Tycoon?

Knowles' plate of Rockwell's Tycoon

Tycoon? I’m not even close, but frankly, becoming a wealthy tycoon was never on my list.

Yesterday morning, I was speaking to someone on the phone, who imagined I was a tycoon sitting in a grand, plush office. He asked, "What are you looking at right now?" In my home office, the views are:

  • out of the window beyond my computer
  • desktop ‘treasures’ at the back of my desk (not shown)
  • more fun stuff on my left desk (desk #2) and on my right desk (desk #3)
  • and framed pictures on my wall,

but, as it ended up, he was primarily interested in some details about my computer.

Frank Eves desktop

These days I have a very modest computer setup, but it does everything I want it to, plus it’s great fun and never gives me any grief.

Why the ‘Tycoon’ title? The picture is a Knowles’ plate featuring Norman Rockwell’s ‘Tycoon’. I found the plate when I was tidying my office.

Induction Wok

Induction Wok

Q: What on earth is an induction wok?
A: It’s tasty stir-fry made easy

High-Frequency Electromagnet + Magnetic Cast-Iron Wok = Yummy

Background: My stove uses traditional heating elements. I’ve always been fascinated by induction cooktops.

My daughters and son gave me a portable induction ‘burner’ a couple of days ago. Yesterday we picked up a $20 cast-iron wok at IKEA.

Now we have an inexpensive, but excellent way to stir-fry vegetables, fish and meat.

Collective Good

"We, Not Just Me"

I was channel surfing when the words "collective good" grabbed my attention. Ends up, the author of a recent book was being interviewed.

That Used To Be Us book cover

Thomas Friedman, co-author of ‘That Used To Be Us’ is an American journalist who has won the Pulitzer Prize three times.

Thomas Friedman

The reason Thomas Friedman’s words, "collective good" resonated with me, is that consideration of what’s good for the country is what’s currently missing in the USA. I’m convinced that greedy conservatives are largely responsible for the current political stalemate.

Wouldn’t you agree that a significant percentage of America’s economy is based on consumer spending?

Q: Why aren’t consumers spending?
A: The top 1—2% of income earners have all the money and many potential consumers don’t even have a job.

Unfortunately, many misguided, billionaire-controlled, GOP/Republicans are selfishly avoiding their responsibility for job creation. Did you know that:

  • most American corporations are enjoying record profits
  • most corporations are not hiring

Why do Republicans still want to "give these so-called job creators a tax break"?

Clearly, reducing spending is only part of the equation, corporations and the rich need to pay their share. It’s past time to consider the collective good and get America back to work.

I don’t think it’s overly dramatic to suggest that the American Dream in play. What does Thomas Friedman think? You might enjoy the following video that features an interview with Thomas Friedman:

>> Order ‘That Used To Be Us’

Related:

1883 Twenty-Five Cents Canada

1883 Twenty-Five Cents Canada

I lived in Regina Saskatchewan from 1958 to 1965 (ages 9—16). Home was the RCMP’s Depot Division, we just called it the RCMP Barracks. Depot Division has been training RCMP recruits since 1885. My father was in charge of the Crime Lab, that day’s version of today’s CSI. As a kid I spent many days exploring ‘the pasture’ that was on the outskirts of the barracks. Accompanied by a friend or two and my trusty bow and arrow we whiled away many summer and the occasional winter days. One sunny day, while on a new adventure, I noticed something shiny in the dirt. It was the 1883 quarter pictured above. It was shinier in the 1960s.

I recently rediscovered the 1883 coin in my sock drawer. I don’t imagine it’s worth anything other than the memories its discovery triggered, but to put my quarter in perspective:

In my first post about My Sock Drawer I referenced my unbelievably low 1972 $113/mo mortgage payment. 1972 was a time when the dollar had more value than it does today. The gal/guy who lost this quarter, lost it another 89 years before 1972 when the dollar had an even greater value. I’ve always imagined an RCMP recruit hauling hay for the horses with a hole in his pocket. Imagine how he felt when he reached in his pocket for his 25 cents.

My Sock Drawer

My Sock Drawer Reveals $113 Mortgage

I cleaned out my sock drawer the other day and made a couple of interesting discoveries, one was my 1972 pocket Success Diary.

Frank Eves Success Diary

I found my expenses list particularly interesting. A few examples:

  • Mortgage payment $113 (one bedroom condo)
  • Hydro $15.77
  • Telephone $8.19
  • Cable TV $14.83
  • Gas for 1 month $15.55

Also interesting:

  • 4th year medical school tuition $636
  • Med school textbooks $100

Med School for $636 and a month’s gas for $15.55. How things have changed. It’s not so much that prices have gone up, it’s just that today’s dollar doesn’t have much value.

So, why did I keep my 1972 diary for almost forty years? Wendy and I were married in 1972, between my third and fourth year of medical school and between Wendy’s second and third year of nursing school. We both attended the University of Ottawa.

Here’s a scanned snapshot of Wendy in our $113 one bedroom condo.

Wendy in Ottawa condo

I’ll write about another sock drawer discovery later.

Selfish Conservatives

Selfish conservatives: Are all conservatives selfish?

In the last quarter century,
80% of income gains, accrued to the top 1% of individuals.

Right now, conservatives in the U.S. are selfishly attempting to hang on to a record low tax rate. The Republicans claim to be concerned about the deficit and debt, but, thus far, they have been unwilling to pay their fair share to help their country survive a financial crisis.

Today we’re witnessing worldwide financial turmoil. Stock markets are watching billions of dollars in equity disappear, presumably in response to S&P downgrading the USA’s credit rating from AAA rating to an AA+.

Q: Why was the U.S.A.’s credit rating downgraded?
A: Enormous debt and politics

Ronald Reagan increased the debt limit eighteen times, yes, that’s 18 times; back then, there was no fuss. What would have happened if the GOP Republicans had not played their politically-motivated, brinkmanship card this time around?

Did Standard and Poor’s conclude “These selfish folks just don’t get it.”

Spending cuts alone will not get rid of the debt. The US Government needs more revenue. Fortunately, the USA, unlike Greece, is a very wealthy country. The best place to get more revenue is from folks who already earn a lot of money. The George W. Bush tax cuts must be allowed to expire, as was originally legislated.

Addendum: John Boehner, Republican Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, recently stated, “I got 98% of what I wanted” in the Debt Ceiling negotiations. I wonder, did that include the subsequent S&P downgrade and the Dow plunging 630 points today?

Xyngular Axion Packaging

Xyngular Axion Packaging

My first three boxes (180 tablets) of Xyngular AXION (pronounced Action) arrived today. Axion is so new, it hasn’t yet (20110728) been approved for resale in Canada, so my order didn’t ship from Toronto, as is usual, rather, it was shipped directly from Xyngular’s Orlando Florida warehouse in a USPS Priority Mail box.

I’ve been looking forward to:

  • getting started on the product
  • and also to checking out the new Xyngular Axion packaging.

I’ve just consumed my first two, bi-layer, time-release tabs. I also snapped a quick photo of the impressive packaging.

Photo removed, please see below.

>> Axion Ingredients

Link deactivated

Update 20111103: I’m no longer involved with network marketing.

Conservative Greed

Q: Is conservative greed synonymous with capitalism or just an unfortunate byproduct?

Greed is defined as an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth and power. It has long been classified as one of the seven objectionable vices that are commonly referred to as the Seven Deadly Sins.

Capitalism is defined as an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

The once enviable quest for wealth has recently spiralled out of control. I’m convinced that some rich people, banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions have become very greedy. My suspicion is that ‘dark market’ OTC derivatives and other complex financial products live on the razor’s edge between ethical and unethical (dishonest/fraudulent). It would appear that these ‘black box’ financial strategies have worked well for the top 1% of income earners. The top one percent suffered very little when the world’s economy melted down in 2008; in fact, many dramatically increased their fortunes shortly after the crunch. Sadly, the unconscionable games corporations and rich people played with financial liquidity devastated working people worldwide.

Michael Moore‘s ’Capitalism: A Love Story’ is food for thought.

In the last quarter century, a lack of regulatory oversight encouraged greedy, unethical business practices to flourish. The goal was profit, the means to that end no longer seemed to matter. When the inevitable happened and the banks and insurance companies were on the verge of collapse, who paid for the bailout? It certainly wasn’t the rich, their bonuses continued unabated.

Ethical Profit Is Good, Greed Is Not.

Right now, the news is dominated by the USA’s debt ceiling crisis. Unsurprisingly, the GOP/Republicans, the conservative political party that most American rich people belong to, is unwilling to end the costly George W. Bush tax cuts and to eliminate tax loopholes. I recently read that the richest four hundred people in the USA, worth over one billion each, paid an average of 16% in taxes. Rich folks are are currently enjoying the lowest tax rates in the last sixty years. Can the US afford to continue to fund tax cuts for top income earners by borrowing billions, every year, from China and Russia? Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan doesn’t think so.

It’s time for critical-thinking, ethical rich people to help. Get in touch with your Congressional Representative and instruct them to let the Bush tax cuts expire. You can’t possibly expect the working poor to shoulder most of the debt burden.

A: Greed is an objectionable vice and a regrettable side effect of the capitalist paradigm. Government oversight is necessary to prevent financial disasters.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
– Edmund Burke

Update (20110714):

Interesting numbers (SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES S.1323.PCS Findings):

1. The Wall Street Journal reports that median pay for chief financial officers of S&P 500 companies increased 19 percent to $2,900,000 last year.
2. Over the past 10 years, the median family income has declined by more than $2,500.
3. Twenty percent of all income earned in the United States is earned by the top 1 percent of individuals.
4. Over the past quarter century, four-fifths of the income gains accrued to the top 1 percent of individuals.

Note: You might be wondering, “Why is a Canadian commenting on US politics?” If the USA defaults the Canadian and world economies will be adversely affected. Yes, it really is that big a deal.

Aside: The conservative musketeers, Rupert Murdoch, the Koch Brothers and wannabe musketeer Dick Armey that have been manipulating politics in the USA, have also infested Canadian politics.

60 Seconds on the Internet

60 seconds on the Internet

Have you ever wondered what happens every 60 seconds on the Internet?

Info-graphic create by Shanghai Web Designers

Note: full size image can be viewed at go-gulf.com

Potato Print Baby Clothes

potato print baby

My daughter, Jen, created some potato print baby clothes (everyone calls them onesies*) as a baby shower gift for her best friend. They were a big hit. Jen would love to print some for you.

Soft cotton:

  • potato printed with adorable baby animals
  • non-toxic fabric paint
  • sizes 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months and 9-12 months

potato print onesie set

>> visit Jen’s Etsy website, it’s called ‘kiniandkai’

kiniandkai logo

Wikipedia says, “An infant bodysuit is a garment designed to be worn by infants much like a t-shirt; they are distinguished from t-shirts by an extension below the waist, with snaps or Velcro that allow it to be closed over the crotch. The purpose of the opening at the crotch is to facilitate access to the infant’s diaper. Like t-shirts, infant bodysuits come in a wide variety of designs and may be worn as undergarments or as outer shirts.”

* “Onesies” is a registered trademark of Gerber Childrenswear