I just watched a documentary (“Walmart : The high cost of low prices” – available to watch instantly on Netflix) that talked about many of the unethical practices of Walmart. It covered various things such as the fact that many of its employees are underpaid and living with incomes well below the poverty levels, employees being forced to work without overtime, the lack of humane conditions in their overseas factories, the measures the company takes to try to keep their employees from forming unions (and therefore getting more rights and higher wages), and many, many other disturbing things that the company practices in order to keep money rolling in. In the documentary, they spoke to many former walmart employees. Many of them were managers who talked about the unfair and unethical practices that they were forced to do because it’s what the corporate offices told them to. For example, they were taught how to anonymously change peoples time sheets so that it wouldn’t reflect any overtime they may have worked. I personally don’t like to shop there even if they can offer better prices on some things. I often complain about the long lines and lack of open check-out lanes. Apparently, this is part of the plan. If you’re short-staffed, then less money gets paid out to employees and more of it goes towards the sales for the store. I had heard about some of the bad practices that Walmart uses to keep costs down, but I had no idea the extent. I also don’t like the fact that their mere existence tends to close down locally owned shops that have been open for years. I happened upon this website that talks about some of the things that were mentioned in the documentary. I found the documentary pretty distrubing. It’s pretty surprising that such a wealthy company shares so little of its wealth with those people who work day in and day out to keep them making money. One thing that struck me was the part about the overseas factories and the working conditions and amount of (or lack thereof) pay the workers receive. One example shown in the documentary was for a toy where the cost to assemble it (includes materials and payment for worker) was 18 cents and then Walmart turns around and sells the item for almost $15! That made my jaw drop. And those factory workers are fearful of losing their jobs, so they can’t complain. Ugh! I just got so annoyed after seeing that documentary!
Movie Theater Etiquette
I went to the movies to see “Marley and Me” with Grandma and Mom today. I haven’t been to a theater since I saw “Ratatouille” with Nathan and Sean a looong time ago. We usally rent movies and watch them in the comfort and quietness of our own home. Going to the movies today reminded me that it really is nicer to watch movies at home. Why are there always THOSE people (you know who you are!) who feel the need to offer their opinion on scenes throughout the movie??? There’s really no need to say OUT LOUD, “that was really funny!” when we’ve all already had a good laugh and it’s on to the next scene. And for those who have seen a movie before already, you don’t need to offer your viewing partner the “You gotta watch this!” advice at the better parts of a movie… It kinda spoils the surprise, and yes, we came to the movies to WATCH it. One thing I was surprised about was that people actually paid attention to the “turn off your cell phone” warnings. I didn’t hear a single ring the whole time. Now one thing I will say is that there were 3 different warnings in between the previews. I wonder if there has been a study done and maybe 3 is the optimal number of times that people need to have a warning message sink in. Maybe one or two warnings is too few and more than three just annoys people to the point that they turn their ringers on full volume just to be spiteful. I don’t know. Also, what’s with the dude a couple rows back who was obviously hacking up a lung for several minutes at one time and then onand off throughout the movie? After a few gross coughs, maybe it’s time to hie thee to the lobby and finish your hacking there. I’m sure the person sitting in front of you would have appreciated that, especially. Also, maybe you shouldn’t come to the theater if you have Tuberculosis.
I’ve never been a gal with a really sensitive stomach. I love roller coasters, and I don’t mind being on boats as long as the water isn’t too choppy. But some movies make me sick. I was trying to watch a movie with Nathan tonight and I couldn’t make it through the whole movie. Majority of the movie was filmed using a handheld camera, so it has a very shaky effect. Nathan says it’s to make it more realistic and more documentary-like. It just made me more motion sick. For all you up and coming cinematographers out there… this is a great technique to use in certain scenes… but for the majority of a movie??? Don’t do it!!! Ok, I’ve said my piece, and now I have to lay down. Oy!
Broadway On Ice
We got comp tickets to “Broadway on Ice” last Friday from Nathan’s work. The seats were not great, but it was still entertaining for me and Nathan. Sean was ready to go home once he realized he was not skating, but that we were going to watch other people skate. “Let’s go home now” came out of his mouth more than once while we were there. Nancy Kerrigan stepped in to fill in for Dorothy Hamill. We were wondering if Kerrigan might be expecting. And if she is, i really hand it to her to be so athletic and active while expecting. The Phantom dude was there singing (Frank D’Ambrosio) various Broadway showtunes. I have to say, I enjoyed Gerard Butler’s voice as the Phantom in the 2004 movie version much better. Yes, I know he has no formal vocal training, but I thought his voice matched the character better.
Sean’s first movie
We took Sean to see Ratatouille this weekend. Cute movie. It’s his first movie that he’s seen at the movie theater. He didn’t like having to sit still and having to sit by himself for so long. I think it will be a while before we take him to a movie again. He said he just wants to watch movies at home. That’s good news for us… Netflix is infinitely cheaper than the theaters!
We watched the Donner cut of Superman II last night. Interesting changes from the Superman II that was released in theaters. “Kneel before Zod” makes me giggle every time I hear it. Tee-hee! I liked how Lois tricked Superman into revealing his identity in the Donner cut.
Quote of the Day
“Where is fancy bred? In the heart or in the head?” -Willy Wonka
We watched “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” this evening with Sean. He doesn’t seem to be scared of the oompa loompas. I was happy to get to watch something other than the “Princess Diaries 2” and “Ella Enchanted”. I think Sean may have a crush on Anne Hathaway, cause he wants to watch those movies ALL THE TIME! They’ve even got the Wiggles beat! I must say, even though I love those movies, they’re getting a bit old. I think I’ve memorized both of them by now. At what age in life do humans decide that constant repetition is boring? I’ll let you know when Sean lets me know. 🙂
Sean ended up not sleeping over at cousin Sarah’s house because Sarah came down with a stomach bug. We went to pick him up late on Thursday night. Then early on Friday morning, Sean got sick in his bed. So we woke early on Friday and Nathan got the lad cleaned up and i got got his bed all cleaned up. Then we all went back to sleep for another couple hours. We got up around 10, and Sean seemed fine, so my mum picked him up and he spent the day with her at her restaurant. Nathan and I went out for lunch to Macaroni Grill, then caught the latest “Pirates of the Carribbean” movie, then went to dinner at Fudd Rucker’s. We got 2 “raincheck” movie tickets because the movie was slightly out of focus for the whole time. Nathan told an employee about it once, and I went out twice to tell someone. It was like watching the movie without my contacts, ‘cept without having to squint. I was a bit annoyed. We hadn’t been “out” to a movie since the last Star Wars. This experience reminded us why we like Netflix… pause when you want, move your chair as close to the tv as you want, and the food is practically free. Anyways, after we got home, we took a walk in the moonlight to a nearby convenience store, just cause we’d never been there and it’s right near the house. It’s a pretty standard convenience store, but Nathan was disappointed to see that they didn’t sell hotdogs. 🙂
Wiggles Safari and other stuff
In recognition of the late Steve Irwin, I bought Sean his first Wiggles DVD. It is the “Wiggles Safari” which features Steve and Terri Irwin and their daughter, Bindi. I’m sad that the Crocodile Hunter is gone… I’ve really enjoyed his shows. Sean watched the video today and he seemed to enjoy it. He always likes shows with animals and enthusiastic people. Add singing and dancing to that, and you’ve got him hooked for the whole 45 minutes!
We had a nice long weekend for Labor Day. Nathan took an extra day off, so we got to spend 4 whole days together. It was pretty cool. Check out my Flickr page for some pictures from our weekend. We rode the Rail Runner train. The trains are pretty fancy. every other seating area has a small table and an elctrical outlet so you can plug in your laptop. Nathan said they have wireless internet too. We also went to visit Nathan’s grandparents. That was fun. We walked a bunch and found peacock and guinea feathers and got to feed the horses, too. The next day, we went to Sandia Crest and hiked from the Crest to the Tram and back. It’s about a 3 mile hike, roundtrip, so it took us quite a while with Sean in tow. He wanted to be carried a bunch on the way back from the Tram, so that took forever. We had fun checking out all the different mushrooms that are up there right now. Sean really enjoyed hitting the puffballs with a stick and watching the “smoke” (spores) come out. He thought he was making fire. Finding more puffballs was Sean’s motivation to continue hiking, even when he was really tired.
We finally finished watching the Wiz. That movie is hard to sit through all at once! It made me tired. I usually love musicals, but that was a hard one to watch. I only remembered seeing some of it when i was little. Probably because I kept falling asleep!