Thursday, March 26, 2009

Two jobs on my chopping block

(I travel to Los Angeles, California often, and have noticed this phenomenon)

There are two jobs in the Los Angeles area that are totally recession proof, and would be on my chopping block, if I was in charge.

The first job on my chopping block--Pick any morning, go to any local television station and listen as the "TV Traffic Condition Person" tells you in a grandiose fashion how traffic on the LA freeways is either "crowded" or "very crowded". Since rush-hour doesn't apply anymore, (this presumes people are actually going to work) why do we need a detailed account on "crowded" versus "very crowded". Let's save several hundred thousand a year, and hire a computer voice.

The second job on my chopping block--This job is also on the local TV stations. This person tells you the weather, and how the temperature in and around LA will fluctuate 5 degrees all day. There will also be some clouds, some smog, and a little sunshine. I'd take that six-figure salary, and buy a $200 dollar scanner with weather from the computerized voice of the National Weather Service and call it good.

Two shots of espresso please.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Power of Three

Three is a significant number when it comes to power and balance. Think about the "Three Wise Men", the "Holy Trinity", or the significance of the the Judicial, Executive and Legislative branches of the US Government, not to mention the strength of the three-sided triangle. But, in today's world, I am thinking of the strength of these three words: "Collect all Three". Mac D's, BK's and Carl J's have all come up with a seemingly unlimited number of plastic "collectibles" that keep the young one's and, in turn their parents coming back for more. Thirty years ago, I'd never thought any one could come up with so many "collectibles". But never under estimate the power of three. Marketing hasn't.

Friday, March 20, 2009

AIG Brings to You "Doddge Ball"

When I was in grade school, one of the favorite games we played during recess was "dodge ball". Throw a "not-so-hard" ball at someone and see if they are fast enough to get out of the way.
It seems the same game is going on in Washington with the AIG bonus snafu. One of the main players of this game of Doddge Ball is none other than Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn) who is also the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. He has shown some fancy footwork trying to avoid the "smoker" from the sidelines. He and the new Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, are in a heated one-on-one throwing contest, fancy footwork coming mainly from Dodd.
I have only one thought on this and it goes back to when I was 18. One of the first things the military teaches you is to be honorable. If you've made a mistake, admit it, and do your best not to do it again. The lives of your buddies may depend on it.
Dodd needs to learn that lesson. Stop trying to Doddge what you obviously did. The American people don't want a lesson on the "convoluted process of how things don't get done", and "who-done-what-to-whom-when" If you are in charge, admit to yourself and to the American people your mistakes and do what you can to fix the problem. Fancy footwork and lawyer-ese/double-speak only make you look worse.

Friday, March 13, 2009

"Smart and Wealthy" and the Econ-oh-me

At 6:00 AM this morning CNN had another of the Bernie Madoff "smart and wealthy" victims on the TV crying that they had lost some of their millions of dollars. This particular fiftyish couple (from the North East part of the country) were now having to live out of their RV in Arizona, something they had planned to do after their retirement. Now they campout for real, on a daily basis.

Guess what they wanted out of all the mess? They wanted their money back! hahahahaha Good one. (Day-time dreamers, and some drugs in the 70's probably caused that thought)

Then I got to thinking what caused all of this. It is the "econ-oh-me". Oh-me, oh-my, it's all about me. The econ-oh-me is in such a shambles that I can't keep my millions and sit on my a.. for the rest of my life.

Oh, the econ-oh-me. What a shame that I was such a "smart and wealthy" human, blessed with a spirit to live, and blessed with "squatters rights" on a planet in a universe that is so huge we can't measure it.

To the victims: get over it, get over the econ-oh-me, look at yourself, plant a new reason to live, and stop whining. Believe it or not, it's not about you, oh-me, oh-my.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Smart and Wealthy

(I have to confess, I don't really appreciate what's referred to as "Talking Heads", just thought I'd get that out up front) But, they are everywhere on TV. This morning, I heard the "Talking Heads" on a TV program (take your pick - CNN, CNCB, ABC, whatever) who said that those who had invested money with Mr Bernie Madoff were "smart and wealthy" people, who, as it turns out, lost 64 billion dollars investing with him. Wealthy, obviously; smart, not hardly; greedy, probably.
Did the "unsmart textile worker", or the "unsmart school teacher", or the "unsmart truck driver" lose money with Mr Madoff? Odds are, NOT!
The people who lost money took their chances, and deserve the returns, be it positive or negative.
Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Laptop Magazine

While in the Salt Lake City Airport today, I was pretending to be book shopping, and I noticed a headline on the cover of "Laptop" magazine (Mar 2009) that read: "Is tech tearing your family apart?" The essence of the article is just as my blog entries hinted at a month or so back (American Family of the Future, and Community in a Paragraph or Two), ie connected with humans, but NOT really connected. I promise I did not know they were coming out with this article. It is good to be validated by "Laptop" Magazine. (actually I'd never heard of "Laptop" magazine before today).

have a good week.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Swiss Army Knife

I love Swiss Army Knives. I used to have three, but TSA absconded with two of my small 3-inchers. The knives never made it to the bin of "absconded stuff", just to the TSA officers pocket. Probably safer there.

I ran across an ad in a magazine yesterday showing the World's Only Complete Swiss Army Knife. It is 8.75 inches wide and weighs 2.75 pounds. Take a look to the left.

It sports 87 tools, spanning 112 functions. It even has cigar-cutting scissors and a 12/20-gauge shotgun choke tube tool. Man, gotta get one of these. See the full description to the left.

But, as the little girl asked her mom at the Ontario Airport last week (referring to the gas truck re-fueling the plane); "What's it for, mommy?

Well, good question. What is it for?

It has become so "functional" that it is now "dis-functional". We could say the same for large businesses and the federal government. Oh, they all look good on paper, and have good marketing to back them up, good story line, etc. But, I want to see that 12/20-gauge shotgun choke tube tool in action, and we'll then decide if it's worth anything but a laugh.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Memory Foam

A few days ago, my wife and I bought a mattress cover made of "memory foam". You press on the foam and it keeps the shape for a time. Paid about $150 dollars for the thing. That night we plopped it on the bed and gave it a test sleep. I finally dozed off at 6AM after tossing and turning most of the night. If it hadn't been for my wife waking me at 8AM, I'd missed my work appointment.

"How was your sleep?", I asked my wife.
"Oh, I slept good. How about you?, she replied.
(I didn't have the heart to say I'd only slept for 2 hours, so I just agreed-- maybe I'll get used to it)

But, then I got to thinking about "memory foam". I guess you could say the brain is a blob of "memory foam". You press it and it retains it's habits, I mean shape for a while. My daughter-in-law says their "memory foam" mattress cover has lost's it's original shape, and is stuck in a depression, towards the center of the bed. So, if we keep pressing on the same spots in our brain, we, too, could get into a depression. Old habits die hard, we've heard.

Maybe I'll press a few different brain spots, just enough to keep the "Memory foam" alive and well.
Enjoy your Sunday.