Sunday, June 28, 2009


In the spirit of Michael Jackson's "Neverland," I want to postulate a scenario about what happened to Michael. First off, he is very deeply in debt and his life will dramatically change if he must live as a pauper. Realizing this, he sets up a tour which is the only way for him to make the kind of money he needs to support his lifestyle. Secondly, he starts rehearsals for the tour and they are physically demanding, very demanding. His body does not respond as it has in the past and he must push it harder through the pain now that he is older. Third, in order to get some relief he uses drugs to ease the pain and achieve some semblance of a good performance. The more he rehearses the more he hurts and the more drugs he needs. A physician is hired to keep track of his health and monitor his need and the effects. Michael calls the shots for how much drug relief he needs even overriding the concerns of his doctor. Finally, Michael demands more pain relief, he has it administered, and it is the overdose that kills him.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


When the neighborhood McDonald's revamped their interior and put in a machine for making exotic coffee drinks, I smugly said to myself, this is going to be a huge flop. Starbucks has the corner on this type of drink and McDonald's customers will never pay the higher price for exotic coffee. The clientele for these enterprises come from two different worlds. McDonald's customers are looking for inexpensive food while Starbucks customers are looking for something out of the ordinary, something that separates them from the common herd. If I had owned McDonald's stock I would have sold it. (Of course, I could have sold short, but that is not what I do.) At this time, the McCafe business is doing gangbusters. The cashiers have been instructed to ask each customer if they would like to have one of the McCafe drinks. For me, I have always declined but have been astonished at the other people in line calmly ordering one or two of these drinks. The drive in window does a great business selling solitary McCafe drinks. What is going on? Why has this craze started? I am told the drinks are heavily fortified with caffeine and have a strong taste. I talked to Pat and she said she had a Mocha drink and it had a delightful, creamy, chocolate taste. She once had one late in the evening and could not sleep that night. It is obvious that some McDonald's customers have enough money to pay a higher price for their drink. Are people being lured away from Starbucks? The people I usually see in McDonald's have the appearance of being on a food budget. Yet, these drinks are being sold and the initial investment is indeed paying paying off. It is obvious that I do not know the food business, McDonald's does. It is a good thing that I am not the deciding executive at McDonald's. I hope Obama does better with General Motors than I would have done with McDonald's.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


It is a religious mullah that is the supreme ruler in Iran. Indeed, it is the mullahs that run the legal side of Iran and they are the ones that decide who governs Iran. True, they had an election and one person was declared a winner but the voters knew that it was a mullah contrived win. What can be expected from a Theocracy? When a religious group is in charge they are very difficult to dislodge and Iranian citizens are now coping with that. Our founding fathers were very concerned with state religion and inserted into the first amendment that there should be no establishment of a state religion. We may now see what they were talking about, and feared. (Of course the ACLU goes way overboard in the interpretation of this amendment.) How will the Iranians ever divest themselves from this tyranny? What they are now doing is all very interesting but they should not look to us for any help. We did not help Hungary when they revolted. We did not help Poland when the trade unions revolted. The big help we give is only when we have fought and won a war, then we are able to get in there and do some of the heavy lifting. We helped Japan get rid of their religious ruler and set up a democracy. We helped Germany move away from a racial state and set up a democracy. Today's leaders cannot even conceive of doing anything like that. We are more concerned with our move toward socialism. The Iranian that looks to us will be sadly disillusioned.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dainty Lunching

The other day, while having lunch with the "Y's" Group Exercise Instructors, I observed that most of them ordered a salad (separate checks) and only one ordered a regular lunch. There were about twelve of us and I, the only male, ordered a bowl of soup. The restaurant is called Piece Of Cake and is a favorite of ladies eating out with one another. When the salads came the dressing was on the side and I was amazed to see the ladies dipping a fork into the salad dressing, spearing a piece of salad, and then eating it. For me, if I get dressing on the side, I will dump the amount of dressing I want directly onto the salad. Only one lady, Tracy, dumped her dressing onto the salad, the one that had ordered the regular lunch. I will admit that the dipping method is a control on the amount of dressing consumed. All of the ladies have athletic, trim bodies and look very healthy. Was I observing something that is only local? When it came time for desert all the ladies refused except for one, Tracy, who ordered a four layer piece of cake. Tracy is a short, very shapely lady who has had breast augmentation, tummy tuck, chin sculpting and, perhaps, even lip enhancement. She married a rich man who likes his "Barbie" to look great. Given all the money necessary, I wondered how many others would have ordered a regular lunch.