Entrepreneurs play on fears of a Y2K computer meltdown

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Entrepreneurs play on fears of a Y2K computer meltdown

MILLENNIUM: Survival gear is being sold at the Home & Garden Show in Anaheim. March 27, 1999 By DAWN C. CHMIELEWSKI The Orange County Register Tucked among displays of replacement windows, patio furniture and "Swedish miracle kitchen knives," a new brand of products is sprouting up at this spring's Home & Garden Show: survival gear. Entrepreneurs, eager to cash in on the Year 2000 computer problem, displayed power generators, food dehydrators, water purifiers and other products under broad banners urging "Prepare for Y2K" at the Anaheim Convention Center. But skeptics outnumbered those fearing millennium meltdown in the first afternoon Friday of the three-day show. "It's a lot of hokum," said Mike Michalsky of Los Angeles, eyeing 7-gallon resealable drums. Michalsky's attitude didn't dampen Carolyn Churchouse's sales pitch. After all, how can you miss with a product like the dual-sealing pail, that's ideal  just ideal  for storing rice, flour, wheat or other provisions against disaster? All for a mere $19. And unlike those containers you can get cheaper at Costco, "ours are FDA approved." But how to explain the odd accessory: the roll of toilet paper attached to the handle? Well, call it a multipurpose pail. "If you happen to have some disruption to the water or sewer, it's the right height to sit on," Churchouse said. Ahem. Perhaps it was the promise of a free "miracle duster" that attracted some to the show. Or the senior citizen discount. But for Bob and Joann Hamilton, only one object held their attention. A backup generator. The Corona couple said they decided to take disaster preparedness seriously after the discovery of a large, active fault beneath the San Joaquin hills. But there's something else nagging at them, too. "If the other situation with the Year 2000 occurs where you have a problem," said Joann Hamilton, "we'll be ready."

-- Norm (nwo@hotmail.com), March 28, 1999


No argument here Norm. There have always been a few slime-balls in human history. I read a story last week where some genius was selling a Generac-6500XL for $3500 at one of these shows. Paid $1300 for ours. Best investment we've made in quite a while, with or without Y2K. We get hit with every other thunder and snow storm here, sometimes for an hour or 2, sometimes for much longer. Ever spend 10 hours manually pumping out the sump after a good thunder storm? Believe me, it's no fun. Power was out for 18 hours two months ago, 10 degrees outside, and damned cold in the old farm house, even with 2 kero heaters going. That did it. <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), March 28, 1999.

If people are buying, at least they are preparing.

-- Linda A. (adahi@muhlon.com), March 28, 1999.

Where can I get a flowing beard to go with my sheet and sandals? There just isn't enough time.

-- KoFE (Tellit@onthemount.ain), March 28, 1999.

American entrepreneurs will play on anyone's fear of anything, not just Y2K. America's business is business, Norm.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), March 28, 1999.

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