retail news in context, analysis with attitude

I mentioned recently that I am going to be in San Antonio next week at the Fresh Forum, where I’m doing the opening keynote at a barbecue - which sounds like my kind of gig.

After I wrote about San Antonio, I got email from a number of folks there who are MNB readers, who asked if there would be an opportunity to get together during my visit. I love this idea, so I asked for some recommendations, and here’s what was suggested.

Next Thursday evening, April 15, I’ll be at Beto’s Comida Latina, located at 8142 Broadway Street in San Antonio, from 5:30 pm to 7 pm...and maybe longer. Come by, have a beer, buy me one...and we’ll can chat about the business, baseball, movies, whatever...

The nice folks at Beto’s have said that they’ll supply some nachos on the patio if I can give them some idea of how many people might be there. So if you can send me an email to let me know you’ll be stopping by, that’d be great...though hardly required.

We’ve had a fair amount of discussion here on MNB in recent months about the viability of the US Post Service business model, and whether, when it proposed five-days-a-week mail delivery it is attempting to use a band-aid when it really needs major surgery.

So it was somewhat amusing the other day when I noticed a sign in my local post office saying that it no longer had the ability to take passport applications, that only certain offices would now have people who could perform that function. I always thought that the ability to apply for a passport at the post office - as opposed to standing on line at a passport agency office - was a smart move in terms of adding functionality to a building that was losing relevance. (Of course, you can apply by mail ... but doing it in person fast-tracked the process, especially if you were in a hurry.)

But now, instead of expanding functionality, the USPS apparently is limiting it.

Makes you wonder who is in charge of developing a progressive, innovative business plan at the USPS.

Some people are saying that they have mixed reactions to the new Tiger Woods commercial for Nike. But I’m not at all conflicted - not only does it seem way too soon, but it also seems extraordinarily exploitive by using the disembodied voice of the golfer’s deceased father.

Last night, BTW...Steven Colbert did a great bit how how they chose that particular voice. Further cementing my feeling that the best “reality shows” on television are, in fact, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report”.

I find “Lost,” now in the final episodes of its unusual and mind-bending run, to be compelling television. I have no idea where things are going and I find it difficult to separate metaphor from reality, and yet I cannot stop watching. The characters are painted in vivid colors with subtle shadings, the notion of parallel universes is fascinating, and the show more and more is not so much about being physically lost as about being morally and emotionally lost, trying to find one’s way through a complicated world. It is great TV, gaining momentum in its final hours. (This past week’s episode, “Happily Ever After,” was amazing.)

If you haven;t watched “Lost,” nothing about it will make sense to you. But if you’ve followed it throughout its six-season run - even if, like me, you can’t remember all the turns the plots have taken - I hope you are enjoying it as much as I am.

I have sort of a sentimental fondness for “24,” and will watch its final season as it winds down. But far from gaining momentum, “24” seems to be going out with a whimper of a plot, leaving me to notice when, as happened this week, they had the sun rising over Manhattan in the west.

I know global warming has had dramatic impact, but I’m pretty sure that the sun is still rising in the east.

Replacing it as a favorite action show of the moment is “Human Target,” on Fox, which is very good and getting better. (Though I cannot get over how much star Mark Valley looks like the late Christopher George, who starred in “Rat Patrol” and “The Immortal”. Not that anyone younger than a half-century old is likely to notice.) Check it out.

My wine of the week: the 2008 Trumps Shiraz from Cimicky in Australia...which is full-bodied and delicious with a spicy steak or burger...and that I recommend despite the fact that it comes with a screw-top.

I have not read the book “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” but I really liked the movie a lot. Sure, it is a 2.5 hour Swedish language movie with subtitles - but it also is a moody thriller featuring actors that, unlike American stars, look rumpled playing characters with skins that are lived in.

It also is a disturbing piece of work. It features some scenes of sex and violence that are hard to look at, but that are never gratuitous and move the plot and characters along in important ways. The scenery is stark and unfamiliar, keeping the audience off balance and absorbed. I liked it a lot.

Now, Mrs. Content Guy has read the book, and while she quibbled with some of the choices made by the producers, she also liked the movie. Just FYI...

Finally, I hope you’ll come join our “Fans of MorningNewsBeat” group on Facebook by clicking here. It’ll be yet another venue for discussion, conversation and connections ...

That’s it for this week. See you Monday.

KC's View: