"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Coffee Break

What is all this press about Starbucks closing for 3 hours for employee training? The Internet, national and local tv and newspapers are all screaming headlines about this event. So what?

I'm not a coffee drinker, but I do know accounting and marketing. It appears Starbucks just got a whole lot of very expensive media coverage at no cost. It's all most likely just a very savvy PR move. Shut off the supply and people just crave it more.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Family friendly movie favorites

Since the Academy Awards are tonight and so many of today's movies are filled with blood, gore, and violence, I thought I'd make a short list of some older great children/family friendly movies I have enjoyed with my family over the years. Some are obvious, some are more obscure. Some are foreign films that may be difficult for very young children. Many are not only entertaining but have deep lessons of tolerance, morality, perseverance and strength. Many have strong female leading characters which I guess was influenced by the fact that I have two daughters.

1. Frog - a 1987 made for TV flick by Wonderworks; Elliott Gould, Shelley Duvall, Scott Grimes, and Paul Williams. Don't confuse this with the sequel "Frogs!"; the original is the best one. The whole family will be singing "That's amore" by the time it's over.

2. Rabbit Proof Fence - 2002 - Rated PG - Excellent for older kids; based on true story of 3 girls making their way back home alone across the Australian outback in 1931.

3. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - 1971- Rated G - might be scary and a bit rough for really young ones, but I think this version is better than Johnny Depp's recent remake. Great music, great acting, great lessons.

4. Whale Rider - 2002 - New Zealand film rated PG-13 - an 11 year old girl believes she is destined to be chief of her Maori family tribe; strong relationship between girl and her grandfather

5. Children of Heaven - 1997 - Rated PG - a poor Iranian boy loses his sister's only pair of shoes, so he and his sister share one pair; (sub-titles)

6. Millions - 2005 - Rated PG - two English boys find millions of dollars; one wants to spend it, one wants to give it away

7. My Dog Skip - 2000 - Rated PG - lonely kid comes out of his shell because of a dog

8. Her Majesty - 2001 - Rated PG - New Zealand film - 13 yr old girl has lifetime dream of meeting the Queen and finds her chance to fulfill it

9. The Man from Snowy River - 1982 - Rated PG - a western the whole family can enjoy; beautiful scenery

10. I Am David - 2003 - Rated PG - 12 yr old boy escapes Communist concentration camp with only a loaf of bread and a letter to deliver to someone in Denmark; another movie about a strong, determined child

11. The Secret of Roan Inish - 1994 - Rated PG - Irish fairy tale; quiet, slow moving, but great story.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fashion un-sense

I remember the days when pregnant women wore this style of top

and shapely young things wore tight-fitting spandex tops like this.

Today it's the reverse. I much prefer the good old days.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Outta my way!

Ambling is a disease that seems rampant around here. In the ordinary course of the day, I am NOT an ambler. I walk fast and determined. I am generally on a mission. Problem is, the world around me never seems to be doing the same.

This weekend I was in the big town grocery store. I have my list and coupons (yes, I do clip & use) and know where things that I want are located. I should be able to get in and out of the giant store within 30 minutes (including checkout). Unfortunately, these days people seem to go to the grocery store for recreation.

I'll excuse some of the elderly patrons who can barely walk and who use their shopping carts as walkers, but what is the problem with everyone else? Young couples stroll hand in hand. Strangers and friends chat around the stroller (I mean shopping cart) admiring the beautiful baby. Customers huddle around the grilled food samples eating with plastic utensils from paper containers You'd think we were in a city park on a warm Sunday afternoon. This is a retail store for god's sake!

It appears that for most everyone else, a trip to the grocery store is their only form of recreation. Of course, this is just what the grocery marketing people want. They even advertise that the average customer spends over an hour there. I'm sorry, but I'm not buying into the "grocery shopping is fun" marketing ploy. Let me get my stuff and get out of there.

If leisurely shopping is what I want, I'll take the local open air farmer's market atmosphere anytime over the Muszak and free sample ladies at the big box store. But it's February and I have no other choice. So if any of you guilty ones are reading this, please get out of the center of the aisle, pull over to the side, and let the rest of us pass and get on with our business. We have more interesting and better things to do than spend the afternoon in a big box.

And while I'm at it, it would be nice to allow customers like me to self-serve check-out more than 12 items. The cashiers move slower than the ambling customers.