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July 17, 2012


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Sadly, the retail carnage from WMT's Grim Reaper are not yet well-understood. They reap what we sow. Since Sam passed, this has become a company without a soul, dominated by engineers and logisticians.

Though "Globe" is what you mentioned in comparison...(Globe's Downtown, for the most part, is still occupied by many restaurants and mom and pop stores, and now even has a Movie Theater and Museum in the Downtown District)

I believe its Miami/Claypool and Clifton/Chase Creek that probabaly have more similarities.



Where is the single location in the U.S. farthest from any casino?

Kekaha, HI

From Sinclair Lewis' 1920 novel Main Street:

It was not only the unsparing unapologetic ugliness and the rigid straightness which overwhelmed her. It was the planlessness, the flimsy temporariness of the buildings, their faded unpleasant colors. The street was cluttered with electric-light poles, telephone poles, gasoline pumps for motor cars, boxes of goods. Each man had built with the most valiant disregard of all the others. Between a large new "block" of two-story brick shops on one side, and the fire-brick Overland garage on the other side, was a one-story cottage turned into a millinery shop. The white temple of the Farmers' Bank was elbowed back by a grocery of glaring yellow brick. One store-building had a patchy galvanized iron cornice; the building beside it was crowned with battlements and pyramids of brick capped with blocks of red sandstone.

She escaped from Main Street, fled home.

She wouldn't have cared, she insisted, if the people had been comely. She had noted a young man loafing before a shop, one unwashed hand holding the cord of an awning; a middle-aged man who had a way of staring at women as though he had been married too long and too prosaically; an old farmer, solid, wholesome, but not clean—his face like a potato fresh from the earth. None of them had shaved for three days.

"If they can't build shrines, out here on the prairie, surely there's nothing to prevent their buying safety-razors!" she raged.

She fought herself: "I must be wrong. People do live here. It CAN'T be as ugly as—as I know it is! I must be wrong,


Cooling centers will be our century's version of the last century's soup lines.

Casinos are cooling centers and soup lines in combo.



Drat. Sometimes I hate myself.

So, Emil, what do you want me to write about? Or are you leaving to start your own blog?

Pointing our camera into the future, we wonder what Anytown USA might look like 20 years from now. There's presently lots of under-productive retail footage out there and few elegant solutions (mixed use) for recycling much of it.

The emergence of the internet and the customer's changing shopping preferences are already having a cosmic effect. Strip malls and their vacancies have taken on a hollow look. Other than the ubiquitous Macy's, many larger more traditional malls have become homogenized into watered-down versions of their former selves. Big box "category killers" (read power centers) of yesteryear are rapidly contracting. Since I no longer travel with the Merrill Lynch retail tour, I'm not current on what the best and the brightest retailers are doing to adapt to "fewer bricks/more clicks", but I'm betting there's some serious downsizing and energy efficiency involved. Best present refuge: own Costco and Target and maybe one of the Dollar Stores.

Mr. Talton wrote:

"So, Emil, what do you want me to write about? Or are you leaving to start your own blog?"

Well...I already regret being naughty. After all, it's your blog and you can't please all of the people all of the time. I should have just kept my mouth shut and waited for the next installment. Still, since you asked the question:

Something more relevant to current events and issues. Something that offers an "aha!" moment. Something that invites reader feedback. I just can't get excited about Durant, Oklahoma. I know that fast-food chains (and corporations and general) have supplanted small-town USA in many places. Decades ago.

You can be naughty. I don't promise to write this blog forever. Traffic was good on this post, BTW. And I'm surprised you weren't lecturing me with extensive research to show how small towns weren't dead or that badly hurt by Wal-Mart ;-)

Toooooooooooooo funny.

Emil, when did you sneak in to our house and record my wife snoring?

Why do you think I sometimes post at 3am and 4am.


We've discussed everything on this blog in the greatest of detail and from all angles.

How about we become a proactive blog.

Start with small ideas and grow them.

We can't fix the big issues. There are evil forces arrayed against us.

Let's start out with small things and challenge each other to do one better.

While I moan and carry on about our educational system, my wife picks out one teacher and helps her with supplies for her pupils. That kind of stuff.

Eclec mentioned this in a recent gathering, it's the small ground level ideas that catch on and grow.

What do you think?

cal doesn't just go around complaining about too many people, he hands out condoms. (some of them are used, but that's a whole other issue).

We're in the process of getting our ass kicked by evil forces, but damn it, let's go down fighting.

As a longtime reader had to laugh at "Emil's" post. After all the long, tedious comments he's made ... and I've really tried to read them .. he's complaining that this post is boring him?! ROTFLMAO

OT, I am no fan of Sen. McCain, but his chastisement of bat-shit crazy, Bachmann and Co., and her muslim brootherhood claims was great!

Well with all due respect to my buddy Jon this column did remind me of a writer recommended to me by Emil. A writer that I found to be rather snore boring in his detail of small-town Iowa.. And Emil seemed offended at my comments. I did not feel any regret. And AA has a point, however since I think Emil may in fact be the man child of Hal and David I understand where he is coming from. The aliens are here. And its good to know that robotic computers in human form have grown mentally to have "regrets". Susan Calvin would be proud.

Regarding Mayberry, I never lived there but I did live south of the tracks in Hicktown and Smallville. I really liked the photos in this piece as fewer and fewer places look like this or the old court house in downtown Phoenix. We have traded rurality in for Cityscapes. Talk about boring.

REB, those condoms come in a box depicting endangered species and I have a box with a picture of an elephant just for you.

In a previous blog ("The new hard times"), "cal Lash" wrote:

"I always seem to Identify with the Tongue."

Funny, that's just how I picture you:


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