Tag Archives: random observation

Burtâ??s Bees owned by Clorox?

Whoa! A natural products company exists that is owned by a chemical company? I can understand Colgate-Palmolive purchasing Tom’s of Maine, but not Clorox buying Burt’s Bees. Then again, Clorox does own Hidden Valley (maker of ranch salad dressing).

Can Burtâ??s Bees Turn Clorox Green? – New York Times

Today, the coupleâ??s quirky enterprise [Burt’s Bees] is owned by the Clorox Company, a consumer products giant best known for making bleach, which bought it for $913 million in November. Clorox plans to turn Burtâ??s Bees into a mainstream American brand sold in big-box stores like Wal-Mart.

I think $913 million is likely too high a price for Burt’s Bees but I’m glad at least one of the founders was able to get that much out of it. The real story in the NY Times article is the relationship between the founders and how one was shafted by the other. The one shafted seems to prefer it that way. What a fascinating novel the story would make.

Running on empty

I’m metaphorically Running on Empty. That song is now running through my head.

I have a 30 page paper due at 5pm tomorrow. I have 27 pages and a dearth of footnotes. I told myself I’d stop researching last month but just found a paper that parallels mine.

I’d love to stick around but I’m running behind
You know I don’t even know what I’m hoping to find
Running into the sun but I’m running behind…

Fortunes told …

Here are our fortune cookie fortunes tonight.

BT’s: “Going with the flow will make your transition ever so much easier.”

Mine: “If it seems the fates are against you today, they probably are.” 🙁

Studying has its [near] dangers

I love California weather. One reason is I can study outside most of the year. As much of the midwest slips out of its indian summer and into an autumn chill, California has remained temperate and comfortable. This week in Santa Clara has been no exception.

One of my favorite places to study is on a deck behind the law school library. A wisteria vine shades the patio during summer and then sheds its leaves to let the sun through during winter. But it hasn’t been a very pleasant place this week.

The wisteria pods that have been ripening all summer long are spontaneously exploding this week. That’s right, exploding. Without being touched or molested by animal or even a light breeze, the wisteria pods suddenly pop open with a small bang and send shards of pod skin and seeds flying in a number of directions. Every few minutes a pod explodes.

The danger isn’t in being hit. I have been hit several times by seeds and pod shrapnel but am not even scratched. The danger is the distraction from studying to watch the show or watch people watching the show. The other danger is having wisteria parts fall into a drink before realizing it was left open to attack.

The snapping has even been loud enough to bring folks out of neighboring buildings to determine what all that racket is about. One older woman even stood on a table while wearing her comfortable heels (can heels ever be comfortable) to touch a pod. It didn’t explode, but she quickly retreated when one exploded several feet to her left and sent seeds far to her right.

Needless to say, I studied under the wisteria for only a short while on Monday and yesterday. Today, I walked by without stopping after I heard the familiar crackling sounds. There’s always tomorrow. 🙂

[Freecycle] OFFERED: Book: “Coping with your Difficult Older Parent”

I found this item offered in the Freecycle email humorous:

Subtitle “A Guide for Stressed Out Children.”
by Grace Lebow and Barbara Kane

Discusses ideas for handling controlling types, having trouble adjusting
to grieving, clinging, nagging, recriminations, the impaired parent,
obsessive, intolerant.. .and so many more difficult older parent issues.
I’m exhausted just reading the table of contents.

Maybe a FRIEND needs this book! 😉
Glad to be of help…

It was spoken for very quickly.

the [low] value of red bull

Walking through campus today, I was offered free Red Bull by marketers looking to get college kids hooked (today was the first day of the quarter for the undergrads). I wasn’t impressed. Red Bull tastes like a mix between cough syrup and Faygo Rock ‘n Rye soda. It even left the same unremarkable aftertaste.

The caffeine buzz is nice, but I can easily get that from tea, coffee, yerba mate, and a number of better tasting sodas. Hopefully I don’t crash during class.

Is Google’s CFO departure a harbinger?

When I first heard Google’s CFO is retiring, I immediately thought of the day Gary Valenzuela, CFO of Yahoo! during the boom, retired. The obligatory “for family reasons” was given and few thought much of it.

Yahoo! tanked soon after Valenzuela’s announcement during the Q2 earnings release in 2000. News.com: Yahoo! beats street again as sales, traffic surge.

Separately, Yahoo! announced that Susan Decker, the former Global Head of Research at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette will replace Valenzuela as CFO.

In the release, company officials said Valenzuela will retire and July and work closely with Decker through this transition period.

Perhaps Valenzuela, 43, retired because he was exhausted from continually downplaying Yahoo!’s potential.

Last quarter, Valenzuela said Yahoo!’s extraordinary growth rates were “unsustainable.”

Googles CFO to retire by end of year – Yahoo News

Google Inc.s chief financial officer will retire by the end of the year, creating the most prominent job opening at the Internet search leader since it went public three years ago.
George Reyes departure as CFO, announced Tuesday, was unexpected â?? a development likely to stir speculation about his reasons for leaving a crucial job at one of the worlds most scrutinized companies.

At the time Valenzuela retired in 2000, crazy .com fly-by-nights were just starting to fold at exponential rates. Now we’re seeing the financial markets being rocked, a toll that will eventually be felt in the advertising market. Financial Services spent $272 million dollars in online advertising during July 2007, a figure that is almost twice as the next closest industry in terms of dollars spent. The source of that figure is Nielsen. Although that amount doesn’t include paid search and Yahoo! is more obviously exposed (unless I’ve only been dreaming of being harassed by dancing dinosaurs) I don’t think Google will be immune from a cut in a big financial services industry ad budget, particularly if it completes the Doubleclick acquisition. We’ll find out soon enough if this early retirement is a harbinger or he’s truly puckered out.

“There’s no food in your food!”

The news out of Beijing today wasn’t startling, especially in light of numerous reports during the past six months of tainted food being imported into the US from China.

Beijing steamed buns include cardboard – Yahoo News

Chopped cardboard, softened with an industrial chemical and flavored with fatty pork and powdered seasoning, is a main ingredient in batches of steamed buns sold in one Beijing neighborhood, state television said.

But man, it does make me think more about the food I eat and where it comes from. And I’m not even thinking about imported food. Rather, just the food I ingested today and the amount of non-food ingredients used. For example, these are some ingredients in sourdough bread I ate earlier today, according to the label: DATEM, monocalcium phosphate, calcium sulfate, ammonium chloride, ascorbic acid, potassium iodate, L-cysteine hydrochloride. Not sure about you, but I can’t identify most of those items, what they are, or how they’re made. That said, it appears the chinese are trying to be just like us.

Filed under:

Filed under: He probably didn’t understand how bad this would sound …

â??Our chemical products are mostly used for additives, not for animal feed,â? said Li Xiuping, manager at the Henan Xinxiang Huaxing Chemical Company in central Henan Province. â??Melamine is mainly used in the chemical industry, but it can also be used in making cakes.â?

China Makes Arrest in Pet Food Case – New York Times

Silicon Valley colder than New England?

This was the forecast yesterday afternoon for yesterday evening, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) web site.

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Slight chance of mixed rain and snow showers. Probability of measurable precipitation 20 percent. Northwest wind 12 mph. Low 31.

Needless to say, the snow didn’t appear. But this morning was the first time since I left the Midwest 14 years ago that I needed to let my car defrost. There was a thick layer of frost coating my car when I went out at 8:15am. Usually, when we have a frost, I can easily wipe the frost off with the windshield wipers. Not today.

Tonight’s forecast calls for a low of 26. Brrr. In contrast, Philadelphia is forecast to see a low of 45, and Boston a low of 41. There is something seriously wrong when San Francisco Bay area weather is colder than New England.

Things aren’t all bad. I’m getting to use my winter coat and I’m not in Fairbanks, Alaska.