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Monday
Sep222014

Checked Luggage

Have you flown lately?

Have you wondered when the luggage will occupy the seats?

Have you noticed that carry on luggage does not fit, and takes longer to load up than the paying passengers.

The financial markets are rewarding Westjet and Air Canada for initiating a fee for checked luggage.

If you ever sat in a plane watching folks trying to stuff oversized carry on luggage in the overhead bins, and wondered when it would get worse. The moment has arrived, now it will be even more interesting.

Airlines think that when an individual leaves on a 3-4 day business trip, they will literally function out of the same clothes, and hopefully have a change of under wear. 

While employers expect their employees to have a professional appearance when travelling on business, and visiting customers. 

At some point the briefcase with the laptop and the rest of the technology paraphernalia will get couriered to their destination, along with the rest of the clothes. 

Lets not forget the carry on size for all liquids.

We are inexorably reaching the point where the passenger will check in as luggage, and the luggage with board the plane with the boarding pass.

 

 

Monday
Sep082014

The Mechanical Pencil

Faber-Castell e-Motion Mechanical PencilIf you still have an interest in hand writing you certainly have your own collection of writing instruments and how you store your written material. 

In our case The Colonel has cultivated and upholds an active interest in hand writing and has an interesting collection of writing instruments. As well through the years he as come to appreciate a broader writing line compared to a fine line. Matter of fact he hates most writing instruments with a fine line. 

By now you know that hand writing is an essential part of the thinking process. 

Lets focus on mechanical pencils this morning.

There are 0.5 and 0.7 leads are the most popular, and they are relatively fine and perhaps ideal for checking of reams of data, but not ideal for writing. The leads break very easily.

At some point you hopefully discover 0.9 leads which are an improvement, writing instruments that accept 0.9 mm leads are the traditional mechanical pencil. 

The thinking in the pencil world must be that if you want something broader than a 0.9 lead you will resort to actual pencils, sharpeners, and varying lines when you write. Must be the reason that 0.9 leads are scarce and pencils are abundant. 

A few days ago The Colonel finally acquired a Faber-Castell e-Motion mechanical pencil with a 1.4 mm lead. They are not easy to find, probably not popular with many folks, and not inexpensive. The leads are more money than most mechanical pencils. 

The writing is superb, the folks at Faber-Castell have an innate understanding that if you want a broader lead it has to flow, this mechanical pencil flow like a roller ball, its a cool writing experience. 

 

Thursday
Aug282014

The 7 Traits of Effective Digital Enterprises

A fascinating read, especially for folks in the "car business"...take a moment to reflect.

 

 

Thursday
Aug142014

Reality Check

While we bask in the remaining Dog Days of Summer, and hopefully enjoy improving summer climatic conditions. Must be wishful thinking on the weather.

Lets take a look at what sort of reality is lurking around the corner (crystal balling) past Labor Day. 

The World:

If you have the feeling that the perils, and chaos in the world are higher now than they were at the beginning of the summer. We share your thoughts...

Agreed, in an interconnected planet/globe/world what happens on the other side, affects this side, and so on.

The Climate:

Lets blame the jet stream for the miserable July we experienced in central Canada.

Cost of Money:

Low rates will remain for quite some time to come. If they do rise it will be by minuscule increments.

Leverage:

Many consumers with good credit are leveraged to the maximum. Think about this for a moment especially if you are in the auto business.

Employment:

You really want to go there, its been stagnant in Canada for some time. It will remain stagnant, we missed the boat/the train/the plane/the bus. We are hitching rides, and will continue to hitch rides.

Yes...we could have a lengthy discussion.

Manufacturing:

What happened to "Made in Canada" and lets leave it at that. As consumers we prefer to buy a price, and made on the other side of the planet...to get the cheapest price.

Skilled Trades: 

We are well educated, stuffed full of student loans, and the entrepreneurial spirit. We prefer to "import" skilled trades. Its mind boggling.

Cost Cutting:

Will endure to generate the cheapest price that most consumers are seeking.

Quality:

Its a fine line...how much quality can be packaged in the cheapest price.

Free Flowing Money:

Will continue, everyone is on a roll using OPM (other people's money).

Real Estate:

Keeps a bunch of pundits going, in the prime markets it will continue to escalate. For many its not just a house but an investment medium.

Auto Sales:

Manufacturers will stay "throttled up" till the end of the year. The impact of premium economy will become more apparent. Yes...mid size sedans are being replaced by SUV/CUV's.

 

 

 

Monday
Jul072014

Assholes

If you remember we started the year with a mention of assholes.

At a time of increased transparency, emphasis on teamwork, assholes are more rampant than ever, which gets one wondering....

A couple of asshole species we have bumped into lately.

1- Have no clue what I'm doing:

This individual knows all the acronyms, possesses surface knowledge gleaned from a myriad of seminars, and has an aggressive tongue to protect the vacuum behind the facade.

This individual has all the glib answers and no understanding. Since they have all the answers their capacity to learn and understand is minuscule at best.

Accompanied by posturing that its all under control, while they are inexorably sinking in their own (you know what).

2- Save my ass:

This form of asshole..ism is pervasive, and empowered by technology.

It goes like this " I don't have enough intestinal fortitude to step up to the issue..."   "Lets see how events develop, and who I can nudge under the bus to save my sorry ass"

If businesses needs to be nimble, flexible, creative, and fast to thrive in the current business world, assholes have the same traits to protect and save their asses.

Agreed...its an unrelenting circle that is in perpetual motion.