While I was away in the mountains of North Carolina, the Walmart news never stopped just because I wasn't reading it. One interesting note, locals refer to the Walmart in Spruce Pine (No. 2749) as the Macy's of the Blue Ridge Parkway; it is that nice. Placed just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, the store effectively halts traffic not familiar with the area and strangles the life blood out of businesses actually in Spruce Pine. But that's the way Walmart works. Here are a few of the headlines I missed: Walmart brings jobs, controversy [I was interviewed for this story]; Wal-Mart Shakes Up Executive Suite; Wal-Mart Promotes... to Fill E-commerce Leadership Spot; Scary (But True) Facts About Wal-Mart; Wal-Mart merchandising chief leaves; What Else You Should Know About Walmart; Wal-Mart pops onto scene, makes its mark; Protestors Tell Wal-Mart to "FUHGEDDABOUD"; Wal-Mart in negotiations to open D.C. store; Wal-Mart Contemplates Locating Right Next to New Costco; Wal-Mart moms on politics and the economy; How comfy: Daley helps Wal-Mart... Wal-Mart recognizes Daley; Wal-Mart Latest to Step Away From Sinar Mas; Another Billionaire Bailout for Wal-Mart Developer; Putting Screws To Suppliers Means Big Cash For Wal-Mart; Max Books... Wal-Mart and it's overall impact in Chicago and; Wal-Mart & Its Possibly Criminal Bad Business Practices. And now back to my regularly scheduled rants. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.