TOTD 2018-2-21: The Best Run Business You Have Seen

I marvel at good systems. Some companies know how to deliver the goods and services. There are many businesses to choose from but I will choose Safeway of my youth. A grocery store is an amazing place. In a short time you can buy a variety of meat, produce, dairy, frozen goods, and dry food. You get a cart, bags, and a relatively fast checkout. A supermarket evolve from a small  stores.

A well run business has robust systems that handle the unexpected without breaking. Safeway kept the unit costs down. It treated the customers well. It thought ahead and the season goods on the shelf.  It is ran so well it was taken for granted. It just worked and the “dogs didn’t bark”.

What business do you think is well run?

 


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TOTD 2018-2-19: Credit and Responsibility

Why is it people run to the front of the line to take credit but duck responsibility? Is it human nature to think all the problems were made by others and all the good came from ME?

Historically, people were proud of the colossal disasters the day before. The day after they didn’t want “Enron” on the resume.

To use the polling technique from the last election, what type of person is your neighbor? A Credit Hog or a “It’s not MY fault.”?


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TOTD 2018-2-17: Phone Navigation

For those of you who have scrolled miles to get where you want I will share my meager knowledge.

To get to the top of the page quickly on your iPhone/iPad. Touch the [Time] at the top middle of the screen and presto you are there.

To get to the bottom my best way is to follow these steps.

This gets me to the “Leave a Reply” box.

Anyone have better ways?

 


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TOTD 2018-2-16: You are not a product.

It saddens me to know many companies “mine” people to sell them to companies. In the “mine” is your personal data. They sell their mailing lists and your eyeballs to get you to click and buy. Gone are the days of a selling a box of Brand X with no strings. Now it is the “kind” discount and a “loyalty card” which is really a way to put your data into their database. If it is a store they know what coupons to print on your receipt. If it is the Internet they know your web history to show you ads. That free service online is not selling that service but you.

At Ratburger.org, you are not a product. You are not something to be sold. What you see is what you get.  No bait and switch.

 

 

 

 

 

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TOTD Feb 13, 2018: Celebrating Mardi Gras?

Mardi Gras — literally “Tuesday, Fat” — is simply the day before Ash Wednesday, when us Roman Catholics and a few relations begin a period of self-deprivation and critical self-reflection.

The idea is that one must get in a good dose of revelry (and maybe even some debauchery) to tide one through the 40-day drought.  And it is more than just tacitly endorsed by the church hierarchy, as many parishes host a varieties of parties.  Well, they endorse the revelry, at least.

Unfortunately, I find that I can’t really enjoy the parties.  I feel a nagging guilt about partying to escape the impact of my upcoming Lenten obligations.  And yes, I know that I choose these obligations by choosing to be Roman Catholic — there’s no real compulsion outside of my faith.  That actually makes it  worse for me — I’d be delighted to thumb my nose at a government-imposed religious observance.

What to do?  I’ve found that if I dwell on it, I just end up starting the self-critical examinations a day early.  My approach in the last few years has been to pick up a good book — something unserious I can read for pleasure — and a tumbler of good Scotch.  Ash Wednesday will come soon enough, and I’m already fat. /-:

If you observe Lent, what do you do for Mardi Gras?


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TOTD 2-12-2018: How Myths Arise

You have probably heard the story about Polish lancers making a cavalry charge against a German panzer battalion in the opening days of the Nazi invasion of Poland. Men on horses armed with spears attacking tanks. Often the one telling the story will claim they saw a newsreel of it.

You might also have heard it never happened. That is true. It is a great story, but Polish lancers never charged that Panzer unit. It was a myth. The Poles had horse cavalry in 1939 (so did every other nation, including the United States) and actually did launch 17 cavalry charges during the Polish Campaign, fifteen of which were successful. They never charged tanks though. When Polish cavalry encountered German Panzers they dismounted and attacked the tanks with the anti-tank guns organic to Polish cavalry regiments and Molotov cocktails. The only mounted charge around German tanks was an attempt to escape encirclement – and it succeeded.

So how did the story get started? It turns out the myth was the outgrowth of a real-life version of the game of telephone: the one where someone whispers a phrase to a person next to them, who repeats it to the next person until it works its way around a circle getting distorted with each telling. It involves impressionable Italian journalists, mischief-making Panzer troops, the Nazi propaganda machine, Allied occupation forces, and sloppy US newsmen.

It started with an action against a German mechanized division. On September 1, at the Battle of Krojanty, the Polish 18th Uhlans Regiment attacked and scattered German infantry belonging to the 20th Mechanized Infantry Division. Some of the Poles were armed with lances. The charge was successful, but the Poles took casualties, leaving dead horses and men – some armed with lances – on the battlefield.

Hours later, as evening approached a German panzer unit occupied the battlefield. They had not been involved in the fighting. They were looking for a place to rest for the night. After they set up camp they were joined by a group of war correspondents from Germany and still-neutral Italy.

The correspondents assumed the dead lancers had attacked the panzer unit. They asked the camped panzer troops to tell them about the battle. The German soldiers probably saw an opportunity to pull the legs of the gullible newsmen. They not only allowed the misconception to go uncorrected, they embellished it, giving details of the Polish cavalry charge against their tanks.

One Italian correspondent was a romantic. He was so moved by the tale he wrote a story about the doomed heroism of the Polish cavalry, attacking tanks with nothing more than lances and sabers. The story proved irresistible. It was translated to English and widely reprinted in the Western press.

The Germans knew a good story when they saw one, too. They seized on the tale as an example of Polish backwardness, and the folly of their opposing the Reich. Their propaganda ministry made a documentary about the German invasion of Poland, “Geschwader Lützow.” It included a staged cavalry charge, reproducing an incident which never occurred. Both cavalrymen and Panzer troops were actors; the filmed scene was vivid.

After the war Allied historians went through Nazi archives, duplicating material of historical interest and sending it to archives in their home countries. This included copies of “Geschwader Lützow.” It was marked as a documentary. Information about the provenance of the Polish cavalry charge scene was lost.

Captivated by the dramatic imagery, many documentaries about World War II made in the United States ended up using that footage in sections about the invasion of Poland, including (I believe) the weekly series The Twentieth Century. As a result many people believe they saw footage of a Polish horse cavalry charge against German panzers.

It was not until the 1990s, after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the Soviet Empire that access to Polish accounts became accessible in the West. During that period what really happened – and the game of telephone running from Italian war correspondents to American documentary makers – was finally explained. It turns out fake news can be the product of innocent misunderstanding combined with mischief making.

Like the myth of the first bathtub in the White House, created by H. L. Menken, the myth of lancers attack tanks has been debunked – but continues to live on.

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TOTD 2018/2/11: What’s ate-ing you?

This will be a word exercise of rhyming words of various verbs that get at the heart of people.

Do you create?

Do you debate?

Do you rebate?

Do you relate?

Do you ablate?

Do you prate?

Do you rate?

Do you hate?

Do you wait?

Do you placate?

Do you berate?

Do you castrate?

Do you sedate?

Do you fixate?

(I think you get the idea. )

Use one of my words or one of your own.

Right now, I feel I pixilate.


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TOTD 2018/2/10: Foundation Day

As we all know, February 11th is Foundation Day 建国記念の日. Since it is a Sunday people will be off work on Monday. Let’s all remember Emperor Jimmu on that day.

For those who don’t know

National Foundation Day (建国記念の日 Kenkoku Kinen no Hi) is a national holiday in Japan celebrated annually on February 11, celebrating the foundation of Japan and the accession of its first emperor, Emperor Jimmu at Kashihara gūon 11 February 660 BC.  (From Wikipedia)

 

 


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TOTD 2018/2/9: What is the biggest ship in the world?

I like factoids and quizzes. It challenges my mind. So what is the biggest ship in the world?

  1. What is it’s name?
  2. What is it used for?
  3. Why is it so unique?

Disclaimer: My info might be old so correct me.


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