Skip to main content

Farewell to another old friend

West Oaks Mall Borders Closing Store Front
West Oaks Mall Florida Border's closing

Ever since Border's finally filed for chapter 11, I knew this day was coming. I just didn't know how bad. For the Orlando area the news is pretty bleak; out of five stores in Orlando, only one will be left open, the Border's in Winter Park, across the street from the Volvo Store.

West Oaks Mall Borders Closing

We'd gone to the West Oaks PetSmart to drop the Labs off for their simi-monthly grooming. That's when we saw the sign by the side of the road announcing the store closing.

West Oaks Mall Borders Closing Front of Store

As soon as you walked in you were overwhelmed by all the "Going out of Business" and so-an-so off signs hanging from just about everywhere.

West Oaks Mall Borders Closing Children's Section

Since this had been going on a bit before we got there, the back half of the store had already been pretty well cleaned out, with the remainder consolidated and moved towards the front.

The West Oaks Border's has been there for twelve years, ever since the mall itself first opened. I'd come to know some of the staff at that Border's, including one woman who'd gone to work there when another book store she'd been working at in the same area, a Little Professor, closed before this Border's first opened.

I'm sure there will be at least one business case written about this company and this episode, and there will be others ready to pontificate on the various sins Border's committed that helped lead up to this closing. But as a local, I will say this. I've watched major chains such as Border's come in and eventually eliminate the smaller independent businesses they competed with, absorbing the locals who once worked at the independents, and then, at some future point in time and based on some arbitrary set of metrics, make the decision to close the chains in local areas and put a lot of hard working people out of a job.

A local independent is going to fight a lot harder to hang in as a business than an indifferent chain. I've known enough local entrepreneurs through the decades to speak with some authority to this fact, as I have the chains. Every local entrepreneur I know of is still in business (some even into retirement), while a number of the chains have either gone through similar upheavals, or simply folded and left, cutting their losses (Circuit City).

Watching businesses fold over the last five years has been bad enough. For whatever reason, this one is hitting harder than the others. I sincerely wish all the former Border's staffers everywhere the best of luck in their searches.


Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.

sony's pivotal mirrorless move

I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.

Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…