Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I figured I had better touch on this before it becomes old news what with President Bush considering using the TARP funds for an auto bailout as we speak. By the way, my wife warned me that I shouldn't write really long entries as people wouldn't have the time or desire to read them... I told her that that was exactly the point of minutiae, it's all the details - and that's how I am!
A few months ago I had a strategic international business class where I had the arduous task of writing a weekly essay on current events as they pertained to international business. I found an article from MSNBC regarding GM’s efforts to cut costs to stave off the serious dangers that it was facing. It’s funny how hindsight really is 20/20. This article was from July 15th – long before they would be faced with the major issues that they now face. I have included some analysis from that essay. It basically had to do with the fact that GM needed to cut costs or increase sales in order to have the cash necessary to pay its bills – it was the proverbial writing on the wall.
According to the text from one of my previous classes, a business can make money in only a few ways. Logically, two of the most effective ways to manage this are to increase revenue and to lower costs. As with personal finances, these management tools are fairly simple to understand – either you need to make more money or spend less.
There are several strategies for increasing revenue. Basically the goal would be increase sales of your good or service, raise the price, or expand your company footprint. Several volumes have been and could be written on any one of these approaches. A company will usually try to increase sales or raise their prices before they look to increase their footprint – assuming they are fully expanded into their domestic market. This is usually due to many of the hurdles that have to be overcome as a company expands its global footprint. Some companies may need to expand globally but are constrained by various internal and external forces. Externally they might have a corporate structure or ownership that isn’t permitted in a different market. Much like some government controlled companies from
At first brush I didn’t think that this article really had much to do with the assigned reading for the week. However as I read this and ancillary articles the picture it painted was pretty clear. GM has clearly become a huge international company. In many of its markets outside of the
Much of the success that GM has experienced outside of the
In essence they have to determine how to stay in business in the market that they call home. The landscape of the
As we now know they have gone to
But why are so many people opposed to this and not the financial bailout? I think it is for many reasons but a big part of it is the fact that the Big Three are three of the Biggest Whiners in the country. Not to mention the fact that Chrysler is privately held by Ceribus Capital. But they are continually strong-armed by the biggest union in the world, the UAW. And every time they get kicked while they are down by the UAW’s arm twisting (mixed metaphors, I know) and they end up conceding just so they can continue production, fully aware of the fact that they will have to do it again in a few month’s time. They continue to cry that their woes are the product of the economic downturn, but I think that it’s just the downturn that exposed the festering sore that was being covered by bandaid after bloody bandaid. Let’s just see if the newly appointed CAR CZAR (just what we need, someone else who will get into a pissing contest with Ron Gettelfinger) will have any power to make the changes necessary to keep the big three from crawling back a third time.
I could go on, but I need to finish working…at least I don’t cost my company $73 an hour!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I'm hoping that I'm not biting off more than I can chew. I keep adding to The List but I don't seem to be knocking stuff off very fast. I can say that I think about writing stuff all the time (hence the expansion of The List) and I do plan on writing. I was emailing a brother-in-law today trying to get his stamp of approval on the blog and he said something that made me think... He said "hopefully in two months you won't add to your list 'why I don't blog anymore'" I figure that the best way to prevent that type of demise for the Minutiae Report is to keep at it - eventually I will get where I want to be. So I am trying to define some of my goals for this blog to help me stay focused.
I will most likely continue to bring this up as I refine what it is that I want to accomplish by writing The Minutiae Report. As I've said all along, this blog is my attempt (albeit conservatively paced) at purging my mind of the "clutter" that consumes me. I've already eluded to the fact that I start thinking about stuff and it begins to consume me, I can't think, I don't listen to the people around me, I can't work and I can't focus on the things that will actually get me to where I want to go. Instead I stray down these distractive paths in a hope that they will bring me to some sort of shortcut. I don't think they will! This is why I want to get them out of my head, explore them "electronically" in front of tons of people, and move on.
A secondary goal is to attract readers to the Report and hopefully provide answers to questions that keep them up at night as well. I can potentially lead them (you) down a path that I have already explored and give you a head start on the research and learning curve. To do this I will have to be entertaining…this might be a stretch for me but I think I can try. I don’t take this too seriously so you can’t either.
Oh, and one other thing…I know I am probably going to bring up some stuff that could be potentially incriminating so I am hoping that it is used for informational purposes only. My dad used to always say “a smart person learns from his mistakes, a wise person learns from others’ mistakes.” This holds true here. I just hope the statute of limitations has expired for some of this stuff!
So with that said, I am adding to the List…and it ain’t Santa’s!
50. The beauty of Free-Agency…You have a choice
51. Dust to Glory
52. Rally Cars
53. Hacking an Xbox
54. Le Tour de France vs. Il Giro d’Italia
55. Our home is a Petri dish
56. SME Server
57. Internet over powelines
59. Bigger Faster Stronger
60. Microlending – Kiva.org
61. Book Reviews
62. Netflix vs Torrents
63. Structured Procrastination
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
When I finally get around to talking about number 13 on “The List”, I will tell you about some of the sites that I visit on the internet and where I go for information. But for now I want to talk about the number one item on the list as it has quite possibly been keeping most of you awake at night in anticipation of the answer (all 3 of you that have seen my blog). Sufficed to say I was reading an article recently about the “11 worst blogs on the Internet” (PC Advisor). I have to admit that it was almost a complete waste of my time as it was painful to read about Rosie O’Donnell, Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, and all the other celebri-freaks out there (that has to go on my list…and I am trying to coin that phrase so please use it). However PC Advisor was able to point me to one of the most inane blogs I have ever seen since Web 2.0 started. And it is quite literally called “the dullest blog in the world”.
Now I personally don’t think this blog should have ever “won” the title of the worst blog on the internet simply due to the fact that it is the epitome of sarcasm and mockery. It raucously spits in the face of all those people who take blogging too seriously (I do it for me, not for you, so I don’t count). For example, the most recent post (which is pretty old since it was from March 2006), reads like this “Some pencils were scattered around on my desk. I picked them up one by one. I placed the pencils in the drawer which I use to store pencils.” Now who would argue that that doesn’t strike you as being funny? One of my favorites is “Turning off a light…” you’ll have to check it out. But I digress…as I do quite often…which is the beauty of this blog - I can.
Anyway, as I read this I realized that there is something out there for everybody and why shouldn’t I have a place to put my banal musings as well? Why can’t I have a place where I can put all the details that fill my head, consume my thoughts, and distract my focus? So this is what pushed me to start this blog. I don’t claim to be a great writer (wait for the discussion that will come when I discuss number 12), I really don’t think I am a great orator and I would never be so bold as to proclaim that I am very verbose but I do know that I have an opinion. From reading this article about the baloney that fills the internet I felt the desire, yea the impetus, to delve into the life of a “blogger”…so here I am. Fully aware that I won’t get fame or fortune for doing this (especially the fortune part) but I really don’t care.
I finally figured out that I don’t update my “other” blog simply due to the fact that I don’t know what to put up there. What might interest me, intrigue me, tickle me, or make me laugh when it comes to my family might just be too personal to share. I like to keep certain details about ME to myself. I hold close those things that are mine and I guard them with all the strength that I have. I don’t want the violation that comes from others knowing too much about those whom I love.
But, like I said earlier, I have an opinion…about most everything and I strive to base my opinions on facts; facts that I find through research on the internet, in books, in newspapers, movies, school, and church. And this is the place where I can share that opinion. A opinion is probably more personal that the stuff that I don't want to share, but the difference is that it's just that, and opinion (I find myself straying onto paths which touch upon other points from the list so I have to be careful - wait for #19 for the full discussion). I continue to refer to this as a forum where discussion can take place and I really do mean that. Please discuss with me, add additional minutiae to the list. I will try and present facts that I find and their sources (where possible) and I hope that it promulgates the ideas that I try to convey and stimulates the discussion that I crave – even if that discussion is between me, myself and I. I will also play the “point-counter-point game” and sometimes play the devil’s advocate. The goal here is to give a bit of clarity to the way I think and the way I approach the mundane – the way I formulate the opinions that I have and why I don’t fear having them. I love information and crave the minutiae of life. This is why I wanted/needed the Minutiae Report!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The Impetus for this Blog (11 Worst blogs on the Internet)
- Making money with a blog...is it possible?
- Digging a basement
- Building a deck
- Remodeling a home (that you hate) in general
- Going to
for my MBA Regis University
- Essays and articles to be published from my classes...why not?
- The differences between SAP and Oracle ERP systems
- Investing 101
- My philosophy on networking (familial and professional)
- Books - writing and reading
- What I read on the Internet and when
- Working out and losing weight (FAT
) America in general America
- Uses for lottery funds
- Education in general
- Finances in general
- Opinions - why they stink? And how to sell them to siblings
- The Yellow F650
- Ol' Blue & other "nostalgic" vehicles
- MOM and "her" grave
- Shoes (why I like them)
- Graveyard Shift
- OCD vs Efficient Habits
- ADD and peanut allergies
- Driving and rush hour theories
- Argument for Thanksgiving being the best holiday
- Political correctness
- Gerophobia and riding the short bus
- Google are you listening?
- Trend bucking
- The Unit
- Pandora Radio
- The Music I like
- The violation that we call theft
- Demolition Derbys
- Redneck Games
- Waterfalls and Concrete
- Does the dystopian world await us?
- Obtain as much education as is possible