Month: August 2010

Monday

DollarTreeSundry Mondry

Interesting: At high-end stores such as Neiman Marcus and Tiffany, shoppers are demonstrating confidence and spending with vigour. At the other end of the retail spectrum, consumers are cautious amid economic uncertainties, denting the earnings of groups such as Walmart. Awhile back (six months or more) I remember reading that Walmart was doing well because people were bargain shopping to cope with the recession. Meanwhile, foreclosures of million-dollar-plus homes are on the rise and Dollar Tree earnings are doing great (aside: few stock charts look better than the Tree’s). Luxury stores up; luxury houses down. Walmart down; Dollar Tree up. Go ahead: Make sense of these economic times. * * * * * * * Every time I go into Dollar Tree, I walk out with fifteen things I hadn’t planned on buying. The place is hell on the wallet, but man, the stuff is cheap. * * * * * * * A child pornographer gets nasty treatment in prison. It’s shocking and disturbing and sad stuff, but I (being honest here) am having a hard time mustering a lot of sympathy. * * * * * * * Good stuff: Periodic Table of Wall Street Criminal Elements. * * * * * * * Related: “Wall Street Psycho:” 15 Signs of Moral & Ethical Pathology, Soul-Sickness. Sample:

8. Moral issues are PR glitches, violations of “don’t get caught” rule
USAToday says ‘Goldman Sachs should be celebrating. Yet, the mood at the investment bank seems to be one of crisis about the public backlash over employees’ bonuses. So Goldman’s on a PR blitz in a bid to

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BYCU

After the last two days, I guess I should feel like a breast implant: “A new study suggests that beer is a significant source of dietary silicon, a key ingredient for increasing bone mineral density. Researchers from the Department of Food Science & Technology at the University of California, Davis studied commercial beer production to determine the relationship between beer production methods and the resulting silicon content, concluding that beer is a rich source of dietary silicon. Details of this study are available in the February issue of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Society of Chemical Industry.” Link.

(Terribly behind at office and life and human normalcy right now. Thanks to the TDE reader who bailed me out these past two weeks with BYCU items.)… Read the rest

Wednesday

If Catholics led the good life that I see in my Mormon acquaintances, there would be no other churches. If we could just combine the Mormon goodness that its members exhibit (leavened with a little bit of wine) and combine it with Catholic theology, we’d have a real powerhouse. Alas, the Mormon theology doesn’t quite line up. Click here for a funny red-lined rendition of the Apostle’s Creed, LDS-style. If this offends any of my Mormon readers, my apologies, but I don’t think I have any (are they coming for BYCU?). … Read the rest

Tuesday

streetsign.jpgSubways and Stress

Learned over the weekend: The New York Subway system was built by private business, but later regulated by the City. The City insisted on preserving the long-standing five-cent fare, despite rising inflation costs. Eventually, the private businesses couldn’t survive anymore, so they sold out to the City, who then used tax revenues to subsidize the low fares. * * * * * * * I’ve received three raised-eyebrow comments or complaints about the video link yesterday. My apologies for the link. I was trying to help the kid out by driving traffic to his site, and even though the fare is hardly what readers expect to find here, I found it more juvenile than offensive. But tastes differ, and if you were offended, my apologies. * * * * * * * Another fine example of public stewardship: LA unveils $578M school, costliest in the nation. Maybe this will get the public schools into a building war, like the universities who keep competing for students by building amenities. * * * * * * * I’ll have to memorize this list: Ten ways to reduce stress. … Read the rest

Monday

pizza burgerFood and Miscellany Monday

Happy Sweet 16th to my eldest daughter, Abbie. If the rest of my daughters come out as well as she has, I’ll be a lucky, lucky man. * * * * * * * Burger King is foraying into pizza. Sounds good, but 20 years too late. Back in high school, I used to eat two Whoppers in one sitting. Those days are gone . . . unless I’ve been drinking. * * * * * * * My son, Jack (14), has jumped into digital movie-making with both feet. He worked odd jobs for months, saved his allowance, and bought a slick laptop and good editing software. Here’s one of his first creations. The guy who does all the talking is his cousin (and my godson). I wish the imagery weren’t so, ummm, colorful and I find some of the language objectionable, but it’s a good spoof on professional wrestling. Please venture over and take a look. It’s probably worth recommending to your teenage acquaintances. * * * * * * * Pretty wild: All the soft drinks in the world, by market share, in chart form. * * * * * * * Spirituality for the MTV generation: The Way, the Furrow, the Forge: three books, one easy-to-hold volume, for only $17.95. I’d never read Escriva, but Francis Fernandez cites him frequently, so I decided to give him a shot. So far, it’s been great reading. The passages are all nuggets: thousands of passages, ranging in length from one line to half a page. Opus Dei has always made me a bit uncomfortable, especially … Read the rest