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Monday, February 02, 2009

Walmart's Oily Charm

As experts agree, it is a great mistake to assume that falling gas prices are an end to our nation's fuel problems.

I recently sat down with a company that has a new gizmo which can be attached to any vehicle's engine and will allow an economizing of fuel by up to 15%, or so they claim. They say that they will not allow me to see schematics because this invention is still in the patenting process. Apparently this device was given to them by the Chinese government in exchange for an unrelated piece of hardware which they allowed the Chinese to use in some of their power plants.

Currently this company is seeking out other companies that would be willing to allow them to install this machinery so that a series of studies can be run in order to bolster their assertion that this is the most amazing invention since sliced bread.

And they're not the only ones scrambling to find fuel consumption remedies.

Walmart has recently announced that it has improved its fuel efficiency by more than 25% since 2005. It's been able to do so through more careful routing and packaging, which has reduced the number of trips required from the distribution center to the various stores. They also insist that drivers follow a dictated route, with no variances.

Finally, Walmart has retooled 15 trucks in Arizona to run on the used cooking grease which comes from their delicatessans. Their plans are to expand this number to other areas soon.

Love them or hate them, Walmart continues to be a success story due to their never-ending quest to save a dime whenever possible.

I was in Walmart this Sunday. Their entire store is the size of a couple warehouses stacked together, and the smell of food permeated every inch. I didn't find it at all appealing, but what is appealing is the notion that they will soon be recycling that oil into something which may set the standards for future retailers.

10 comments:

M@ said...

Dear Saur,

Please stop substituting the word "which" for "that."

Yours Truly,

M@ of Animal Mind

P.S. I bought a pair of boots at Wal-Mart for $20 once just to use for two days. How's that for consumption!?

Saur♥Kraut said...

M@, Write to the grammaticians and complain. Until then, that which is correct will remain the same.

Those boots are a deal - I think I could work that into my budget.

Angela said...

I'm not a huge fan of the Wal-Mart right near me as it seems to be overrun with trash. I tend to like Target better. Wal-Mart does have its uses though, for example they have the absolute cheapest crib mattresses I could find, which make great dog beds! :-)

-Ange

undergroundlogician said...

Which is that which means that, or that which is which. It depends that which you wish to type. I guess that is that, if you can tell which is which. Which means what? That.

thank you.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I will not go into a Wal-Mart - not even to take a shit. I would rather crap my pants.

Unless it was on the CEO's desk. Then I would think about it. If I could get away with it.

Ed Abbey said...

Ditto Lazy's comments which are so elegant as usual.

undergroundlogician said...

Gee, let's think about it...Lazy would not use a bathroom facility to void his bowels, using Walmart's toilets, allowing Walmart to pay for the water usage, letting Walmart to pay for the soap, water and hand towels to clean any lizard feces residue on the hands, unless lizards don't wash their hands after taking a crap (beware ladies). You'd rather soil your pants? All in the name of what...anti-free market capitalism?

Hmmm, where would you be willing to crap, Lazy? Some community organizing facility like ACORN central offices? The Democratic National Commitee offices? Some taxpayer-funded toilet facility? I know! Do it ala naturale like the Greenies do it! Just wondering... >:P

Ellen said...

Not a fan of Wally-mart myself.

After reading how badly they treat their employees, and ball-bust their vendors... not to mention keeping only 2 of their 24 check-out counters open, I'd rather have root canal work done.

As for their much neglected bathrooms..... Ewwwww! No thanks.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Underground. Watch "The high cost of low prices" then get back to me.

Wal-Mart is the antitheses of "free market principles". You would know this if you have ever been to a small town wrecked by a Wal-Mart super center. A store moves in - ALL the small business closes the doors. In only a month or two, the ONLY consumer choice is what is offered at Wal-Mart. Most of the jobs are there too. Employees get a discount, but that discount comes at a price. They have to wear the store uniform even if it is their day off, and also provide customer service. Without pay.

It is like the old days of the company store. The company pays you, then you shop for EVERYTHING you need from the same company.

Wal-Mart is also anti employee. If anyone even mentions the word "union" everyone is fired and the store is closed. If the closed store happens to be in a small town where all other small business was squashed - there is nothing. You have to drive to the next town to get a gallon of milk.

Then there was the employee who was crashed into by a large commercial truck. Wal-Mart (reluctantly) paid benefits to her. When she successfully sued the trucking company (she was left permanently disabled by the accident - which she was not at fault for) Wal-Mart is turn sued her for all the money paid out of the company health plan.

Public backlash made them reconsider that move.

Now I know that your side is obsessed with ACORN. All you can do is think about ACORN. You probably have a big ACORN blow up doll somewhere. And really - that is fine with me. I do not care.

I hardly ever think about ACORN. Plenty of days pass where I never even mention them. They do whatever it is they do - and it never bothers me. Clearly they bother you.

And no - they are not "getting billions" from the stimulus package. That is just not true. But whatever.

I happen to live in a city. There are Wal-Mart stores here and there, but they have not really put small business out of business. I have plenty of consumer choices. And to be honest, the Wal-Mart locations are simply not at all convenient for me. They are too far west, too far north, or too far south. I would have to drive past a dozen other places to get to the closest Wal-Mart. Not to mention the traffic I would be in.

But I have seen what happens to small towns. And really it is sad. What that store does is transfer wealth out of small town America and deposit it in larger areas. Sure - I can save some money (not really - the traffic I would have to deal with cancels out part of those "savings" in lost time and gas), but then again if the store does not have what I want I can go elsewhere. Someone in Bum-Squat Alabama has nowhere else to go. The "downtown" district is all but shut down now. A ghost town in the shadow of a big building, bathed in soft blue and white light.

That is part of the high cost of low prices by the way.

I will not set foot in a Wal-Mart out of principle.

I have also never stepped foot into an ACORN office by the way. If that matters in any way.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

M@ is becoming a pedant.