A Question For Newspapers and Their Readers

Why are stock quotes still printed in newspapers? Are newspapers paid to print them, or do they print them only because they have always printed them? Is it just filler information?

It seems to me that if you are relying on a newspaper to tell you what happened in the markets the day before, you probably aren’t making as much money as you could/should. It’s just raw data. There isn’t any analysis or there, just numbers

I’m sure there is a really good reason that I’m overlooking. I just don’t get it.

Some Interesting Tips and Tricks

One of the sites I check out pretty regularly, Daily Blog Tips, has a post writing contest going on right now. The topic is “Tips and Tricks”. Of course, there were several “how to get more traffic” and technical posts listed there, but I liked the ones that were a little “off” the best–tips and tricks on things that you may not even realize you need to read tips and tricks on.

Here are the five that I liked the most:
How to Keep Your Marriage, Despite Your Heavy Metal Addiction
Surviving Your Short Stay in Jail
How to Talk Like a Pirate
Find Out a Name You’ve Forgotten
Taking Photos at Concerts

You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd

Steve Pavlina on choosing happiness

You’re here to create the life you really want, not to endure a life you don’t want. Your power to make decisions and take action is all you need to get you out of a crappy situation. Exercise that power consciously.

A pretty simple concept. But look around. How many people do you see actually see practicing this or doing what is in their own power to put it into motion? How many people, yourself included, do you know who are truly happy?

There is a list of songs with funny titles that gets floated around through chain emails. I’ve received it several times over the years, and I always check to make sure a particular Roger Miller song is still on it. Unfortunately, of the many people have laughed at the title, very few are even aware of the next line, which is actually the point of the song:

You can’t rollerskate in a buffalo herd
But you can be happy if you’ve a mind to

Pretty ironic. Happiness is actually not that tough to achieve…”all you gotta do is put your mind to it”. Every now and then it may require a little extra effort that most people aren’t willing to put forward, like reading past the title of a song to find out what it is really about.

For most, it’s easier to just stay pissed.

What Box?

“Thinking outside the box”

One of the more annoying phrases used in business, and a personal irratant for me. Jack Lail describes how the process usually progresses at a newspaper:

Some suggest a meeting. Others say do market research and analysis. Still others suggest a focus group. And before proceeding, we must review the potential impact on anything and everything else. After a near-endless series of meetings, task forces and planning scenarios, the thought of stretching passes and life continues apace in the box.

That pretty much sums up the way I’ve seen it work everywhere I’ve been, small companies excluded. As far as my personal opinion of outside the box thinking goes (at least at my current job), I’ll be happy when I see some thinking inside the box.

Anyone who is truly thinking outside the box doesn’t even realize the box exists.

Turning Into a Housewife

So I’m sitting here surfing/writing/reading/napping and there are all of these crazy shows about having babies on TLC that document parents’ first few days at home with their babies.

Either our kid is really easy, we are really laid back and easy going, or both. These people stress over the slightest little things, get rattled by everything else, and are constantly whining about their precious sleep. Haha! You crybabies don’t deserve to sleep from what I can tell!

Anyway, while I’m having fun not being at work, I don’t see how some people (I assume mostly women based on the commercials) could stand to sit and watch stuff like that day in and day out. Luckily I have plenty of other things to keep me busy.


No baby again today–I guess a sick doctor with an I.V. is not the ideal situation for having babies.

Here’s something good to look at in the meantime–TOMS shoes. It is a pretty simple idea. You buy a pair of shoes, and another pair are donated to a child on your behalf. The shoes are pretty cheap, and you are buying a great story while helping someone else out.

Take a look!

Turned Away at the Hospital


Today was supposed to be the birthday, but our doctor was ill (translation: extremely tired from being on call and working all weekend), so we had to reschedule for tomorrow. I’m sure she would have gone ahead with today, but the hospital was expecting us at noon, not 8 am, and I’m sure shed didn’t want to wait around.

Getting turned away at the hospital wasn’t all that bad, but being turned away at 5:50 am was worse. Tomorrow we’re scheduled for the afternoon, so at least we get to sleep in.

Why We Fight Wars, At Least Why I Would

I was talking to some guys at work this morning about the reasons for war. There are several answers I’ve heard throughout the years–land, money, religion, etc. One guy actually stumbled onto what I believe is the true answer when he said that animals don’t have war because all they do is eat, poop, and breed. My question was if he thinks we are really all that much different from animals. The males fight for dominance and the right to breed with the female of their choosing, right?

From what I can tell, all conflict between men is rooted in the desire to mate. The desire to get money, power, win a competition, on and on and on. It’s all rooted in the desire to get some. The guy with a bomb strapped to his chest may THINK he’s doing it for Allah, but he’s really just helping some other guy get an extra wife.

My friend correctly took the argument to the next logical stage, “Would war be eliminated if women were in charge?”

To answer simply, no. They’d just fight over shoes.

Free Market at Work in the Blogosphere

There is quite a soap opera going on at Just Another Pretty Farce regarding Mrs. Coble’s issues with JL Kirk & Associates.

Here’s a quick synopsis:

  • Mr. and Mrs. Coble felt ripped off by an employment agency, and she blogged about it.
  • JL Kirk & Associates got mad about that, and one of their employees posted some comments on to her post on Mrs. Coble’s site (that was stupid). These comments were rather nasty, especially coming from a company trying to defend itself publicly.
  • Mrs. C. has now received a letter threatening a lawsuit if she does not remove her post(s) about JL Kirk & Associates as well as all associated comments. I suspect this has little to do with their desire to eliminate her original post, and more to do with the venemous comment one of their own employees left there.
  • Countless people will now read the account of what happened, most of whom probably would not have read the account had she not been sent a threatening letter and had it picked up by the blogosphere.
  • Many more people will view JL Kirk & Associates as scam artist jerks than ever would have before. Whether they are scam artists and/or jerks is beside the point. They’ve gone a long way through their comments on Mrs. C.’s blog and by sending a letter to give that impression.

Their own actions will hurt them significantly more than Mrs. Coble’s ever could have. You have to love the free market.

Here are some highlights of the comments left by a JL Kirk & Associates employee in her original post:

And by the way, in Mrs. Cobles’ [sic] case, we would recommend (free of charge) to further her writing “career” she learn to spell “wizardry” and polish her grammar and punctuation skills.

Well, couldn’t we all use a little help there now and then? But free of charge? That’s going above and beyond helpful!

…Mr. Coble has had difficulty with sustained upward mobility.

Is the writer trying to stoke some sort of class warfare fire?

That comment is simply stupid.

This could be broadly applied to most comments on most blogs, but usually isn’t what one says when trying to win over an audience. I seriously doubt you’ll hear that in a presidential debate, although it wouldn’t be untrue.

Mrs. Coble’s spiteful meanness precluded her from asking me about it.

Mean and spiteful? I like Mrs. Coble!

Do a Google search on Katherine Coble! She is an angry, opinionated basher of many things

I don’t need to do a Google search. This statement sold me. From this day forward, I vow to be a reader of Katherine Coble’s blog and to never do business with JL Kirk & Associates out of fear that they will send certified junk mail to my house and an unprecedented amount of traffic to my blog.

On second thought…

Jeopardy Odds

Carl Bialik blogs on numbers for the Wall Street Journal. Here’s a fun post about the recent 3-way tie on Jeopardy. It mostly talks about the accuracy of the calculation that the odds of a three way tie on Jeopardy is 25 million to 1. Very interesting.

I don’t know why it never occurred to me before reading this article to wager on Jeopardy. I used to watch it with friends faithfully, and it seems like a natural thing to gamble one…way better than horse racing or football.