Like Father Like Son

Actually in this instance it might be reversed. The division of Nokia my son works for is being sold. I just heard from a friend who does similiar work yesterday that I might be out of a job since the company I've been doing work for was being bought out by his company. This was hush hush news for a very short time.

Formerly, I was a full-time employee of the company being bought until the call volume dropped. At that time I was layed off and am still doing the same work for a Temp Agency doing the same jobs and have all the same responsibilities.

I just got off a conference call with the CEO of the new company and it sounds like it will be business as usual at least initially until Dec 31 and continue on Jan1 when they are taking over.

My company insider has already thrown my hat in the ring for me. So at least his supervisor knows who I am and has vouched for me and my skills at that level.  So while I still will be a temp, I'll be in a much better position to actually get hired and get my employee benefits back. I also have the CEO's email address to send a hire me pitch to.

Things allways work out as they are supposed to. One of the reasons I went the temp agency route was to keep control of managing my service area. It's kind of like being an incumbent. Working hard and doing a good job...will allways pay off. That keeps me inline for any employment considerations and the natural first choice when opportunity knocks.

Four Big Lies about the Big Three Automakers

Four Big Lies about the Big Three Automakers


With congressional Democrats and the Bush administration agreeing in principle during the weekend to drop a few billion on General Motors and Chrysler, all signs point to a government-backed auto industry bailout. But could the crisis in Detroit be the product of myth, spin and outright lies?

As the nation inches closer to an unprecedented investment in private industry, Newsmax has examined the falsehoods being spread to promote the deal. Indeed, the exact amount of money to be doled out isn’t clear yet. GM and Chrysler executives testified before Congress last week that they need $14 billion to survive until March 31.

Whatever the total, a number of financial experts say it would be money better left unspent until the Big Three and their supporters agree to level with the American taxpayers. Until the car makers can offer convincing proof that they will be able to produce cars at a reasonable price that customers will want to buy, here are four of the biggest whoppers they are relying on to get a massive infusion of American tax dollars:

1. Detroit’s wages really aren’t out of sync with those of auto workers in other countries.

It has been well established that total compensation for U.S. auto workers, including pensions and benefits, comes in around $70 per hour. That compares to $45 per hour for Japanese workers.

But some auto industry supporters have distorted the argument. They use the American workers’ hourly wage without benefits – about $30 an hour – and compare that number to the $45 hourly total compensation for Japanese workers. Then they claim that U.S. auto makers are actually more labor efficient than their Japanese counterparts.

Obviously that’s not comparing apples to apples. If you are looking at apples versus apples, a new auto plant in India offers hourly pay of only $19.

And it’s not just line workers who are overpaid. Ford’s chief executive Alan Mulally earned $22 million in total compensation last year – a year that helped push the company toward oblivion. Asked last month if he thought he deserved a pay cut, Mulally said, “I think I’m all right where I am.”

Top executives at Bear Stearns, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch probably felt the same way right before their companies went under.

2. The auto industry is unique and therefore must be bailed out.

It’s true that auto companies, including suppliers, etc., account for about 3 percent of economic output and employ at least 1 million people. But those numbers aren’t dependent on the financial status of the Big Three.

If the companies go into bankruptcy and come out stronger, the industry will employ about the same amount of people. If not, foreign auto makers will produce more cars in the U.S. and pick up many of these workers.

Plenty other uniquely American industries are taking it on the chin, and no one is calling for a bailout of those sectors. Take newspapers for example. One could argue they are far more important for the functioning of our democracy than the Big Three auto companies.

Newspapers are firing workers right and left and shifting more of their operations to the Internet. And they will have to continue doing so until they can put out a news product cheaply enough and well enough so that readers will pay to read it, and advertisers will pay to appear in it.

That’s called adjusting to a changed market place, something the Big Three have largely failed to do since first facing foreign competition in the 1970s.

3. Bankruptcy for the Big Three will mean the end of the U.S. auto industry.

That is simply poppycock. A prepackaged bankruptcy actually could leave the major automakers in better shape than they were prior to the financial crisis. Since the mid-1990s, the Big Three made most of their money on gas guzzling SUVs and trucks. That simply won’t cut it anymore. Bankruptcy will force the auto makers to quicken their shift to smaller cars.

Plenty of companies have emerged stronger from bankruptcy. Nearly all the major airlines have gone through that process and came out stronger than when they entered. Some industry apologists have argued that American consumers won’t buy any cars from the Big Three if they are in bankruptcy because of concern that warranties won’t be honored.

But as long as the companies offer quality autos at reasonable prices and make it clear that warranties will remain in place no matter what happens to the companies themselves, American drivers will want the cars.

Meanwhile, bankruptcy would give the Big Three an opportunity to rework their labor contracts, cutting compensation, and to jettison incompetent executives.


4. A limited aid package now will ensure the industry’s long-term future.

The amount of money being bandied about, $15 billion to $25 billion, is chump change. GM and Chrysler are bleeding $2 billion in cash a month. So the high end of the bailout range keeps them in business for about a year. Then what? Without major changes in their business model, they’ll simply be coming back to Washington with their hands out again.

The Big Three have had so many opportunities to change their practices since the first oil crisis of the early 1970s, yet they have been reluctant to budge. GM still has eight brands of cars, even though critics have pointed out for years that’s probably about seven too many.

As recently as last month, GM CEO Rick Wagoner had the gall to tell Congress: “What exposes us to failure now is not our product lineup, or our business plan, or our long-term strategy.”

Until Wagoner and others at the Big Three come to realize those are exactly the factors that have put the industry on the brink of failure, there is no hope for improvement. And it’s not a bailout that’s going to make auto companies implement the adjustments they need to survive.

And remember, this current "bailout" bears no resemblance to the rescue of Chrysler in 1980. In 1980, Congress passed, and President Carter signed, a law giving a U.S. government guarantee of a private $1.5 billion loan to Chrysler. Not one dollar of taxpayer funds was ever used in the deal. It's also important to remember that import tariffs sheltered Chrysler and the Big Three from Japanese competition in the 1980s. And unlike today, Chrysler also had a clear plan to make a comeback and the loan was relatively small.

All of the automakers should follow Chrysler's 1980s success story: create a viable business plan for the future and get private sources to fund it.

© 2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Threading The Needle

My travels took me over on the coast the Thursday night to fix a Sony laptop in Eureka. The drive there basically uneventful except I went a different way. I had hoped to have the time to video tape some of the fire area along that route. Of course that didn't work because the client before says "oh while your here I have this other problem". That "other" problem took and additional 2 hours.

So basically, I was running late and unable to do any taping. It was a beutiful ride though what I could see.

I left Eureka to come back home around 8pm. Eureka is about a 3.5 hour trip I have made many times. I typically charge a full-days rate when I have to go there so it is worth going...even for a 15 min fix like this time was.

Just outside Weaverville on the way back, I came around a curve and there was a deer standing on the white line on the right side of the road with his butt facing me. If I had a passenger with me the could have pat him/her on the head as I passed. If it was a lefthand curve I would have seen it sooner but a righthand was a near miss fortunately.

Buy the time I got to Weaverville the fog had set in. The speed limit was 35 but since it was foggy I was doing around 25. I made it through town and near the outskirts the fog got a little thicker all of a sudden.

About two seconds later there are 3 deer crossing the road right in front of me in single file. Fortunately, the third deer was running a little behind. There was just enough of a gap to swerve quickly between them leaving both the Jeep and the deer unharmed.

Not sure who got startled worse though, me or the was that close!

It's Almost December Right?

Somehow the roses are still blooming. I guess it's still not cold enough yet around here for the roses to go into hybernation. This peticular bush has had quite a time. I planted it a couple of years ago to replace an avacado tree that didn't make it. The clay soil here makes it tough for things. Plus we had some bugs wreaking havoc. These roses are the nicest the plant has EVER produced. We've started using a product Bayer puts out that is systemetic and recently gave it a blast of malathion.


It's hard to tell but there are no bugs, no brown edges on the leaves and the fragrance is awesome. I have already trimmed back two bushes for the winter and the one I transplanted even has a new bud on it. I'll probably transplant the other one this weekend since it will be warm all week.

Also, as you can see, my new lawn area is doing rather well. This brings the four-year rottotilling and rock raking project to a close. I seeded the area at the end of October (a month late) and should fair well through the winter at the rate it is rooting. I put up a plastic fence to keep the dog out until it matures a while. By spring, I'll know if I need to re-seed a few areas or's too early to tell.


 The lawn seed is called "Canada Green" which I ordered online a couple of years ago. It's a designer seed designed for golf courses in Canada. They boast high-traffic, drought tolerance, and cold resistance. It should do really well here when it takes off. This area origionally was slopped towards the house a lot more than it is now. I've added gypsym, mulch, and sandy loam to the soil. Water drains like a champ in heavy rains now and is loose enough that the roots should grow fairly deep. That should make it stronger and ultimately require less water.

Now all I have to come up with is self-watering, mowing and raking....and hauling the can's to the curb. LOL 

This Just in!...Washington Turkeys Get Pardoned

Whew! That Was Close!

As I understand the myth, turkeys are so stupid that they won't come in out of the rain. Because of this, many turkeys have been known to die of drowning. Since moving to Northern California, I have encountered many wild turkeys in my travels. The largest being an estimated 30-35 pounds. The way you can tell if a turkey is wild or not is rather simple actually...

For one it has feathers. It runs in circles and like a bat out of hell when it sees you coming. They travel in packs. Usually you will see several of them together. They live in wide open spaces with rolling hills and trees and spend thier entire life foraging across the land. Some of them have names given to them by landowners who have respected thier existence and marveled over them for years because they chose to let them be and they seem to stick around.

In case you are stupid as a turkey, you should also know that turkeys wrapped in plastic that find your way to the dinner table are raised on farms specifically for human consumption.  They get fed really well and typically grow faster than a turkey in the wild possibly because of hormone additives and genetic enhancement.

There has actually been quite a controversy going on for several years regarding the raising and slaughter of turkeys meant to be consumed.

The myths surrounding turkey drownings come from farmers observations over the years. One would think that with all the subsidies some of them recieve, at least one of them would have invested in getting to the truth about this. Curiosity killed the cat...why not the turkey? Curiosity suggests some level of intelligence whether your a turkey or some other type of lifeform. The real question is how have so many turkeys been able to survive in Washington.


Who Killed the Electric Car?

A hundred years ago there were more electric cars on the road than gasoline powered vehicles. The Automobile Industry, decided we could go farther and get there faster. so they stopped producing electric cars. Fears of global warming and environmental concerns forced the automobile industry to re-introduce electric cars.

We took a break from watching my Dr. Who collection to watch this video last night. It clearly shows how our government and big business try to run and ruin our lives and succeed at doing so. Government and Big business are concerned more about the dollar than protecting the environment .

Alot of our problems and concerns that we look to government to correct will never happen. Why? Because doing so would upset the cashflow! Amnesty for illegal change. Kick them out...cashflow upset!  Big business is no better.

If you are old enough you might remember reports of 200 mpg carbuerators. as the story goes, the patent was bought up and squashed never to be seen again. While that could be a rumor, Mobil bought the patent for a battery system developed in the last go round of electric cars that could out-live the car itself. It too has been squashed.

General Motors never had ANY intention of producing an electric car. They only did so because of laws passed in California, and made it fail intentionally with the backing of the oil industry and government. If you don't smell a conflict of interest here, then I suggest your head is located where you should be smelling something else.

Buy the DVD, Rent it, Download it, Watch it and Wake up! We Are Screwed!

If the electric car had been continued to be developed over the last hundred years...the environment would be in a better state today. Bailout the Auto Industry? Why so they can do more of the same to us?

Cheap Gas Sighting


This is the cheapest I have found in my travels. It is $2.29 in my city now. The price you see below is out in a county area. I have seen lot's of independents that have mini-marts practically in a price war. The farther out it is, the lower the price. This is not normal!

What it points out though is that we have a few forces at play...greedy merchants, and local taxes. The pictures below are in Los Molinos California in Tehama county on Highway 99. Los Molinos is around 15 miles north of Chico which is averaging $2.25 for regular. Chico is in Butte county.

Looks like it's time to petition local government to reduce fuel taxes to stimulate the economy!