Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Winding me up

I've commented once or twice about the big shake-ups at my Starbucks. Given the length of time I worked there and the real affection I have for the company it's pretty hard for me to read stuff like this becuase I think that pretty much every analyst in that article is wrong wrong wrong and that Howard is making a huge mistake by focusing on stock value. But once I get started you'll end up with a 200 page diatribe complete with foot-notes and charts that won't accomplish anything since none of the analysts will read it, the reporters won't actually learn enough to not print BS and more importantly Howard could care less what I think.

The bottom line is that Starbucks business model is very good, it should be doing very well in an economic downturn (it's a faux-luxury item). But The BUX won't capitilize on this because I don't really believe that it's management (or analysts) has really internalized it true business model or understand the strategic implications of that model. Instead, I expect they will heed analysts calls to make decisions that fit the traditional fast-food business model because, well, it's a simpler model to follow.

It's a bit like watching a close family member with a great job, kids and a beautiful wife through it all away because their friends tell them they should be making more money and playing more golf. You know they have a great life, and you want to stop them from throwing it all away but in the end you know it will end in divorce, cheating and an overpriced Porche.

Mmmmmm Porche.....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Light Bloggin'

I am heading out of town for 3 weeks so I am looking to all you other Northwest Bloggers to step-up like Jens Voight on a HC col and set a high tempo. Get on it. But since I expect you all to be more like Silence-Lotto consider this an open thread (now with 200% less moderatation!) for all your incoherent ramblings.

And if you can't figure out what to discuss, let me suggest making fun of 47 year old cyclists looking for free rides to bike races and bouncing checks for the Thursday night Seward Park race.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight is Teh Awesome. And Ledger is awesome.

Sonics Settlement Revisited

Some time has passed and much (though not all) of the anti-settlement argument has coalesced over the belief a) the Judge was poised to uphold the lease terms and b) that would have put the City in a better position to extract more money and/or the promise of a new NBA team.

I could nitpick assumption that the judge was going to uphold the lease. But I won't because I don't think it really makes a difference.

Rather, I am going to question the assumption that "winning" the case would have left The City in a better position to extract concessions.

Unlike the NFL or MLB, were you can make money even if you team sucks and your attendance is poor, even successful NBA teams that win and draw well seem to lose money hand over fist. This leads many people to state that the NBA's business model is broken. Whether that's true or not, I don't think most people have internalized what that model is. NBA owners don't buy teams to make money. They buy them to gain respectability and announce to the world that they are players. The Cities that subsidize these purchases by building arenas don't do it to make money either, they do it to announce to the world that they are big time cities and not powdunk towns. In otherwards, buying and owning an NBA team is all about status. Because they don't make money owning teams, the owners have a vested interest in getting repeated public subsidies or making sure they can sell their teams.

I think what you saw in Seattle is that we are no longer a small City that needs to prove to the world how big we are. So when the time came to get that big subsidy the State/City balked. And here's the key. Because NBA owners don't make money on their team's operations and they can't compell Cities to give them subsidies, the owners as a group need to protect their ability to sell the team at all costs.

Had the City won the case, it may have been in Bennett's individual short-term interest to negotiate a better deal or sell. But, it would have been in the NBA as a whole's best interest to stick out the remaining two years of the lease and even reimburse Bennett for the costs of doing so. Why? Because the NBA is dependent on the sale-ability of their franchises and want to discourage other Cities from doing what Seattle did. To be honest, I think the NBA overplayed their hand here and have hurt their ability to sell/move franchises. But I think their next best option would have been to wait the lease out to send a message to other Cities that you may be able to force the NBA to stay but in the end you'll get nothing.

*and yes I realize there are some Cities (like NY and LA) that can make money from operations but those are the exceptions and are unique in the underlying size of the cities.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


To whomever was chearing me on at Seward as I was bridging to the 1st lap break. Thanks! Fat boys need love too.

Sadly, once we were caught I lost my enthusiasm and just wasn't feelin' it. So I quit and rode home. But don't worry! The PruDog was feeling ok in the legs.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Passing the sniff test

For all you IT Project Managers out there, let me run something by you and get your reactions. I was recently told that a project management position required the ability to manage 40 concurrent but distinct 30-day hardware installation projects of 40 servers each. What's your gut reaction? You show me yours and I'll show you mine.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


It would appear that the UCI has played this poorly and is now dead. I think someone needs to read a book on strategic thinking.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What's the story

A funny pic. But I can't help but wonder, what's the story?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Again, why the nice words.

Tony Snow, former Bush press secretary, died yesterday. I can understand saying something like "our condolences to his family". But again, why the need to say nice things about a man who gleefully and admittedly lied and manipulated people to support policies he knew would not have the effects he claimed they would. He was the worse kind of partisan hack.. his loyalty wasn't to the truth or America but to whomever was paying his bills. And for the record I will feel the same way about James Carville when he dies too.

In general I have no sympathy for the political operatives (like say Hannity?) who do only what they are paid to do even if they privately admit they are wrong.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Dopin' it Old Skool

Like I told Schmirnov, Manuel was set up by a French lab that is bitter a Spaniard was going to finish 26th in their home tour. Either that or he drank too much Jack Daniels last night. Or maybe his Grandmother sent him EPO-laced Candies from Columbia?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Today I am Proud

The FISA vote was held today and Obama seems content on confirming my fear that he is a compulsive compromiser. Today I am proud that I voted for Hillary.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

There's a wedding channel?

I'm with Sarah Haskins.

Viva Schumaker!

A storming time trial for our favorite F1 driver. Of course that means Ronnie, sitting 2nd on GC thanks to the "Transitive Power of Guys I Race Against", is out off the Podium. But it was worth it to hear Vaughter drop the F-bomb live on Vs.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Get me to France!

Did you see? Will Frisky-Fresh-Corn is sitting 3rd overall at Le Tour! Woohoo! USA! USA! We're #3!!!!!!

But wait, there's more. Local up and comer Ronnie Schmeer has a history of owning Frisky-Fresh. In fact, he leapfrogged Will.I.Korn at Willamette back in 42 before shipping out to beat the Nazi when they bombed Pearl Harbor (Frishkorn started youg man). That means, by PruDog's "Transitive Property of Guys I Raced Against"* The Big Schmeer is sitting 2nd overall on GC (and won the stage to boot cause we all know he would not have hesitated! Boosh!).

That's Ronnie pictured above, raising his arms on the podium despite being impaled by the TV camera. Because he has more Tough-ti-tude in his pinky than all of Hagens-Berman put together. Boooooosh!

So get the word out. We need riders and we need them now. Ronnie can hold his own in the TT tomorrow but we need a team to protect his GC spot. Here's what I got so far:

Are you in?

*some facts you may not know. I've won at least 1 elite Natz title and 8 TdFs thanks to Armstrongs ride at Cascade back in 1998. And only cause I beat him to the sanican. Booooosh!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

While we are talking about falling off our bikes...

So it's that time of the year were the cycling know-it-alls (like me) make our tour predictions only to be humiliated by our wrongness.

I have such a bad track record at these that I have tried avoiding it.. but every time I don't post a prediction it turns out right prompting me to post one which turns out wrong.

Case in point.. yesterday I suggested to Stoked-As-Dirt that the big question for Stage 1 was which big name would crash out. I don't remember if I mentioned the name I had at the top of the list... Marizio Soler. Mostly I figured cause he's your typical tailgunning climber. But I didn't post it and here you go, he crashes and breaks his wrist.

So, true to form i will make my podium predictions so I can proceed to get those wrong:

1. Valverde
2. Evans
3. Menchov

The only question to me is whether Valverde can go the distance at the Tour.. he hasn't yet. Then again he's done well at the Vuelta, so 3 weeks is doable. But the tour climbs are longer and the pressure is higher.

So it's between Evans & Valverde.. and in my mind it's Valverde's to win unless he cracks. Evan's is the kind of rider that depends on other riders having bad days and following a rider having a great day. If Valverde cracks, Evans will win.

Menchov can't win because he's a pussy. There I said it, because I am one of those obnoxious fans who thinks a Grand Tour winner and potential podium finisher sucks cause he can't be perfect for 21 stages. God I am soooo cool. He'll ride consistently except 1 horrible day.

Light Bloggin'

Blogging will be light over this weekend as I manage my crazed PruFam. General NW Cycling Family notes...

Best wishes to MT's wife on a speedy (I hope) recovery from a bad crash.

Thanks to The Lockett for having us over to his place for the 4th...

And sorry to Crofoot for not making it up to his place... no drivey drivey for us with the PDog 2.0.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Wednesday Night Scrimmage

The WNS = Epic Fail.
You are all Bastardos and no longer to exist in my mind.
From now on I will only post about My Little Pony reruns.

The Sonics decision

I was going to write a long detailed post about the Sonics settlement reached yesterday. I think it was an excellent deal for the city, especially given the alternatives.

From the very non-scientific sampling of callers on sports radio it sounds like there is a lot of anger towards the City and mayor Nichols. I guess my question is, why? I understand the anger and disappointment. But while I heard a lot of accusations that Nichols et al did not "step up to the plate" I guess I don't understand what they failed to do? What is the better option that was left on the table? Beyond a desire to make the Bennett sell the team to a local buyer, which they can't compel, what real actions was the city supposed to take?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Northwest Rider Profile: PruDog by Killface

Greetings, Seattle. I.. am... Killface. Don't bother changing urls, I've taken over your Intertrons. Now, I trust you're all comfy on your tacky sofas from 'IKEA', lots of Starbucks Doubleshot close at hand. Well, tuck in and why not smoke between slurps. Yes, go for the gusto, Seattle. Live like there's no tomorrow because as far as you squalored lot are concerned there very much isn't. Behold, the instrument of your doom...

I call it.. the attack PruDog! Right now he is a bit fatty, but when he is completed, a million gigatons of thrust will propel his bike directly into the peleton... so look upon my work ye mighty and despair! what the deuce is up with that tongue of his?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Wednesday Night Scrimmage Reminder

Just a reminder that the Proof of Concept Wednesday night scrimmage is tommorow, 6pm at Discovery park. Meet at the lower parking lot.