Yesterday, Thursday, was a strange news day. Everything I read in the local fish-wrap had a quirky twist to it. Many of the news stories seemed like “more” was needed to be said. I’m here to fix that problem.
The first chuckle was reading the quotes about our “Fresh & Easy” stores. For those non-west- coasters, let me explain. The largest retailer in England is a company called Tesco. A couple of years ago they decided to come to California, Arizona and Nevada and build 200 small grocery stores. They have a lot of their own brands, lots of fresh “ready-to-cook” items, decent prices and a self-check and bag your own system. They are like a non-frozen Trader Joe’s EXCEPT the quality is not to the Trader Joe’s standard. I probably shopped there a half dozen times and didn’t go back. That was at least a year ago. Well, I guess I was the average shopper because they are not doing too well. Typically when a company addresses the media about a venture going sour, the CEO gives a couple of mealy-mouthed quotes and slinks away to wait for his stock price to slip lower. The proper British gentleman from Tesco cracked me up. Here’s what he had to say to the media yesterday. (I’ll translate later). “This hardly represents Tesco’s finest hour…Whilst (isn’t that a great under-used word?) the business has many positives, its journey to scale and acceptable returns will take too long relative to other opportunities.” (Translation: We’re losing our ass so don’t be surprised when 200 stores suddenly disappear.)
Another story that doesn’t get a lot of media attention BUT SHOULD, is: Please Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Arkansas, send us your illegal immigrants because we are letting crops rot in the fields with no one to help us. A survey of 800 California farmers showed that 465 of them NEED workers desperately. They are letting crops rot in the fields, and delaying tree pruning. Our borders are very difficult to cross now (as they should be) so we don’t have enough workers. They have offered more money, to no avail. We need a “guest-worker” program.
Reading further I was amazed that the newly released American Psychiatric Guide has dropped Asperger’s as a diagnosis. I don’t mind that. They can classify and re-classify all they want. The part of the article that brought a smile to my face was the reaction from some fine citizens. It stated that some folks diagnosed with Asperger’s are outraged they are dropping that name and they vow to continue to use that label and embrace their quirkiness. Good for them. The next person who proudly proclaims to me he has Asperger’s disorder, I will slap him hard across the face and tell him I am proud to be socially mal-adjusted (which was also dropped a few years ago).
On our local scene, I was proud to read about a local high school graduate who was named to the 2013 Rhodes Scholar list. It got me thinking about attending Oxford University (Free as a Rhodes Scholar…about $50,000 per year) and what I would study. I narrowed it down to a few of my passions…music, history, philosophy, business or sociology. I couldn’t decide but I’d love to study all of them. Back to the local story I read that our winning boy heading to Oxford is going for a Masters research degree in applied statistics to study data analytics and machine learning in computer science. Oh, why didn’t I think of that?
Have a nice weekend!