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Archive for October, 2008

Where’s the grocery store?

October 21, 2008 Comments off

A new grocery store is going to open in our town.  Well, reopen under new ownership after the last group went all Chapter 11 on us.  This has led to some considerable discussion on the various email DL’s and other online forums for folks who live in Snoqualmie.

The best post I’ve seen just came in while I was at lunch, and is in response to my beautiful wife pointing out that a newspaper article said people in Snoqualmie were driving half an hour to get to a grocery store.

But then he got a phone call from a retail developer at Snoqualmie Ridge, who said the community’s only supermarket had closed and residents were driving a half hour to shop for food.
Puget Sound Business Journal

What a load of bull the retail landlord fed these people!  There’s a small organic grocery in downtown Snoqualmie (3-5 minutes) as well as a QFC and Safeway 6 miles away in North Bend.  The response?

“Not sure where people would get information line that…”
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Thanks Chris!

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Categories: Uncategorized

Tough medicine

October 19, 2008 Comments off

I’m not sure a spoonful of sugar will help in these rough times in the economy, but it certainly could at least help you feel better for a short moment.  Catching up on news from this week I came across TechCrunch launching the f@%kedcompany for the new downturn: The TechCrunch Layoff Tracker.

To intro the page the have a great graph that espouses what I’ve been saying for a long time … if your company is having issues or entering tough times cut early, cut ONCE, and cut deep.  I’ve lived through not doing that in the last dotcom bubble burst in 2000-2001.  The company I worked for went through seemingly endless layoff rounds and morale was totally shot.  We were eventually purchased for about half the amount of cash we had on hand … bought with our own money.

Essentially, if you make a deep cut in workforce early in a downturn sure there’s a morale hit, but at the same time the core group of folks who are left know that management is serious about preserving the company – and their jobs.  If management decides to cut a few jobs here and there “so as not to make anyone worry” they’re actually doing the opposite – who knows when you could be next.

So in the last couple weeks we’ve heard of lots of layoffs from companies that are well funded (Zillow for one).  While a lot of folks are viewing this as a sign of the economy tanking (and I don’t disagree there), I think this is more of a sign of CEO’s making the right decisions for the good of the business and the majority of their employees.  Sure it sucks to be the 1 in 4 employees laid off from Zillow, but 3 in 4 now have a good fighting chance of riding through this recession in one piece.

If only my former employers heeded these lessons…

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

You’re a maverick!

October 7, 2008 Comments off

Gotta love the Inter-tubes…

Categories: Uncategorized

How did we get here

October 6, 2008 Comments off

The Dow index has finally broken the psychological 10,000 point barrier this morning.  I’ve been waiting for that to happen for a few weeks now.  When I started writing this post the Dow Jones Industrial Average was actually off 582 points, down to 9743.32.  A late rally looks to have brought back some of the loss to close down 369.88 at 9955.50.

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Here’s a look at where the Dow has gone in the last 12 months.  We’ve bled out about 28% of the value of the index in a year.  That can’t be good!  I’m not worried about my retirement – heck we’ve got another 35 years before that’s going to happen.  This does SUCK for folks like my parents who are recently retired.

A lot of people wonder how the hell this all happened.  I’ve been sticking my head in the sand on that one, other than to know that a lot of banks made a lot of bad loans to a lot of people who should have known better than to buy a $500,000 house when they only make $50,000 a year.

If you really want to know the precipitating events that lead up to the meltdown in the recent months head over to This American Life and listen to their show from this past weekend entitled “Another Frightening Show About the Economy”.  Alicea and I heard the first 10-15 minutes and were enthralled at the story being told in a way that a normal person can comprehend.  Just because I used to work for an investment firm doesn’t mean I understand it all!

Categories: Economy Tags: ,

Yay Team!

October 1, 2008 1 comment

I’m catching up on some blogs and came across a great piece on the new (still beta) version of Windows Live Messenger.  You can read all about it over at Download Squad.

It’s so awesome to actually be involved with something that millions of people use every day!  🙂

If you haven’t tried it yet, you can get the new version by visiting http://download.live.com/messenger.

Categories: Microsoft Tags: