I normally wouldn’t comment on a situation likeÂ Cindy Fairless Lay’s. Â She is closing her privately owned business here locally, and that’s none of my business. Â However, Ms. Lay wrote a guest column for the KNS (related article) today in which she explains why her business is closing. Â In doing so, she’s put herself out there, presumably to solicit opinion and reaction. Â I happen to have some.
Because the closing of my business is due to (lending) practices of my bank, legal loan-sharking of credit card companies, price gouging by oil companies, two governmental agencies arguing as to whether my cakes with cream cheese frosting can be sold, and a president that suddenly, as if he were innocently surprised, announces our country is headed for the worst economic shakedown since the Great Depression, I cannot remain silent.
Let’s break this down. Â Her business is closing for the following reasons:
Bank lending practices
Loan sharking by credit cards companies
Price gouging by oil companies
Two government agencies
What? Â The first two reasons lead me to believe this business was highly reliant on debt for operation. Â And that leads me to believe this business would have never even gotten off the ground without debt from banks and credit cards. Â Did Ms. Lay write an article crediting them for her success when the business was thriving? Â Seems fair to me. Â Maybe I’m wrong. Â Maybe this business was started from a pure cash position. Â Maybe.
And I wonder if her business accepted credit cards from customers. Â If so, does that make her complicit in their “loan sharking” practices? Â Or is it only loan sharking when they charge you high interest rates and punitive fees? Â I’m no fan of credit cards–don’t have one. Â But to lay the blame for the failure of your business at their feet while failing to recognize that it was you who agreed to the terms they presented is ridiculous.
Could it be that failure to effectively controlÂ debt leverage contributed to the closing of this business? Â That seems like a management issue to me.
And price gouging by the oil companies? Â If oil companies were gouging and getting away with it, why have gas prices dropped so much recently. Â They’d have to be fools to drop prices if they were getting away with unfair gouging practices.
No one is more irritated by the idiocy of government agencies than me, so I sympathise with Ms. Lay there, but their decision over whether or not a cream cheese frosting can be sold is a major factor in the business failure? Â Really? Â This would make sense if the business were “The Cream Cheese Frosting Company”, but this was a restaurant. Â Was the whole thing riding on the ability to sell cream cheese frosting?
Lastly, this is (obviously) President Bush’s fault. Â I guess that is a given, because everything else seems to be his fault too. Â Look, I’m no fan of Dubya, but I’ll give him this–he has to be the hardest working President in history based on what I’ve heard and read. Â I mean, to be personally responsible for every single problem of every single person in this country is quite a feat. Â Hell, I don’t even have the time to wreak that kind of havok in my own life.
Ms. Lay seems like a nice enough lady. Â She enumerates her virtues as a humanitarian in her article, and she sounds like a nice person to work for and with. Â Apparently her food is really good too. Â But at the end of the day, she has to realize that she took risks and lost. Â She was not forced to take these risks. Â In fact, she’s quite fortunate to live in a place where the opportunity to take these risks is available to her.Â Â I’m not sure what her purpose was in writing this article. Â Maybe she’s looking for a bailout?
Tony Basilio is reporting on the air that University of Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton has requested a meeting with Jimmy Sexton, who is Phil Fulmer’s agent. This apparently signals an official move to end the Phil Fulmer error era at UT. According to Basilio, neither camp is going to confirm this, at least not right now.
There are some who aren’t going to believe it’s true until it is admitted on the UTAD’s state-sponsored radio station, but you have to give it Basilio–he’s called quite a few of these events early in the past.
So now we can (almost) officially ask the question–who are they going to get?
I just realized that it is completely possible that they are meeting to discuss a raise and contract extension.
Actually, it’s what I’d do in just about any situation. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know much about football at all. I mean, I played for 10 years, but most of the teams I played on weren’t very good, so it’s safe to assume that most of what I learned was wrong anyway. On top of that, I don’t really care if Tennessee decides to fire Phil Fulmer. I love hearing the drama on local talk radio, so if he stays that’s fine with me.
But if I were tasked with the difficult job of recruiting and coaching in a state that’s not really known to produce a huge amount of talent out of high school, I would adjust my strategy and get the top talent in the region by doing something no one else in the league is doing.
I’d do what no one else in the league is doing.
I’d take the same contrarian approach to football that people take to investing–do what no one else is doing while it’s cheap and easy to get in. Wait until that’s the fad, then get out and do something else.
No one in the league is running the option? Sweet–that means I should have no problem recruiting the best option quarterback in the region. Yeah, some of those guys would choose to go to another school to play a different position, but in most cases quarterbacks want to play quarterback. Why not give them the opportunity?
It could be–and this is just speculation–that the coaching staff can’t do anything else, so they are forced to compete for the top talent to fit them in to the only system they know.
It looks like the little town of Knoxville has finally arrived. Â We’ve got a hot coffee lawsuit on our hands. Â That’s not a hot lawsuit about coffee, it’s a lawsuit over hot coffee.
The lawsuit alleges that the 23-year-old Triplett drove to a Starbucks on Kingston Pike on July 13 and bought coffee via the store’s drive-through window. The lawsuit is silent on what Triplett ordered.
Seems like mos of the commenters over at KNS are in agreement–too bad, so sad. Â I have to agree. Â “The lid wasn’t put on properly” doesn’t seem like a $250k mistake to me. Â Doesn’t this happen all the time? Â It seems like every time I try to put a lid on one of those cups I can’t get it, and I’m an engineer. Â (Insert joke about my inability to build a Jenga tower here.) I don’t expect a high school kid who hasn’t even taken trigonometry yet to be able to affix these lids perfectly every time.
I could probably find five or six better reasons to sue someone every day, and I go 3-4 day stretches where I don’t even walk out of my house. Â Who is her attorney–Jackie Chiles?
I didn’t see much of the game yesterday, but I’m sitting here now enjoying Phil Fulmer’s stoicism on his show. It’s amusing. You know, when you use the phrase “Chad had a fantastic second half”, and Chad is your punter, things can’t be too good on offense. Punters on good teams don’t have the opportunity to measure their success by halves.
No matter, this was a defensive battle. It was epic–one for the ages.
And Fulmer remains 7 games away from his guaranteed contract extension. That reminds me, there are some guys locally who’ve designed a t-shirt in honor of this beautifully negotiated deal. It’s the Coacho Ocho limited edition T.
I’m admittedly only halfway watching the Tennessee/Florida game, but what I’ve seen is atrocious. It looks like I stopped caring about college football a few years too early. I should have waited until this year to jump off the bandwagon. Every fan deserves at least one season of pure agony, right? I’m not talking about the agony of losing close games either…I’m talking about going out and getting abused by good teams and squeaking out wins (or losses) against bad ones.
If I were UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton, I’d be worried about my own job if I don’t get a football coach that can meet the expectation of fans who are being charged more and more for tickets.
Beat the rush…fire Phil Fulmer at halftime. Of course, sports talk radio isn’t nearly as entertaining when the Vols or winning, so for personal reasons I hope he stays around.
Here that?Â That’s the muffled sound of cars running in closed garages all over East Tennessee.Â There are big problems in the area.Â Well, big problems unless you advertise on sports radio here and want your ad heard in between the “Fire Fulmer” calls.Â It seems like I wrote this exact post exactly one year ago.Â Oh yeah, I did.
After the stats about how long it’s been since the Vols won an SEC Championship, coasting since 1998, and how good Florida is every year, we’ll be asked that age old question…
“When are we gonna get somebody in here that can get it done?”
I don’t know why, but the other day I thought about a post I read on a running message board a few years ago. When I read this post I immediately copied it and pasted it into an email to myself because: (1) It is one of the funniest and most insane things I’ve ever read, and (2) I (correctly) assumed it would soon be deleted off of the message board.
Crazy people–I love them. Especially when they have no idea how crazy they are. In this case, I made a smart ass response to the original post sarcastically agreeing with the author, and she quickly replied with a sincere “thanks for the understanding”. She really had no clue that I was just making fun of her.
I’ve protected the author’s name to save her further embarrassment, but this just has to be posted publicly somewhere. No, it’s not my original content, but she obviously wanted to be heard. Here’s her chance…
From: S******* C******
Category: Places to Run
Date: 29 Jan 2004
Remote Name: xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
WARNING- DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RUN AT THE INDOOR TRACK AT THE PIGEON FORGE RECREATIONAL CENTER IN PIGEON FORGE TENNESSEE!I joined the center in October and paid my yearly membership fund so that I could utilize their advertised indoor “running track.” I have been running for 14 years and have placed in every race I have entered in the past few
The first rule of persuasive writing–establish authority. In this case I’m not sure if she was trying to build credibility or just tell us all how fast she is. “Real” runners shouldn’t have to put up with the abuse she endured as described below.
I generally try to run outside if it is 40 degrees or above because that is what I enjoy. However sometimes it is impossible to run outdoors, which leads me to my warning… Since being a member at the Rec Center I have had to dodge unattended children playing on the track, even though employees were in full witness of the event and doing nothing to prevent it. I almost ran head on into one that was running the wrong direction so I finally went and complained. The kids were removed from the track. Since that date I have constantly had to slow down (sometimes to a dead stop) to get around walkers that are taking up the full track four abreast.
Kids playing? People walking? At a rec center? Just who the hell do they think they are?!
On Wednesday of this week I attempted to pass two overweight ladies who were utilizing the entire track while talking and paying no attention to their surroundings.
Hold the phone. Not paying attention is one thing, but being overweight is quite another. See how she coaxes the audience (all readers of a running message board) to her side of the argument by emphasizing the fact that the walkers and talkers were overweight?
It says, “they’re not like us” without actually saying it.
I yelled out “track” twice and they finally looked behind them and moved over in the nick of time.
It is well known in the walking community that “track” means to move.
I went around the track several times, each time having to slow down and ask them to move over to the right. Once they didn’t move over in time and it resulted in a large bruise on my left elbow from scraping the wall as I tried to pass them without hitting them.
The first fallacy of this essay–no bruise on any elbow can be very large.
I went back around the track, still hoping that they may eventually start to follow the posted track rules (walkers to the right, runners on the outside lane).
Pay attention here. The “rules” are an integral part of the rest of this post.
As I came around the corner I realized that once again I was going to hit the wall because they weren’t getting out of the way. To prevent from hitting the wall (or running over her) I reached over and gently pushed her over to the right by her arm. I went on around the track and thought that would be the end of it.
“Gently” pushed her–that’s key. She didn’t slap the lady or trip her. She just pushed her…gently.
As I passed her again she yelled out something that I could hear over my headphones. I slowed to a stop and turned around and asked her what she had said. She said “Don’t touch me. Just ask me to get out of the way.” I told her that I had repeatedly tried to do just that, and would she rather that I had just run over her? I explained that it is very hard to stop when you are training and running a 6.5 minute mile.
Actually, I bet she would have preferred that. Any woman I’ve seen who does training runs at 6.5 minute miles on an 1/8 mile indoor track must be pretty low on total body mass. I bet this overweight walker would have gotten a real kick out of you trying to run over her.
I told her to please just stay on her side of the track (as the posted rules stated) or I would have to go complain at the front desk.
I continued to run again. Everytime I would pass her she would then stop, face me and make remarks. I tried to ignore her realizing that she would probably soon tire and leave the track.
She must tire out soon…she is overweight…remember?
She finally did. I didn’t complain on her when I left because I didn’t won’t to start any trouble. The next evening I was working out in the weight room minding my own business when I was approached by the Rec Center manager (S**** B*******)who told me that he had received a complaint on me last night that I had “shoved” a lady on the track. I attempted to tell him that it was totally untrue and tried to tell my side of the story.
Uh…I thought you shoving her was your side of the story? Oh, wait. You didn’t shove, you “gently pushed.” It was nice of you not to start any trouble by complaining on her though.
He didn’t wish to hear my side of the story, or see the bruise on my arm, or acknowledge that I was in full complaince of the posted Rec Center track rules.
Full compliance of the rules–because there isn’t a rule posted that says you can’t gently push people.
He did not wish to give me the name of the lady that complained. I told him that in addition to this episode, other runners had complained about similar incidents. I told him that other incidents had occurred in which individuals refused to comply to the posted track rules.
Complained to him, or complained to her? Were these real runners, or just voices in her head? How can we be sure?
I told him the night before there was also a toddler (2-3 years of age) that was also wandering the track. The manager told me that he didn’t have enough employees to monitor the track (even though they have cameras on every corner of the track). I asked him if he was telling me I couldn’t run there anymore. He responded that the track was actually a jogging/walking track, not for running and that it was perfectly okay for people to be walking the way they were (even though posted #3 rule stated “Please Limit Walking Patterns To 2 Wide).
The rule says it plain and simple!
He told me that I run “too fast” , even though I usually interval with 8 minute miles!
In other words, “You don’t know what fast is! This stuff I do in your rec center is Mickey Mouse compared to the times I clock when a wooden plaque and gift certificate to Smoothie King are on the line.”
I told him that the Rec Center advertised it as a running track when I joined and reminded him that Rule #4 stated “Walkers please stay on the inside of the track, RUNNERS on the outside.”
The rule says it!
He continued to argue with me and tell me that during January and February I should probably just run elsewhere or during early morning hours.
Wait. I’m confused. Was he arguing with her or was she arguing with him?
I told him that I wanted my money back if I couldn’t utilize the track when I needed it. He said okay “let’s go downstairs and get your money”.
Sounds like we have an agreement.
By then I was beginning to lose my cool. After all I had obeyed the rules and done nothing wrong.
This is where she lost her cool…not before. And because there isn’t a no shoving pushing rule, she obviously hadn’t broken any.
I looked at him and calmly said “Just keep my fucking money.I don’t need it and I won’t be back.” (I probably shouldn’t have said it, but he had pushed all my buttons by this point.I said it only in the presence of him.)
At least she remained calm. And by the way…she still hasn’t broken a rule at this point. It’s not posted anywhere that you can’t curse at the staff. The only part I don’t understand is why you would second guess yourself at this point. She asked for her money back, and he agreed to give it to her. It only makes sense to start dropping F-bombs and refuse the money.
He looked at me and said “That’s it! Your out of here right now or I am calling the Police.” I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock. I told him to go ahead and call the police because I had done nothing wrong and obeyed the rules.
The rules. Again.
I also told him I would be getting a lawyer. He did call the police and had me escorted out. I did not receive my membership fee back and it was a great embarrassment to me (especially
since I did not violate the rules).
I thought she told him to keep her f-ing membership fee? Was she embarrassed by his actions, or hers? Did I mention that she didn’t break any rules?
I intend on getting a lawyer and was hoping one of my fellow runners could suggest a good one since I will be going up against the City of Pigeon Forge. Thanks for listening to my story and any input you may have would be appreciated. In the mean time, please choose your running tracks carefully, if you are really into fitness training.
I wish I’d pursued law, just so I could offer up my services and meet this mental specimen. I’m left with only following her advice carefully because I am really into fitness training.
I just talked to a friend with a son at Central who is ok, so I’m relieved about that. Apparently he was just walking in this morning when the shot when off and was able to get back outside immediately. I’ll be adding reaction as I read it.
An article on the victim by the KNS. Interesting in the comments that people instantly look for someone to blame. Instantly–without having all the facts. Makes you wonder–would their reaction be different if this shooting had occurred on a Friday night in the streets? Would they even care? Would there be this much coverage?