Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The wind is blowing

And blowing it is. Wind gusts have been up to 50 miles an hour. I went out to visit a school today in Denton and was blown all over the road. I approached the corner of Carroll Boulevard and Eagle and found the the traffic lights were out along with the electricity at QuikTrip. Before I left the office, our power in the building flickered several times.

When I returned to the office, I encountered a lot of smoke. Come to find out that there was a fire north of Denton up near 380. It jumped the freeway and closed down 35 in both directions. I looked out the window and the trees were still blowing in the wind. Needless to say all of the dirt that has settled due to the low amounts of rain combined with the leaves and made some nice dust storms. Oh how I love the taste of leaves in the Spring :)

The winds should die down later tonight around sundown. But be prepared, this weather will be consistent for the next few days and the winds will return in 48 hours...

Monday, January 28, 2008


Tonight, the President will be giving his annual "State of the Union" speech. It will be interesting to see what he says due to the fact that this is his last year in office and there is much strife in the good 'ole USA these days. We have economic troubles, of which, Mr. Bush is trying to take care of by giving Americans money to spend (which most will go to foreign made goods or saved due to the instability, thus not really helping the problem) which is suggested that it will be a day late and a dollar short because it will be June before the rebates come due to the Tax season. It has been suggested that the economy will already be returning to normal by that point.

Also in the news, Barack Obama has won the Democratic Primary in South Carolina, which was a shock to the Clinton camp as they thought that they would fare well. Even John Edwards, a South Carolinian, came in 3rd place. Today, Obama has also secured a nod from Edward Kennedy, one of the long standing Democrats to this day. As Super Tuesday looms in the fore ground, it will be exciting to see who is in the lead by the end of Super Tuesday. It may be the foreshadow of the nod of the Democratic Convention. Will Edwards give up before then or will he stick it out to the end? Only time will tell...

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

All eyes on the Granite State

Today is Primary Day in New Hampshire. All eyes will be here again tonight to see what happens and who is selected by delegates of NH. Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama were the winners in the Iowa Caucus. The polls are indicating that John McCain will win the Republican vote and there is a tie between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It will be interesting to see what happens between the 2 Democrats vying for the vote. Yesterday, Hillary Clinton got emotional when responding to a question from a resident regarding campaigning. She choked up and her voice wavered as she said that it was hard and that she cared for this country so much.

I am curious if this show of emotion hurt her or not. It is definitely nice to see that she can show emotion and to know that she truly cares and wants to better this country. However, with all of the debate about a woman candidate, some may see that and apply it to other situations and make it negative.

An interesting tidbit about New Hampshire... They only have 2 network affiliates that are based in NH: PBS (operated by the University of New Hampshire) and ABC (via WMUR). NBC coverage comes from either Boston (WHDH) or Portland, Maine for Northern NH via WCSH. CBS coverage comes from Boston via WBZ. Being that the state is so small, coverage comes from the larger markets surrounding the state. I think that it would be really weird to get local news from a TV station outside of the state..

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Walmart takes over!... in Houston that is..

Walmart now has the majority market share in the greater Houston area. They have had the majority market share in the Dallas-Fort Worth for at least the last 2 years. It is not a great majority, but good enough to do the job. This year, Walmart, with its 50 stores in the Houston area, had 28.5% of the market share. Second is Kroger with 101 stores, had 25.6% of the market share. Third was HEB, 45 stores with 14.7% of the market share.

This time last year, Kroger was in the lead and Walmart was a close second.

This year in the Metroplex, Walmart's market share was 32.3% with Kroger at a distant second at 15.3%. That is a HUGE difference!

In both markets, the grocery industry is really competitive, especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth where the market is extremely saturated with many different grocery retailers.

I guess with the gas prices and the current perceived instability in the economy, it has driven people to Walmart where they can find low prices on food stuffs. In addition to the economy, recent weather patterns have not helped some crops forcing those prices to rise. I know that I have shopped more frequently at Walmart than in the past, but that is because I recently moved close to one. It is just an necessary evil. For frequent grocery shopping, I do take my business to Kroger or another major grocery retailer where I know where I will get quality food. Personally, I do not like to buy meat from Walmart because I can tell a difference between what I get at Walmart and what I can get at Kroger.

No matter where you go, it is not going to matter. It will take a great majority to bump these numbers. However, remember where your dollars go and the quality of goods that you receive before you spend your all important dollars on grocery needs.


You know, I think that this is the first time that I have ever heard the word "Caucus" used as a verb. "Caucusing" is the act of choosing a candidate for a "caucus". This is Iowa's version of a primary. Basically, this vote is supposed to indicate who will be chosen by the different parties (mainly Democrats and Republicans) to lead their party in the Presidential race.

This is one of the most heated races in a long time. According to WCBS 880 AM, the news media has focused on this primary longer than any other caucus/primary season in the last 10-15 years. I think that this is due to the increased reliance on the television news media for news as opposed to the use of newspapers to receive news. In addition, there has been a great movement for change in political policies, so I am sure that has caused this presidential season to be more heated than the ones in the past.

Iowans may set the trend for who may possibly be up to lead our country. It will be very interesting to see what Iowans think of the candidates. The whole country will be tuning in to watch the "caucusing" in action. Will you?

Late Night is back

Well the late night talk shows are back. I watched Jay Leno and it actually was the same as if he had writers who were not striking. He started out with the monologue (of which he blamed the success/failure on his wife, who moderated it for him) and then moved on to the interviews just as usual. From what I have read this morning, that is what happened on the other shows. David Letterman and Conan O'Brien both came out with facial hair instead of their usual clean cut look. I guess that is a way for them to show support for their writers. We will have to see if they will still have this look tonight.

There was a lot of speculation about what would be talked about on the shows; what would be said about the strike. Jay Leno made light of it, claiming that he was not as funny without them and blaming his wife if he was not funny. He did say that he supports the writers, but beyond that, he did not say much else about the strike. There was some talk in the blogs yesterday as to whether the networks would allow them to say anything in support or against the strikers. I guess that at least NBC did not restrict Leno from saying anything about it. I will have to see tonight about the others..

What do you think about this strike?