Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thought Provoking?

I read a lot.   Mostly it's periodicals that I find of interest. It's always been that way since age 11.  World and national news and topics brings knowledge that is useful at least to me. 

For me it's all about now.  Today.  Maybe the future.  But not yesterday which is what you'll find in contemporary novels.   Yesterday.  Guess that's why they call it history.

Today's Wall Street Journal.  Every read always provokes thoughts, deep thinking.  For example these articles which gained my attention in yesterdays WSJ. 

SOME HOSPITAL INFECTIONS RATES RISE:  "The nation's hospitals are losing the battle again life threatening infections that patients can catch as a consequence of medical treatment, federal health officials said Tuesday.  They found that very little progress has been made on eliminating hospital acquired infections and called for urgent attention to the shortcomings."

Yet one more reason not to be admitted to a large hospital.  Go in for a simple procedure.....go out in a box.  No thank you.  I'll go to a witch doctor or fix what ails me myself.  Better yet, I am told that boutique hospitals . .. those very small, are able to control infection due to their size.  Infections in small hospitals usually don't occur.  Those would be the better choice. 

PUSHING KIDS TO PLAY OUTSIDE:  "Ask whether children spend as much time playing outdoors and exploring nature as previous generations did, and you'll find little disagreement.  They don't.

Across the nation, worried parent tell stories of neighborhoods where children are neither seen nor heard.  There is a growing movement of parents who are concerned and are trying to figure our how to get their kids outside."

Isn't this stupid?  I was 6 years old.  Starting then and every summer thereafter mom shoved me out the backdoor at 8 in the morning and locked it.  Go play.  Have fun, she said.  The backdoor opened at noon for lunch.  At 12:15 back out I went there to stay until 5 when dad got home.  Rain or shine, it was the outdoors all day long each and every summer day. 

I nearly drowned during one of the all day locked out of the house sessions.  An open septic pond our backyard.  Me and a bunch of neighborhood kids throwing rocks in the poopie water.  I slip (I think I was pushed) into the pond.  Bob's going down for the third time when the neighbor lady jumps the fence and into the pond.  She pulls me out.  Mom, after a fashion, comes out of the house.  I'm crying but mom will still not let me come in the house....until she hoses me off with cold water.  Had a pocket full of turds that would have smelled up the house. Would have been a hell of a way to drown, don't you think?

So parents?  Want your kids to have more time experiencing the outdoors and making friends with the kids in the neighborhood?  There's an easy solution.   Lock your kids out of the house.  No choices.  They'll figure out what to do.  A little dirt, a few rocks . . . it will all come together without some so called expert like Dr. Phil (what a horse's ass he is) or Oprah writing books on how to coax the kids out of the house and away from the computer and/or video games.

Don't you feel that we over think problems that have very simple solutions? 

Property Loss Pounds Morgan Stanley
Bank says Battered $8.8 Billion Real-Estate Fund Stands to Lose Nearly Two-Thirds of Its Value

"Morgan Stanley has told investors in its $8.8 billion real-estate fund that it may lose nearly two-thirds of its money from bum property investments.  That would make it the biggest dollar loss ---$5.4 billion ---in the history of private equity real estate investing."

OMG.  A major bullet was dodged here.  Three or four years back I asked Wifey to check with our broker, Morgan Stanley, on the possibility of investing a portion of cash into . . . you guessed it, Morgan Stanley's Real Estate Fund.  She did.  Brought back the information.  Didn't look good to me and I saw that invesgtors had no control over the real estate investments Morgan Stanley bought or sold.  Didn't go there.  Didn't invest in that.  Put the cash somewhere else where it's been tripled in value.

 I may have been born yesterday but I wasn't born last night.

Then There's Toyota

I've watched in the newspapers Toyota's woes unfold these past 8 months.  It's now being told that their inability to address mechanical and electronic defects quickly is all due to their model of management which was developed in the 1950's/1960's.   When there's a problem rally around the flag and close ranks.  Don't talk about any problems openly.  Don't admit to anything.  Theirs is a very closed system of management where there's little communication with those executives outside the core of the company.

According to Toyota's American CEO (now unemployed) he had no authority to implement a recall on problematic vehicles.  All decisions were made by Toyota officials in Japan.  Decision making at that level often took months if any decision was made at all. 

Ford has been pointed out recently as being a model which has served them to (a) Remain solvent, (b) Operate more efficiently and (c) Sell more vehicles.  There's lots of communications.....weekly, with the CEO of Ford, middle and upper managers.  Problems are solved sooner and not later.  This is probably why Ford's quality has increased which inturn has improved reliability and consequently instilled more consumer confidence in their product, equals higher sales.  Ford is now turning a profit.

A year ago Ford stock was selling for a buck a share.   Yesterday that buck a share stock was selling on the stock exchange for just under $14 a share.  Just think of how much dough you would have made had you bought, as Bob did, a bunch of Ford shares for a buck.   Sure it was a risk a year ago to buy anything Ford.  I knew that there was going to be a better day for this company.   Risk takers - honest ones (or fools) seem to be the only ones making money today (or losing their asses, too).  Plus they're not going to jail as compared to those who run crooked schemes in search of a quick buck.      

Have I bored you with all this heady stuff?  Just say that I pay attention to a lot of different things in this world.  Some things I pay attention to are stupid.  Some things are sad.  Some events are concerning (China and Iran scare the living daylights out of me).  And so on.  Whatever the case, I definitely know what's going on in the world around me.  It's always been that way.  As the saying goes, knowledge is power. 

I gotta go outside and get the moring newspapers and start reading.

BTW:  If you have children, lock them outside your home this weekend with their arms filled with newspapers.  They will be better for the experience.


La Roo said...

You know Bob, I'm embarassed to say that I just don't keep up with events like I should. I watch the news either in the morning or late night. I know I'm not getting the information that really matters. It was kind of cool just reading your blog just now...kind of getting a condensed version. I just don't make the time and I should.
The world and all its goings on scares me. I don't feel I put in the time and thought to speak passionately on these type of subjects. I hope to change that someday.

Bob said...

Laroo: It's just habit. Old habits die hard.

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