Archive for February, 2009

New videos added

I just added some of our older home movies on our homepage. Hope you enjoy.

Ritz Camera Files Ch. 11

Ritz swallowed up the company I worked for while in Dallas. We could see this coming for years since their bread and butter was photo finishing. They sacrificed their photographic and video business to sell high profit finishing. In the process (no pun) any customers showing up were not being persuaded to purchase new photographic equipment to keep the finishing business thriving. Sign of the times.

Ritz Camera Files Ch. 11
By Greg Scoblete — TWICE, 2/23/2009 12:07:00 PM
Wilmington, Del. — Just days before the opening of the PMA trade show, the country’s largest specialty camera chain, Ritz Camera, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Ritz said it has between $100 million and $500 million of both assets and liabilities in a filing made here, according to reports,
In addition to Ritz Camera stores, the chain owns Wolf Camera, Kits Cameras, Inkleys and the Camera Shops, as well as the Boater’s World chain. The company’s lenders had ordered it to boost reserves, and the company’s boating chain had been hampered by previously rising gas prices, Ritz said in an affidavit. The chain also said it was pinched by a reduction in photo finishing revenues.
Ritz said it will seek court permission to obtain $85 million of financing to keep operating while it restructures.
Ritz Interactive, an e-commerce firm that licenses the Ritz name, has not been impacted by the filing, a spokesman said. “We will continue to work with them as a distributor, but we source through multiple distributors, so we have other options.”
Ritz Cameras was ranked No. 28 in TWICE’s Top 100 Retailers of 2008, with 1,100 stores and $580 million in sales last year.

No Thanks, I’ll Get The Quarter Pounder Instead

I think I’ll have the fish sandwich please!

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Beautiful Bento's

I found this site with photos of some beautifully made bento boxes. Well worth the read. Enjoy.

Adventures in Bentomaking by Pikko

Amgen Tour of California – Modesto

The Amgen Tour of California just came through Modesto this afternoon.

My company is one of the local sponsors of the race. We are a carwash and we sponsored a bike wash where all the team buses were located. There the grimy bikes could be environmentally washed safely. A friend of ours offered me the opportunity to get one VIP area viewing pass. I don’t know why we didn’t get setup in the first place since we were a sponsor. And since I love cycling it was very exciting and thrilling to watch a pro event close up. This year was much better than last since last year Modesto had a start not a finish. A finish draws more people. All the local TV stations and satellite trucks were there and gave Modesto a great opportunity to shine.

VIP Tent viewing area

Since my office is about one block away from the race finish line, I waited till the rain which at the time was pouring to stop. As soon as the rain let up walked over to the VIP tent where food and drink was available in very liberal amounts. There were more than a few inebriated cycling fans in the tent. The tent is about 50 meters from the finish line perfect for this afternoons exciting sprint finish. It was drizzling very lightly for awhile as the riders came into town, and then it stopped on the lap around town.

The finish was amazing, I could see the pack coming down the long straightaway with one guy braking away right at the last minute at incredible speed. This happened right in front of me and the crowds went crazy.

And just as if it was scripted, the sky’s opened up and it started to rain again maybe five minutes after the winners were announced.

I’m hoping Modesto again for 2010 gets the AToC. It’s been well supported here and there was a big crowd even in the poor weather conditions.

I shot some video and will post it once I get it downloaded.

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