Sunday, March 12, 2006

Random Thoughts, Part 72

Do you not love the sunshine? Yesterday in Buffalo, New York was heaven. A day to energize, a day that compels you to wash windows, clean out some of those nooks and crannies, open the windows, bring out the Lemon Pledge.

And to top it off my parents dropped by with a belated Christmas present: chocolate almond cake. Growing up we had a German friend who baked the most wonderful treats. Lovely flakey things with jam and dusted with sugar. But my favorite was that rich, dense chocolate cake with a batter of ground almonds and lemon zest. Thanks mom, it was worth the two month wait.

But today is a rainy day. Off to the library. I think I shall treat myself to an hour reading in front of the picture window. Happy Sunday!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Just Thinking...

It's too late in the day to think, but darn it! I stopped by to pay Liz a "visit" and she gave me plenty to think about. WalMart is indeed a double edged sword. In some areas of the country, it is the only game in town. But in larger suburban areas it does a great job of driving out a large amount of the diversity in a given area increasing the homogenization of America.

A super WalMart is proposed in an area of our town that has yet to be overly developed. It would be located between a daycare center and large dog kennel. The land itself is good for very little; the soil is poor, the drainage is worse. In point of fact, it is part of the flood plain that protects all the "little pink houses" in the developments. A large local developer purchased the land several years ago after the zoning was changed from agricultural to large commercial. The taxes have been paid with the idea that it would some day be sold at a profit to a large corporation.

So you know who rears their head, and the town roars in protest. The developer who wants to sell is threatening to sue if the deal is foiled.

So a few weeks ago we find a very unique piece of bulk mail. WalMart sent a beautiful brochure seeking the support of the community in its new business venture. This mega corporation was actually asking this town and the outlying area to contact the board and voice approval of the project. Huh. WalMart needs me. Hmm.

Moving on...eating locally. Yesterday while at the grocery store I really made an effort to purchase food items that were within a 100 mile radius. Buffalo makes many foods that are distributed throughout and beyond WNY. But do you think I could find a stinkin' loaf of bread on the shelves at Tops that was not distributed closer than Pennsylvania or New Jersey? I wonder how many gallons of gasoline are used to move around the food my family eats in one year? And who the heck is eating all those hard, pale strawberries I saw in the produce section? Part of eating local, is eating seasonally. And besides, it just tastes better.