Road Trip

 

I’m going to Myrtle Beach tomorrow…

Why would I do this in mid-November on the coldest weekend of the year so far?

Because I’ve been wanting to for a few months now. Because I found a room at the Red Roof Inn for about thirty bucks. Because I’m very excited about spending a freezing cold night by the sea. Because I haven’t had a chance to poke around down there all by myself in almost twenty years. Because I’m in a bit of a funk and need to get out of this apartment for a while. And pretty much just because I damned well feel like it…

Groceteria Message Board

I didn’t mention it here before, but in case anyone cares, I added a new message board over at my other site. I won’t be doing that here, mainly because pretty much no one uses the message board at this site anymore and it’s not really worth the extra effort and server load. But the new one’s pretty cool for an open source freebie

Early Morning in Charlotte

The neighborhood Wal-Mart Supercenter is strangely pleasant at 5:30 in the morning. Employees outnumber customers about two to one, there are no lines, and everyone is really friendly and says “hello” when you walk by. Actually, this being the south, they all say “hey”…

I drowned my sorrows after dropping Mark off at the airport (he’s spending another month working in San Francisco) by picking up some of those great cinammon buns that are only $1.44 for a four-pack. I also discovered that Antichrist Inc. sells its own brand of (passably good) English toasting bread…

I love roaming around town at odd hours when there’s no one else on the streets. Maybe it’s my antisocial nature, but it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, even though this particular morning was the coldest one of the year so far…

Mmmm. Hard freeze…

Marketing

By way of clarification, I’d generally rather shop at Target as well. They have nicer stores and the whole shopping experience is generally more pleasant than at Wal-Mart. But my point — and the theme of the article cited — is that I don’t equate Target’s enhanced shopping experience nor their elevated sense of style and fashion with some false notion of moral or ethical superiority…

Ultimately, Target and Wal-Mart are two very competent retailers who do everything they can to maximize profits. The only siginificant differences are aesthetics and demographics. The fact that Target attracts stylish middle-class urbanites rather than fat, boring low-income rural and ethnic shoppers does not by definition make it more “socially conscious”. It’s all marketing. Period…

Armstrong Cork

Mark sent me sad news today. One of my favorite buidings anywhere is about to be converted into lofts. I’ve been obsessed with the Armstrong Cork Factory since my first visit to Pittsburgh eight years ago. I’m sorry to see it go…

While the capitalist in me is happy to see such a potentially valuable piece of property no longer going to waste, the urban aesthetician (is that even a word?) in me is terribly depressed to know this amazing building is about to be cleaned and sanitized to make cute little hipster condos which will strip away every bit of its character and context…

Oh well. I guess it couldn’t stand forever in that magnificent state of neglect and decay…