Investors get jittery and decide to sell – DJIA down 335 points

| October 9, 2014

Volatile financial markets seesaw so far this week. From 2% down on Tuesday, to 2% up on Wednesday and now back down 2% on Thursday … Friday should be an interesting day and right in keeping with October trading. Here are a few thoughts from Jeff Macke (Yahoo Finance) concluding that the “stock market has […]

Bureaucratic pet peeve–selecting Ohio utility energy providers

| September 30, 2014

Residents and businesses in Ohio “choose” which companies provide the energy used by their utility company, which can in most cases reduce their bills. This competition should be a good thing, one would think, but each year consumers go through a multi-step process to confirm our energy provider choice … and each year it is […]

Westport $WPRT poised for growth when energy prices rise

| September 24, 2014

With the lower cost of domestic natural gas here in North America, the next couple of decades will continue opening the doors of opportunity for innovative  companies who finding better ways to utilize this domestic and abundant clean fuel. Westport Technologies (WPRT), a leader in advanced natural gas engines and vehicles, has fallen flat as […]

TechFriday: Date set for Ting welcoming the iPhone 5s and 5c

| September 19, 2014

Ting.com sent out an email blast update letting interested potential customers know that the new “older” iPhone 5s and 5c will be supported on September 29, 2014. I’m still weighing leaving Sprint, but they aren’t doing much to keep their long time customers in their Framily.They change their plans, promos, CEOs and marketing slogans way […]

CNBC talks boom growth with North Dakota Sen Heidi Heidcamp

| September 15, 2014

Since visiting my son Taylor a couple times in northwestern (Williston) North Dakota, I pay closer attention to what is happening in his area and the boom growth as well as the politics around moving energy. Unless someone sees the train tanker cars lined up or drive on the roads which are packed with truck […]

Waiting on our Elio

| July 27, 2014

The interesting Elio “personal vehicle” has interested me since I first saw the companies marketing some time ago, but recentely decided that I wanted to get my reservation (with the 50% promo) in before it expires. The car, if you call it that, is price much lower than one would expect and looks to offer […]

Reducing the IRS corporate tax bite with oil industry MLPs

| July 22, 2014

After my recent visit to North Dakota and the oil fields … AND seeing what has happened in one short year, I talked with my son ways of trying to invest in this oil boom (the “invest in what you know” philosophy). Of course I tried to look at what he sees from a “planners” […]

Does a generous welfare benefit create a work disincentive?

| July 10, 2014

I listened to a debate on CNBC on Wednesday morning featuring Princeton economics professor Alan Krueger discussing the problems of long term unemployment which lead to Joe Kernen suggesting there are financial disincentives to taking entry level jobs … the kind of work the unemployed need to gain experience. Krueger discounted that people weigh the […]

Service call frustrations and personal rant … deuxième partie

| July 9, 2014

Cable and phone companies generally get the bad rap for arranging questionable appointments and providing disappointing in-home service. Well a third company is in contention for the top spot: AE Door & Window. Last week we had another spring break in our garage door (different one) and since we could drive a different car, this […]

A word of warning before shopping online for refinance rates

| June 5, 2014

Be warned before you contact a company like Quicken Loans with a mortgage refinance request (rates are pretty low again) because they will be pumping your contact information to bunches of boiler room sales people who will send canned emails and make phone calls all day and evening (even different people from the same company […]

I missed this sneaky resized-same-price packaging

| May 17, 2014

I’m usually pretty good at noticing price verse packaging size when it comes to items we regularly purchase … but I missed this one until opening the package at home. My Old Spice Deodorant that once was in a standard package size of 3.25 oz is priced the same but now packaged with 8% less […]

Over-regulation deters small business entrepreneurship

| May 11, 2014

Fox Business anchor Stuart Varney comment, in between his entertaining persiflage with Don Imus, struck a chord with me as he highlighted the failures of the Obama administration’s big  government policies — regulations that are killing small business entrepreneurs. Stuart Varney with Don Imus (MP3) – May 2014 As someone who started a someone “traditional” […]

Sometimes what you need is a slap in the back of the head

| April 30, 2014

Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs often offers some pretty solid commonsense advice that should be like the infamous NCIS Leroy Jethro Gibbs smack in the back of the head. I wonder how many asking Mike for advice ever bother to correct their mindset or change their actions when it comes to looking for work (or […]

Earhoox: A cure for loose fitting earbuds

| April 5, 2014

Although only one of my ears is truly working as it is suppose to due to Ménière’s disease back in the late 1990s, I still enjoy “an” earbud in order to listen to music, news or the occasional phone call on my iPhone.  Unfortunately the newer Apple earbuds do not fit my ears as well […]

Canadian options will make the Keystone Pipeline delays costly

| April 3, 2014

As the U.S. continues to delay and “study” the Keystone pipeline as a way to efficiently move North American crude oil from east of the Rocky Mountains in both Canada and the Dakota Bakkans to Texas refineries, other options and pathways are moving forward. Energy pipeline company Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. ($KMP) held a […]

Roll Global Wonderful Pistachios Get Crackin’ ad campaign

| March 1, 2014

I’m intrigued with marketing and advertising when it comes to what makes people tick. We see something and then decide to buy it. My education is not in marketing per se, but I know that I respond just as the advertising agency intended once in a while. Sometimes it is a newspaper or magazine ad […]

Are we doing what we need to stimulate growth and create jobs?

| February 4, 2014

If business growth is the medicine for job creation and a healthy economy … how does the U.S., or more specifically, each state, encourage business growth and incentivize expansion? Companies need to have an attractive tax climate in order to put capital at risk (or at less competitive), although it is not the only criteria […]

Understanding How the Economic Machine Works – Ray Dalio

| January 23, 2014

Would you like to have an “aha moment” in understanding why and how we attempt to manage our economy? Then watch this 30 minute YouTube video by Ray Dalio, founder of the largest hedge fund in the world, Bridgewater Associates. If you prefer reading, visit economicprinciples.org and download the research paper … the light bulb […]

Scheduling appointments for service

| January 20, 2014

Ignore this if you aren’t in the mood for ranting about scheduling practices by many service companies.  Why is it that companies who handle home services can’t do a better job of scheduling their appointments? Last Thursday the garage door spring broke on the overhead garage door and realizing it was not something I was […]

Collaborative teambuilding with reduced conflict in business

| January 2, 2014

What better way to start keeping my resolutions for the New Year than to start with a post about teamwork and conflict (self and tolerance).  Liane Davey in the Harvard Business Review shared five tips over the holidays in here article called Conflict Strategies for Nice People. She states that although it can be uncomfortable […]

Politics aside, what the Farm Bill means for families and farmers

| December 9, 2013

As a conservative, government intrusion into the private sector is something I have difficulty in supporting. Unfortunately in the United States we’ve at least partially embraced the idea that government will regulate crucial areas of our economy in order to keep prices affordable for the masses. Utilities and food items come to mind and the […]

Introverts and Extroverts … which are you?

| November 20, 2013

I listened to an older NPR story forwarded to me after a book conversation with a friend after we discussed leadership qualities companies value. The book Quiet: the Power of the Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain offered an interesting perspective and set up an analysis regarding where on the […]

Santa Barbara, California to Williston, North Dakota

| August 28, 2013

My recent college graduate came back from his test-taking City-County Planning interview trip to Santa Barbara today and has fallen head over heels in love with California, at least the part that he was seeing. Besides his taking the next step in the interview process, Taylor was able to explore the area a bit by […]

The tax man cometh looking for more dollars …

| July 22, 2013

The tax man in the form of the Internet online giant Amazon.com has warned advised me that they will begin to collect Ohio sales tax for Amazon Web Services. This is probably appropriate as too many tax dollars are lost to online out of state vendors, but paying more taxes is still hard to swallow. […]

What does it take to be WSJ’s startup of the Year?

| July 1, 2013

I’ve voted for two of the listed small startup ventures that the WSJ editors believe could be worthy of going public and have listed in their WSJ Startup of the Year pages. Personally I’m pulling for PlanetReuse Marketplace seeing it as a way to use technology to network recycled building materials to those who could […]

One reason the financial market averages keep rising

| March 8, 2013

In talking with a long suffering customer the other day he asked me, “why are the stock market averages rising to all time highs, but business seems slower than ever?” I thought about that a bit since business wise I’ve felt pretty much the same way … as do most Americans with depleted savings, depressed […]

Domestica and Rachel Kirkwood highlighted on WVXU

| January 26, 2013

It is great to see the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well in the niche publishing of local “paper-based” magazine, Domestica (Domestica Magazine). This venture is somewhat close to home seeing that it is local … and edited by Rachel Kirkwood, a friend of our family. She started the community oriented publication using Kickstarter last year […]

How Costco is planning for the expected tax increase …

| November 30, 2012

Playing the tax game as a big business or 1%-er investor must be a challenging problem to have? [sarcasm] Here’s a Wall Street Journal op-ed commenting on Costco’s recent “early” dividend announcement. Uncertainly in the tax code, along with the credits, deductions and complexity, slows economic growth, deters job creation and demonstrates that the more […]

Made in the USA – what you can do to help our economy

| November 30, 2012

I started a post earlier in the week with the intent to demonstrate my ability to “Rise Above” and to recommend a compromise solution that would address the fiscal cliff, but I realized that I was banging my head against a wall even when dealing with people I get along with. I can’t imagine reaching […]

Hostess Brands Inc to close and another 18,500 go unemployed

| November 16, 2012

  Hostess Brands Inc., an 82-year old business with household brands such as Twinkie, Ho-Hos, Ding-Dongs and Wonder Bread will close its doors and liquidate assets after a  bitter battle with unions and millions of dollars from venture capital in hopes to save the company. This morning CEO Greg Rayburn talked for 10 minutes with […]

Electric car battery maker A123 files for bankruptcy protection

| October 16, 2012

Once again, our tax dollars were squandered on another failed green energy company. This time the once promising A123 Systems Inc. (AONE -74.67%) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A123 was one of the Obama Administrations’ handpicked companies to be given a handout … free money … and took nearly $250 million taxpayer dollars […]

Is the U.S. the best place for small business?

| October 4, 2012

I started a post on the Presidential Debate last night, but figured if I’m tired of tweeting, reading and hearing about it, others may be too … so will pass on opining. I will say that  Mitt Romney looked well prepared and was able to comfortably manhandle President Obama on the subject of the economy, […]

One thing is for sure, Apple knows how to make money

| September 7, 2012

I read a simple article reviewing where Apple ($AAPL) makes their money … product mix, not geographic location. Anyway, I thought it was interesting that they make over 70% of their total sales (trailing 12 months) on the iPhone and iPad … that in comparison to Macintosh computers, software and services and even their Music […]

Texas takes the top spot for business in CNBC’s ranking

| July 10, 2012

A down day for the markets after slowing earning from big companies like Cummins and Alcoa … but it was the day CNBC announces the top states for business. Of course it is no surprise that Texas was the top state for the 3rd time in 6 years. The other states to make the top […]

Florida Gov Scott and Texas Gov Perry on less government

| July 2, 2012

There are a few "experiments" happening at the state level in our nation which if talked about might open a few eyes to the benefits of less government as well as  more freedom for individuals as the model for our country.  Florida Governor Rick Scott (and Governor Perry from Texas by phone) did a pretty […]

Surprising what high powered website can do for blog traffic

| April 14, 2012

I noticed a spike in my normal web traffic the other day as a weekend post was mentioned on a high traffic website. As someone who posts to a tiny personal blog, it still amazes me how many clicks and visitors My Desultory Blog generates. Over the years I have also noticed that viewers are […]

Endorsing an honest and trustworthy local business

| March 31, 2012

For the past couple of years I’ve been taking our cars to a privately owned automotive service business (in West Chester, OH) and have been satisfied with the work. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know the owner, Tim Ellison, who’s Christian walk and straightforward business dealings are one in the same. Besides using Mr. Godwrench […]

What does it really take to create jobs in America?

| February 4, 2012

Fred Smith, CEO of Fedex, spoke on Thursday this past week and simplified his thoughts on turning around the economy and creating jobs. He supplied a chart which doesn’t necessarily clear up the “chicken or the egg” discussion associated with which comes first, but his chart does show that capital investment and private sector employment […]

Trivia tidbit associated with my pick for person of the year

| December 31, 2011

In tying up loose ends in closing out the year, one story that made a big impact on technology followers was the death of Steve Jobs. He was an inspirational and creative marketing wizard with oddities all too common with those we associate with the “genius” label … and would have been my pick for […]

Lackluster sales this past year-how about a new marketing plan?

| December 27, 2011

This past week has been a bit more relaxed since selling this time of year is challenging.  I focused on looking back at the past year, but I still tried to connect with a few of my well established customers. In keeping communication light, I asked what would make me more effective and welcomed when […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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