Archive for October, 2010
The new Lowes store on Bayshore, which has been rising over the past year, opened its doors yesterday, Oct. 29, with little fanfare. A sign on the facade said Now Open. Unlike other shiny, white Lowes mall-type buildings, this one is in muted earth tones. It features an indoor parking garage, unlike the old Goodmans Lumber, which must be the reason its so enormous–the size of two football fields.
A story in SFGate today gave readers a glimpse inside the store, which has hired more than 200 workers, the majority from the local community.
In keeping with the low profile of this store, it is not mentioned or pictured on the main Lowes official site yet.
Store address: 491 Bayshore Boulevard. (415) 486-8611
Rick Springfield wrote a memoir. That phrase alone pretty much precludes the utility of a review of that memoir; you will either read it or not read it on that basis. All the same, when a copy of Late, Late at Night arrived unannounced in the mailbox with a photo of Springfields handsomely plastic-surgeried, Bret-Micheals-part-deux-looking mug emblazoned all over the cover — and self-authored, no less — it was too good to pass up. And a reading of a randomly selected chapter did indeed reveal that, in many ways, this book is exactly what you might expect. Unexpectedly, though, in many ways, its a lot better.
Most likely, the chapter I happened to select probably played a role in why it was good: Opening with Springfield getting off a plane in Hawaii in the present tense, the chapter revealed itself within the first couple of pages to be set at the beginning of Springfields career, right as hes getting started. And those are always — to me, anyway — the most interesting parts. Springfield is on his way to America at the behest of record-label bigwigs, who plan to turn him into the next teen sensation a la David Cassidy (an evidently common comparison for him at the time that he frequently brings up and obviously resents). The year is 1972.
Probably the most surprising thing about the read is that Springfields writing is not half bad — Im assuming he had some good editors, but still — and he makes some interesting observations right off the bat about a foreigners perspective (hes from Australia, I gather) on these United States, such as this one: Honestly, no one born in the US can ever truly understand the impact of the greatest PR machine on the face of the planet — the American Movie — and the effect it has had on us foreign kids raised on them.
From there, he goes into a pretty funny story about the guy who picks him up in LA in a giant Cadillac, which, bafflingly, has power steering. I dont know about power steering yet, Springfield relates, and I think to myself Wow, does America make everybody so strong that you can drive with one finger!? — the italics and extra punctuation, by the way, are Springfeilds.
For the most part, Springfields accounts read like the particularly thoughtful diary entries of an amatuer — they are, unsurprisingly, entirely exposition, no dialogue, very little in-depth action. Just the recollections from inside Springfields head with a few asides along the way. And a few of those asides can get pretty hackneyed.
But theres something different about London that I cant quite put my finger on. I get the feeling much later that is [sic] has something to do with the mass influx of immigrants and the beginning of the melting pot most Western counties will experience. Its a natural progression, for any country in the free world worth living in, that travelers from across the seas bring with them their own magic but slowly erase some of the original identity of the new land they are now part of. I see it in Australia these days, too. Its not a bad thing; its just change. Inexorable change. Maybe it will help prevent wars over the color of a flag, but I doubt it. And nothing well ever stop us all fighting over the true name of God.
Thank you, Rick. That shit was touching.
Really, though, such incidences are minimal, and Springfield — very much to his credit — doesnt often try to give the text more weight than it deserves; it is, after all, the life story of a hair-rock balladeer who was also a soap opera star. In fact, Springfield comes off as very much conscious of his own goofy image, and hes often wry and clever, making fun of the teen-machine establishment and his often unwitting role in the gears grinding. Hes also refreshingly honest about his own insecurity within it; the chapter closes with his first fear-driven experience, at age 23, with plastic surgery — also, to his credit, not laid on too thick.
It is, of course, an absolutely featherweight read — do not expect to be challenged. If you like Rick Springfield, youll find some interesting insider stuff here. And even if you dont, and you just have an interest in the inner workings of the music industry in the 70s and 80s (which I happen to), it just might be worth reading for that, too. Then again, maybe I just picked the right chapter.
By Arielle Kass
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Asbury Automotive Group, the Duluth automotive retailer and service company, saw its earnings rise as vehicle sales rose.
Although we dont believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes — just in case theyre material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of auto retailer Group 1 Automotive (NYSE: GPI) jumped more than 11% in intraday trading today as investors cheered the companys third-quarter earnings report.
So what: Recession-strapped consumers dont buy big-ticket items like cars, right? Well apparently theyre out buying used cars in droves, because a 34% surge in used car sales gave a major boost to Group 1s results. Not to be totally outdone, new vehicle sales were up 13%, which is particularly impressive since this time last year sales were getting a boost from Cash for Clunkers. Overall, the company saw a 10% advance in operating income and earnings per share of $0.83 beat analysts $0.75 expectation.
Now what: If Fords (NYSE: F) continued strong results say anything about the auto market right now, Group 1 may be in line for more smile-inducing results in the quarters to come. While its a business that may be a little hard to get overly excited about, the stocks valuation looks pretty reasonable right now, particularly if it continues its postrecession bottom-line bounce.
Interested in more info on Group 1 Automotive? Add it to your watchlist here by clicking here.
SHERMAN, TX–Fixing the house doesnt have to be expensive. Home improvement shoppers were able to get good deals this weekend for a good cause.
Grayson County Habitat for Humanity held a sale at its warehouseSaturday. Home improvement supplies included light fixtures, faucets, windows and wood.
Theyre great bargains, Laurie Mealy said, Grayson CountyHabitat for Humanity Executive Director. The idea is that we want to give back to the community so we want people to be able to buy things at a reduced price.
Were just working to try to keep stuff out of our landfills while helping the homeowner or contractors or whoever it is, Melody Jones said.
Also, the Elias and Hanna Regensburger Foundation donated a trailer to help habitat volunteers move their building supplies a little more easily.
Jen French, KTEN News
(via COMTEX News Network)–
Shares of TRW Automotive (NYSE: TRW) traded at a new 52-week high today of $46.17. Approximately 395,000 shares have traded hands today vs. average 30-day volume of 1.6 million shares.
TRW Automotive is currently trading at $46.11, approximately 18.7% above its 50-day moving average of $38.86. SmarTrend will be monitoring shares of TRW to see if this bullish momentum will continue.
SmarTrend is bullish on shares of TRW Automotive and our subscribers were alerted to Buy on September 03, 2010 at $38.36. The stock has risen 20.2% since the alert was issued.
Write to Chip Brian at email@example.com
SmarTrend analyzes over 5,000 securities simultaneously throughout the trading day and provides its subscribers with trend change alerts in real time. To get a free trial of our trading calls and maximize your trading results, please visit http://www.mysmartrend.com
Get exclusive, actionable insight into how the market is expected to trend prior to market open with our free morning newsletter. Sign up at: http://www.mysmartrend.com/signup
The personal tensions of Californias gubernatorial campaign have claimed their position in the headlines.
Issues affecting higher education, on the other hand, are seldom discussed.
Undocumented housekeepers, sexist slurs and falsified advertisements have scandalized candidates Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown, but they have neglected to address the crisis plaguing Californias once-praised higher education system.
According to the US News and World Report, California holds 13 of the nations top 100 universities, more than any state in the country.
However, increasing tuition and fee hikes put higher education in an increasingly vulnerable position.
Both candidates have neglected to make this a key component in their campaigns.
Politics is lazy, said political science instructor and SF State alumnus Al Schendan. People are reflective of the system they operate in.
Schendan said in terms of higher education, Brown would be most deserving of the student vote.
Jerry Brown has historically funded higher education, Schendan said. His father was instrumental to higher education.
Browns father, former governor Pat Brown, developed the California Master Plan for Higher Education in 1960.
Brown said he plans to restructure the master plan if elected. He believes it has been undermined throughout the years.
Schendan also noted that Whitmans plan to eliminate some taxes and her promise to never implement tax increases would be troublesome for education funding.
If you dont have the tax money you cant fund, Schendan said.
Whitman believes raising taxes is not the solution, but public universities can be improved by reforming the welfare system.
California has a much larger share of recipients of welfare than the nation as a whole, said Darrel Ng, Whitmans spokesman. There are efficiencies that can be found and reforms to be made.
Whitman said in a debate at UC Davis Sept. 28 that she plans to dedicate $1 billion to the UC and CSU systems through welfare and budget reform.
According to Whitman, California has five times as many welfare recipients as New York and only twice the population.
These funds would fall under the administration of the chancellors to decide the most immediate need for resources, Whitman said.
She understands that the UC, CSU system is one of the jewels in our state, Ng said. Whitman wants UC and CSUs to continue to be as affordable as possible and continue the pioneering research they do.
After graduation, students ultimate goal will be to attain employment, Ng said.
The number one thing on everyones mind is jobs, said Ng. People attend college to get jobs.
Whitmans plans include creating 5 million jobs in the next five years, Ng said.
We can go back and reelect a part of Sacramento culture, a failure, said Ng. Or they can elect a woman who has created jobs in the private sector and knows how to create them should she be elected.
Esther Labrado, president of the SF State College Democrats, said students should take much more interest in the upcoming elections.
Its important that the next generation is highly educated, she said. We are just entering the workforce, we are just entering the world essentially after graduation.
The College Democrats have officially endorsed Jerry Brown for governor.
Brown said he plans to end the displacement of funding taken from institutions of higher education and placed into the prison systems. His plans also include implementing additional online learning systems and increasing the number of transferable courses from community colleges.
I think he understands that college students are the future, Labrado said.
Audrey Arthur @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Upon entering the MD Anderson Library and taking a sharp right up the stairs toward the Honors College Commons, you can feel the overwhelming support for the Creative Writing Program. Cheese, fruits, chocolate assortments and juice were provided to instill an aura of comfort in the room amongst family, faculty and friends.
The Creative Writing Program is not one to be overlooked at UH, as the students and faculty members possess honest talent and vast potential. The excerpts that were read from their current untitled works sparked the interests of potential readers and provided an awesome opportunity for listeners to catch a glimpse before the finished products are presented to the public.
With the sun setting Wednesday evening, UH faculty member and master of ceremonies Carey Gillman welcomed guests and writers to the 11th Poetry and Prose readings. Creative writers read excerpts from their upcoming novels.
Writers included Mat Johnson, Jameelah Lang, Quincy Flowers and Edward Porter. Writer Mat Johnson is a UH creative writing faculty member who presents an excerpt of a young man’s expedition to Antarctica.
He is the published author of “Drop,” “Hunting in Harlem” and” Incognegro,” just to list a few. He is currently working on his doctorate in literature and creative writing.
Following Johnson was Jameelah Lang’s narration of two passages from her current project, “Things You Cannot Tell,” in which she humorously notes that her mother reconfigured it in its entirety and wrote her own novel. Lang’s achievements include a batchelor’s in English literature and a master of arts in creative writing in which she received from yours truly, UH. With the mission to merge creative writing with community, Lang co-founded the Bathtub Kansas Writer’s Collective. She is currently working on her doctorate in fiction and nonfiction at UH.
Nervous at the start but ending with a commanding finish, Quincy Flowers was the next writer to present. After receiving a master’s in American literature from New York University and winning the Ludwig Vogelstein Award for fiction by the New York Times, Flowers continues to pursue the fruitful insight and benefits of education in his fourth year working on his doctorate in literature and creative writing.
To close the evening Edward Porter read an excerpt from his untitled upcoming novel. Porter is a third year doctoral student in the UH Creative Writing Program. He has already received a master of arts from Warren Wilson College.
Each of the writers captivated the audience with a range of emotions ranging from laughter to stillness during the teasers of their unfinished works.
There will be more opportunities to support your UH family — like the following event. Mark your calendar on Oct. 29 for the 6th Annual Great Pumpkin Carving Contest hosted by the MD Anderson Library and Student Government Association. Excitement, prizes and pumpkins will be accompanied with complimentary cider and donuts for your support.
Newsquest, the regional newspaper chain that has been accused of cutting too many staff, has achieved high profit margins over the last couple of years despite the problems afflicting the industry.
Gracia Martore, chief financial officer at the companys US parent, Gannett, said on Friday:
Let me once and for all dispel the myth that Newsquest doesnt make money. Newsquest makes a lot of money.
In fact, their margin, as I have said a couple of times, is consistent with the margin that our local US community publishing operations generate.
So their margins are in the high teens to low 20s. And they have consistently made money throughout the years, even in a year like last year when revenues were under as much pressure as they were.
She was speaking during the companys briefing to analysts while reporting its third-quarter results. These revealed an overall fall of 5% in advertising revenue, but a 7% fall at Newsquest.
This prompted one analyst to ask whether Newsquest – which publishes 189 titles in the UK, including 19 dailies – was still a core part of the business, suggesting that Gannett might sell it off.
Martore replied that if someone offered us a price that we felt was extremely attractive, then those are the kinds of situations where we would take that to the board.
That prompted Gannetts chief executive, Craig Dubow, to butt in: Despite rumours that have been out there and so on, we are very happy with the position that we have.
Martore explained that Newsquests ad revenue fall had to be seen against the backdrop of Britains challenging economic environment and uncertainty around the spending cuts agenda of the new government.
This situation had an impact… particularly in the retail and classified categories. Property had, however, continued to be positive.
She claimed that ahead of this weeks comprehensive spending review public spending has virtually come to a halt in Britain and consumer confidence has weakened as a result of that.
So, she added, there are some micro-political and economic issues that Newsquest is contending with.
She praised Newsquests chairman and chief executive, Paul Davidson along with Gannetts newspaper division chief, Bob Dickey, for doing an extraordinary job in not only being focused on the expense side, but more importantly looking at significant initiatives to drive revenue growth into the future.
According to figures published by the National Union of Journalists – based on Gannetts accounts – Newsquest shed 17% of its editorial staff last year, down from 1,936 to 1,609.
Here is a pdf of Gannetts 2009 accounts.
It isn’t 101 ways but I can surely find more than ten reasons why I do love computers and technology at that! I could even break out in a song about how so much easier life has been ever since I got to know them.
After I lost most of my belongings to Ondoy last year, I grieved not for the Prada bag that Ninang Annabelle gave me or the $100 skirt I had just bought at the last trip abroad I made before the typhoon, but instead, I admit that my heart bled because my PC, HP Pavilion lappy and back up external hard drive perished in it. Not that the ultimate gratification from that ordeal is that I live and breathe here today.
I can never thank Him enough for His good grace but years of work, achievements and memories went with those things. Which brings us to the subject at hand — thank God for technology and computers! Just as I thought my files and tons of data were lost, I realized that I had a “virtual back up!” Geesh, little by little, I was able to retrieve proposals, pictures, projects via email and the internet! Woohoo! Oh dear, computers are a blessings and a half!
I was able to retrieve Keoni’s growing up pictures that I had downloaded, uploaded on sites and how! Especially since I document in pictures and words pretty much most everything! I take more photos than most would think is humanly possible.
Now I have two computers. One is a desktop which I strategically placed in Keoni’s room and I have an HP Mini which doesn’t really take the place of my Pavilion but hey, it’s literally gotten rid of a load off my back (it’s practically weightless) which I tote most every day to and from work.
It’s made mobility, facility, conveniently easier. In many ways, computers are my window to the world. Thanks to work that I can also do at home, my time is my own. I get to spend quality time with my Keoni, Daddy and Hubby.
Computers also make it easy to catch up on missed TV shows. Dad’s CSI, hubby’s Man vs. Animal, Grey’s Anatomy and me and my Glee, Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, etc. The internet is a multitaskers Shangri-La. The Net encourages us to leap from meeting newspaper deadlines, to blogging to searching want ads to googling recipes or vacation sites and helping Keoni read about Mesopotamia. The possibilities are just endless! How can I not profess my love?
Lemme hear from yah! email@example.com
- Book Reviews
- Computers and Technology
- Food and Drink
- Home and Family
- Home Based Business
- Home Improvement
- Kids and Teens
- Product Reviews
- Real Estate