You found me (not that I've been hiding) and, yes, I realize this page was built in Blogger, but I'm really not using it as a blog. Occasionally, I'll post a note in the space below, but not too often.

However, I do blog regularly and invite you to check it out. If you're looking for me, I'm probably logged in to Facebook right now. I also tweet a lot.

Twitter is where I make most of my noise...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What are the Odds?

I got a good chuckle out of an article in this morning's News & Observer Lottery player gets 2 identical tickets, protests). According to the N&O, a lottery player became upset because she bought quick picks on the Pick 3 game, and received two identical tickets.

I find it amusing. She thinks it improbable that the two randomly-generated tickets could be the same but plays because she thinks she just might have a chance to win. Anyone with a basic understanding of probability should know that the odds of the next random ticket being identical to the first are exactly the same as the first ticket's odds of winning.

All Hail the Math Tax.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

One Step Closer to Freedom

The title for Alison's car arrived this week along with a small refund for overpaying what was left on the loan with GMAC. That's one more debt retired!

Currently, we're without a car loan or any credit card debt, having focused on knocking out one after another. That just leaves the mortgage and 3 student loans standing between us and debt-freedom.

Hate Walmart? Shut Up and Work Toward Something Better

I'm tired of hearing people bitch about Walmart. I fully support their right to go with whatever business model they think works best for them. Personally, I hate the place. I don't shop there because out of their service, prices, products, store atmosphere and the convenience of their locations, not a single one of those elements is attractive enough for me to be willing to accept an inferior level of the others. I don't complain about it, I take my business elsewhere.

If you choose to do business with them in any capacity, that's your choice. If you don't like it, choose something else. Exercise your options, and if you don't like the options you have, work to create more.

The Walmart Experience is the sum of what is universally, minimally acceptable by the company, its employees, its suppliers and its customers. People shop there because there is something about one or more factors of the experience that makes Walmart more attractive to them than any of other options available. People work there for the same reason. Walmart's management makes business decisions because each decision is better for the company than any other choice the company has. Vendors do business with them because its a source of revenue they've determined they can't do without.

No one is required to shop there. No one is forced to work there. No one is obligated to supply them. If you think you have no other options, you need to re-evaluate your own situation and make changes in your life or your business to create more options and opportunities that work for you.

Here's a challenge... if you don't like Walmart, make Walmart Avoidance a motivator. Strive to improve your own situation and reevaluate your consumer priorities so you don't feel the need to shop there. Keep building your job skills and become the kind of employee that doesn't have to work there. Continually work toward developing quality products that consumers want and retailers want to carry, so that you can capitalize on that demand and dictate terms of vendor agreements that are more favorable to you. Focus on a factor of the shopping experience where you can blow Walmart out of the water and attract away customers who value that one factor more than anything else Walmart can provide. Reward good competitors by not only doing business with them, but by referring business to them.

If we can channel all of the negativity toward Walmart and turn it into self-serving positives, we can create an economic force much bigger and more powerful than Walmart can ever hope to be. 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Misguided outrage and missed opportunities

Does it matter that the President wants to address the students of the nation?

Don't spend too long thinking about it. The answer is no.

No, what matters is what he says. What matters is how your kids' teachers handle it. What matters most is what YOU do.

Will you, too, listen to the speech and point out to your children where you disagree with Obama, and why?

Will you engage your children in conversation to find out what goes on in their scholastic lives, what their teachers discussed? Will you point out what was only opinion and assure them that it perfectly OK to disagree?

Will you take the President and teachers to task and hold them accountable for presenting as fact what isn't?

Will you also build your own credibility by pointing out that, despite your disagreement on his positions, there are points where he was correct or where your opinions are aligned?

Will you teach your children to gather facts and not rely soley on the opinions of others or information that is spoon-fed to them by the authority figures in their lives?

Will you, regardless of your own political leanings, teach your children to think for themselves, even if it means they might form an opinion that differs from your own?

Will you teach them not to stifle the free thoughts of others?

If not, you're missing an incredible opportunity.

-- via BlogPress

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cats Should Come with a Snooze Button

Seriously. Cats need a snooze button.

Ours like to get up exactly 30 minutes before the alarm goes off. Not a problem in itself, but they don't just wake up and putter off to be cute while waiting for us to wake up. No, they're noisy. Abby in particular likes to shake the blinds, knock things onto the floor, chase the other cat, Scarlet, and paw at the edge of the bed in such a way that it not only makes a loud, FLICK, FLICK, FLICK noise, you also feel it.

I'm certain it's on purpose. When the rest of the 6 a.m. symphony fails to get me out of bed, she resorts to hopping into bed and bathing herself next to my head.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to cling to those precious last moments of rest with the sound of cat butt being licked within inches of your ear?


It has to be a domestic cat thing. That crap wouldn't fly out in the wild. Turn on Animal Planet. Go on, I'll wait....

OK, it's on. What do you see? Lions chasing zebras. IN THE DAYLIGHT.... right? Right. What you don't see is the lion batting a TV remote around the floor while the zebra is trying to sleep. It simply doesn't happen, because if it did, then Animal Planet would have tons of footage of pissed off, tired zebras chasing lions at dawn, looking for their snooze buttons. 

Hops & Hickory