Sunday, August 4, 2013

What-What?! Week of August 4th

This week, I was pretty busy; I made some delicious chocolate chip scones, using my blueberry scones recipe, subbing chocolate chips for the blueberries, and milk for the yogurt.  Also did some shopping for eBay fodder, and Target’s July toy clearance for Christmas and birthdays for my kids.

This is a great article about Publix’s success – the company has achieved a net margin of 5.6 percent, higher than any of its public competitors.  Publix has done it through an emphasis on first on service, then quality, but not price.  Wal-Mart’s business strategy is low cost, which they, of course, translate into lower prices.  The two companies have recently been engaged in somewhat of a price war; Wal-Mart claiming that Publix is more expensive, and that customers get more value shopping at Wal-Mart.  Publix has been countering with some special promotions, but ultimately, the company is stating that the level of service and quality offers significant value to customers.  I know that I’ve shopped certain stores, despite higher prices, because I wanted to shop somewhere that was easier to navigate, had better produce, friendlier cashiers, and so on.

Beyond that competition, what’s especially interesting about Publix is that it is the largest employee-owned company in America; because of this, it treats its employees very well.   One of the most impressive statistics in the article is that over 21 percent of Publix’s employees have worked there for over ten years.  This is a company that I would feel good to support, for sure.

The Sad Story of Peter Pan
Cover art
There are certain films that I don’t watch: Labyrinth, Spirited Away, and Peter Pan, among others.  Sometimes I forget why these films bother me, so I wind up watching them anyway; this past week, I watched Disney’s animated Peter Pan with the children.  While the film itself doesn’t bother me (well, except for certain racially-charged scenes, but I do forgive it for its time period), the story of Peter Pan does.  Peter Pan’s origin story, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, is truly sad; upon hearing that his mother wants him to grow up to be a judge like his father, he runs away as an infant.  He goes to live in the Kensington Gardens, where he is befriended by animals, fairies, and other lost children.  After a while, he decides to visit his parents.  Once there, he finds his mother, sleeping in the nursery, crying for him in her sleep.  Seeing that his mother misses him terribly, he decides to go back to the gardens to tell his friends farewell; he spends quite some time doing this.  However, upon going back to his house, he finds his mother with a new baby.  Assuming that he has been gone too long and forgotten by his parents, he leaves permanently.  In the book, Peter is also described as burying and making headstones for children who get lost in the night.  Perhaps I’m just a soft-hearted mommy, but the story just kills me.  (Incidentally, you can read the book for free through the Project Gutenberg).

The Jake and the Neverland Pirates Band
Now, something happier!  After last week, I went looking for more videos of the pirate band from Jake and the Neverland pirates.  I was able to find this video of the band doing a concert in Disneyland, which also features one of my recent favorite songs from the show, “Hoist Up the Jolly Roger”.  The way the band interacts with the kids in the audience is fantastic!  I would really love to take my children to see them in person. :)

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