Monthly Archives: September 2009

Footprints Without a Path


Harvest is underway in the Napa Valley and there are many growers still looking for buyers of their grapes.  The irony is that this is shaping up to be a great crop.  So what happened?  Well growers that often operate by the traditional handshake are finding that wineries just aren’t willing to take a risk this year.  With fine wine sales off 20% + many vintners are getting nervous about growing inventory.

I have heard that some big wineries cancelled their long-term contracts which has left the growers with fruit ready to …

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When less is more

I just finished a fascinating book by Matthew E. May called In Pursuit of Elegance. It includes a number of interesting examples, including concepts drawn from application of the Kaizen method at Toyota.

 But one of its central themes is that elegance requires subtraction.  One of the reasons we are having an economic adjustment right now is that we have spent much of the last five years in an additive state – increasing our ownership of property, buying ever larger automobiles, and packing our homes with stuff. Our corporations were bloated, our governments inefficient, and our time jammed with activities.

We have seen painful …

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Dave’s Mad as Heck at the State of California

California has adjusted its tax tables, exemptions, and certain credits for deflation, resulting in a higher tax liability for anyone who has made exactly the same income as they made in 2008.

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