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daily 10/29/2013

    • West Virginia for the first time is selling beer at football games to everyone of legal drinking age — not just high rollers in luxury suites — “and we’re expecting to profit around $1 million,” athletic director Oliver Luck said in an interview.
    • That season, the hapless Oilers traded for veteran quarterback Archie Manning, which meant Luck’s role on the team in the strike-shortened season of 1982 was reduced to little more than designated rookie gopher. And, as such, it often fell to Luck to drive out to the Houston airport each week to pick up the starting quarterback’s kids — two boys you might have heard of before, once or twice, named Cooper and Peyton.
    • So we had to squeeze both kids in or, sometimes, one went back into the hatchback. I’m guessing it was Peyton since he was younger. He would have been 6 at the time, I think. Looking back now, 30 years later, I realize how valuable the cargo was that I was carrying back there.”
    • All told, excluding student loans and their home mortgage, the Ackleys owed somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000—$50,000 “if you count the truck,” Tannie told me one balmy Sunday afternoon this April in East Texas.
    • His name is Dave Ramsey, and he is the most important personal finance guru in America.
    • If there were such a style, Ramsey’s could be described as “meticulous casual.
    • “I’m not here to get your money,” he said to an audience of people who had paid $39 a ticket. “I am here to change your life.”
    • If you don’t listen to talk radio, attend an evangelical church, live in the South, or watch Fox News, there is a decent chance you’ve never heard of Dave Ramsey
    • And finally there’s Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, a hugely popular video-based course that lays out his trademark, biblically inspired approach to debt and money in nine facilitated sessions. It convenes in weekly meetings at evangelical churches and on military bases across the country. There’s also the occasional series run at a hospital or jail.
    • No to anything you cannot afford with cash, with the exception of a fixed-rate 15-year home mortgage.
    • At this, the Texas crowd erupted in cheers. And it’s easy to understand why. Like the Ackleys, the audience members are mostly white, over the age of 35, and apparently middle class (in the way we generally assume people who aren’t obviously destitute to be middle class).
    • In his version of the story, the wider economy’s problems are not structural or political, but instead stem from the fact that most people, including his listeners, are weak-willed, self-indulgent, and stupid (he doesn’t shy from the word) when it comes to spending.
    • If you can only impose discipline on yourself, wealth will follow.
    • Purge yourself of debt through self-mastery, and you will enter a life of prosperity and 12 percent annual returns in the stock market (with the help of Ramsey’s endorsed network of financial advisers).
    • The phrase is a reference to Proverbs 6:4-5: “Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter.”
    • What he offers, in return, is hope through sacrifice—and, again, a sense of control. “It’s nice to see there is a way out,” Tannie confided in me before Ramsey’s stage show resumed.
    • His counsel even wards them away from a source of relief he himself once depended on: Before making his fortune as a self-help guru, Ramsey completed his own journey out of crushing debt by filing for bankruptcy in 1988.
    • But the majority of calls have something do with debt, job loss, or broken families.
    • Ramsey calls the college loan crisis at least in part a “parenting problem” caused by moms and dads who can’t say no, and he is forever telling people to look at state schools.
    • In the quagmire of today’s economy, Ramsey offers moral clarity: If you work hard, you can make it. If you are lazy, you won’t.
    • Though he appears on secular media outlets like Fox, Ramsey’s public persona owes much to a Southern Christian archetype: the wry, plainspoken pastor who doles out tough love.
    • He’s often telling callers to get second jobs, to drive “beater” cars, and to survive on rice and beans.
    • More specifically, when it comes to getting out of debt, Ramsey’s got a plan. It’s called the Seven Baby Steps.
    • When a family has paid down its bills—whether in arrears by $1,000 or $100,000—mom, dad, and the kids are encouraged to drop by the studio or phone in to recount the tale.
    • Everyone in the Ramsey universe wants to work through the Debt Snowball and unleash the Debt Free Scream.
    • “Rather than repaying the debts with the highest interest rates more quickly (the financially optimal strategy), many consumers chose to repay the smallest debts as soon as possible.”
    • the Debt Snowball has the potential to cost people a lot of money.
    • But he argues that it’s more important for people to start feeling positive feedback by closing accounts.
    • A different study
      • start here. 
    • It’s estimated that up to 25% of household water consumption goes through (or to be more precise, down) the toilet. The average toilet uses about 11 liters (2.9 gallons) per flush. The new guidelines are expected to suggest maximum urinal flush volumes of 1 liter, and maximum toilet flush volumes of 3.5-5 liters. By way of comparison, the 1992 US Energy Policy Act set the American standard for toilet flush volume at just over 6 liters.
    • Huy Fong, which has struggled to meet global demand for Sriracha ever since it began making the popular hot sauce back in 1980, invested heavily in its future when it opened the new plant earlier this year. The factory measures 655,000 square feet, more than double the size of the old one a few miles away in Rosemead, and is meant to allow Huy Fong to triple its Sriracha output—if it resolves the clashes with its neighbors, that is.
    • Remember,  Fiat management doesn’t actually want Chrysler to go public. Marchionne has made no secret of his desire to secure 100% ownership of Chrysler to fulfill his ambition of creating a bona fide global auto giant. But Fiat has been unable to agree terms with the unions for its stake, and the two parties are billions of dollars apart in valuation.
    • The unions also need to monetize their stake in Chrysler, which is looking increasingly healthy, and will report quarterly results tomorrow. Last month, the unions revealed a $3 billion funding shortfall in their obligations to retiree members. In an effort to maximize the value of their stake, the union trust forced Chrysler into preparations to sell 16.6% of it, with the hope of getting a better price from the public markets than from Marchionne.
    • So that everyone is aware, it wasn’t a money issue or opportunity issue, Texas is viewed as an out of control circus right now. Political attacks against Bill Powers, regents contacting potential coaching candidates, pending law suits all add up to an environment that most first tier ADs want no part of.
    • Coaches are squabbling over facility times, pay, academic resources, media resources and more. If Plonsky is well regarded for her skills in media and marketing, she is viewed as a terrible manager of people.
    • Almost all of the ADs that Texas has spoken with want control of the AD department. Having a mens and womens department isn’t a structure that they are comfortable with. Add in the Kearney lawsuit and I would guess that womens AD Plonsky is not long for her job in Austin.
    • Entrenched bureaucracy needs to change. The Texas AD has too many long time employees with comfortable relationships. At this point many of them are there to justify and defend their own inflated positions. The new athletic director is going to need to make sweeping changes throughout the department in order to change the culture.
    • People like Wallace Hall are really hurting our chances because of the instability that they are creating.
    • Any settlement above $1mm has to be approved by the regents and their initial response was no.
    • If her allegations are true, their could be serious consequences in two mens sports and four womens sports.
    • I didn’t say in April that you would see (new product categories) this year and the first half of next year. Just to be clear on that. What I have said is that you would see some exciting new products from us in the fall of this year and across 2014. I obviously stand by that, and you’ve seen a lot of things over the last couple months
    • In terms of new product categories specifically, if you look at the skills that Apple has, from hardware to software and services and an incredible app ecosystem, this set of things is very unique, I think. No one has a set of skills like this, and we obviously believe that we can use our skills in building other great products that are in categories that represent areas where we do not participate today. So we’re pretty confident about that.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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