Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My friends are pretty cool and very enterprising

I invited one of my oldest friends, Kevin, to guestblog about his new business venture for an online kitchen supply/grocery store that he and his wife recently started. It's way cool, so check it out.

The Eclectic Grocer grew out of a car trip I took a ways out one day. We're pretty fortunate here in Rochester, NY, that we have one of the finest grocery chains in the world, Wegmans, right in our back yard.

At the same time, as I was driving further and further west, I realized not everyone has this opportunity to shop for the finer things in a setting that's enjoyable. So my wife and I decided to develop the Eclectic Grocer.

In essence, over time, we will become a supermarket of sorts, except that it will be primarily stocked with items that your local grocer might not carry.

Eclectic Grocer provides high quality items for your kitchen. We believe cooking should be fun, affordable, and simple.

These items include clay bakeware, olive oil-based skin care and kona coffee.


Internet faves of the past few days:'s story about gibbons and the campaign to save the "small ape" of the world. One of my new heroes is definitely Alan Mootnick, who runs the Gibbon Conservation Center in California. To those who know me this may come across as mocking, but trust me, it's not. This is one of those classic stories about someone and really someones being dedicated to a lesser-known cause.

The LATimes series on the cost of fighting wildfires. I loved part 1 for its comprehensiveness about costs, but part 2's illumination of the political pressure to use planes and copters to fight fires despite limited efficacy and at exorbitant costs was stellar. For a paper that is taking it from all sides, this has proven to me the value of great journalism. And given the LATimes Western base, this was a story they were far more suited to pull of than the NYTimes or WashPost would have been.

Finally, Dana Milbank's Washington Sketch column (from the Washington Post), that provides a good reality check on Barack Obama. I still am planning to vote for Barack, but the shine is wearing off a bit. As Milbank reports:

His schedule for the day, announced Monday night, would have made Dick Cheney envious:

11:00 a.m.: En route TBA.

12:05 p.m.: En route TBA.

1:45 p.m.: En route TBA.

2:55 p.m.: En route TBA.

5:20 p.m.: En route TBA.

The 5:20 TBA turned out to be his adoration session with lawmakers in the Cannon Caucus Room, where even committee chairmen arrived early, as if for the State of the Union. Capitol Police cleared the halls -- just as they do for the actual president. The Secret Service hustled him in through a side door -- just as they do for the actual president.

I don't mind security being tight and I don't mind confidence. But as a former reporter I very much am offended by a candidate who ducks the media. Sweeping orations are inspiring, but the business of government can get ugly and tedious. I want someone accountable and right now, I'm not sure who Barack is being held accountable to. He doesn't grant interviews to the major newspapers; and let's be honest, the reporters covering him are better informed than those of us quasi-seduced by his speeches on race and responsibilty and unity (I count myself as the seduced, but falling out of love).

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