Sunday, January 04, 2009

Random notes on stimulating the economy

I put some time in this weekend stimulating the economy. I bought this house in 1999, and wow -- just look at the calendar -- ten years have passed and it is definitely time for new appliances. Not because the Style network dictates that it is time to buy a gleaming stainless steel frig and matching stove with all the extras. Not at all. My gas range's oven is not working well and the frig that came with this house is hulking (way too large for one person), ancient and sucking up way too much energy.

As I contemplated buying replacements, I checked the brand name on my range and frig. Both are Admiral appliances. You remember Admiral? They made televisions and apparently got into the appliance business as well. I tried to find out more about Admiral appliances online, but all I found were sites that listed parts for sale. The brand was sold to Magic Chef which was sold to Maytag which was acquired by Whirlpool. I can't put an exact date on my Admiral appliances, but upon looking at their electrical plugs, I'm convinced they are way too old to be running safely for very much longer.

I headed over to what once was Rolling Acres Mall, but now is a vast abandoned concrete shrine to consumerism. All the doors are shuttered, except at Sears and J C Penny's, once the proud anchors to this now defunct mall. Ten years ago, when I moved to Kenmore and began exploring my new area of Akron, I was glad to find Rolling Acres. Now I wouldn't have to drive to Montrose or Chapel Hill for major shopping expeditions. In particular, I've made use of Sears for automotive needs and major appliance purchases. Although everything else in the area has disappeared (I still mourn the loss of a conveniently located Marks and Pets Plus), thankfully, Sears and J C Penny both own their respective mall corners. They cannot be foreclosed, and I hope they hang in there for the sake of the convenience of all us Kenmorites.

So I found some suitable appliances on sale and they are scheduled for delivery later this month. On the way home, I stopped at the Kenmore Acme, which has been undergoing renovation and expansion. They've managed to do this without closing the store, and it has been kind of fun to go there and note the changes as they take place. With more room, there is a chance that more of the kinds of products I like to purchase can find their way to the shelves. A few years back, I complained to a manager about finding only quart containers of soy milk in the dairy case. Now they have a nice array of soy milk in gallon containers.

Sadly, I'm still probably the only shopper at the Kenmore Acme who brings my own reusable shopping bags. They need to take a hint from Buehlers and Mustard Seed, both of which give shoppers a discount for providing their own bags. Maybe it's time to write another letter to Acme.

Driving home along Kenmore Blvd, I note that the new library looks fabulous, but the Musicians Bargain Basement has gone out of business. There are more thrift stores and too many games of chance operations. And then there is the religious tattoo parlor where apparently you can brand yourself with your favorite religious brand's icon. Though I rather doubt that anyone requesting pagan imagery would be accommodated.

What changes will come to this Boulevard of Broken Dreams in 2009? Will any of the economic stimulus plans send some much needed cash infusion to the folks who work and dwell in Kenmore?

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