an eye-opener…but not really

Caught a piece on NPR news as I was fixing my bed yesterday that made me pause…and listen, giving it my full attention. It was about products sold in the stores, “Made in Washington,” and “Made in Oregon.” Oregon Ducks T-Shirt (

The eye-opener, or in this case, the ear-opener, was that these retailers sell products that are NOT made in these states.

The reality is that businesses find themselves in bed with anyone who can help them make a buck. And another reality is that the U.S. has been out of the business of manufacturing goods for a long, long, long time. As with  most blue collar jobs involving life’s basic necessities…food, clothing, shelter…we as a country have handed them off to other countries only too happy to get the business. Instead, we’ve gone on to far loftier enterprises which involve the use of our gray matter…and the money is much, much, much better.

So I guess there’s a trade off. We make more money, some of us, doing white collar work. But then we have to hand much of what we make over to those who feed, clothe, and shelter us…like the Chinese, Bangladesh, Pakistani, Indians, Mexicans, Japanese, as well as the people of Hong Kong, Tai Wan, and so on.

Oh! And the salmon used in the “Made in Washington” store products is from Alaska.  (

But as the store president explains, the finishing touches are handled in Washington. The same is true of the ti-shirts and other souvenirs the store sells. The logos and art work are applied in-state. It was telling to hear a salesperson say she feels uncomfortable having to answer customer complaints about the false advertising. And even moreso when she says she shops elsewhere for items that are truly…made in the U.S.A.

As we shop for Christmas gifts, we might start reading the labels as judiciously as we have begun to read the packaging of grocery store items. Graphic shows concept for updated food labels Photo: AP / AP (AP/AP)

We’ve been able to eliminate or at least curb our intake of trans fats, saturated fats, sugar and sodium. Perhaps the secret to restoring our financial well-being is cutting out all the fluff from our other basic necessities…like designer…jeans, shoes, handbags, household decor…and the list goes on. Then perhaps we’d have…

…good health…all the way around…

………hugmamma.  😉

new age billionaires…how so?

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m clueless as to how these young whippersnappers dream up these seemingly intangible internet schemes that make them overnight billionaires! How do they do it? Have they significantly huge brains, the machinations of which normal folks like us can’t fathom? Of course you know of whom I speak…Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Facebook‘s Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page. But then there are the foot soldiers. You know the littler men who make inroads into lesser, but no less lucrative, territories. One that comes to mind is Bob Parsons, Ceo and founder of

Many of you have probably not heard of the man. Well I’d kind of heard of his “goose that laid the golden egg,” Where I can’t remember, which is usually the case with me. I’ve so much minutiae spilling out of my mental vault. Perhaps it was on The jist of the story was that a couple was suing for the return of their website’s domain name. Having decided at one point to cease working at their business, which if I remember correctly was in home furnishings, their website’s name hung out in Limbo. It seems came along and swooped it up, adding it to their ever-growing inventory of domain names for sale. What’s the point you ask? What’s in a domain name?

It seems domain names are like the goose of golden egg fame. The traffic that has been generated during the course of the domain’s existence can be like money in the bank for someone enterprising enough to cash in on it. Whatever the source of my information, according to it,’s Bob Parsons was the entrepeneur with the brainiac idea. Voile! The man is rich, rich, rich. Bob Parsons® 16 Rules Poster

Why do I care about such things? Because I just made richer by buying into its “domain for sale” gimmick. To the tune of $17 a year, and another $8 to keep my personal information private, I now own In the world of internet space I’ve just bought my own little planet. I should say I’ve leased my own little planet, since I have to keep up the annual payments. No other internet-gallactic planet can have my domain name. Big deal, you say? You’re right. I’ve yet to see what the big deal is all about. 

As far as I can surmise the big deal is that the traffic I’ve generated, and will continue to generate, cannot be stolen by would-be robbers. Except that there’s a whole bunch of other ways one can configure hugmamma, although mine is the most common. My husband thinks I got it cheap. Cheap to me is free. Who sells the internet? It’s mind-boggling! Blows me away to think the unseen can be bought and sold like tangible, manufactured goods. Boy, am I a dinosaur from prehistoric times! But you know someone actually bought a domain name from for $60,000? Evidently there are those who attach themselves to certain names, like a favorite stuffed animal or something. If someone wants to buy, come see me, I’ll sell it to you for half the price. 

…we’ll just have to see what that price is…hmmm…hugmamma. 😉