Monday, December 22, 2008

Delta North, Blackberry ticketing and Lunds Won't Grind Ham Anymore!

Sorry.  I didn't mean to vent.  But this is catastrophic.  I just know my mother is spinning in her grave at the news.

I was planning to devote todays post to giving kudos to the MAC (Metropolitan Airports Commission) for working out a deal with Delta whereby they will keep 10,000 jobs and a regional operations center known as "Delta North" here on the frozen tundra.  Would rather it was called "Northwest North," but lets don't quibble over naming rights.  We kept jobs in Minnesota.  Good work, MAC!
Don't know if kudos are in order for the introduction of "paper-free boarding passes" as I don't own a Blackberry or any other "mobile device."  I thought I was way ahead of the game given that I do own a MacBook Pro, I have a website and I blog fairly frequently.  Thats what happens every time I think I am ahead of the tech game.  I get blindsided by the advance of ever more sophisticated technological devices and what they can do. I'm sure my friend Suzi is delighted. She and her "hand held device" can do anything.  Now, she will be able to board a Northwest or Delta flight with her boarding pass, as well as her entire life, on her mobile device.  Hers, by the way, is also bi-lingual.  I have heard Jose' with my own ears.
Now to the meat of this post, in more ways than one.  I stopped in at Lunds to order the meat for my mother's ham loaf, a family tradition at Christmas - - - and when I approached the friendly butcher to ask for three pounds of ground, smoked ham and two pounds of ground fresh pork, he responded, "We don't grind ham."  I said, "Pardon me?"  He said, "We don't grind ham."  I said, "Yes you do."  He said, "No we don't."  I said, "But my family has been having Lunds grind our ham loafs since time immemorial - and even before that!"  He said, "Not any more.  They won't let us grind ham."  I said, "Who is 'they'?"  He said, "The corporate office."  "Aha!" I said.  I had expected him to said the State Inspections Department or some such heavy-handed authority.  But no.  It was "the corporate office."  (If this diatribe is unsettling to you - after all I am taking the erstwhile venerable institutions Lunds and Byerlys to task here - you might prefer going to a news web site to try to figure out if Minnesota will have two US Senators by Inauguration Day.)
As I was saying, "Aha! the corporate office."  I'll bet this is the same corporate office that banished pecan rolls from their bakeries.  The same corporate office that has allowed the bakery to continue making Kringler coffee cakes, but has bumped up the price from $4.99 to $5.99.  $5.99 to $6.99.  Then they put them in a box, for heavens sake, and bumped them up to $7.99, the current price.  $7.99 for a coffee cake!  In a box!  I was perfectly happy with it on a cardboard and shrink-wrapped. Butterfluff rolls also disappeared but then they reappeared some months later.  Probably in answer to complaints.  Sadly, they forgot how to make them in the interim and they haven't been the same since.
I get misty-eyed when I remember the home economist that was a presence at every Lunds store, every day.  She wore a white uniform with a handkerchief in her pocket and a name tag.  She would walk the aisles looking for poor befuddled shoppers and help them figure out what to cook and how to cook it!  She became our friend or, more accurately, family member.  I wonder what happened to her?  
Remember the machine that squeezed the oranges for fresh orange juice before your very eyes? Rows of glass bottles filled with 'orange gold' nestled in a bed of crushed ice next to the orange squeezer.
I have remained fairly stoic and quietly endured most of these changes.  But the butcher not being allowed to grind the ham for Mother's ham loaf?  That is the last straw.  Up until now, every time I'd get down on Lunds or Byerlys because some favorite item or service disappeared I would forgive them and keep coming around. I would forgive them because I would remind myself that they always cheerfully ground smoked ham and fresh pork for Mother's ham loaf.  Always.  Until now.


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