Big Red Car here on a sunny, chilly Thursday in Austin By God Texas wishing you a Happy New Year and talking plumbers.
On the tail end of renovating several bathrooms (to the studs), a kitchen, a powder room, and a utility room, I am conversant with plumbers.
So, we need some rules, don’t we? Some Big Red Rules on PLUMBERS.
Something feels different this year. It feels better, more exciting. The year of 2019 is going to be huge.
First, there is this little imp. Baby Tempe has changed everything. You thought you knew who you were and what you were all about and then she arrived and changed things.
Now, you’re a fool called “Gwant”, married for 39 years to a refined Southern lady called “Mimi” who goes to Savannah to babysit on the strength of a phone call.
Big Red Car here on a sunny Christmas Eve awaiting Christmas and the Prince of Peace which brings me to the subject of generals, politicians, and wars.
As a soldier (combat engineer officer), I spent a lot of time around generals. As a class of the species, they represent the top 0.1% of any year group of officers. The road to the top is a meritocracy and a very tough one. [Sure, there are some political generals, but as a general assessment they are the best of the best — if they remember to stay in their lane.]
Generals are at the top of their profession which is to wage war against the enemies of the United States and WIN.
The part about winning is an essential element in the General business.
Today we are in the midst of a “partial government shutdown” wherein “non-essential personnel” are being furloughed because the shutdown denies the government the funds with which to pay them.
This situation is caused by a confrontation between the executive and legislative branches over the issue of funding, more precisely, funding for border security (which includes the wall).
In the accompanying rhetoric and bombast, one of the utterances cast about is that “walls don’t work.”
So, your beloved Big Red Car has undertaken a bit of research to ascertain the truthfulness of that statement.
Big Red Car here on a sunny ATX beauty of a day. Talking Business 2018 predictions report card.
So, Big Red Car, how did you do?
We did OK, dear reader. Here it comes.
Big Red Car here in the wet and gray ATX reading the Beige Book.
Oh, you don’t read the Beige Book? How quaint.
The Beige Book is the Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions authored by individual Federal Reserve Districts.
The Chicago District had a mention of “ghosting.”
Big Red Car here. How did we do on our 2018 predictions on Domestic Policy?
Big Red Car here on a slightly dark day. But, hey, who cares? Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!
So, Amazon (talking Amazon Prime, y’all) bought Whole Foods.
Whole Foods had just entered into a deal with Instacart to deliver groceries from Whole Foods to their customers.
Of course, Amazon is in the delivery business themselves, so there was a conflict brewing. Right?
So, the Big Red Car was over getting some work done at the garage and who did he run into? Santa Claus.
Santa was having the runners waxed and trying to correct a shimmy in the front end at 186 knots (TAS – true airspeed).
When we finished our work, we had a chance to chat over an adult beverage as he took the old sleigh for a test ride.
Here’s how it went.
Big Red Car here on a day with brilliant sunshine, bit of a chill, and off to church to pray for all of us. Glorious Sunday!
So, the other day we were talking with some overcaffeinated CEOs about hiring.
One point that was left off was the utilization of recruiting as a part of the hiring mindset.
When the lion lays down with the lamb, the lamb is not going to get much sleep. Recruitment, back on topic.
Stop — recruiting is different than hiring.
Big Red Car here on a gray, cold day in the ATX. Brrr, it’s 47F (feels like 42F), the start of the next Ice Age — please send some global warming, talking to you, Al Gore.
Recently, the Big Red Car was talking to a gaggle of CEOs (gaggle is 4 or more for CEOs) and the subject was hiring. Hiring of top people in an organization which was out of the cradle and able to walk.
You know like: crawl, walk, run.
These CEOs were running shops which are going to make it. The question is exactly where. Some of them will be “long balls with men on base.” LBWMOB
So, here’s what we came away with.
So, dear readers, you have probably learned by now that President Trump/Grinch has cancelled the 2018 Christmas party that the White House usually throws for the media — two parties, actually, one for the print media and one for the broadcast media.
The media has enjoyed these parties which provide a taxpayer funded feast, tours of the White House decorations, and interminable pictures with POTUS and FLOTUS in front of the Christmas tree.
Admit it, you would go and send that pic to your mother and the third grade English teacher who told you you were a loser.
Big Red Car feeling cheeky with announcement that Apple has decided to go long on Austin By God Texas by building a new corporate campus to cost more than $1,000,000,000 and create more than 15,000 jobs.
Apple, which has been in Austin for more than a quarter of a century, and Austin have had a “starter” relationship with their first campus which employs 6,200 Austinites. This was already their largest operation outside Cupertino (a fact I am quite skeptical about).
The campus will be built on a 133 acre site, employing 5,000 out of the chute followed by 10,000 more making Apple Austin’s largest private employer. All power will be “renewable.” You knew that would be the way they rolled, right?
Functionally, the Austin campus will focus on research and development, finance, sales, and customer service. They also make the MacBook Air in Austin.
Apple had announced a plan to build $30,000,000,000 of new facilities and to create 20,000 US jobs by 2023, so the Austin project is a huge part of their national efforts.
Much of this new US development was driven by recent US Tax Code changes which made it more difficult for companies like Apple to hide profits overseas thereby bringing business back to the US. [This is how those jobs are going to come home, y’all.]
Apple employs 90,000 workers in the US and is beginning to make more of its products in the US and stationing headquarters elements here also. The company added 6,000 jobs in the US in 2018.
Welcome, again, Apple, and let’s get to work.
Somewhere in the world, there are young Americans standing a watch, flying a patrol, getting ready to take out a combat patrol, defending a position, making us and the world safe.
They were not with their families on Thanksgiving and they will not be with them on Christmas.
But, they will be with all of us whether we acknowledge them or not.
They issue forth from places like Virginia Military Institute and they are the “rough” men (and women) that George Orwell spoke of thusly:
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”
To those Americans who perform that duty, I say, “Thank you from all of us. Merry Christmas. Be safe and know that a grateful nation appreciates your service.”
To those veterans who served before them, we salute your service.
From those of us who were privileged to have been educated at Virginia Military Institute, know that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John will be there with you.
Ready to fight tonight.
Big Red Car here on a glorious, cold ATX day, y’all.
In Tehran, three days ago, there was a conference about fighting terrorism — yes, you read that correct. In the capital of the nation which is the largest state sponsor of terrorism there was a conference on fighting terrorism.
Amongst the participants — six nation invitees — were Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, China, and Russia.
One could fairly single out Iran and Turkey as being cesspools of terror support. Pakistan is up there.
Big Red Car here. How did we do on our Foreign Affairs predictions in 2018? Here it is.
Big Red Car here on a cold, sunny day in the ATX. Brrrr, 58F.
So, I’m in conversation with a trio of CEOs who have in common that they tried to fix something and didn’t quite get it fixed correctly the first time.
They came back with a longer rope and a bigger hammer and fixed it.
They were distraught that they hadn’t gotten it right on the first try.
To which your Big Red Car asked, “Did you do the best you could?”
So, the Big Red Car is trying to get into the Christmas spirit and is reading an article in some touchy-feely periodical which ruins the spirit of Christmas.
Or does it?
The article says there are all wired in a certain way. In this article that way is dark and forboding.
Big Red Car here on a cold ATX day, y’all.
Time to grade our 2018 predictions. Today we deal with POLITICS.