Friday, November 12

follow up to previous SWA comment

here is the comment i received from Wendy Zellner in response to my post Southwest doesn't fear oil prices? No kidding Wendy...
I think the story made it pretty clear that they’ve been hedging—and benefiting from hedging—for quite awhile. But apparently some of our editors, and probably readers who don’t closely follow airlines, were surprised at how beneficial this has been.

And FYI, I do NOT own Southwest stock and have no personal financial stake in writing about them.

... sorry for the assumption Wendy... but you could always note at the end of the article if you own any shares of the companies listed in the article...

new SWA article

it continues to amaze me... what kind of publicity Southwest Air gets in the financial media... in an article in the Wall Street Journal... Melanie Trottman tells of "tankering"...
Typically, the price spread on jet fuel between the Gulf Coast and the West is five to 10 cents, but the gaps have been even wider over the past year, partially because of the volatility in oil prices. Late last month, Gulf Coast jet fuel was $1.48 a gallon while fuel in Los Angeles was $1.61.
Though the extra weight increased the cost of operating the flights from Dallas -- heavier planes burn more fuel -- American still saved an average $400 on each round trip. With the carrier flying more than 35 daily round trips between Dallas and the Los Angeles area, total savings averaged more than $14,000 a day.
... so as you can see an airline can save money if they hire economists to calculate their benefit derived from buying cheaper fuel... there is a lot that goes into the calculation

Thursday, November 11

Blockbuster Offers to Buy Hollywood Video

the title should be Last ditch effort before Blockbuster goes out of business!!!... because that is all this is... the big boy is about to die... let me say it again... Blockbuster is going bankrupt in the next two years... they remind me a lot of Heckinger stores... in case you didn't live on the east coast during the early 90s... Heckinger was the first "Home Depot-esque" store (i.e. big box selling home & garden stuff)... well they got put out of business by HQ and HQ has gone the way of the dodo via Home Depot and Lowe's...

what does that mean... well - blockbuster owns a lot of real estate... this is what i would do... go to cash or cc only sales (no checks)... begin to sell their properties in block groups... sell their inventory to a wholesale chain (e.g. netflix or walmart) at half price... and then after one year they should have enough cash to pay off all their liabilities and still have at least $40 million to distribute to their shareholders as a "one-time" dividend... call me crazy, but it would be better to get something as opposed to zero when they go bankrupt... AND they pay off all their debts without going into court protection...

well... if they need help give me a call... doesn't look too complicated... oh and Hollywood Video should think about something similar as well... but they are in the process of selling to a venture capital firm... who i am sure will flip them to someone else in less than two years...

Wednesday, November 10

follow up to Yanks comment

actually let me qualify my last post... it isn't just that they are Yanks... after downloading the excel file from Catalogue for Philanthropy i noted each state that voted majority democrat in the last election... here are some interesting facts from what i did (not that they are anything more than inferences about the election):
1. the highest ranking states in terms of generosity were all republican majority
2. number 26 was new york... the first democrat state
3. from 29th to 50th (22 states in total) 18 states were democrat majority
4. when looking at the richest states per tax return - 15 of the first 20 states were democratic majority
5. seven of the ten lowest giving states are democratic majority
not that this means a ton... and i know it is a generalization, but it honestly surprised me that the democratic voting states were far less "giving" than republican states... but this goes against all that the media and the democratic party claims - in that the democrats take care of the poor, elderly, and disenfranchised...


Stingy Ass Yanks

it really doesn't surprise me as i live in arkansas, but it might to those from the blue states on the east coast... a chicago sun article notes the giving per capita is far lower in the northeast than it is in the south...

the survey is based on residents' average adjusted income and itemized charitable donations reported on 2002 federal tax returns, the latest year available...

of course those from the north claim there is a reason, but it probably is just that they don't know what it is like to be poor and the south has been spawning some of the nation's top companies for a few years now and those benefiting from that growth are giving back to their communities and those in need...

Tuesday, November 9

How Hillary Won the Elections '08 and '12

How Hillary Clinton Won the Elections of 2008 and 2012... this is such a funny read... especially when she claims to be both pro-life and pro-choice...

on top of Kili

here's another pic from Kili... and no this is only at 9,000 feet not at the top of the mountain (19,400)... the amazing thing about the trip was how nice the guide and porters all were and how terrible most of the climbers treated them...

Don't play'a hate... appreciate Jack-Ass

Jack-Ass is one of the better songs and videos i have come across in a while... and guess what it is eight years old... sometimes it is easy to forget how good Beck's Odelay was... part of the genius was the Dust Brothers, but he was creating great stuff before he hooked up with them... like this little song

anyway... the point is that this album is great and really overlooked... if you are looking for a change of pace in your daily listening... give Odelay a listen...

MACK Packs???

Wal-Mart is showing some patriotism. It is amazing to me that the "evil" company who puts so-o many mom & pop stores out of business still appears to have a heart. When is the last time you read of a company (let alone the largest in the world) donating 900,000 packages to the military personnel who are currently overseas... the package includes "a phone card, writing paper, note cards, envelopes, a folder with a 2005 calendar and a letter of support... [and] ...will be Fed Ex'ed to the troops overseas beginning on Veteran's Day".

not to get too sappy, but i wish more companies would take time to honor those who are serving in such a self-less way... not to mention that their foundation gave the largest single gift to the WWII memorial project in DC (at $6 million out of pocket and an additional $8.5 million raised from store patrons)...

anyway... it amazes me that all people do is bag this company when they are one of the few that actually gives back to the community...

Wednesday, November 3

who got screwed on November 2nd???

  1. ... one person one over 50% of the popular vote... that's a plus
  2. ... the margin wasn't the closest ever... '60, '68, '76, 2000 were all closer
  3. ... kerry still has a job as Senator from Massachusetts... what did you not think he had a back-up plan??? he is never going to earn a paycheck not paid for by you and i (sorry but i cannot stand life politicians)
  4. ... if you voted based on all indications, your vote was counted properly

So let me tell you how got screwed... John Edwards - the poster-boy/golden-child of the democrats just a few short years ago... here is why:

  1. ... Edwards lost on the big stage and is now branded as a loser... he'll need to get out his rubberman suit to make the immage not stick... he could not help kerry win any of the southern costal states...
  2. ... Edwards is now out of a job... he couldn't run for re-election to the senate - how would that have looked
  3. ... Edwards will not be looked at as a presidential candidate in the future... who gains from this... Hillary Clinton... i'm not a conspirator, but man you think she really thought kerry was going to win??? heck no man... she knew... go back and look at the democratic convention... she was like - "i'm glad i'm not running against dubya"

i'll note my opinion now... Clinton will run in 2008 and will win unless another southern govenor runs against her for the republicans

Tuesday, November 2

Good Lyrics...

well not all have heard Pedro the Lion... and the singer songwriter's name is Dave Bazan... they have a good live show, but his voice can leave more to be desired at times... but anyway... i was listening to a huge loop of music at work today and this song cracked me up... no offense Dave... but this, as you describe it would suck...
we barely ever fight
she knows that i love her
at first we made it every night
but i don't want to bug her about it
she just has a funny way
of loving me

pair of ticket stubs in the desk
a movie i've never seen
i probably shouldn't ask
it sounds so accusing
she must have forgot to mention
girl's night out

the breakfast cereal talked
more than we did all day long
i asked her for a walk
but she had to be on her way
so i told her that i knew
she'd been stepping out

she swore that she could explain
she swore that it would not happen again
she swore that she could explain
we both knew her words were in vain
... lets recap here... first you booty'd up wit your girl all the time when you were first dating (para #1), but now don't "want to bug her"... harsh man harsh...
... second - then you catch that breezy going to the movie (via ticket stubs) with some other dude... smellin' the coffee yet folks???
... third - you were too chicken to say something to her when you had breakfast... get some courage dogg...
... fourth -- at least you didn't listen to her... in the words of Martin Lawrence: "what, is she manogamistically challenged???"

Monday, November 1

insult me for $14.6 mill...

i just don't get athletes... yeah they have to make a living, but is their goal not also to win the championship in whatever sports endeavor they participate???

apparently not if you are Latrell Spreewell (aka - the guy who choked an ex-coach while at practice)... recently he was insulted when the Timberwolves, his current employer in the NBA, offered him roughly $30 million over the next three years... he said -
``Why would I want to help them win a title? They're not doing anything for me. I'm at risk. I have a lot of risk here. I got my family to feed. Anything could happen.''
uhhh... i don't know Spree... maybe because they are already paying you $14.6 million this year and you aren't even the second best player on your team...

well i guess if he has a large family (20+ kids), like the one our first president (George Washington), grew up in i would understand... and if that is the case please let us know... but i suspect Spree is just greedy... but hell - i am sure he will find some financial boob, i mean owner, to pay him $12m a year after this season is over and he is 35 when the next season starts...

here's the link