What Happened During the 1930s?

Given the massive turmoil in the markets over the last few weeks (and days), I have been amazed at how many people have recently asked me what if any, impact the event of the last few weeks will have on entrepreneurs. Here is my humble opinion.

One of the options I studied when I was reading Economics at University was The British Economy in the 1930s. At the time, it simply felt like one of the easiest subjects to read, but I remember some lessons from that course which is sharply relevant to today’s economic circumstances.

The 1930s started with a bang after the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The world was thrown into economic chaos and this gave birth to the smoke eater ashtray, as well as the scourge of Fascism and Nazism across Europe. What was interesting about Britain in the 1930s was how there were two economies in operation; the real economy and the financial economy. The real economy actually performed very well during the 1930s and we are at the moment witnessing what I would call a decoupling of the real and financial economy again.

I am bullish about the future. I believe that this current crisis has been more severe and quicker than any of us could have anticipated. However, unlike other economic downturns in the past, I think that we will come out of this one quickly and robustly. This is a great time to start a business, but you have to be careful (as always).

The price of oil has come down sharply in the last two months from $147 a barrel to around $92. The Olympics are over and Chinese factories are producing output at full capacity again. House Prices around the world are coming down sharply and as a result people feel ‘poorer’ and less inclined to spend money on discretionary items. These three factors combined will have a big deflationary effect, which will mean that Central Banks around the world will soon be able to cut interest rates. This will help businesses and consumers alike and I think will help get the economy moving again.

There is also ample evidence that people are spending money on well-placed products. Retailers such as Greggs (a mass-market fresh bakery chain) and Thornton’s (a middle-market chocolate retailer) are doing very well at the moment. Surprisingly, holiday bookings in the UK are also doing very well at the moment, especially holidays which cost more than £800 ($1500). So the lesson here is that if you have a good kombucha starter kit, you will get the consumers. Know your market and speak to them clearly.

Now is a great time to start a business if you are realistic and start small. If you look at any business cycle, most of the great businesses to emerge have always started when the conditions appear to be adverse! In tomorrow’s blog, I will give some tips on managing a business through the current turmoil.

How is the Client On Time?

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Keeping the Client on Time

Public relations is about one thing: making the client look good. I don’t care if you’re running publicity for a restaurant, a small business, or Tom Cruise, your job is to help maintain their image. That means you need to be a lot of things all at the same time. You’re a guardian and protector, problem-solver, strategist, and babysitter.

In all my years working in the used riding lawn mowers game I’ve learned that spin is king and the one thing you must always be, is on time. These are both so important that I could very easily have that carved onto my tombstone. But what does that all mean, exactly? Glad you asked.

There are two kinds of PR specialists. The most common is the type who spends way too many hours in the office, writing up press releases, going to meetings, building relationships with brands and buyers, working the phones to book appearances, blogging, tweeting, planning photo opportunities, basically getting the word out about your client and how kick-ass awesome they are 24/7. You can be doing this as part of a company’s marketing department or in an independent publicity firm. Perhaps you have the aspirations to own your shingle someday. That’s great but you’re going to want to start out under someone else if you don’t have enough experience to ride a used Craftsman riding mower.

The other type of PR specialist is the one many of us dreamed of becoming when we decided to get into this business in the first place. The one often depicted on TV and in movies, traveling the world with all kinds of high-profile clients, going to photo shoots and attending the hottest parties, all with a generous expense account. Of course, when you own the firm you will likely be doing all of these things and more, accompanying star clients to publicity functions, meet and greet ops, and any important appearances. This is where always being on time comes into play. Protecting and cultivating your client’s or company’s image means getting them to their appointments when they’re supposed to be there.

What’s the best way to do that, you ask? Just be sure you have a great watch on your wrist at all times. I’ve found a military watch has the most features to help keep you organized and in charge. There are a whole range of great military watches to choose from, each one with features that make them convenient while remaining affordable like used John Deere mowers.

But finding the perfect choice among all of the different types of military watches can be challenging, so I checked out this website, and I was able to learn more about what my options were. The PR business takes discipline and dedication, and that extends to the type of watch you wear. Your clients are counting on you to be in control of their brand, their image, and their livelihood. How can they trust you with theirs if you’re not in taking care of yours? Stay on top of it all, and remember: spin is king and always be on time.

Standing Corrected

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I stand corrected.  I have decided that since I am somewhat opinionated in my writings about our president, I should confess when I am wrong.  I previously wrote and complained that he made numerous promises on the campaign trail and then broke them immediately after his election.  Although I still think that is the case, there is one promise I was wrong about.

When he promised to be transparent, I thought that he meant transparancy concerning the bills being writtten and pushed through congress.  He did say something about going line by line and no more pork, and I even thought he intended to post the bills online so the citizens could read for themselves what congress was up to.  Silly Me!  He was talking about transparancy regarding the CIA and our military secrets.

It seems, in his never ending quest to continue to dump on our former president and his policies, we are going to show the world and our enemies exactly what we’ve been up to with our prisoners.  We want our enemies, the same enemy who would lie a man down on his side, saw off his head, and record it for all the world to see, yes that enemy, to know that we just might put him in a room with a few of those god awful caterpillars, if he doesn’t cooperate.  We might not let him sleep, we might play loud music, oh and what about naked pictures, that one put the fear of Alla into them.some time ago with that whole Abu Gharib debacle. Can’t you just picture Osama Bin Laden sitting in a cave roasting marshmellows over a fire and getting a good chuckle out of us.

On a serious note, some of these secrets should remain secret, if indeed we intend to win this war.  Oh here I go again, we’re not at war and there is no such thing as a terrorist.  As I said before, I stand corrected.

TV Review – The Killing, “Numb”

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Oooh, tonight’s episode contains adult content and sexual situations and a few respectable reviews. Viewer discretion WILL be advised.

Previously: Rosie’s backpack is found, Aunt Larsen suggests that the Larsen kids need to know about Mama Larsen, Holder gets his feelings hurt, Richmond is no longer a suspect in Rosie’s murder, Papa Larsen wants his mob boss to find Rosie’s murderer and kill, and Holder freaks out on Linden by banging on her motel door…but you already knew all this.

Some alternative rock music plays as Mama Larsen drives down the road. She drives by a hitchhiker and begins to contemplate, “She looks like my daughter…” She doesn’t pick her up and instead ends up at a motel, dark and sad looking. Wouldn’t it be weird if Linden and Mama Larsen shared the same motel?

It’s day sixteen and Linden is at the police station with the photo of the Super 8 film, the close up of an anime tattoo. Moments later, she runs into Lt. Carlson. She wants to know what’s the hold up on the Beau Soleil servers (the hooker ring Rosie Larsen was a part of), she filed the warrant days ago. Lt. Carlson is very anal about paperwork apparently.

Holder is talking to some brunette lady outside his Narcotics Anonymous meeting making idle chit chat, ominous music begins playing as Holder bolts out of there. Elsewhere, Papa Larsen and Aunt Larsen are talking at the Larsen household when Linden shows up asking if he recognizes the anime tattoo and the food steamer on her desk. Papa Larsen blows up on her when she brings up the backpack, there’s a bunch of mixed communication going on in his eyes. He tells her to leave. Outside, she calls the police station asking about the backpack. She learns that it’s gone.

Richmond is at the hospital, apparently he thinks he’s regaining some sensation in his legs. We cut over to Holder having a visit with his nephew, they talk in slang. Holder tries to give him a ride but his nephew is like, “Nah, I’m not supposed to.” Looks like Holder’s sister doesn’t want her son hanging out with her crackhead brother, err, ex-crackhead brother. Sorry.

Aunt Larsen walks the boys to school. There’s a weird guy staring at her from a far (it’s funny, he doesn’t even try to hide the fact), she tells the boys their dad is going to pick them up because she has to make some money, i.e. hooking probably. It’s just the way she says that word, “money” that makes me think this. Hey, no judgment, the way the economy is right now, she’s got to make that money somehow.

Linden heads over to Lt. Oakes’ boathouse asking for the backpack. He basically tells her she’s in over her head, you know the usual. He finally gives it to her, she finds a high heeled shoe inside. I guess she’s about to play some Cinderella.

Jamie visits Richmond at the hospital, bringing flowers. He tells him to take the morphine. Richmond’s like, “Bitch please, I’m the Rocketeer, I don’t need any morphine.” They see the mayor on TV, Jamie jokes about the fight he had with the mayor’s aide. Meanwhile, Mama Larsen is getting her drink on at the motel bar, she receives a phone call from her sister. She ignores it. On the other end of the call, we see Aunt Larsen getting mad about it, Papa Larsen walking in just in time to hear her complain about her sister.

Linden is at the police station watching the Super 8 film, she calls Holder and leaves him a message (Oh, now she wants to talk to him). She tells him she knows what he did with the back pack. She receives word that the place she was getting her warrant for, a shoe store, has just been destroyed by a fire. She rushes out, asking one of the firefighter if the computers were damaged. He tells her there was nothing but shoes there. She notices a camera and requests video footage from the cameras in a four block radius.

Papa Larsen picks up his sons, he learns that one of his sons received a gift from a friend of Papa Larsen’s. Uh oh. Papa Larsen goes to his mob boss, Janek, and tells him to keep his kids out of their deal. Papa Larsen informs Janek that Rosie worked for Beau Soleil, the prostitution website. Janek tells him he’ll look into it, he then tells Papa Larsen that he just wanted to meet his sons and that they look just like him.

Holder shows up at a trailer park to visit an old friend, an old friend who starts to toke up right in front of him. Holder is there to make amends. His friend begins taunting him, telling him that even junkie cops need a dealer. Holder gets mad and begins to beat him, at one point, the friend’s mom gets involved and inadvertently gets him. Holder leaves, but not before taking a little something.

Richmond, back at the hospital, talks about going to a benefit later that week and searching for youth baseball gloves. Jamie objects telling him it’s a bad idea, but Richmond is very adamant. Gwen is at her office when she gets a visit from her father, the mayor. She talks about moving on, moving on to Washington D.C. and working for Senator Farrelly. Damn, her boyfriend gets shot and suddenly she wants out. He places the call and tells her he’ll probably want her to leave tonight.

Mama Larsen is in a motel room with a businessman, they start to kiss. I think this might be why the parental advisory warning came up earlier. Actually, no, they do nothing but kiss before going to a commercial break. So THAT was what the warning before??? The folks at AMC are kind of prudish, aren’t they?

Holder is sitting in the car looking at the drugs that he just took from his friend’s.

Elsewhere, Linden is driving with her son, she is on the phone asking about the video footage. She gets chastised by her son for talking while driving, The Killing‘s version of a PSA. Back at the hospital, Richmond’s nurse comes in. They begin talking about how she voted for him and why she did, both kind of flirting with one another. We soon learn that the entire time they’ve been talking she’s being changing his catheter. Of course, he hasn’t realized this because you know, he’s paralyzed now. He lies there upset as she walks out of the room.

Hey! Now this is where that warning comes into play! Holder’s having sex in his car with the woman he was talking to earlier in from of the Narcotics Anonymous meeting. When they finish, she asks him if he has any. He looks up at her in silence. Back at her motel, Linden browses through her son’s graphic novel. Elsewhere, Papa Linden receives a visit from Janek who tells him he checked into the Beau Soliel situation, he says he found no record of Rosie. He also tells Papa Larsen some grisly details of Rosie’s final moments and tells him that HE should go out and kill whoever murdered his daughter. Sounds like the mob boss is just getting lazy.

Linden is cooking when she receives a phone call saying they have footage from fourteen cameras. She pulls up the attachments on her email and we see that somebody in a Larson van drove by the shoe store, even more alarming is the driver is sporting the anime tattoo on his arm. Linden gets another call on the other line, an anonymous tipster who tells her that Holder is acting strangely. Yeah, visiting his nephew and almost freaking him out, getting into a fight with his old friend and stealing his drugs, and having sex in his car with another ‘former’ junkie – I would definitely say he’s acting a little off kilter.

Holder is walking back and forth in the middle of the street when Linden shows up. She tells him that she knows he switched the backpack. She threatens to leave him if he doesn’t get out of the street, he finally complies. At the hospital, Richmond broods.

As the episode comes to a close, Mama Larsen looks out her window and see what seems like her sister standing beside the pool smoking a cigarette. Somebody is deleting the Beau Soleil files from the server, while Janek gets a nod of confirmation from an associate. Papa Larsen sits in his office with the best white noise machine as the person with the anime tattoo drives off in a van, and Holder and Linden go to Holder’s car and pulls out Rosie’s bloody backpack. You see Linden, if only you had opened your motel room door last episode, you wouldn’t have had to wait until the end of this episode to get to Rosie’s backpack.

Rating: 2.5/5

Next week: Holder and Linden look through the contents of the backpack, they find a drawing of Rosie, they interrogate a guy with a tattoo on his face as Linden passes something to him underneath the table (her number maybe???), Richmond talks to the mayor, we learn how Papa Larsen got out of being with the mob (somebody got a bullet to the temple and shoved into a trunk), Holder follows the man with the anime tattoo, and Papa Larsen freaks out at Janek’s. Looks much more interesting than tonight’s episode, that’s for sure.

Kindle Wireless Reading Device Review (with New E Ink Pearl)

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Most writers love to read and I’m no exception. I checked out the NOOK and original Kindle but just couldn’t make the investment. One of the things I love best about books is the clarity of print on the page. Books are crisp and legible while e-readers seemed fuzzy and the source of potential eye strain. The introduction of the Kindle Wireless Reading Device with New E Ink Pearl changes the face of e-readers forever.

Kindle Wireless Reading Device with New E Ink Pearl

When I stare at the computer screen all day, eye strain is inevitable. I don’t want to use an e-reader that makes the issue worse. When I need a break from writing, I often grab a book and read a couple of chapters. It gives my eyes a rest from the glare of various computer screens and images – a big plus in this review.

The new Kindle Wireless Reading Device with E Ink Pearl delivers the same type of reading experience. Their E Ink technology is referred to as Pearl, which translates into the best possible reading experience.

Pearl gives you 50 percent better contrast and much sharper text than the competitors. Electronic ink uses ink to screen work, just like regular books and newspapers. The big difference is the ink particles are displayed electronically. It’s almost like magic! I love the fact the screen looks like actual paper in a book. There is literally no adjustment and no eyestrain. It is just like picking up my favorite book from the library only in a convenient little Kindle package. It also eliminates overdue library charges.

The 6” display is large enough to read the print but small enough to be portable. The Kindle can be easily slipped into purse or pocket to read on-the-go, much like a regular book. In fact, most books are bigger, heaver, larger and more cumbersome than the Kindle. It is only 8.5 ounces and 1/3 of an inch thick. It’s completely transportable even when you want to travel light.

Of course, another one of my favorite pastimes is reading outdoors. Often I take my laptop to a park or beach for a change of pace. I also bring along a book for break time. I wondered if the Kindle would be legible in the outdoor light. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Kindle screen reflects light. It’s just like the paper in a book because there is no glare. Unlike backlit LCD displays found on smart phones or tables, the Kindle is easily readable on the sunniest days.

When I get caught up in a good story, I can get carried away. The longer battery life means I don’t have to worry about the Kindle petering out in the middle of the best part of the book. Because of the electronic ink screen, no power is needed to maintain a page of text. I haven’t discovered if it is true yet, but they claim you can read for up to a month on a single charge.

Another benefit: the Kindle never heats up like your laptop. After getting laptop burn on my thigh last summer, this is a major plus for me! Even though it doesn’t get hot, books are downloading and ready to read in just 60 seconds. That’s less time than it takes to peruse the shelves at the local library.

Parting Thoughts

I’ll never be at a loss for reading material because the Kindle holds up to 3,500 books. There are literally millions of books to choose from, ranging in price from free to about $10 each. I love the free classics and will never run out of reading material.

When you’re ready to buy a Kindle, you can search for online deals and promotional codes to offset the cost. Or use your rewards card to make the most of your money. At just $139.99 (prices may change as of this writing), Kindle is an affordable way to learn and be entertained.