Monthly Archives: November 2008

Help, Help, I need a G5 ASAP

“The corporations are the organized centers of the private property system: the chief executives are the organizers of that system. As economic men, they are at once creatures and creators of the corporate revolution, which, in brief, has transformed property from a tool of the workman into an elaborate instrument by which his work is controlled and a profit extracted from it. The small entrepreneur is no longer the key to the economic life of America; and in many economic sectors where small producers and distributors do still exist they strive mightily-as indeed they must if they are not to be extinguished-to have trade associations or governments act for them as corporations act for big industry and finance.

Americans like to think of themselves as the most individualistic people in the world, but among them the impersonal corporation has proceeded the farthest and now reaches into every area and detail of daily life. Less than two-tenths of 1 per cent of all the manufacturing and mining companies in the United States now employ half of all the people working in these basic industries. The story of the American economy since the Civil War is thus the story of the creation and consolidation of this corporate world of centralized property,”  C. Wright Mills.

Damn, I couldn’t have written it any better myself.  Who am I kidding, Mills is brilliant, his take on corporate America is simply dead nuts on.

What is really scary is that Mills didn’t write this for an article in the New Yorker or Esquire or last weeks Washington Post.  Nope, the above is an excerpt from The Power Elite, a book written by Mills in 1956.

That’s right – nineteen fucking fifty-six.  Let see, if my math is correct that is 52 years ago.  Holy Crappola!

So to honor Mr. Mills I am going corporate and I am currently working on a bailout package presentation for my two pizza restaurants.  I am going to do a nice powerpoint presentation and also bring a few pizza’s to give out to the committee members.  I believe that there are two ways to successfully encourage political support.  One is through the pocketbook and the other through the stomach.

I can pontificate for hours on my shitty cash flow and the continued rise in my costs.  Maybe I could rail about the taxes I have to pay.  Nope, I think the biggest hurdle I have right now regarding my bailout package is getting someone to loan me a Gulfstream G5 to fly to Washington.  I think that the politico’s will respect me more if they know I’ve flown in on a G5. 

I found a couple G5’s for sale online but not sure it would be a good way to tie up my money right now.  There’s a 2001 G5 in Connecticut that I can probably get for $35,000,000.  They’re asking $42,000,000 but I am sure there is some wiggle room there.  Never mind the fact there is a 2004 G5 in Maryland for only$46,000,000.

I usually try to avoid politics in this space but I read an Op-ed piece in the NY Times the other day that was striking in it’s simplicity and clarity regarding the next proposed bail-out of the American Automakers.  After reading it I looked up to see who it was written by and was shocked.  Not shocked in that I didn’t think the author was capable of writing or thinking this way, shocked in that the author, a political figure, would craft a document that was clear, concise and actually took a position.  Interesting in that his Op-ed position is a wee different from the position the author spewed to the Michigan electorate during his ill-fated presidential campaign but that’s for another day and blog.

Do me a favor – quit telling me what you think I want to hear, tell me something you believe.  Then I will make the decision whether or not I will support you.

Here is a link to the Op-ed piece

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html?_r=1 

I would encourage you to read it.  I am sure there are people that will tell you it’s not as simple as the author makes it out to be. 

I believe something needs to change. 

Something/someone needs to wipe the slate clean so that we can refocus an entire industry on the future. A future that leaves behind fossil fuel burning internal combustion engines and is unencumbered by the political ties that have inextricably linked the auto and oil business.  

I have to believe that America wants and will support affordable, safe, dependable and fuel efficient vehicles.  This isn’t about nationalism it’s about building something that is better than what is available.   Before you write and tell me GM is already doing that – don’t waste your time.  A Hybrid Tahoe that gets 20 mpg is not my idea of outside the box engineering for the future.

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a cacophony of colors

 Now that my banks are overflowing with pozitoodinal energy and the negativity has left me like a bad clam (yuck) I thought I’d share the below with you.   I wrote it a while ago…  

 Closing my eyes the connection is complete
Electricity flows from my head to my feet

Colorful and vivid the sparks start to fly
I only can seem them after closing my eyes

The colors and sound I can finally see
Deafening and blinding they appear only to me

The blinding light is coming from inside
Like the voices I hear, then I try to hide

How do you hide from the things inside your head
Make them stop, kill them, make them dead

The colors so bright, it’s so fucking loud
I want to be floating up high in the clouds

It’s too bright I gotta open my eyes
Don’t listen to them they are all telling lies

So here I am emotionally feeling like poop on a stick  – not loving anyone and hating the mutha fuckers who broke into my restaurant and stole my computer system when I remembered that I was asked to do an interactive presentation to a group of TBI (traumatic brain injured) victims the next day.  Shit, I had nothing prepared and was not in the mood to do anything.  You know, one of those daze where you just want to curl up into a ball, pull the covers over your head and hope no one finds you for a month.

So, I had agreed to talk about being in the pizza restaurant biz.  My gut told me these folks would be less interested in how a balance sheet works or how I juggle paying one vendor while pushing off another vendor for another week.  Gotta love small business, got hate small cash flow.

So I come up with this idea that I will teach them about dough.  Not dough as in cake $$$$, but dough as in make the pizza outta dough.

I show up and have a group of about 12 folks plus their case managers.  The ramifications from the TBI with these folks ranged from showing no physical signs of TBI to tremors and a difficulty communicating. 

So I introduced myself and asked them if they liked pizza (a gimme question – everyone likes pizza – (Note:  if you don’t like pizza you have either – never had a good pizza, were traumatized as an infant with pizza or some kind of commie-pinko, neo-right wing, polygamist.)

Back to the show – so I floured up some dough and gave everyone a piece of dough and began to step them through how to spread the dough to make a pizza.  What ensued was sure beauty. 

There was one person who did it perfectly – better than a few folks that work for me.  I found out later that they had significant kitchen training before her injury.  In a cruel twist of fate the TBI has left them without the sense of taste or smell.  How fucking unfair!

Other folks had varying degrees of success.  One person I loved – demonstrated significant physical tremors and spasmodic movements, but damn they did a great job of playing with the dough and the smile on their face warmed even this icy, miserable heart.

As we played with the dough it was amazing to watch each of them engage at different levels parts of their brain/memory that pizza connected too.  The funniest moment came when I turned around only to find that one of the folks was wearing the dough as a hat and a couple other people were having the time of their life adding more dough to the hat.  It was priceless.

It also served as a good reminder  to me that I am pretty lucky.  Sure I piss and moan about stuff when i get overwhelmed and my batteries are low.  No one ever said it is going to be easy.  

Mikey E – your note was, too say the least, was a beacon of brightnes in my otherwise darkest of days.  You know from the day I met you I believed in you.  You are truly gifted and I am sooooooo fucking happy that things are falling the right way for you.  Let me know when you are up this way again….I got a bottle of Patron with our names on it.  A little bonfire on the property with senor patron at our side…..shit maybe we’ll light the fire with some old AIG and GM stocks…

Efenz – the rock will be scaled soon.  No can quit…it ain’t part of the plan

meredith – amen sister! If i wasn’t where I was I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to spend sometime with the TBI folks.  Thanks for sending me some light – it put my pozitoodinal banks over the top.

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Out to Lunch

Sometimes we just wanna quit. 

Somewhere deep inside there’s something that stops us.

Somehow, someway we find the power to see it through to the next day.

What if one day that something that drives the somehow and someway is at lunch when it is needed?

I need a good recharging of my pozitoodinal energy banks.  I feel like a Maple tree at syrup time.  Someone done stuck a spigot in me and they’re draining out all my pozitoodinal sap. 

Sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don’t.  Almond joy has nuts, Mounds don’t.

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