Wednesday, September 17, 2008

From Jack

So Jack is emailing me and wanting a picture of us for his wallet. I mention one that we took 2 yrs ago with all of us. He replys back "Yeah those are old, mom's hair is long Matt and I are younger and Mom doesn't need that much makeup..."

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Did you just say that?

Jack, Matthew (age 7) and I are waiting for mom outside a store and we argue as to who should go in and get her. I say 'You should go, it's your mother' and he says 'you should go- you married her and it least it didn't take me seven years to marry her'.

True story

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Father Passed

I dont choose to share my thoughts here but feel free to hit my brother's, wife's, and his memorial sites...

Brother > go to 'older entries'> My Dad
Memorial site

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My 7 year old son's best friend

this summer is 11. He wont play with kids his own age. Further he is always the boss and pushes them around. Love it.

todays frustration.. 31-31

There are many sizes in off the rack clothes except one- 31 waist & 31 length. Weird huh? Guess what size I am? Yup- 31-31. You will never find that size. If anyone suggests the boys dept. you will hear from my attorney.

Monday, July 14, 2008


So my 10 year old son gets back from camp and says "you know I dont know why some kids find this dating thing hard- it was easy for me".....


I got sucked into another blog post by someone who commented on Wal-mart suggesting among many other things they were the 'enemy of business'. Here is my reply...

While I cant say much about the lines, the little old lady or where they stock their stuff, I did have thoughts on the 'enemy of business' comment. I am going with good ole' fashion economic principals leading to my general assertion that you are talking about one of America's greatest companies and a symbol of what makes our nation so amazing.

Wal-mart has absolutely revolutionized the way companies handle warehousing, shipping, merchandizing, supply chain, pricing & transportation of goods in this country. They have EXPLOITED all that is great about the American way and made it better translating to lots of choice and with great prices. Guess who else exploits the American way? Every company in America! It just so happens that Wal-mart has done it better than anyone else so they reign supreme for now but someone is always trying to take them down. How do they do this? It’s a long discussion but it started with a guy named Sam who went around interviewing executives of his competitors who freely talked to him (not knowing what might come of the conversations) & who took buying trips to NYC where he required he and his other buyers to share rooms, eat at inexpensive restaurants and spend cautiously while other executives lived large, wined and dined clients, spent shareholder money etc.

There is story after story after story of this…. This guy was all about store efficiency, frugality, profit squeezing, and getting the best possible price for his customers. His headquarters as you know are in no-wheres-ville Arkansas (Bentonville) for a reason- It was inexpensive to build there. They aren’t in a fancy building in NYC for that very reason despite the fact many buying trips are there.

So lets go after the usual arguments: slave labor wages, the people who shop there, the long lines, putting mom & pop out of business, the vendors who are forced out of business due to global buying (China), no benefits, & alien abductions (I am sure that’s coming). Walmart has gone into small towns all across America and SAVED THEM. They have brought jobs, much greater variety of choice, and strong prices. There is likely very few in Payson or Prescott that hasn’t shopped there and hasn’t been thankful in one way or another for the savings and variety. Millions of Americans have been affected in a positive way. The money they have saved have gone to other purchases which strengthens the economy. I love the commercial that suggests the average family that shops at Wal-mart regularly have saved around $2500 a year.

There are likely those (Mom & Pop) that have been affected negatively as well. This is the Mom & Pop (M/P) selling commodity goods with little variety and high prices. You may have fond recollections of M/P but guess what- they were gouging you or were paying high prices themselves because they couldn’t buy in volume. You were stuck with their choices, prices, and service like it or not. In economics as you know if M/P had a monopoly or didn’t do a great job then their neighbor would open up a shop next door and do a better job at lower prices- competition. Competition is ALL GOOD. It’s what keeps the sellers on their toes and makes them better. Its what gives us decent prices. Walmart started as a M/P. Now there are also M/P’s that have THRIVED next to Wal-mart. It’s because they offer value add in the form of better service, specialty goods, shorter lines, less rednecks… Walmart loses that business.

Walmart sells groceries much cheaper. How? They don’t pay union wages. Unions have been trying to break into Walmarts for years. Unions are about Unions. They suck the life out of a company & I don’t want to pay inflated Union wages to any company when I shop if I can avoid it. I dont pay them at Starbucks, the restaurant I go to, the tire store I use or the mall. I don’t get paid on a Union scale personally either so why should I pay them at the grocery store? Its like paying a guy $40 an hour to build my car? This is why Toyota is now the top selling car in the US. . What happens when money is tight? Where do I go? .

Wages- I have never met a single employee of Walmart that’s forced to work there. Every one of them had a choice to go elsewhere but chose to work there despite no Unions (see above). Walmart starts at $8 an hour in Gilbert for mostly unskilled labor. It’s more than every store in the mall down the street yet people protest them?? They offer benefits to both p/t and f/t workers. It’s an 80/20 plan that costs the worker around $70 p/mnth for medical, dental, & life insurance. Their plan isn’t great but what company’s plans are these days? Walmart pays exactly the same as every company in America pays its employs- it pays them no more or no less than what is required to hire them and keep them. It pays whatever the economy dictates. If it paid them any more you would pay more for your stuff, shop there less as a result, and they would then be a smaller company employing less or possibly even out of business. If an employee wants to improve their pay or status they can further their education or work hard to advance. That’s how this country works.

China- Wal-mart out-sources and buys from other countries like China. Thousands of companies have been doing this for years. It’s a global economy. If I owned a business I would go wherever I needed to get the best price or I go out of business plain and simple. Hopefully there are no sweatshops for 12 year olds these days! Outsourcing and buying globally is a GOOD THING for America. There is a great book called ‘The World is Flat’ about how and why its all good but in short- its about better prices for you, better prices for the outsourced work which means more money for the US company to invest and hire more folks doing potentially higher wage work and stay competitive. The alternative is they close. Thats no good for anyone. We can not put a wall around the country anymore and we wouldn’t want to.

You want to be mad at a company girls? Go to the mall and look at what you are paying for those shoes and that dress? Ask yourself if the exec's at that company are sleeping two to a room? Ask yourselves if they are pinching every penny and passing it on to you? Ask them about the rent in their swanky NY digs. YOU are paying that rent!

Wal-mart is a company that has other companies looking at them and using them as a model to be better. There is a term used in manufacturing called Lean which is about making things in the most efficient way possible. They are constantly perfecting their model and processes and who benefits? YOU.

Regarding corporate givers-

From Fox “the fake” News,2933,261580,00.html

When you are the biggest retail store on the planet then you set yourself up to vilified. People often hate hugely successful companies particularly when those companies are a family run business and that family is filthy rich (most of it on paper). Its easy to hate a company that is chaotic, full of skeevy people, filled parking lots, long lines and possibly near your home. They clearly don’t do everything right though… They want your business and they aren’t getting it. They don’t want people going to Target when they could go there. I suspect they will find a way as that’s what business is designed to do. Grow or die.I tried to make this short but its just not in my nature. Now lets talk about the weasles we call Ticketmaster!John L

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Check out our review of this restaurant. Its worth the read... Mobsters

Friday, February 15, 2008

Roger Clemens

Can anyone explain to me why our govt. has our highest echelon of lawmakers spending their time and our $ trying to figure out if RC had HGH injected into his butt? Might there be more important topics for them to work on?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Grammy's

I heard & saw something I haven't heard or seen in years at the Grammy's- actual music! People dressed nicely, who enunciated, used multiple syllables & weren't drunk, who sang without computer assistance, utilized actual instruments, brought multiple genres and kept the rap to a modest minimum. Not nearly minimum enough however but hey its about what sells right? One downside- Kanye won something proving talent is still not a requirement. Bonus- Amy Winehouse and her backup guys- Was that The Time?

Sarah & Matt Oh my!

Go here

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Election

So I am kinda into it this year... Hillary v. Obama- Obama v. Hillary.. Who to go for? Will they hook up? A stolen smootch behind the curtains at the debate? So as I ask around I get the usual political thoughts & opinions- 'Hillary's voice is like nails on chalkboard', 'Hillary is the establishment' & part of the 'Clinton machine'. She is 'man-like'. 'Hillary-care' & she 'wants it too bad'. 'That kind of experience we dont need' & 'she only kept her husband to get to the presidency'. She doesnt 'wash' or 'use utensils'. Her love of hot peppers is just a little sexy...

Re: Obama- 'He just speaks to me, 'Obama is incredible', there is 'something about this guy', 'Washington experience is just what we dont need'. 'Obama is about change-change-change', 'Obama inspires me & does my hair. He rubs my ankles and holds my head when I am vomiting....' 'He shares is love of small farm animals..' Wait- that was W. Can anyone just TELL ME THEIR OPINION BASED ON THE ACTUAL ISSUES? PAST ACCOMPLISHMENTS????? How bout what they have done or not done for their state or districts! Why is my home town of Buffalo, NY not on the forefront of the conversation? This is the largest town (next to NYC) in her state and its economically depressed. What is her record specifically in the State of NY? My cousins, all Buffalonians, hate her, however they are (R)'s &, as we all know, (R's) lack common sense and just vote for whomever the (R) is at the moment. They sent me this as her major accomplishment..

I recently went and saw Bill C. speak. He, as always, had us all captivated. He spoke for a full hour & hit all the typical political subjects then went beyond the platitudes- He gave step by step points on how each plan was to be accomplished. The meat AND the potatoes. I actually grabbed a sign on my way out to put on my front lawn. There was a guy on Bill Maher the other night who did an objective analysis of both Hillary's plan and one of Obama's plan who said that Her plan was much more fiscally conservative. I have heard Obama is as good if not better. A woman who sat next to me had seen Obama the prev. night and, while she was a bit 'off', she said Obama wasnt nearly as strong with the actual how's of how he will make things happen.

My general concern is that there is a lack of history (not necessarily experience) to judge him by. Being a great speaker [or having a great speech writer] doesnt earn you the right to the highest office in the land. Further, his speeches speak in broad terms with lots of inspirational tidbits that people are simply longing to hear. He is a cold drink on a hot day (got that from writers school). Having seen Bill speak and still camping in the Billary KOA, it was time to check out Barack so I read a few speeches then actually printed out his 'Plan for America'. 59 pages! Of course I did this at work where all good Americans print the heavy stuff. I read what I was interested in knowing- Washington, Iraq, etc. This document actually had me captivated. If you read just the page on reforming Washington you will quickly think that this may be the guy.... Just as I got swept up in it and started dialing the Pope to discuss sainthood I also found this (from Hillary's website)

I disagree with Obama on Iraq and his hope for the Bears & applaud Hillary and McCain for saying we have to stay and clean up our mess. That's the high road and flies in the face of what people want to hear. Gutsy.

So off to the primary I went. I asked my wife before I went if I should vote with my head or my heart. She said since I lacked both go with my gut. So I voted for the guy. I have no idea how we will pay for universal health care and cant imagine the bureaucratic mess that will be but I am guessing rescinding the 7% bump we just budgeted for in defense spending and the reduction of the tax breaks to Exxon will be a good place to start. The candidate I will always wait for is the one that will tackle the really tough issues- gun control and entitlement spending. I wish we had one that had the cahones to legislate for the banning of handguns in America and free massages. This one should be fun. Off to my sandbox. To really enjoy the whole thing watch The Daily Show!