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Thirteen Thursday: Check This Out

walmart13.jpg 1. I drive to Christiansburg about 3 times a month for things I can’t easily find in Floyd. Otherwise, I shop locally.

2. The first Christiansburg Wal-Mart was built on an arboretum owned by Virginia Tech.

3. When a K-mart went up soon after it, someone painted “ON THE 8TH DAY WE PAVED IT” in guerilla graffiti fashion on the front of it. I still have the photo I took before it got painted over.

4. The Wal-Mart wasn’t big enough for its owners. It had only been up for about a year when it was abandoned for an all new “Super Wal-Mart,” built across the street.

5. I boycotted Walmart for the first year or so in protest of the loss of green space and because I knew that it would pave the way for a strip mall of stores (which it has), but then I discovered that Wal-Mart had the best film developing in the area, and so I started shopping there occasionally.

6. I read this in the Washington Spectator yesterday: Walmart, now the nation’s largest employer, is no real bargain. It doesn’t pay living wages, offers only limited health care coverage, and militantly discourages union organizing. Its workers are often subsidized by public tax and medical benefits, which means that Wal-Mart’s famous “low” prices are actually paid for through the hardships of its poverty-level workers and a higher tax burden on the majority of taxpayers.

7. The last thing I bought in Walmart was a label maker after my son got one and told me how much fun they can be.

8. The first thing I printed with my label maker is my favorite current saying, “I’LL KEEP YOU POSTED.” I think that would make a nice final epitaph for a blogger, but for now, I stuck it on my computer.

9. A label maker appeals to my love of “magnetic poetry.” It reminds me of a Chinese Fortune dispenser, and makes me want to get into the guerilla graffiti business.

10. Once I parked my car in the Wal-Mart parking lot and accidentally left it in neutral without the emergency brake on. I was inside shopping when my license plate, “Let it B,” was announced on the load speaker. In a panic, I rushed outside to find that my car had rolled out of its parking space. Some guys had taken the air out of the tires to keep it from smashing into another car.

11. I once ran into Nikki Giovanni, the nationally acclaimed poet who teaches at Virginia Tech and whose creative writing class I once audited, in Wal-Mart. I didn’t say anything to her at the time, but later I wrote her a note, and she graciously answered me.

12. I guess Wal-Mart isn’t superstitious. I took 3 photos of the number 13 in the store.

13. The photo department refused to develop one of my 13 Wal-Mart photos. They don’t allow pictures taken of the inside of their store, I was told. I guess they didn’t notice the above photo and the other 13 one I took.

Post Note: Go visit Nicole at The Girl Next Door for the 13 Thursday rules of engagement.

Comments

Interesting TT, Colleen!! Your nr. 8 is so simple and so clever, I love it! Thanks for visiting my ">">">http://maremag.blogspot.com/2006/01/thursday-13_113818991293810179.html"> TT today! Good luck with the blogroll.

Great list hun. I just emailed you back. Thanks for getting back to me. Sorry you had so much trouble with contacting me though. Anyways, Happy TT!

Thanks for coming by.

I don't shop at Wal-mart for all the reasons that article listed. But, I live in an area where I have choices. My mother would kill for a Wal-Mart. They have nothing there and have to go one to two hours away to get stuff.

So cool that you ran into Nikki Giovanni at Wal-mart! I have a friend in TN who sees Garth Brooks at Wal-mart often. It is a small world!

How do you become part of the Thursday 13? I would like to participate. It seems like a great way to get to know other bloggers.

Very interesting thirteen. You're making me want a label-maker!
I live in MD, where the legislature just passed a law requiring Wal-Mart to pay for their employee's health care benefits. During the debate, people were interviewed about their opinions on Walmart. Most people said they didn't think Walmart was a good company, but then they admitted that they shop there anyway because they want cheap prices!!!
Wal-mart is fighting the law. We'll see what happens. It does seem ridiculous, though, that small businesses have to offer health care benefits and a multi-million dollar company like walmart has its employees' children receiving medicaid.

Very interesting stuff. The graffiti thing is funny. What you read in the paper about Walmart is why my boycott is over 2 years and running.

odd thing about the 13 too...

I always wondered about those label makers, that's cool!

Thanks for leaving your wedding story in my comments, it made me smile :-)

I avoid Walmart like the plague.

My 13 are up. :)

Hi!

My 13 are up! Swing by and leave me your direct link in comments and I will add you!

:)

LOVE the "13" sign pic from the grocery store! Great idea!

My direct link for that entry is :

http://harmonia.blogsome.com/2006/01/26/thursday-13-scrapbooking/

There certainly has been a lot of negative press about Walmart lately. There is a large Walmart out by my mom's house that they are going to abandon once their lease is up. I'm fairly upset about it because the stupid place tore down at least 100 acres of mature forestland to make their store. Grrr.

That's interesting that you're not allowed to take photos inside the store. I wonder why.

One of the best articles about Wal Mart is here:
http://www.alternet.org/story/12962/

Guess Wal Mart eats them all up - I recently heard, that Toys R Us is going out of business. Reason? Wal Mart. I happens, I know to the small guys who can't compete but I always thought Toys R Us was another big guy.

My daughter had driving lessons in the abandoned Walmart parking lot in Mississippi.

The fact that they don't want you taking pictures in their store screams of your Christmas present for next year.... have everyone go together and get you a digital camera. With an extra 1GB memory card you can take your pictures, put them on your computer, play with them and then upload through Picasa to Winkflash. At Winkflash they will print your pictures for 12 cents a print and ship them to your door usually in less than a week for the flat shipping rate of 99cents. I just did this for my mom. 31 prints shipped, time from computer upload to delivery was 5 days (including a Sunday), and the total cost was $4.71. Walmart can't beat that. And now that Picasa is linked to Winkflash the upload is amazingly easy.

I just might have to start doing these 13's too. I clicked on "Amy" (commented above) to check out her first attempt. I found that her #7 matches me... I am also and the oldest in my family and the oldest of nineteen grandkids on the maternal side... how strange....

Sending Love your way!

I avoid Walmart like the plaque. I can not stand the crowds. Give me Zellars anyday. :-)

Just a few more reasons not to shop at Walmart :-)

Srp, I do have a digital camera but I have trouble with lighting when I use it. Inside comes out dark and when I use a flash...too light. So I tend to carry 2 cameras! Maybe I just need a better one. Also, I downloaded Picasa when I was on blogger.com for a short while and it corrupted my computer so the whole thing makes me nervous.

I'm a huge Wal-Mart fan. This past summer we visited the original Sam Walton 5-10 store in Arkansas--we were in town for something else.

Thanks for visiting my TT on appliances and equipment failures (none of which came from Wal-Mart) ;-)

Fun list! I live in a pretty rural area, so I used to shop Wal-Mart whenever I was in a bigger city, so I could stock up. A few years ago I had finally heard enough negative things about them to give up going altogether. Glad you put some of those stats in here. Oh, and the story of the film processing was hilarious, too. Seems like censorship to me! After all, if you had taken the pictures to another place to be devloped, they wouldn't have been removed. Interesting.

My thirteen are up!

Oh, and I forgot to mention: got a big kick out of "On the eighth day they paved it". Thanks for the laugh.

You are AWESOME. I avoid Wal-Mart like a case of botulism. (Especially watching The High Cost of Low Price DVD.) Also, my neighbor has a sign on their front door that reads, "Gone to Wal-Mart!" and I'm always tempted to tape a little note on it reading, "To do my part to help make China a bigger superpower!"

But that would be pretty mean.

Have a fabulamatastic weekend!

Thats silly.. that they wouldnt develope one pic..

Great thursday 13 colleen!

my 13 are up..

Hi Colleen! See, I can't completely abandon my baby. I just can't. I've always enjoyed the images you come up with for the 13 so I had to pop over again and give you my full attention!!

I am not fond of our walmart at all. It used to be clean, there was space to move through the store, there were nice employees. Then they supersized it, overstocked it, and filled it with people who hate their jobs. On top of that, you have to bag your own items on a carousel thing, and I always feel like I forgot something because I didn't do that final spin-check.

If I wanted to bag my own items, I would shop at Aldi. :P

I love your label. I'll keep you posted. haha!!!

xoxoxo

You know we are getting ready for our big Walmart down here...very mixed emotions in town. It is probably sure to run out all your little mom and pop stores. I am not so sure they are good for this small of a town.

I love graffiti! Michele sent me.

Great list. I'm not a Wal-Mart fan (TARGET lover!). I don't like how they run off the mom and pop shops with their "low prices" and then raise the prices when they have no competition. Booooo Wal-Mart! (But I LOVE to get pictures developed there :p)

Lol. Like I'll keep you posted.

Saw some show on Wal-Mart that was very interesting. A former manager explained their "price point" advertising. They placed the lowest priced of any item (blender, microwave, etc.) in the middle of the aisle. You see the $29 microwave, and then decide, "Geez, for only a few bucks more I can get a nicer microwave with more features." And you make your way into the home appliance section right by the cheap microwave. Then, this manager said that the prices of the more expensive microwaves usually aren't the cheapest in town! You just believe they are cheapest because of Wal-Mart's price point microwave that is probably super below market value, so you believe all the other microwaves must be cheaper, too.

So, you are not always getting the bargain at Wal-Mart. That really surprised me.

I shop at the Super Wal-Mart in Galax, but I probably only go there once every couple of months. That one is not nearly as chaotic as the one in Christiansburg. And lines are much much shorter.

I wish Wal-Mart would see the advantage in paying their workers better and giving them better benefits (uh, hello, less turnover, better worker, etc.). Cost-Co pays its workers really well, and thus ends up with a very loyal, highly-trained workforce that loves their company. Unfortunately, Wal-Mart is more interested in making its investors happy; Cost-Co is more interested in treating its work force fairly.

One of my "to do" items is to look for gallery glass on the Web (now that I know that's what I'm looking for -- Mary's been searching for it for years but we didn't know what it was called). Supposedly we can get it at Wal-Mart, but we won't shop there. The one exception was an emergency, when Mary's truck battery bit the dust 10+ miles from home.

I agree with srp -- a digital camera is sheer liberation!

That grafitti photo of the 8th day sounds fun.

magnetic poetry is too. I have been sorely tempted to buy one of those kits or another often and maybe find magnetic paint and make a wall that looks like any other magnetic.

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