Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Nothing like a locally owned "Mom & Pop" business. This small restaurant in the video below has two employees, Mom & Pop. Customers walk up to the window to order from the extensive hand written menus hanging on dry erase boards. When your order is ready, Anna yells out or if she is not really busy she will bring your meal to you. No dishwasher required, all food is served on paper plates. Anna's Cuban coffee is a big hit, strong like espresso served in a small styrofoam cup. Within the next couple of days, there will be a second post about being a good salesperson of which I learned from Anna.

Monday, December 29, 2008


In a bear market, there is always a bull run on Chicken Little helmets.
We are not headed for a Great Depression. There are no souplines stretching for city blocks. Yes the market may drift lower, but here are the major differences between then and now.

The United States of Bailouts
Yes we are now living in the United States of Bailouts, as the government has created a $700 bn mega-dumpster to buy at auction rotting paper that was crafted by habitually self-deceiving, hubristic hustlers on Wall Street, who, unburdened by conscience, felt entitled to follow their own codes of conduct as they went berserk enriching themselves.
Not just Wall Street, but taxpayers, will be staring morosely at this mountain for some time. And now we have Bailout 2.0, with the government exercising its powers under the former bill to buy equity stakes in damaged financial institutions (the prior bill said it could buy any type of distressed asset).

Readers, who I so appreciate, know I’ve been saying since last fall that the free market has turned into a free-for-all, that Wall Streeters have sewaraged the once white-shoe reputation of finance with a kind of thinking that exists only on the margins of the Bell Curve.
It is their unfathomable stupidity, and the fact that these exotic derivatives that so enriched Wall Street but now have the same rights to the US Treasury as plain vanilla Treasurys, that is engendering a voter outrage hot enough to melt platinum. Perhaps the upside here is that we may get a voter turnout this coming presidential election bigger than the turnout in Mali or the Sudan.

And yes, as I’ve noted, we have come full circle, as with a great thundering thump, the Federal Reserve took the unthinkable step of converting the last two major investment banks standing, Morgan Stanley (MS: 12.45, -4.35, -25.89%) and Goldman Sachs (GS: 101.35, -11.65, -10.30%) into traditional bank holding companies.

The Differences Between Then and Now
However, the differences between today and the Great Depression are many and sundry:
The Dow Jones industrial average is down more than one-third from its high a year ago. The stock market lost 89% of its value from its peak during the Great Depression. During the most recent bear market, from March 2000 to October 2002, the market lost about 50%. Same for 1973-1974 and two other times since 1937.
With stocks down 36%, we are closer to a bottom than a top. Most, if not all, of the bear damage may have already been done.
*One big difference is that during the Great Depression, there was no deposit insurance, causing a huge run on banks (watch out for bank runs England-deposit insurance there is a paltry $4,000). As customers withdrew their money, you had banks failing right and left. About 7,000 and 8,000 failed between 1929 and 1932. Today, 13 have collapsed, with 117 on the government’s watch list. Yes today’s banks are much bigger than the banks of the ’30s–but so far, absent Washington Mutual and Wachovia, the big banks have not toppled. And these two banks are being taken over by bigger players.
*Industrial production dropped by 45% during the Great Depression. So far it is down 1.5% this year, led by the downturn in the automotive sector. US manufacturing remains in a recession, however.
*During the Great Depression, the whole economic policy stance then was bad, analysts note. The Federal Reserve was designed to come to the aid of banks that were in trouble. For some reason, it didn’t. Now it is.
*Gary Becker, a Nobel prize-winning professor of economics at the University of Chicago, notes in a Wall Street Journal editorial that although we are in the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, this is a far smaller crisis, especially in terms of the effects on output and employment.
*Becker reiterates that the United States had about 25% unemployment during most of the decade from 1931 until 1941, and sharp falls in GDP.
*Becker says with efficient auctions, the government may well make money on its actions, just as the Resolution Trust Corporation that took over many savings-and-loan banks during the 1980s crisis did not lose much, if any, money.
*Becker adds too that the crisis that kills capitalism has been said to happen during every major recession and financial crisis ever since Karl Marx prophesized the collapse of capitalism in the middle of the 19th century. He says he is confident that sizable world economic growth will resume before very long under a mainly capitalist world economy.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


This morning's Miami Herald gave me a little hope for Mr. Obama's future. The headline reads "Team Player". Mr. Obama is packing his Cabinet with people who've got game on the court, possibly signaling a more team-oriented approach to leadership.

Read the Miami Herald article here.

Mrs. Guanciale, sitting on the balcony suggested this post, she is a big (in mind only) basketball lady.

Why Ohio Makes the Best Coaches!

"Less than 4% of the country's population lives in Ohio, but 15% of college football's major-conference head coaches were born there -- the most for any state. And this volume is more than matched by quality: 14 of the last 18 teams that have made it to the national title game have had head coaches with Ohio connections."

Click her to read the entire The Wall Street Journal article.

This information was passed on to me by Robin Flaherty.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Music

My sister Robin is a large fan of The Three Priest and passed this along to me. Thank you!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


The FDNY Foundation issued on their web site HOLIDAY SAFETY TIPS.
Everyone should take a minute and check out the list and just not think about the Holidays, but for the year to come and what needs to be done to protect their home and family.

The Foundation has proved through their fire safety education that in New York City there has been a 81% drop in fatalities due to candle fires and a 50% drop in fatalities by children playing with matches.

Do not forget to turn off the oven when you leave your home, even just to run out quickly to pick up more ingredients. This can happen to everyone, especially if you are in a hurry.

Several years ago, a rainy & cold winter night, I arrived on the scene of a house fire on Riley Street in Newark. Capt. Greg Keefe asked of me to go to Newark Fire Station One and turn off the oven. The home with a kitchen fire was saved and the fire fighter's ham loaf was also.
Photo 12/15/08: Imagine fighting an interior fire and your nozzle looses water pressure because the fire you are fighting burned a hole in the hose. Now you know why at even the smallest of structure fires you will see two hose lines leading to the home, just in case.
Remember: I hope you do not have a fire, but if you do, I hope I am there.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I YUST GO NUTS AT CHRISTMAS check this out on Lisa Stewart's blog. Just one more great Christmas song!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Napoleon Bonaparte

"Nothing is more difficult, and therefore

more precious, than to be able to decide."



Saturday, December 20, 2008


Our household is like many households, we have decorative candles that will never see a match. Last night I was in Cornell's of Downtown Newark, Robin Pierce found at his mother's home three choir boy candles. The three candles brought back some memories while growing up, my mother had the same candles. Just like Mrs. Pierce, never burned, but looked "cute" sitting out during the Holidays. Below you will find a short story about Gurley Candles:
Franklin Gurley was a candle maker of specifically designed novelty candles which were first sold in the 1930s. Originally, the candles were commissioned by the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company (now ExxonMobile) simply so that they could make use of the excess paraffin that was produced during the oil refinery process. Made by confectioner Franklin Gurley at his company W&F Manufacturing, they were originally marketed under the name Tavern Novelty Candles. Over time, Gurley's business went from paraffin confections such as wax lips and teeth to almost exclusively candle production. Tavern was bought out and the name was changed to Gurley Novelty in 1949.

The Tavern and Gurley wax figures and candles were most commonly sold at discount stores such as Woolworths, but they could also be found at department stores like Macy's. Gurley made candles for all of the major holidays, but the ones most sought after today by collectors are generally the Christmas and Halloween candles. Individual candles sold for between 10 and 99 cents and sets sold for a bit more. Almost all vintage Gurley candles that you find on the market today have unlit wicks. While they were marketed as candles, the little figural candles were never really meant to be burned. People collected them for display. There are actually some wax figures under the Tavern brand that don't even have a wick, such as a Nativity set that was designed by Gurley. If you are a collector only interested in the original Gurley and Tavern candles, then one thing it will be important for you to keep in mind is that the Vermont Country Store has purchased many of the Gurley candle molds and is manufacturing candles today that look exactly like the original candles. If you want to ensure that you are buying the vintage collectibles and not reproductions, it will be important to search for candles that still have the original Gurley label so you know that you are getting a vintage item and not a brand new one. If you find some candles that have lost their labels, one way to tell the difference is that the newer candles will be very brightly color compared to their vintage counterparts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Groundhog Christmas Party

Just around the corner is Groundhog Day of which will be celebrated in Licking County on January 30, this coming year.
The Groundhog Committee of the Licking County Chamber of Commerce met this evening to work on the final plans, have dinner and hold their annual Christmas ornament exchange at the Granville Inn, Granville, Ohio.
The food as always was tremendous. Several unique ornaments were exchanged with the most unique ornament received by Barbara Doan.
Thank you to the kind gentleman, who ever you are that was willing to take the photo.

Monday, December 15, 2008


White Christmas by far is one of the best Christmas movies ever filmed featuring "White Christmas" written by Irving Berlin and sung by Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney.

Compare several different vocalist:
Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, The Drifters, Bing & Rosemary and Uncle Dean Martin.

I will look forward to your comments on which entertainer(s) is your favorite.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008


Earlier today I was checking in on the Chat with the Chamber blog and about Cheri's problem of trying to pay cash while buying gifts.

This may make me sound old once again, about my sophomore year of high school I had a really neat job and probably my first job with real responsibility to produce results by selling to someone who did not come to me as during the past two years at Cornell's Clothing. I was working for the Newark Trust Company, at the time a large bank based in Newark, Ohio.

My self and one fellow named Tom Deweese and two girls were in charge of selling MasterCard to the merchants in the Newark and Heath, Ohio areas for the summer. We would leave the bank early in the morning (I was the only not old enough to drive yet) and visit the retail merchants, gas stations (before they sold beer and milk), restaurants, bars & physician offices and discuss with the merchants the reasoning for accepting MasterCard. They were amazed that when they would bring the receipt in with their deposits to the bank, their account would be credited within 24 hours the sum of money the person had charged.

Only the former Kline's, Sears & Carroll's Dept. Stores actually had a plastic charge card you carried with you. Most merchants could not turn down a couple of high school and college kids telling them about the future of how people will never carry cash money. Shortly after our summer of selling, the bank mailed out thousands of cards to there customers.

The best part of the job was after hours, we would revisit our new customers and place decals on the windows, doors and cash registers, hang a tin sign from the light pole in front of the gas stations and demonstrate how to handle the carbon copy paper work through the embosser which imprinted the card on their deposit slip.

This was one of my better summers, learned a lot, met a large number of business people and really started something that has become a hindrance to our national economy. Just think: if we would have not done this, the bankruptcy courts would have been far and few in between!



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Central Ohio Remdel Report: Cost vs. Value

The 2007 Cost vs Value Report is now out for Central Ohio. Check it out to see if you are going to increase the value of your home with your 2008 remodeling projects.

Remember: just because this table of information says one thing or another, feel free to contact me to discuss what you are planning on doing and what it will mean to your home's value in Licking County.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Frank Sinatra

Jury Duty, Day Three

Add ImageToday ended my third and final day of Jury Duty for the Common Pleas Court of Licking County. Now I can talk about the trial, be back to my several times a day reading of The Newark Advocate and most importantly to me: back to work.
I have had for forty years the highest respect for Judge Jon Spahr, today I do not know what is higher than highest, but this is what my respect for him is now. It has to be a very lonely job, sitting behind his bench listening, giving instructions to the attorneys, jury and witnesses. After the five hour deliberation, verdicts read and the jury taken back to the Jury Room. Jon Spahr who has a very bad cold came in and visited the jury and discussed the case, gave answers to questions and once again thanked everyone for helping. During the trial I felt sorry for him, no smile, no exciting expressions, but afterwards when he came into the Jury Room, I saw the smiling Jon I have known and liked for years.
Two days ago, I posted in this blog that you should never wear a tie, because you will be selected for the jury. Today after the closing remarks, we were lead to the Jury Room. The jury had to select a Foreperson, one of my fellow jurors pointed her finger at me and said "he is a business man, he should be Foreman". I sat there, trying to slip under the table, while others agreed. Foreman is not the real title, it is referee.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Jury Duty, Day One

This past weekend I started a search to find a way or suggestions to get out of Jury Duty.

The first page I viewed made me feel very comfortable with it's comments and I decided it had to be true, after all it was on the Internet. The comment I stopped at stated: "In December, there is a far greater chance that most trials will be delayed or moved, and you may never actually get called in, while at the same time you are still fulfilling your civic duty. "

Well I am fulfilling my duty, I was selected. Now I can not talk to anyone about the case and can not read the Newark Advocate. At least I am not the alternate juror, I would hate to sit in the court room for 2.5 days and think it does not matter.

My suggestions to not be selected:
Limp, say you are hard of hearing, don't wear a neck tie (I am sure this was my mistake), say you just got off of third shift or you have to pick the kids up from school, spill coffee on yourself while waiting, ask if a television will be available during breaks to watch your soap operas or trip walking into the court room.

The judge gave an explanation of why one should not serve, I could not find a good loophole reason, I am too honest. The neck tie did me in, I thought being asked to help the progress of democracy, one should be dressed appropriately. Where I really went wrong was the two opposing attorneys saw a guy smart enough to tie a neck tie and thought he would be a good juror.

I have changed appointments around, worked until 10:00pm and will come in at 5:00am to make sure my phone calls are lined up for our breaks during the second day hearing and may miss a wanted lunch. But, I am happy I am doing it and not everyone gets to complain two weeks before Christmas they are a juror because most December trials are delayed per the Internet!

Friday, December 5, 2008


Coldwell Banker King Thompson-Newark's Christmas party was hosted by Andrew and Jill Guanciale in their Newark home and was attended by agents and their guest. Various food, deserts and beverages were sampled during the evening. Entertainment was provided by the vocalists Mary Kay Booher, Carol Sherman and Melissa Johnston. Fellowship was had by all.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Quick work-Great outcome

This article came across my screen today of the great action of the Bethesda, Maryland Fire Department.

The rescue of three triplets is what the fire department is suppose to do, but wish they did not have to do. The fire was so hot, firefighters had to make two attempts to rescue the children.

In this case, the father tried to put the outdoor hot tub fire out first, the first thing he should have done was remove his family from the home, second, call 911 and then worry about fighting the fire on his own.

So many people, try their personal firefighting skills first and once they fail call 911. I do not know, but maybe if in this article 911 had been called first, there would have not been injuries or a home ready to be demolished.

The other day, a friend told me a fellow in a pick up truck followed her teenage daughter and a friend while walking the dog. Instead of calling 911 first, she called her mother who was miles away. Results: frantic mother and longer response time from the police.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


This is not about Johnny Cash as a music legend.

As always, when things get nutty in the markets cash is king. A healthy cushion in bank CDs or money market funds will let you ride out the slump without having to sells assets at fire-sale prices. A cushion will also put you in position to invest when the downturn's bottom is in sight — and that could come sooner than you expect.

Click here to find out some of the things money can buy!

Monday, December 1, 2008


I like to shop where unique gifts are available and one of a kind items. Many of our local stores have a section of As Seen on TV items, they are all different and evidently invented by people wanting to find their Pot of Gold someday.

Last night, I viewed the large selection of on line As Seen on TV products and the following is what I thought would be outstanding gifts for the people on my Christmas gift list: Deni Gravy Warmer, Kettle Popcorn Maker, Over the Shoulder Organizer, Burp Pistol, Listen Up, Doggy Steps, Bug Vac, Ronald Reagan Tribute Coins.

If you are thinking no one really buys this stuff, then why is the Ronco In-side the Shell Egg Scrambler not available and it is only 24 days until Christmas?