29 September 2007

Home Improvement Update

The drive is now officially finished. The epoxy has set and we can park cars there now. There was a bit of drama last week because with all the rain we'd gotten, the coating had no chance to harden. The contractor came back out and repainted it. We got three hot sunny days to help it cure and none of it peeled up when we parked on it today! Wooty woot!

Yesterday we hired the next door neighbor, who is a laid off contractor, to repair the eave over the front porch. Wendel is good! He's gonna paint it Monday. That hole has been there since we moved in, it's extremely nice to have it fixed!

We're getting lots of compliments on the improvements from the neighbors walking by; and more than a few thumbs up from people driving!

26 September 2007

Strike Is Over

They are going back to work. Bowling Green will back to making Corvettes tomorrow.

My target production week is 08OCT07. Anticipated delivery is 14-15OCT07.

I have an order number now. I would post it and get the status number, but I worry that with posts on reality and economics and the unions that my car would get sabotaged.

25 September 2007

On Unions

The mental disconnect that far too many people have about businesses is that a business exists to provide jobs to the workers. This is not true.

Businesses exist to provide a profit to the owners.

Jobs are a side effect of a successful business. Think about it. How many entrepreneurs started out as just them and hired workers as their business grew? Most of them. The second most common cause of business failure is from growth and the entrepreneur not being able to make the jump from doing to managing the doers. Yes, success can kill a business.

Everything in running a business comes down to a costs benefits analysis. No matter how many columns are in your accounting ledger, they all add up to one thing, is it an asset or a liability? Income or loss? Plus or minus?

Which brings us back to the price of labor. If I am forced to pay twice what my competition does for labor, and about the same price for everything else, my competition has an advantage over me. He can make his stuff cheaper than I can. That means he can sell his product for less than I can and still make a profit. If my product is interchangeable with his in the eyes of the customer, then he's going to sell more than me. To compete with him, I have to convince the customer that there's something about my product that makes it worth the extra money.

This is where the appeals to emotion begin. I cannot cite facts that my product is truly better, it just costs more because I had to spend more to make it.

If I cannot get my labor costs down to the same level as the competition, I have to find other ways to reduce the cost to make the product. Like cheaper materials. Like designs that are cheaper to make and don't last as long. This path often leads to my product being both more expensive and inferior to the competition. This situation leaves me with only the customers who have fully bought into the emotional appeals.

Remember, a business exists to make the owner money. As a side effect, workers have jobs and earn money too. If the company becomes unprofitable, for any reason, the owners will not be making money. If the owner is not making money, why keep the doors open?

24 September 2007


UAW is on strike.

I think I will should cancel my order and do something sensible with the money.

22 September 2007

Finished But For The Curing

Tomorrow evening we get to park on it!

The pile of dirt is gone, and we still have to get the mailbox back up.  Need a post hole digger for that.

21 September 2007

Almost Done

Just gotta remove their pile of dirt and get the mail box back up.  We have to give a couple of days for the decorative part to cure.

18 September 2007


Here's the driveway's progress.



17 September 2007


I must admit, the ad campaign, "Save the Cheerleader, save the world," turned me off.

I have the DVDs now.

It's very nice to see science fiction treated as if adults will be watching it.

Major Capital Improvements

Tomorrow (today actually) begins the expansion of the driveway.

Getting a pad on the south side to park a car more or less permanently and a whole drive to the north for everyday use. We will have room for five cars outside without parking on grass!

The quote includes the slab for the back porch too. That's like phase 1 of the office expansion. First we need a slab, then a screened in lanai for it (phase 2) and then changing the current lanai's screen walls to real walls and adding carpeting. We've had a quote for $14,000 for that. That one will be on hold until The Lovely Harvey is working again.

14 September 2007

Thanks For The Guilt Trip Bat

I see you have become your mother.


The check will be is in the mail Monday now.


13 September 2007

One Of Us One Of Us One Of Us

I got The Boy a new computer.

It's a 20" iMac, 2.4GhZ, 1gb RAM.  I got the 2.4GhZ because it has 256mb of video instead of the 128 like the 2.0GhZ machine has.

So far he's really happy.

08 September 2007

Rudy If It Isn't A Crime Why Is It Called Illegal

As an attorney, he should know better too.

I say again, no votes for New Yorkers.

Are the Republicans even running a candidate this time? Looks like I have Democrats on both sides of the ballot.

I still want a "none of the above".

02 September 2007

Well That Sucks

Thanks to Chris Underwood for ruining gaming for me.

Chris, it's not cute to irritate people just to see them irritated.

I apologize to anyone looking forward to gaming with me while I was in Ames, but Chris ruined it.