Picasso’s “La Reve” $139,000,000. Hole in Picasso’s La Reve: Priceless.

OK, so I’m not a fan of Picaso and really should not think it’s kind of funny that Las Vegas Mogul Steve Wynn wound up elbowing his own masterpiece, planting a large hole in the middle of one of the world’s most valuable paintings.

In fact one of the most enjoyable things I did in Las Vegas last year was tour Wynn’s Bellagio Museum of Art, at that time showing a fantastic impressionist collection with a nice audio tour covering the history of impressionist paintings.

Phew, lucky I kept my Elbows to myself.

Wal-Mart. I like ’em!


I have NO stock in Wal-Mart.
I don’t work at Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart is NOT paying me to blog about Wal-Mart.
I don’t Work for Edelman, Wal-Mart’s Advertising Agency.
I’m not getting paid by Edelman to Blog about Wal-Mart.
I’m not getting paid by Wal-Mart to say I’m not getting paid by Edelman.
I did buy several gallons of paint and some brushes at Wal -Mart, and …
I plan to shop there … again.

Hey, I like Wal-Mart, mostly just for the selfish reason that they are convenient, open most of my waking hours, and have many products at very low prices. I also like the fact that it’s much easier to return things to Wal-Mart than to mom and pop shops.

I’m intrigued that none of the many Wal-Mart detractors I’ve read seems to come up with criticisms that take all factors into account. I want to see people in China, Canada, and Mexico working as well as my fellow Americans. Clearly Wal-Mart’s low pricing, somewhat low wages, and hyper-efficiency make products, and jobs, accessible to those who would otherwise have less. Does the Wal-Martification of commerce lower our averages here in the USA? Perhaps a bit, but not nearly as much as it raises them elsewhere. I’m happy to give up 10% of my standard of living so that India and China standards can rise by 50%. If somebody can direct me to a study showing that Wal-Mart *just looking at the USA job market* puts more people out of work than into work please let me know.

Yes, Wal Mart is going to put some businesses that would charge more for the same stuff out of business, but I think that’s part of the grand plan that’s been working well in the USA for over 225 years. I’ll take a Wal-Mart to a Kim-Jung-Il-Mart any day, any time.

With all the furor surrounding the disclosure that Wal-Mart, via Edelman, funded the “already planned” cross country trip by some bloggers you’d think they’d funded Bonnie and Clyde in a murderous rampage.

I reviewed the controversial blog (now taken down) using cached pages in Google and found it was not only tame, the blog was a high quality, nicely done travelog that reflected the spirit of the road and of American Travel. I’m sorry it’s been taken down!

I think I’m basically in agreement with the points made here by Andrew Young who *does* work for Wal-Mart.

Hey Andrew, when you have a minute can you mix a couple of cans of paint for me?
Whoops – he wound up resigning over wilted lettuce.
I’ll be shopping Wal-Mart, and guess what? So … will …. you.

Guerilla Travel Tips

A great post by Paul K, who looks spookily like Adam L, with some travel tips. I liked the one about parking yourself outside of an airport lounges for a hit of WIFI access, though if you traveling in more enlighted places like PDX Portland Oregon or MFR Medford Oregon notice that there is WIFI throughout much of the Airport and is … free.

In a little known study – in fact unknown study – it was found that God actually blesses free WIFI Airports with fewer accidents, less terrorism, no crying babies, and happier travelers.

Paypal – now I know where all those usurious fees go!

A few years back, when I was making more money online, PayPal was a great way to receive payments from advertisers, especially if they were out of the country which otherwise meant you had to wait a long time for checks to clear. But Paypal charged a lot for this – a $1000 dollar transaction from England would cost, as I recall, something like $60 in fees.

The New York Times explains where some of my hard-earned-by-the-sweat-of-my-online-brow money went. After hitting the pockets of Paypal insiders it’s now spreading the gospel of YouTube, LinkedIn, and other Web startups.

I guess that should make me feel better about my little part in feeding funding to the PayPal behemoth, but somehow…. it doesn’t.