With the North Dakota budget in rough shape, officials are glad for any boost to state coffers. That includes the modest bump from the North Dakota Mill and Elevator that towers over north Grand Forks.
The mill, the only such state-owned operation in the country, contributes millions every year to the North Dakota budget. The mill is financially self-sufficient.
The facility, located just north of Gateway Drive on Mill Road, is on the verge of completing a major expansion project that will make it the largest single milling operation the country. Taylor said demand for flour is largely driving the addition, which will increase its daily production capacity from 38,000 hundredweight of flour to 49,500 hundredweight.
The expansion, first approved by the North Dakota Industrial Commission in 2014, will add an eighth milling unit to the facility. It also includes enough room for another expansion in the future.
The mill is also planning a project that will include a new track and wheat unloading pit that may be completed this fall.
The mill posted a nearly $16.7 million profit in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015, marking a record.
Business Insider has an interesting article: KFC vs Chick-Fil-A. This is the one line that caught my eye:
"They can make sure that procedures get followed. I think that's a competitive advantage for them. I don't know if it's an advantage I would want, but it's certainly working for them from a business standpoint."They can make sure that procedures get followed. And the KFC CMO is not sure that's a business practice he would want to emulate. In a franchise! OMG! That's what a franchise is all about: consistency and predictability. No wonder KFC is having its problems.
The last time I visited a KFC was up in Williston, while visiting the Bakken. My dad wanted to go. Later he said he was disappointed in KFC; would not go back. He was 93 at the time. Later he said he was disappointed in the food; I was disappointed in the attitude of the employees.
I think that was the only time I have visited a KFC in the last ten years. Before that, my father-in-law enjoyed them and he would bring home KFC, but he passed away some years ago.
I was quite shocked to see how badly the KFC was in Williston with regard to appearance and cleanliness. That particular KFC was there well before the boom; located near the high school. But it was unkempt; it was no longer busy in the Bakken but no one was cleaning the tables and the floor looked atrocious. It had the feel of a KFC in downtown NYC -- not something I would expect in rural North Dakota.
On the other hand, the Chick-Fil-A here in Grapevine is incredibly busy when it is open (it is closed on Sundays) and it is as clean as any fast food restaurant that I've seen. And the customer service is incredible.
From the linked article:
In 2014, Chick-fil-A's average sales per restaurant were $3.1 million, the greatest of any fast-food chain in the US. In comparison, KFC sold $960,000 per restaurant that year.
The reason for Chick-fil-A's dominance is a mix of excellent food and superior customer service, according to many analysts.
Most noticeable: the writer failed to note that CFA is closed on Sunday and yet CFA still "cleans FKC's clock," as they say.
Idle Musings ... and Nothing About The Bakken
One of the things I enjoy most during a move is to see how smoothly our mailing address changes work out.
This time, as usual, very, very well. We've had lot so of practice, moving on average every 2.6 years while serving with the USAF. In retirement, it has been much less often, maybe four times since 2007. Let's see 8 years divided by 4 = 2 years; well, maybe not. Whatever.
The only problem we've had this time, it appears, is with one monthly periodical, The Atlantic [Monthly]. I'll call them again tomorrow. It really doesn't bother me. I'm not sure whether I will continue with the periodical. I used to enjoy it to some degree, but it has changed a lot, and I'm not sure if I enjoy it all that much. It's become indistinguishable from a number of other periodicals over the past few years it appears.
Having said that, some nice bit of trivia that popped up in this month's issue (June). I'm not going to go into it now (except to say it was Brenda James who introduced me to the origin of the word "ghetto") but it seems there have been a lot of articles talking about ghettos lately.
In "The Eviction Curse," Patrick Sharkey, writes about the origin of the ghetto:
For Duneier, two historical iterations s of the Jewish ghetto in Europe serve as structural extremes to frame the story he traces of a disadvantaged group -- African Americans -- cordoned off in the US.William Shakespeare had never seen the Venetian ghetto but he describes it in exceedingly good detail. He was truly a genius. He kind of reminds me of John "I've served in Vietnam" Kerry or Hillary Clinton.
At one end lies the enclave that gave us the term ghetto: an island in Venice (named for the copper foundry, or geto, once located on it) where Jews were assigned to live in 1516. Gates opened in the morning and closed at night allowing the Jews to circulate among the general population and take part in economic life by day. Venetian authorities mostly kept out, which meant Jewish community and culture could thrive.
Wow, there are so many other story lines there, but time to move.
Meanwhile some additional trivia that might be useful at this week's cocktail party. Or not.
I've grown tired of the Brontës; it's hard to believe I actually wrote that. Whatever.
But this in Judith Shulevitz's "The Brontës' Secret":
I see no reason not to consider the Brontë cult a religion. What are Peoples of the Book, after all, if not irrepressible embroiderers of fetishized texts?
The Jews have a word for the feverish imaginings that run like bright threads through their Torah commentaries: midrash, the spinning of gloriously weird backstories or fairy tales prompted by gaps or contradictions in the narratives.
Midrash isn't just a Jewish hermeneutic, by the way. You could call the Gospels a midrash on the Hebrew Bible, the lives of the saints a midrash on the Christ story, the Koran a midrash on all of the above.So, there you have it; a bit more on the origin of the words ghetto and midrash. That and $2.00 will get you a cup of coffee in Starbucks.