Archive for ◊ June, 2008 ◊

Anniversaries and Wishes
Sunday, June 29th, 2008 | Author:

A married couple in their early 60s was celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary in a quiet, romantic little restaurant. Suddenly, a tiny yet beautiful fairy appeared on their table.  She said, ‘For being such an exemplary married couple and for being loving to each other for all this time, I will grant you each a wish.’

The wife answered, ‘Oh, I want to travel around the world with my darling husband. The fairy waved her magic wand and – poof! – two tickets for the Queen Mary II appeared in her hands.

The husband thought for a moment: ‘Well, this is all very romantic, but an opportunity like this will never come again. I’m sorry my love, but my wish is to have a wife 30 years younger than me.

The wife, and the fairy, were deeply disappointed, but a wish is a wish. So the fairy waved her magic wand and poof!…the husband became 92
years old.

The moral of this story: Men who are ungrateful bastards should remember fairies are female…

Hat tip to Kon-man

Category: Humor  | Leave a Comment
Old is When…
Saturday, June 28th, 2008 | Author:

A lady goes to the bar on a cruise ship and orders a Scotch with two drops of water. As the bartender gives her the drink she says, ‘I’m on this cruise to celebrate my 80th birthday and it’s today…’ The bartender says, ‘Well, since it’s your birthday, I’ll buy you a drink. In fact, this one is on me.’

As the woman finishes her drink, the woman to her right says, ‘I would like to buy you a drink, too.’ The old woman says, ‘Thank you. Bartender, I want a Scotch with two drops of water.’ ‘Coming up,’ says the bartender As she finishes that drink, the man to her left says, ‘I would like to buy you one, too.’ The old woman says, ‘Thank you. Bartender, I want another Scotch with two drops of water.’ ‘Coming right up,’ the bartender says.

As he gives her the drink, he says, ‘Ma’am, I’m dying of curiosity. Why the Scotch with only two drops of water?’ The old woman replies, ‘Sonny, when you’re my age, you’ve learned how to hold your liquor. Holding your water, however, is a whole other issue.’

‘OLD’ IS WHEN..
Your sweetie says, ‘Let’s go upstairs and make love,’ and you answer, ‘Pick one; I can’t do both!’

‘OLD’ IS WHEN…
Your friends compliment you on your new alligator shoes and you’re barefoot.

‘OLD’ IS WHEN…
A sexy babe catches your fancy and your pacemaker opens the garage door.

‘OLD’ IS WHEN…
Going braless pulls all the wrinkles out of your face.

‘OLD’ IS WHEN…
You don’t care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don’t have to go along.

‘OLD’ IS WHEN…
You are cautioned to slow down by the doctor instead of by the police.

‘OLD’ IS WHEN. ..
‘Getting a little action’ means you don’t need to take any fiber today.

‘OLD’ IS WHEN…
‘Getting lucky’ means you find your car in the parking lot.

‘OLD’ IS WHEN…
An ‘all nighter’ means not getting up to use the bathroom.

AND

‘OLD’ IS WHEN…
You are not sure these are jokes?

Hat tip to Slick Imwalle

Category: Humor  | Leave a Comment
The Michelangelo Code
Friday, June 27th, 2008 | Author:

There was the Da Vinci code, now there are those that claim that the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel has secret codes embedded in the artwork from Michelangelo.

The authors believe the entire Sistine Chapel, which they say is built to the same proportions as the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, is a “lost mystical message of universal love” which was intended to be decoded.

Category: Engineering  | Leave a Comment
Important Facts and Figures
Thursday, June 26th, 2008 | Author:

Interesting story from George Will with important facts and figures:

…in 2006, blacks, who are less than 13 percent of the population, were 37.5 percent of all state and federal prisoners. About one in 33 black men was in prison, compared with one in 79 Hispanic men and one in 205 white men…

In 2005 the black homicide rate was over seven times higher than that of whites and Hispanics combined. … From 1976 to 2005, blacks committed over 52 percent of all murders.

Engineering Laws
Thursday, June 26th, 2008 | Author:

The Laws…….
of Mechanical Repair
After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to pee.

of Gravity
Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

of Probability
The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

of Random Numbers
If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

of the Alibi
If you tell the boss you were la te for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

of Law
If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time)

of the Bath
When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.
of Close Encounters
The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

of the Result
When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will.

of Biomechanics
The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

of the Theater
At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last.

of Starbucks
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

of Lockers
If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

of Physical Surfaces
The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor covering are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.

of Logical Argument
Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.

of Physical Appearance
If the shoe f its, it’s ugly.

of Public Speaking
A closed mouth gathers no feet.

of Commercial Marketing Strategy
As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

of being sick
If you don’t feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you’ll feel better. Don’t make an appointment and you’ll stay sick.

Rex TV & Appliance
Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 | Author:

Update – It was interesting to read the business section of the Dayton Daily News and see that others are finally making observations I made nearly two years ago (see below).   I commend Rex’s CEO, Stuart Rose, for his resourcefulness in providing returns to stockholders.  However, stockholders usually invest in a company based on it having some core competency and direction.  A telling quote from the Rex CEO, “It’s awkward for an investor to understand our company today.”

Nov 5, 2006 – My son Barry wrote a few business papers last year on Rex TV, and that motivated me to take a closer look at their performance.  If you’re not familiar with Rex, it’s a smaller version of “Best Buy” that is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio with approximately 100 stores located in smaller cities around the US.  

I was curious how Rex could compete with a Best Buy and Circuit City.  I then noticed that most of their profit was generated from investment in ethanol plants.   I’m somewhat dismayed that the shareholders haven’t questioned the company strategy.  What is a company that is in the “dog-eat-dog” world of consumer electronics doing in the alternative energy business?  Is the name of the company “Rex TV & Ethanol Supply”?

Category: Business  | Leave a Comment
The Race is On…
Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 | Author:

raceison.jpg

Category: General  | Leave a Comment
Great Comedian Passes Away…
Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 | Author:

You may have seen news that George Carlin passed away… I remember sitting in the house of my friend, Jeff Gilbert, when we were 10 years old and listening to Carlin humor on record albums… Carlin was the first “in-your-face” comedian that I really enjoyed.

Category: Humor  | Leave a Comment
StubHub — Seller Beware!
Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 | Author:

Update – My contacting the Better Business Bureau (BBB) helped us to finally get paid from StubHub.  Interestingly, as part of closing the case, the SubHub Customer Care representative told the BBB that they were refunding my $60 fee (see screenshot from the BBB web site below).  Surprise, Surprise.  I received the check from StubHub on 6/21/08 (approximately 40 days after it was promised)…

stubhub-bbb.jpg

April 28 – We still have not received payment.  It is approximately 30 days past due, and our friends at StubHub have yet to provide adequate explanation.  They most recently promised via telephone that “the check is in the mail”.

April 23 – The concept of StubHub is very appealing — use a web site as a means to sell your tickets to an event when you’re unable to attend.  Even if their 15% fees seem to be a little high, it’s tolerable since they are acting as a broker to ensure that buyer and seller have confidence in the transaction.

However… I’ve discovered that StubHub plays financial games with the funds from the buy/sell transaction.  In my case, I sold tickets to a buyer for a Columbus Blue Jackets hockey game.  The person that purchased my tickets received the tickets from me via FedEx on March 17, and had money transferred from his account on that same day.  They have a policy of waiting 7 days after the buyer receives the ticket before they process the payment:

stub1.jpg

I don’t have a problem with that approach, since I assumed that they would cut a check and mail it after the waiting period.  When I didn’t receive a check from them by April 7 (a full 14 days after the 7 day waiting period) , I decided that I should review my on-line StubHub account to determine the status (they indicate 2 to 7 days for check to arrive — see below). 

 stub2.jpg

The on-line account indicated that the payment date was March 24, and it was paid via check.  I thought, uh-oh… the US Postal Service lost the envelope, so I sent StubHub an email inquiry to determine if they had actually mailed the check. Since they didn’t reply to my email message, on April 8 I called a StubHub customer service agent.  She proceeded to tell me that “payment is getting ready”, and it take 10 business days for the check to be sent, and “you’ll be receiving the payment any day now”.  I told her that this was not consistent with the message published on their web site. 

I subsequently went through a series of emails with their “customer service” agents where I pointed out that their website indicated that payment was sent on March 24.  They claimed to have lost my address, and then found it (without ever contacting me for the address, hmm).  Below is an excerpt from their email of April 9:  

We originally began processing your check on 3/24/08, unfortunately we did not have a default address to send the check to. As a result, we have updated your address and resubmitted your payment. We will complete processing on your reissued check within the next 5-7 days. Please allow an additional week from the date we issued your payment to receive your check.

It is April 22 and I still have not received payment after numerous contacts with their “customer service”.  I assume that there are interstate laws about doing business this way…  Do you think StubHub is trying to make additional revenue by getting a 30 day float on other people’s money?    I wonder if there is a class action lawsuit percolating? 

I will definitely be sharing the facts from my experience with others, including the appropriate business organizations.   For example, I discovered that the epinions.com website has many reviews with experiences similar to mine where users rated StubHub with 1 out of 5 check marks (their overall rating is 2 out of 5). 

I used to think that TicketMaster was an obnoxious and useless middleman, inserting fees where they add no value.  With their questionable business practices, StubHub is worse… and I know that I will never use it again.  

Category: Business  | One Comment
Petroleum, Capitalism, and Socialism
Monday, June 23rd, 2008 | Author:

The cost-of-energy crisis has one benefit.  It has helped clarify the economic positions of Democrats versus Republicans.  While the capitalistic Republicans cajole everyone about drilling for oil in Alaska and along the coast lines, the socialist Democrats scream about nationalizing the oil industry (can you imagine having the US Government owning the petroleum industry?).

Where do you stand?