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Bev's Burner
Some's Hot, Some's Not 

By B.K. Carter

"Bev Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend Star, winner of numerous state and national awards. She has been a voice of Fort Bend's largest circulated newspaper for 30 years."


OMG, what were we thinking.....I suspect that was the reaction of many Obama supporters on Nov. 6 when they woke up and realized that we had elected him president of the United States-- he of limited experience and at a time when we are being assailed on all fronts.

Interesting that many Obama supporters had that reaction when many Republicans had just the opposite.

I canít tell you how many of my Republican friends have sidled up to me and privately suggested they are glad Obama won. ďDid you vote for him?Ē I asked. ďOh, no, Iím a Republican. I voted for McCain although Iím glad Obama won,Ē they admitted.

Okay, so I am going to make the following predictions. In about six months, most of those people will believe they did vote for him. It will still be the presidential honeymoon and everybody will have voted for Obama. Then, in about two years, when the bloom is off the rose and the honeymoon is over, nobody will have voted for him.

This may be somewhat of an exaggeration, but generally it is true. You can hardly find anyone now who admits to voting for George Bush. And letís face it, a majority of us did although four years before that a majority of us voted for Al Gore. Isnít human nature funny?

I forgot to mention this....When I was ranting last week about shopping in Fort Bend and how I hated malls etc.. I forgot to mention internet shopping.

I know it is convenient with no parking problems and no crowds to contend with, but I just have never found it to be satisfying. There is a sensual element to shopping--touching the merchandise, seeing the colors, smelling the material, feeling the texture--that you just canít get from internet shopping. If you order clothes, you donít know if that particular brand runs small or large so sizes arenít always consistent. You never know exactly when it will arrive and packages can disappear from your front porch if you are not there to receive them. I remember one incident of a Christmas ham that was supposed to go to the neighbor and we were well into our eating of it when another one we were expecting arrived on our doorstep.

Usually, when you get internet ordered stuff, it is wrinkled from packing and never quite as spectacular as expected.

Plus, the worst thing about internet shopping is shipping. I got so excited about internet shopping several years ago that I bought some stock in UPS, thinking it was soon to boom. As usual with my stock picks, I should have kept my money in my pocket. Sure there is more shipping, but at what cost?

I recently ordered something I had been unable to find locally (the one good thing about the internet), but when it arrived, I discovered I had been charged $30 for shipping.

And forget returning. You have to rewrap and lug it to the post office or some shipper and never know when you account will be refunded. They are very quick to charge you for something, but very slow about crediting returns.

Although you can be pretty sure you are not going to get trampled or shot when you are internet shopping, thatís about the only good thing. That and being able to locate hard-to-find items.

So stay off the internet. Shop at home. The local businesses appreciate it much more than a computer.

You ask, we answer.......A customer wanted to know what would happen to First Colony Mall if it ends up filing for bankruptcy as has been rumored.

We called our contact in the business community who knows everything that is going on, and he called around all over the country and found that the local First Colony Mall is not in trouble. Itís the holding company which owns First Colony and several more around the country. Some of those are non-performing, so the holding company might be considering selling off the non-performing malls or, failing that, filing a Chapter 13 (reorganization) We donít want to borrow trouble as my mother used to say, but a Chapter 13 would give the mall time to reorganize payment to its lenders. It wouldnít affect the businesses that are currently leasing from it, although it might make them nervous. However, most of those leases are pretty ironclad and to get out of them, the business might have to file some sort of bankruptcy itself.

However, nothing has been done so far and the rumors of bankruptcy are just that--rumors.

Come to find out, weíve been in a recession for a year and didnít even know it. I knew something was wrong when I went to the grocery store and I could carry $55 worth of groceries into my house with one hand.

I did blame it all on high gas prices. You know, have to have gas to go to work so you get behind on house payments, thinking to catch up later. Buy higher groceries so get behind on house payments, thinking to catch up later. Donít buy many things, so stores lay off because they arenít selling as much, etc. etc. Lose your job because your company is not selling as much. Now canít pay for the house you should have never bought in the first place because you couldnít afford it.

Now gas has gone down and with the foreclosures and all, the Houston economy is now hurting.

We all hunker down and the hunkering down causes even more of a depression on the economy. Itís like that commercial we used to see for the credit card. In the commercial, things were spinning around, people were buying, things were running smoothly, then all of a sudden things come to a complete halt and stuff falls out of the air because someone wants to pay CASH! Our economy has been like that--built on a house of credit cards.

Donít get me wrong. Iíve benefited from the good economy. I want to see it continue. But all things are cyclic. This too shall pass.


Contact bkcstar@earthlink.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  February 05, 2009