I Always Say Shopping Is Cheaper Than A Psychiatrist

Tammy Faye Bakker

By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor

Although we think there is little going on outside of the small dome on the East end of the Mall, there is much else going on.

How would you save retail shopping?  The malls?  The standalone shops?  The big box stores?  Even grocery stores?

Right now the retail industry is reporting hundreds of thousands of employees being laid off because the stores they worked at are closing.  Big names – gone by the thousands.  Little names – gone.  High end – gone.  Low end – gone.

Online retail is a great thing.  You order, you get it and you are happy.  Shipping costs have dropped a lot, nothing for certain contracts.  Comparison pricing is easy.  Returns are so-so.

Want to try it on before buying?  Retail yes.  Online – good luck.

Has the gaming life changed how we shop?  Game world, nothing is physical.  You experience only what you think you do.  No tactile world.

Retail shopping.  Feeling the weave.  Know the hand.  Know the fit.  Know the smell (yeah, some items of online purchase had an aroma that was rough).  See. Touch. Smell.  Total tactile world.

Where did the original online retailers fail?

Sears, J. C. Penny’s, Wards and several others were the original online retailers.  You had their catalogs in your hands. You compared outfit to outfit in each catalog.  You ordered, and depending on the warehouse, you could have it in a day or two; delivered for a price or even shipping cost to the store.  They sold all brands, including their own.  They had distribution systems and warehouses.  They had trucks to move goods, and they could deliver and install anything. They had total penetration of markets.  And they are failed.  Why?

If I had more time left in my life and wanted a PhD I would explore this issue.  I know the catalog sales side of the retail side did try early in the Internet era to make it work.  Sears went off into a private world which has resulted in its destruction.  J.C. Penny’s brought in a CEO who went nuts into some retail world which failed.  Wards went down in the time before the Internet.

You have to wonder if Sears, or J.C. Penny’s or even Wards would have become the Amazon of today if their leadership had seen a different path than the one they took?  I do think so.  Up to the point when Wards brought out a discount chain it was as dominate as Sears.  Up to the point when Sears brought in someone who destroyed it by mating with K-Mart it was the dominate of all sales.  While those two were failing J.C. Penny’s was doing quite well.  And, just as it might be the queen of sales, it brought in a fruitcake to destroy it.  Right now it is recovering after dumping the nut.  Will Penny’s survive?  Maybe, but it needs to answer the question first posed – how will it survive being an online and retail store?

To add something to the punch bowl. Amazon is opening retail stores.

The reason for the question is because retail has been a backstay of American prosperity from the beginning of our country and is the largest employment segment of the economy.

More Posts by Blue Bronc

Any Man Can Make Mistakes

but only an idiot persists in his error. — Marcus Tuilius Cicero

By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor

What happens when your leader is run out of a foreign country by people with torches and pitchforks?

If you are from the United States you are thinking “at least he was not around here”.

There is nothing a guy who has a frame of reference the width of his outstretched arms can do to understand what is going on in a world that is outside his fingertips.

He is a man-child (sorry children) who has a problem with understanding anything in any language. He has a short temper and is always looking forward to being slighted.  His need to “pay back” is so strong he will take out his closest relatives.

What we are dealing with is a man who might have an issue with dementia, and is 70 years old, but that is an excuse and the guy does not allow excuses in his “I always win” world.  Now that he is loose, allowed to roam the world and demonstrate he has all the brain cells, firing just as they did when he was a baby, we can expect lots of good stuff.

Nah.

We do not expect him to do good.  Many of us are waiting, wearing out our popcorn machines as we cannot leave to go to the kitchen, for him to deliver his Love Muslims speech, which is written by his friend, the Hate Muslims leader.

Oh, the world stage awaits a loser who only wants to stay in his hotels.  He will be staying in all sorts of hotels.  And, eat all sorts of meals, which are not American junk food.  And, go places he – oh no he won’t land there. It has to be a be hit to his ego to be told “NO” and there is nothing he can do about it.  He refuses to take the tram to the top like all humans do.

Try to figure out the odds.  Air Force One can probably send out his tweets, but what if the flight crew forgets to tell the guy?  Maybe someone tells him he cannot tweet from anywhere other than the U.S.? Considering he is low on the uptake, he might believe them.

More Posts by Blue Bronc

The Blessing Of The Fleet

By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor

From the first time man (or woman) tried to go farther than his arms and legs could go, and found some reeds or a log or something that floated on water it was time for blessing of the fleet.  Nowadays it is for recreational purposes and for commercial fisherman (neutral term) to not sink or to find fair havens or better shrimp, fish or crabs.

Blessing of the fleet may seem weird for those who are not religious, but it is not — if you believe there be a god or goddess. One of the better parts of the blessing of the fleet is it won’t hurt, and it might even be good.  And, it is an excuse for those so inclined, it starts the opening of the beer, wine and hard stuff before noon.

A week after the floater lost his fleet, CVN-70, it seems it is still not off the coast of crazy and starved N. Korea.  When I was in the military Korea was a 13 month combat zone.  Later it changed, but right now I am guessing some are looking at making it a short tour combat zone tour again.

Did you notice how fast the senile old man dropped attacking Korea?  Did you notice how fast he has dropped all sorts of things?  Yeah.  He writes an idiotic tweet and drops it a day or so later.  His short term memory seems to be really short.  There seems to be only a couple channels of long term memory too.

It is important for the country to know that this federal government shuts down April 28 midnight unless a couple of R’s change their minds.

More Posts by Blue Bronc

I truly believe that age — if you’re healthy — age is just a number.

— Hugh Hefner, 2006.

By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor

Death is a horrible way to die. WE all go, eventually. Just a day or so ago the oldest person on Earth died at the tender age of one hundred seventeen years.  The news reports she was the last person who was born in the 1800’s.  Stunning to think of all she saw and experienced during those years.

Right now we have a person purposely poking a hot stick at a half together dictator in North Korea.  It is quite likely the dictator is the saner of the two.  Plus two other nasty powers are joining in the fray.  With Russia trying to recover the costs of getting the guy with a dead orange colored rat on his head into the White House, we can guess they are unhappy at his wild acts and may want him removed from power.  With China trying to maintain a safe distance from any nuclear fallout, we know they are not happy with the guy either.

Is there anything to be done to stop the guy?  There is, but it takes some brass gonads by the Congress.  They can stop him.  Will they?  Although not quite one hundred days into the new presidency I am sure there has to be more than one or two republicans and a lot more Republicans ready to yell “STOP”.

How soon will the impeachment start?  I hope before the end of summer.  He and his family, along with their friends will destroy us if left in power too long.  There seems to be an undercurrent with the phrase “treason” in its flow.  That is a very different issue. One which has very different final acts.

The most important thing is none of us want to die too early because the actions of some guy with a dead critter on his head.

More Posts by Blue Bronc

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge:

it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science. — Charles Darwin The Descent of Man

By Blue Bronc, a Trail Mix Contributor

During these days, as we start week eleven (or is it fifty), we must endure more going on in a day than took place in a year of the Obama administration.  Rumour, innuendo, facts, false facts and a septic tank full of Russian spies are just what we have to ingest by lunch.  After the White House press briefing all the real reporters need to spend four more hours trying to unwind the spin and present something reasonable a typical American might understand.

This is much faster than what we had to put up with under Nixon.  The vote-loser sitting in the White House, when he is not golfing, is out-lying the previous winner of lies.  Nixon lasted more than one term.  Odds makers are starting to shorten the time for the guy with a dead orange rat on his head.

What can we do?  Besides  #resist?  Other than read up on the Soviet/Russian KGB/SVR/FSB/GRU attacks on the world and America?  Instead of lying awake at night in fear of being deported?

Cutting the cable is more survival than saving a hundred dollars a month.  Putting timers on the television so the power is off during news hours will save replacing broken televisions.  Renewing your Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Sling and whatever else streaming video is very good, and will make them more profitable, plus you can watch almost anything you want, besides the news.

Books can help.  DVD’s really are good because you have no chance of watching or listening to the news.  Vinyl records present great (or bad) music, plus the challenge of storing and cataloging them.  Going for walks and playing with squirrels puts you in touch with nature.

Avoid stress eating.  And, especially do not get sucked into drinking games based on stupid rantings of a loon.

There is much to do that will help reduce anxiety and fear.  Increase your freedom and happiness.  It just takes a little will power.

More Posts by Blue Bronc