29 March 2007

more on a theme

From today's NYT:

Bare-Knuckle Enforcement for Wal-Mart’s Rules

Published: March 29, 2007

The investigator flew to Guatemala in April 2002 with a delicate mission: trail a Wal-Mart manager around the country to prove he was sleeping with a lower-level employee, a violation of company policy.

The apparent smoking gun? “Moans and sighs” heard as the investigator, a Wal-Mart employee, pressed his ear against a hotel room door inside a Holiday Inn, according to legal documents. Soon after, the company fired the manager for what it said was improper fraternization with a subordinate.

Wal-Mart, renowned to outsiders for its elbows-out business tactics, is known internally for its bare-knuckled no-expense-spared investigations of employees who break its ironclad ethics rules.

Over the last five years, Wal-Mart has assembled a team of former officials from the C.I.A., F.B.I. and Justice Department whose elaborate, at times globetrotting, investigations have led to the ouster of a high-profile board member who used company funds to buy hunting equipment, two senior advertising executives who took expensive gifts from a potential supplier and a computer technician who taped a reporter’s telephone calls.

Read the rest here.

28 March 2007

Wowza! Fantastic news from the NYT!

Wal-Mart Chief Writes Off New York

Published: March 28, 2007
Wal-Mart to New York: fuhgeddaboudit.

An ad in Wal-Mart’s campaign to open a store in New York City.
Frustrated by a bruising, and so far unsuccessful battle to open its first discount store in the nation’s largest city, Wal-Mart’s chief executive said yesterday, “I don’t care if we are ever here.”

H. Lee Scott Jr., the chief executive of the nation’s largest retailer, said that trying to conduct business in New York was so expensive — and exasperating — that “I don’t think it’s worth the effort.”

see the whole article here.

25 March 2007

baby sheep

photos of my trip to the farm today, and from some recent commutes.

23 March 2007

keep your fingers crossed

look what i applied for!

22 March 2007

no impact man

today i read the article, The Year Without Toilet Paper, in the New York Times. it is fascinating. this family is living in new york, on the ninth floor of their apartment building, and they are trying to leave no impact on the world for one year. this is very interesting, as most tree-hugging environmentalists live in rural areas. check out his blog here. definitely go and read the full article here.

19 March 2007

14 March 2007

a new favorite

bridgewater bird mugs. i am pretty much obsessed. i want them all. to view the collection, please visit this fine website.

07 March 2007

the homesteading lifestyle?

as i am now living more rurally than ever before, i thought that i might take this time to reflect upon three new things that have happened to me over the winter of 2006-2007.

1. cooking on a wood stove.
i have never lived somewhere where you buy gas by the tank, and therefore, can run out. luckily, we have a wood stove, otherwise, we couldn't have cooked anything. this happened in december, i think, and i made a delicious roasted chicken and baked potato feast. lemons to lemonade anyone?

2. chimney fire.
one night a month-or-so-ago, our chimney started to shoot flames like a torch. it sounded like a jet engine. i mean, it was nighttime, so, you could really really see how high the flames were. and sparks. lots of sparks. but, a chimney is a fairly contained space, so fires go out quickly. by the time the volunteer fire department showed up, it was mostly just sparks. they went through the motions, though, and put up spot lights and climbed onto the roof, and scraped down the inside with this fancy brush, and looked at the chimney through an infrared camera so that they could tell if there were any hot spots, and wore these fancy yellow outfits, and fell down on the ice. i was preoccupied, because i was in charge of getting the littles out of harm's way, and i could only find piggy. bingo knows to hide when the cat carriers come out of the closet. but, the big gq got his guitar. so, we were 2 for 3 of important things getting out in case the house went down. or, up in flames, i guess is a better phrase. maybe we should take Chas Tenenbaums' lead and start having safety drills. and wearing matching track suits.

3. no running water.
this morning, the big gq woke me up by saying that the pipes were frozen. i couldn't pee, brush my teeth, or shower. it was a little bit shocking. then, he had to chip all this ice off of the window into the space under the house, which isn't quite a basement, but he couldn't fit through the window. he is big. so then, he went to find his sister, to make her go under the house, and i was all, i'm little, i can go. but he thought that it would take hours and hours to thaw the pipes with a little heat gun (technically my embosser for rubber stamping), and i have to go on the boat in order to go to work. (the boat waits for no man.) so, then his sister came with a super-duper hot gun-thing, and the big gq wedged himself into the hole, and heated the pipes. he was wearing a head lamp. presto-changeo the water came back on full force. i mean, running everywhere, so we had to adjust the faucets so that they continued to trickle down the pipes and hopefully prevent freezing. so, gq is focused on hooking up a heater under the house today, and running a fire in the wood-stove at full blast to keep our little house as warm as possible.

can you believe it?

02 March 2007