So what are their strengths? Tools and Appliances. Bedding. Automotive. They can win in those spaces easily if they concentrate on them. My tractor and snow blower are both Craftsman. Sure, Craftsman is crap lots of people will say. Well I say it isn't. At the low end, $1100-$1800 for a tractor, and $650-$1200 for a snow blower, they are selling the SAME product that you will get anywhere else regardless of name brand (including Deere, which doesn't make its own low end stuff anymore, but still charges you like they do). I replaced my circa 1970's Craftsman tractor with a 2000's model that has a hydrostatic drive, cast iron axles, and a B&S engine. It is bulletproof so long as you change the oil. The hydrostatic drive is sealed, and never needs new fluid. Will it die in 10 years? Maybe. Will it die in 15 years? Probably. But I paid $1200 for it, so about $100 a year. My snowblower has been rock solid too, with the notable exception of last year, when it would not run when wet. In the spring, I figured out what had happened... A mouse had taken up residence in the cowl and had chewed almost all the way through the ignition wire. The replacement part for that was readily available from Sears, and I installed it myself. Runs like a champ now, and frankly, that wasn't a quality issue and would have happened to any other brand of snowblower I bought. So I'm a big fan of Craftsman power equipment and their tools because parts are readily available. When you buy the whatever brand from Home Cheapo, not so much. And in the end, all these are built by one of two manufacturers and are rebranded for each store.
When your battery dies on a Sunday, where do you go to get it fixed? Sears is open, and they have your battery, and its overpriced but is decent quality. I've taken to replacing them myself now that my family has a whole fleet of cars, but if I only owned one or two, I would just go to Sears and get the battery done there. Tires? Some of the best prices on tires. Competitive with Walmart even. I bounce between Walmart, Sears, and Firestone for tires. Again, Sears has a strength here.
I know I'm coming off as a fanboi here, but I would NOT like Sears to disappear. I've bought a lot of stuff from them - Appliances I often buy at their scratch and dent warehouse... My fridge sits in an alcove, you can't see the right side at all, and only the top half of the left. So when my fridge died, I bought one with a huge gouge down the right side. I can't see it. And the thing has water, ice, all the bells and whistles, and I paid like $600 for it. Again, drifting into fanboi-dom, but I want Sears to survive.
It takes a lot of hutzpah to say something like that when you've lived and slept under the blanket of security the US has provided to you for decades. Yes, perhaps we SHOULD spend less on the military - lets start by closing all US bases in Europe. Europeans are so much smarter than us, why would the US need bases there? After over 60 years since the end of WWII, can't Europe take care of itself?
Well, maybe not, considering the fact that you let the Balkans burn down while hurrumphing that "someone" should do something. It took Bill Clinton to bomb them into peace. And that was in your own back yard.
Again, I think you're right and have a point. Lets NOT deploy a missile shield in Europe. The Russians will be happy. And when Iran finally gets its nuke and can lob it in to Geneva... well no great loss, right?
We can learn from your outstanding economic wisdom. It's not like there are any problems with government spending in Europe... right? Oh, hold on... is Greece and France still in Europe, or is it just the Germans now?
So we are agreed... The US should go home. We'll let you all handle that whole IslamoFacism thing... and you can make sure China doesn't take over the world... and Putin will sell you all the gas you need... no worries there. Have fun... if you need us, just send an email to US@wedontgiveafrackanyore.com. We'll get back to you real soon.
I got to my current job not because I wanted to be a manager, but because that was what the company I work for needed me to do. I was under no illusions. For those of you who are not managers, you have your own problems. When you are a manager, EVERYONE's problems are your problems. Even so, I took the position and have been largely happy with my decision. I still get to do architecture. And I get to influence a lot of people I could not influence if I was strictly an architect or coder. My coding skills have languished, but my architecture skills have matured.
And for those of you reading this that are going to turn me into a caricature of the Dilbert pointy haired boss, I consistently get outstanding feedback from those that work for me. I've gotten personal letters from consultants who left saying I was the best boss ever. I won't continue to brag about it, but suffice it to say that you CAN move into management, AND add value to your organization, AND treat your reports well, AND keep their respect, all while maximizing you and your team's value to the organization.
The surest way to destroy the Constitution is to hold an Article V Convention. At such a convention, they can rewrite the entire Constitution.
You are the biggest fool in the world if you think it will yield anything better than "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others"
"Although Intel is Chipzilla, the company can't help but extend its reach just a bit into the exciting and growing world of DIY makers and hobbyists."
The 4004 gave rise to the z80, the 8008, 8080, and 8086 chips that before the IBM PC came along were mainstays in the hobbyist community. It was all hobbyist, all the time back then, and heady days. So wouldn't it be fairer to say that Intel is going back to its roots rather than "reaching just a bit" in the DIY and hobbyist arena?
Then, 2 years ago, things changed. We had two major incidents - the freak October snow storm, and Hurricane Sandy. I lost power both times, and one of those outages ran for 5 days. Some of my friends in the area were out for 10 days. I didn't have a generator then, nor could I buy one last minute. So I went to Harbor Freight and got an inverter. This was a fairly industrial strength inverter - no cigarette outlet to power it - you have to clamp it to the car battery. Knowing this would kill the car battery, I would idle my car while running the inverter. It was able to power my heating plant (gas furnace, baseboard) which wasn't a huge power draw. It ran my fridge throughout the outage, but the fridge didn't like the modified sine wave output and eventually it broke down. Even ran the TV and a light for some of the time so we could get news.
After a couple of days, I needed gas - I was below half a tank from the idling, and had used up the lawn mower stash. So I went out in search of a gas station that could pump gas. Most of them could not for one of two reasons: Either the power was off, so there were full tanks of gas in the ground, but no way to pump it, or the station had power and they were out of fuel. I managed to find one station near a mall that had power and gas. The line was backed up onto the highway exit ramp. I waited well over an hour, hoping that they wouldn't run out. They didn't. But things were getting pretty hinky. Some cars did U-turns on the road and tried to cut the line. Angry words thrown about. People at the pumps were surly. There was a police car at the station - he was there to provide calm. The whole thing gave me the willies. Thought about bailing, but decided to fill up anyway. They guy in front of me pumped 20 gallons into his Suburban, then he filled up 4 5-Gallon cans. People accused him of hoarding. More angry words and the cop got out of his car and while he didn't draw his weapon, his hand was on it. I filled up my car and got out of dodge.
Remember - this was TWO DAYS in.
Since those two storms, I've lost power at least 3 times. I've also acquired a small generator (3500 Watt - 4k max) and have a home made panel that supplied 4 separate 15 amp circuits on it via a small breaker box. It safely distributes 30 amps to those boxes. I can now power my heating plant or window air conditioner, my fridge, some lights and the TV. I ordered a tri-fuel kit that I have yet to install that will let me run the thing on gas, propane, or nat gas. I will be paying a plumber to give me a connection for the nat gas. In the mean time, I have 2 20lb cans of propane available, which lets me run the thing for over 20 hours. I will be buying and storing more.
Oh yeah - and I'm armed now. Got my pistol permit. And I'm building a pantry of food just in case. Goal is to be able to be off-grid for a year. Doing that over time.
Don't fool yourselves people... when the power goes out, things go south REALLY fast... it starts a day or two in. After a week, I'm guessing essential services are severely impacted. 2 weeks and people are dying. If you have any doubts, read "One Second After". You'll be horrified to see what we become after a year without power.