put him
back on the shelf, told him he had to stay there, and I let him go. He
fell for me again.
repeated this about two more times past the number of times it was
funny. Then I put him back into his box, only this time sticking his
head and paw out to see customers down the aisle of the big box store
that rhymes with Will's Wheat Warm.
The bear was too
big for my house, which already has a dramatically big spider.
dramatically big spider has a web below a night light. In the darkness,
the spider creeps slowly by the night light -- its spotlight,
dramatically casting a huge shadow over the floor below, twitching its
legs for effect in a needlessly creepy-crawly way.
Music Associations: Elvis -
Teddy Bear & Led Zeppelin - Immigrant SongBusiness StartUp: Stuffed Animal
Petting ZooRetail Panic
November 22, 2018
friend of mine who happens to be Jewish brought up the earlier and
earlier Christmas merchandise at stores, as if I would defend it.
No one needs the
twelve months of Christmas.
nothing about Christmas has to do with Christ. Panicked shoppers buying
things without reading legitimate reviews, filling carts with garbage,
has nothing to do with Christmas.
Retail has two
1. Do what
has always been done.
2. Know that it won't be enough.
black friday sales ads have many of the same items year after year at
the same prices. Last year the Washington
pointed out that “Macy’s has been selling $39.99
sweaters for five years running, while Best Buy has marked down the
same 6-foot HDMI cable to $9.99 each Black Friday since 2013. At
Kohl’s, [regular black friday sales items] include $9.99
(every year since 2012) and $199 KitchenAid mixers (since
retailers lose money for most of the year only becoming profitable in
December. It's the shopping season, and black friday is meant to draw
shoppers to the stores the day after Thanksgiving to bring profit in
early. Some stores do well, and some don't. This will be the first year
without K-Mart, Sears, or Toys-R-Us in decades. This will be the last
year for Bibelot, four outstanding gift stores in the Twin Cities.
Macy's parade should feature balloon ghosts from retail's past:
Geoffrey the giraffe, Rudolph from Montgomery Ward, the 50
foot Sears catalog...
“Honey, our K-Mart is gone!
Where oh where will we find a giant jar of cheese
balls in time?
if they go away, no store will take their place. They have been arguing
with county assessors across the country that their property values for
property taxes should be the same as vacant (failed) big box stores. Linda
Bliss from City Labs
reported last week that lawyers representing Target, Best Buy, Menards,
Walmart, and Sam's Club have been slashing their property taxes by
hundreds of millions of dollars, using the fear of retail abandonment
Ignoring functional property values, profitable stores are being
devalued under the “dark
for property taxes. The concept started with Detroit-based tax attorney
Michael Shapiro. In Wisconsin the bulk of the appeals and
have been filed by Minnesota-based tax attorney, Robert Hill, who told Bliss
don’t know if these assessors give a rat’s patootie
about functional obsolescence.
and Walmart stores in the Twin Cities have undergone expensive
remodeling and are ramping up their online presence (presents), hardly
proving functional obsolescence. Functional
is the year-old iPhone with crappy connectors that was purposely slowed
down by Apple to encourage seasonal re-purchasing. It's a wonder
consumers woke up to Apple's functional obsolescence scheme, after all
If Christmas really related to Christ,
there would be only three acceptable gifts: gold, frankincence, and
Music Association: Burl Ives -
Silver and GoldTwin
Cities Calendar for November 23, 2018Before
November 21, 2018
someone, let's call her Eve, how she was doing, and that got into a
discussion about all things great and not so great.
said she was living life a minute at a time.
I couldn't think of any other way to do it.
Thanksgiving, temporarily push things aside and give yourself an extra
moment to laugh. Then see if you can cause someone else to laugh. It's
the most and the least you can do.
If you hear
someone order a turkey burger with romaine lettuce, please intervene.
Music Association: Alanis
Morrisette - Thank YouGrape
November 15, 2018
was following an older man and woman out of a Shop 'N Save store. The
woman said, “Grapes are 49 cents.” No reply from
She said, “There must be something wrong with
reply from the man.
So I said, “Each
Music Association: Genesis - No
November 8, 2018
Trump fired U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions yesterday, making Matt
Whitaker the acting U.S. Attorney General and in charge of
counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
has publicly outlined strategies to stifle Mueller's investigation.
constitutional crisis will be protested today at 5am (local time) at
and at locations across
Music Association: Pointer
Sisters - FiredTwin
Cities Calendar for November 8, 2018The
Dust and Snow Settle
November 7, 2018
results of Tuesday night's election are in, and the divided country is
The Republicans gained two U.S.
Senate seats. The Democrats gained 27 seats in the U.S. House and seven
clear winners of the election were the printing companies with all the
over-sized postcard business. Several forests of trees sacrificed
themselves for the divided electorate. The TV stations airing all the
commercials won too. During the news, there were back-to-back-to-back
commercials about the same candidate: they are bad, they are good, they
are bad... make
up your mind
! (To be read in the voice of
Lewis Black with fingers pointing everywhere and nowhere.)
1.5 million more people
can vote due to the Florida felon ballot initiative. That's a positive
against voter suppression. But please don't think they will all vote
the same way. There isn't a demographic in the United States that all
votes the same way. Votes may tilt one way or another, but it's like
the stock market -- past results are no prediction of future behavior.
Call in all the experts, question their expertise, and toss them out.
ABC News big round room of analysts sitting around an empty floor
superimposed with red and blue graphics was either funny or silly...
for solid minutes. TV is rarely the go
for information but still better than Facebook. The Minnesota Secretary
Of State website was the fastest, most reliable source of local
Minnesota's voter turnout was
somewhere around 63.8% or 64.3%, not as high as I thought but still
higher than any other state.
that the dust and snow and confetti and wild dreams have settled to the
ground of reality, it would be wonderful if Congress and the state
legislatures could come together on obvious issues.
am deluded with hope.
Music Association: Al Green -
Let's Stay TogetherVote
But Be Mindful Of The Riggings
Look out for voter
suppression and voter disenfranchisement this election -- the riggings.
documentary Rigged - The Voter Suppression
is currently available for free viewing
Music Association: Blondie - One
Way Or AnotherAnother
Reason To Vote
November 3, 2018
went over with a banner. Know what it said? Neither do I. Except I know
it said there is way
too much money in political advertising.
early recently. Usually they give out a sticker saying, "I Voted."
this time. This time it was a button.
Music Association: 10000 Maniacs
- These Are The DaysAdorable
cat was watching a tiny spider trip-trip-tripping its way up the wall
and then down the wall with a remarkable lack of coordination.
think with eight legs they would get at least some of them going in a
reminded me. Last week, a trail of balled light purple octopuses led
the submersible Nautilus to the largest cluster of deep sea octopuses.
The nursery of brooding females were tucked into nooks and cracks off
the coast from Monterey, California. With their eight legs outwardly
wrapped around them, the lavender ladies were each hugging dozens of
white incubating eggs. They were in the dark until the Nautilus
submersible parked in front of them with their brights on.
Music Association: The Beatles -
Gifs of Cats and Kittens Part 1