A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Alito is confrmed.

It's safe for coathangers to come out of the closet!

What are the odds...

That someone will link Coretta Scott King's passing and Sam Alito's appointment to the Supreme Court in a negative fashion in a public speech?

Spawn of Satan

NASCAR has partnered with Harlequin romance to delier auto-racing themed romance novels. The first of which is due out about two weeks prior to the Daytona 500 in February.

I just can't believe I didn't think of it first. They actually conducted a study to determine that women who watch NASCAR are 26% more likely to read romance novels than women who enjoy, shall we say, less rednecky pursits.

Now I know why all the marketers I've ever met aren't very good...NASCAR has hired all the top grads.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sunday Morning, Coming Down

Sitting under the carport this afternoon, reading a book and enjoying a decent cigar, I hear the strains of the local ice-cream man. Camptown Races twiddling away in its best music-box style at about 130dB.

Yes, I said ice-cream man. He's out every sunny weekend when the temps are above 70. Have I mentioned the weather down here?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Office Space Alert

Drew is doing the latest Arby's commercial.

That is all.

Middle Eastern Peace Process?

I just heard a blurb on ABC fronting their evening news. The statement was something to the effect of, "Will the upset hamas win disrupt the middle east peace process?"

My thought is that their answer will be no. Since the media agrees with hamas that peace equates to Israel being wiped of the map.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Now that's good business...

GM just posted its numbers for the 4th quarter of 2005. As a corporation, GM lost $603 per SECOND.

As GM goes, so goes America; I hope not...

Monday, January 16, 2006

"You've come a long way, baby." Or, My thoughts on the passing of MLK Jr. Day.

Having removed myself to the south I expected life to be a bit sideways compared to the standard issue New England version of normalcy I'm used to. So far the south has not disappointed. The weather is always nice. The cost of living is very low and the people are generally easier to get along with and get to know that we New Englanders usually are.

The attitudes are a bit interesting as well. Two Friday's ago, I returned home from work and tried to get the dog some water. No water. So, I called the local utility, (which is located in the same room as the entire town hall staff of two) and they said we' hadn't filed the proper paperwork to start a new service. I promptly read them our account number from the second successive bill we had just received and paid and they appologized and said the maintenance guy, even though he knocks off at 3:30, would be out shortly to correct the error.

At this point, I walked up to the road to get the trash can. As I was collecting it, the water dude showed up. He was a bit tentative at first because I guess most people would have read him the riot act. I was cool because I really didn't care. My inconvenience was minimal. I talked to him a bit and his parting comment was, "Gotta watch those women." (My reply was, "As long as my wife can't hear me, I agree.")

Here's another recent example of southern attitude.

Our daughter cuts hair at a local salon. All the employees of the shop were invited to a "Hairdressers Ball" last Friday evening. (New one on, me, but like I said, it's the south.) She and her friends got all dolled up, paid for their tickets and attended the event.

After she and her friends, only one other of whom is white, arrived and entered, one of the organizers got in their face and demanded that they leave because the party was for blacks only. To top that off, they wouldn't refund their tickets. I was surprised that you'd find that many muggers in one place, dressed that nicely, with really well coiffed hair.

My daughter spoke to a member of the hired band in the parking lot. (He was also black.) He was appalled by what had happened and tried to get them to stay anyway which was nice. Small victories I guess.

So. This is what MLK's legacy has become. The perceived right to discriminate against people because of their skin color. Thank you NAACP. Thank you Al Sharpton. Thank you Jesse Jackson. Where would we all be if not for you.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ouchy. This won't irk any recent car buyers...

GM is planning to introduce its 2007 model line at prices significantly lower than what you just paid for your 2006.

They're saying it is an attempt to regain market share and improve profitability. Market share alone won't feed the bulldog. If you have the highest market share in your niche, but in order to maintain it, you have to sell your product at an unprofitable pricepoint, what is the difference than having lower market share with higher priced products?

Sounds like the key would be to market better products that people would be willing to pay more money for in the first place.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

September 10 and missing the incredibly obvious.

There has been a person arrested in connection with the very real bomb that was planted in a Starbucks restroom last week. Here's the money quote from the local police sergeant, "There is no connection to any terrorism or anything against Starbucks."

OK sarge, so planting an IED in a coffee shop restroom is not terrorism? Who the hell do you work for? Hezbollah? Reuters, maybe?

There's always somebody...

No matter how unlucky you may think you are, who can make you feel better about yourself.

Meet 81 year old Luciano Mares. He was trying to kill a pesky rodent by setting the leaf pile in which it was hiding ablaze.

The mouse eventually passed on, but not before running out of the leaves and onto Mr. Mares house setting IT on fire and destroying it.

You can't make this stuff up.

A New Security-Based Boom?

Now that I'm investing again, I'm watching the markets reasonably closely. Yesterday was day two of the first >11,000 Dow Index since before 9/11.

I wonder if we are in the infancy of a 90's style growth spurt spurred by lower taxes and the reduction, if not the actual elimination of a severe national security threat?

In 1989, the cold war ended with the fall of the Berlin wall. In about three years, the market took off on its ride of irrational exuberance only to be brought down by lousy federal reserve policy, corporate scandal, an, of course, the events of September 11.

Now that people are comfortable that the government has diverted the terrorists's attention overseas, corporations are more wary of cooking the books and the Fed seems to be backing away from many further interest rate hikes, maybe we're about to see the next wave of significant wealth generation.

I hope so. Optimism might be nice for a change.

Monday, January 09, 2006

I guess these priorities are straight...

The National Organization for Women is outraged by some inane comments made by Joe Paterno about a football player accused of sexual assault and is trying to force him to resign. I guess NOW is concerned that his comments might show a lack of respect for women and might create a hostile environment for the females attending Penn State.

I wonder what NOW's opinion of this study might be? The Indian people have aborted 10,000,000 female babies over the last twenty years because they feel that boys are a less expensive gender.

Now THAT's a hostile environment.

Friday, January 06, 2006

We've come a long way...

This is news?

The Vice President is spotted using a cane and it goes out on the wires?

Most Americans in the 1940's didn't know the FDR was in a wheelchair.

Gotta love the press.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


New email service from the cell phone.

Happy New Year.

So. This is 2006. Who'd-a-thunk-it.

New years always come with new challenges. (Or for me, I guess, old challenges.)

I have to make a decision that is much more significant than I expected right off the bat this year. This decision has the possible ramification of returning my life to the condition that it was a year ago. (Not a thought I relish.)

I think I know which way I'm going to go. But, God damn it, I'm not happy about it.

My problem is that I don't quite know when you have to write someone off as unfixable and get on with your life.

My other problem is, for all the facade of invincibility and callousness I try to portray, I do actually know that I can help some people.

This was shaping up to be a good year. Now I guess I'll have to wait and see.