Wednesday, December 10, 2008

10 Dec

Gas went to 1.699 yesterday.

Snowing to beat heck outside, 1"/hour.  Forecast 5-7 inches today.  And the snow plow tractor isn't done.  Ah well.

Economic news continues to get gloomier.  There are even rumors of layoffs at Blandin here in GR.  Since Blandin makes coated paper usually used for adverts and mags they typically see steady or increased business during economic downturns as businesses increase advertising, but with the rise of global e-business many companies are turning to the Internet to increase their visibility, and mags have been losing subscribers steadily over the last few years as more people use the internet.  Blandin's warehouses are reportedly full now, so they will need to cut back sharply soon.  Since they are one of the major employers in the county it will be a big blow here.  However, they still seem to be shipping paper since I still see the special train delivering clay and hauling away 5-8 boxcars of paper daily.  We'll see.

I'm still waiting to see the new Sherwin-Williams paint store close.  I was very surprised when they opened it last spring, back on a side road behind the new Super Wal-Mart.  I have never seen any other cars in its parking lot other than the two employees.  I have been in twice looking for paint products that they do not sell only to end up at my usual hardware store where they do sell the product I'm looking for.  I suppose that they are primarily aimed at the professional painting contractor rather than the homeowner or hobbyist, and maybe contractors will keep them open.  Our local ProBuild (formerly UBC) never has any vehicles in the parking lot, but rumor is that most contractors in the area use them and that is how they stay open.  They must give contractors a pretty deep discount if that is true; every time  I have priced them they have been nearly twice as expensive as any other source in the area.

Need to go get parts to fix a heater.  The heater we used while working on the Suburban needs to go back to its owner today; and the one that is to replace it needs a new power cord.  The ground prong was bent over and when I tried to straighten it the prong broke off.  Since we are working here with diesel and electricity I want it to be properly grounded when we plug it in.  Would have been easy to just put a new plug on the cord, but the cord is only 2" long to begin with and there just isn't room to cut it off and start over.

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