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  • Random observations on the economy

    We drove by the mall over the weekend because we’ve promised Alex an Up! toy from the Disney Store as a reward for various good deeds. But there was no parking. The only conclusion we could draw is that the economy isn’t be that bad, at least not in this particular neighborhood, because this mall has nothing going for it besides shopping. (There’s no movie theater, and only a minimal play area for young kids, a small food court, and a couple of counter-service type sit down restaurants.)

    Gas prices are skyrocketing again. Last week, I spotted the first “3” I’d seen in the dollar slot in a long time, but it was only for premium. However, on my way in to the office yesterday, I saw a Mobil station where super and premium gas were both over $3 per gallon. If the rise continues at the same pace, we’ll be hitting $4 again by the end of summer.

    Some Albertsons markets in Southern California are being rebranded as Lucky stores. I don’t remember this, but apparently Supervalu, Albertsons’ parent company, bought Lucky markets some years ago and changed the name. I’m inferring from the article that the Lucky name has greater prestige than Albertsons, hence the change. The one mentioned in the article isn’t too far from me, so I might check it out sometime.

    Mattel has agreed to pay $2.3 million in penalties for violating the lead paint ban (remember all those recalls back in 2007?). Here’s the kicker: Mattel denies any violating any laws. One of these days when I have some free time, I’ll go look up the statute containing the lead paint ban to see how they’re getting away with that. In the meantime, here’s an article about “how Mattel managed to finesse its PR and legal headaches connected with the recall (mostly it was by hiring lobbyists and keeping quiet).”

    You can now get free lifetime membership into any Freepeats group. (Freepeats is like Freecycle for baby, kid and maternity-related items.) Pay $1 up front (reduced from the previous membership fee of $4.95), and get that $1 refunded when you post two qualifying offers in June. Details at Baby Cheapskate.

    Finally, this has nothing to do with money, but I have to say, The Next Food Network Star may be the best-edited show on television. Sunday’s season premiere was fantastic!


    1. The spin on the mortgage crisis is particularly interesting – somehow Fannie/Freddie get mixed in with subprime. Nevermind that they were the only mortgage org not making the crazy no-doc jumbo loans that are the biggest part of the problem.