Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Shop at the Gap this weekend

Vicky Schlessinger at the LaConner Chamber of Commerce, the publicity and promotions director, is excited about her new plan to stimulate retail business in LaConner.

"Well, you see, we have these empty store fronts, and people are like worried that it doesn't look good, you know, like the bloom is off the rose and LaConner isn't the cool place to go anymore.

"So I figured let's take these lemons and make lemonade. That's where I came up with this promotional campaign -- Shop at the Gap -- get it? Gaps are cool. People will gather around the empty storefronts and wonder what will happen next."

ALSO IN LACONNER. The Next Chapter bookstore has a new owner. John and Sharon will still own the building and continue to live upstairs, but Lisa has leased the bookstore and will be .... Actually, I don't know what her plans are. She might keep it exactly the way it is or make it better.

John and Sharon ran the Next Chapter for ten years and it was always a good place to browse and converse, so thanks to them and the best of luck to Lisa.

I got into an interesting conversation with Tom at the Produce Market -- about politics and government in various African countries. I said that if you were a true Libertarian, you would enjoy living in Somalia, because they don't have any government at all. Then Tom and I discussed the recent history of Zimbabwe and the disastrous government of Robert Mugabe. We agreed that, as much as we complain, or because we complain, our American gov't. is much better.

But everybody is talking about the economy and the financial crisis -- all over town. Everybody is angree (a new and better way to spell angry), Democrats and Republicans alike. Well, I beg to differ. I am not angry, and I feel that the rest of you are indulging your emotions in moral indignation. It's true that nobody loves a banker, in good times are bad, but we sure need them -- and right now, they need us, so I support the bailout plan. The principle actors --- Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Hank Paulson, and George Bush -- are all deeply flawed individuals and no better than the rest of us in that way. Even so, we elected them and they're trying their best.

Maybe we need Donald Rumsfeld now, because we have entered the territory of the "unknown unknowns," a concept Rumsfeld is familiar with.

I am very calm myself -- which is not a good sign -- because my instinct is to become very calm in an emergency. Yet I urge others to be calm as well because it fosters a good climate for decision making.

Some people say let the chips fall where they may, but I say there's a hundred pound chunk of concrete flying at my head from a Wall Street bank, so I want to help them keep their structure intact.

Other people say we can return to simpler times and keep a barter economy. To those people, I say "Go camping and get it out of your system."

But there is a quiet reward for those of us who have planned well. Our farmhouse has wood heat, and we have six cords of wood all cut and stacked, sufficient for the winter. It sure feels good to look at that wood -- all paid for and ready to use and not having to worry about the heating bill.

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