Archive for category General

Eliminate Executive Restrooms

I have heard people say that CEO compensation isn’t really out of balance with their responsibilities.  Really?  Take a typical S&P 500 CEO.  If they earn 1.5 million in salary, that is equivalent to 1,500,000/52/5/8 = $721.15 per hour.    Considering minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour.  Ok, so a typical CEO makes 100 times that of a minimum wage worker in salary.  The reality, though is that only a fraction of the typical CEO’s compensation comes in as salary.  The AFL-CIO database of CEO compensation lists the average compensation for S&P 500 executives at $10,836,843 a year.  In other words:  $10,836,843/52/5/8 = $5210 per hour.

I think we should eliminate executive restrooms.  Here is my reasoning:  Let’s say the typical S&P CEO visits the restroom three times a day during normal business hours, at five minutes a trip this adds up to 15 minutes a day.  $5210/hour equates to $86 a minute, thus the CEO costs the company $1290 a day in bathroom trips.  If this is a daily occurrence,  $1290*5*52 = $335,400 a year to go to the bathroom.

Considering the President of the United States is compensated $400K a year, well, I’ll let you make the leap.

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Mileage Accuracy

I started an experiment with the last fill up of the tank of gas in my truck. I reset the truck’s trip odometer, and also reset the trip computer in my Garmin Nuvi. After 140 miles or so, the Nuvi is reading a little over 2.5 miles more than the trip odometer. The question is: Which one is right? I guess I’ll have to find a known distance, and reset both of them to see. Something to add to the to-do list, but certainly not at the top.

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Unmotivational continued…

"placid, silent self-criticism"

It appears that the unmotivational posters are being done by someone at work. Here is the latest.

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unmotivational posters

Recently at my place of employment, there have been a rash of “productivity” posters placed around the workspace, with the intent to give helpful advice about how to be a better performer. I just find them insulting. Take this example:

Work early, late, and on weekends and you will get more done!

Work early, late, and on weekends and you will get more done!

Another poster, which disappeared prior to me getting a picture of it, mentioned that better collaboration is possible if you wear under-arm deodorant. I’m not kidding.

As we keep scaling back spending at work, I wonder how much they spent on this poster campaign. Hmmm.

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Gnomes, belts and eye-sores

As promised, here is a picture of the new Gnome that myseriously appeared in our yard.  I like his optimistic expression.
Minor Gnome 49'r
On a separate topic, the local the last time I had my oil changed, the Toyota dealer told me that I needed to replace the main drive belt in my ’03 Toyota Tundra.  It had just rolled 45K miles.  They wanted $122 to replace the belt.  I told them “no thanks”, thinking I could do the work myself.  Well, I did.  The replacement belt cost $32.99, and took me about an hour to install.  It was the sort of thing that required two pairs of hands, and I only had one.  The funny thing is that the old belt was just fine.  A few hairline cracks, but according to my repair manual isn’t anything to worry about.   I guess it just goes to show that the dealer isn’t motivated by what is really needed, but by some magic count of miles on the vehicle.  The “Gatorback” belt I bought is supposed to last longer than the OEM belt anyway, so I won’t need to replace it anytime soon. Old Drive belt
The construction at the end of our street seems to be nearing the end of the street blocking phase.  Thank goodness.  I had to drag the “Road Closed” sign from in front of our house back to the site yesterday, which I find irritating.  The guys that work on the site don’t seem to give a darn where the leave it when they aren’t using it.  I don’t particularly like staring at it out of my living room window, nor do I like it taking up a parking space in front of my house.  Sometimes they leave it in the street blocking the sidewalk.  Nice eh?  They took out a walnut tree that was planted in the right-of-way, I wonder what kind of trees they are going to plant?

Condo Construction

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Ted says I have to post

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Customer Service Experience at Hawthorne Fred Meyer

My wife and I have been frequenting the Hawthorne Fred Meyer, even though it is in a state of great disarray.  They are doing a remodel of the entire facility, and it has been in various states of chaos for many months now.

One of the additions is a new deli.  We went there thinking we could order some sandwiches for dinner since we were running later than usual.  The person behind the counter suggested Lisa look at the paper menu that lets you order sandwiches.  We picked out what we want, which took a couple of minutes and she went back up to order.  She returned in short order with a look of disgust on her face.  “They close at 7:00 and stop making sandwiches at 6:50 because they can’t stay late.”  It was 6:51 on my watch.  With this kind of lack of appreciation for the customer, this latest expansion is not likely to be a success, in my opinion.

We had a cart load of groceries, so we went to check out.  Given the volume of groceries, and the line at the U-Scan, we opted for a line with a person.  We waited, as things seemed to be going slowly.  Three quarters of the way through groceries for the person at the front of the line, a manager stepped in and said to the checker that they had to switch her out because she was on overtime.  This was an unfortunate decision because it took a couple of minutes to make the transition.  No apology was given to the people waiting in line from the manager, nor any acknowledgement that we actually existed.  Normally,  I would have gone to a different line, but I had put about half of our stuff on the belt.  Lisa took the kids to the car, and I waited, and waited.

It look a  very long time, and I was pretty soured on the whole experience.  I think the Fred Meyer employees at Hawthorne could really use some customer service education.

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Obama pushes for stimulus legislation

Obama wrote this article in the Washington Post to make the case for his stimulus package.  I’ve been watching the Senate debate on C-SPANduring the day.  It is absolutely amazing to me how inefficient the Senate is.  Hours and hours of yammering, with no real “progress”.  Do the floor speeches really convince the Senators one way or another?  Watching the presentations, it is obvious that McCain wouldn’t have made a good President.  He can’t keep his facts straight, and seems to be intent on derailing the legislation.  I think Obama’s lead comments in his article need to be said a bit more loudly:

“By now, it’s clear to everyone that we have inherited an economic crisis as deep and dire as any since the days of the Great Depression. Millions of jobs that Americans relied on just a year ago are gone; millions more of the nest eggs families worked so hard to build have vanished. People everywhere are worried about what tomorrow will bring.”

Knowing how the economy is impacting various members of my own family, something needs to happen now.  Senator DeMint’s proposal is just another reguritation of the same trickle down economic policies that won’t help.  This wrong headed thinking comes from the notion that the New Deal did not positively impact unemployment.  It is simply not true.

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A less than positive Vinotemp experience

Lisa bought me a 28 bottle Vinotemp wine refrigerator for Christmas 2007.  We filled it with wine after letting it get down to temperature.  It was quiet, and seemed to hold the temperature correctly for the last 9 months.  Last week, it stopped cooling.  I noticed the display was reading 70 degrees.  I found the manual and tried to troubleshoot, and it wasn’t helpful.  I went to the website, and used the “service request” form to request service.  I never got a response.  Yesterday, I called the 800 number, and was told a technician would call me back.  They didn’t.  Lisa called them today, as she was home.  She actually got to speak to a technician.  She said the technician wasn’t pleasant, nor helpful.  He suggested that we were SOL because the unit only has a 90 day waranty.   The manual didn’t specify the length of the waranty, so we had no idea.   He suggested we contact “Mr Appliance”,  and subsequently ignored everything else Lisa wanted to ask him about.   Nice customer service, eh? 

The serial number for the unit also encodes the manufacturing date.  It says 20070929.  A hair over a year ago.   Nice product, eh?

I’m certainly going to think twice before I buy another Vinotemp.

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Boston Dynamics: The Leader in Lifelike Human Simulation

Pretty amazing lifelike robotics example. Watch for the behavior of the machine on ice.
Boston Dynamics: The Leader in Lifelike Human Simulation.

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