Wasny the Conquerer

Members of the local agricultural community noshed and networked at an FFA fund-raiser breakfast Nov. 13 and then turned their ears to Garrett Wasny, hired to speak on how businesses can “conquer the world” through efficient and intelligent use of the Internet. It was one of several audiences he had that day in Chico.

He talked about such tricks as downloading browsers in other languages, taking advantage of multimedia tools (the Internet is not “one big online book") and getting free Internet access—even phone calls—anywhere.

The ponytailed Wasny, who’s from Vancouver and said “about” and “process” with a really cool accent, doled out dozens of Web site addresses designed to help businesses get ahead in the global market.

The site ag folks likely rushed back to the office to check was, a search engine just for agriculture-related things. You can impress your teacher or date, he said, with soybean data from 1982. (This drew the biggest chuckle of the morning.)

Among the URLs he suggested, Wasny said is a virtual search assistant that will find you sites “like ferrets on double-espresso.” will not only find business addresses but also reference what’s next door, and, for ag folks, “you could spend a week” on

Best of all, he said, most of this is free.

We hardly knew ye

So House 2 Home, which didn’t even make it a year after converting over from HomeBase, is calling it quits. The Irvine-based chain filed Nov. 7 for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced that a third party will “liquidate” (read: sell everything in) its 42 stores, including, of course, the one in Chico, over the next 13 weeks.

Dozens of people are employed at Chico’s House 2 Home, which sells furniture, linens, home decor and the like. The workers will “ultimately be let go,” the company stated.

House 2 Home blamed the bankruptcy on a general economic downturn, with the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks being the final straw. “We all wish that world events had not struck this untimely blow to our company,” reads a statement.

Fly guys

Chico Fly Shop on West Eighth Avenue is going through some changes, as John Bryan takes over official ownership of the business. He’s partnering with Lawrence Bluck, who said it was a logistical move to keep the shop running smoothly while giving the previous owner more free time. “It’s just so he can spend more time with his kids.”

The shop had been run by Press Powell, of Powell bamboo and graphite rod fame, but Bluck relayed that Powell also wants to do more duck hunting.

He’ll still be at the shop, advising the new partners and making his custom rods.