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Mar 19

BIG $$$

It’s a lot of money! In fact, when I first heard the story, I thought the person telling it must be wrong. I mean, after all, who gives away that kind of money? In fact, who has that kind of money to begin with? So I did a little searching on the Internet (incredible thing, the Internet) and found out to my amazement that it was all true. I refer here to the offer by Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans to award a total of ONE BILLION dollars to anyone who can perfectly predict the winner of all 63 NCAA (men’s division) March Madness games. Allegedly, no one has ever done it before but with a prize of this size, I am guessing that a whole lot more people will be trying. Only the first 15 million people that enter will be considered and the odds of pulling this off (predicting all 63 winners) is said to be 1 in 9 quintillion. However, even though the odds of actually pulling this off are pretty remote, the 20 people with the most accurate predictions will still get a check for $100,000 each. And yes, my entry was submitted!

So You Think You’re a Techy, Eh?

According to a recent study by Vouchercloud.net, there are a whole lot of people out there that may not be as tech-savvy as they want to appear to be. Specifically, according to the study conducted:

  1. Forty-two percent of the people surveyed said they believed a “motherboard” was “the deck of a cruise ship.” A motherboard is usually a circuit board that holds many of the key components of a computer
  2. Seventy-seven percent of respondents could not identify what the term “SEO” means. SEO stands for search engine optimization.
  3. Twenty-seven percent identified a “gigabyte” as an insect from South America. A gigabyte is a measurement unit for the storage capacity of an electronic device.
  4. And finally, 23 percent thought an “MP3” was a “Star Wars” robot. It is actually an audio file.

Maybe I Am Wrong

I like Mexican food. I think most people do and for fast, tasty, inexpensive Mexican food, I particularly like Chipotle Mexican Grill. But now I read that as of the end of last year, there is not one Chipotle Mexican Grill in Mexico. So now I’m starting to think maybe I don’t like Mexican food, only what I have been told is Mexican food. Does anyone know if there are Taco Bells in Mexico???

The Inflation Thing (I now have support!)

About a month or so ago I cautioned (particularly to those in the architectural glass and metal business) that I was starting to become concerned about inflation … mostly at the material supply side of things but perhaps on the labor side, too. As I reported then, I have been reading and following material cost reports and indexes a lot over the past few months. I have had a lot of time to do so because of my medical situation of the past 7 months. After my initial commentary, I received a couple of emails and a call or two as well telling me I was way off base on this. Even my son-in-law, Ben Rush, who always believes everything I tell him, had his doubts. So I then followed up with short conversations with a couple of manufacturers who in essence told me that they were chomping at the bit to raise prices. I reported on this and still received comments telling me I was off base and one reader even emailed over a copy of an article that recently appeared in a news magazine expressing concern over deflation. But this past week, an article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek quoted well known and highly respected (because he is almost always right in his predictions) economist David Rosenberg as saying the following … “The next decade is going to look more like the ‘70s than many think. Wages, rents and the velocity of money – how quickly it changes hands – are going to be rising significantly over the course of the next several quarters”. Hmmmmmm. I think you may have heard it here first.

I Am Confident…

… that spring and then summer will arrive. Snow is melting, I saw the sun two days in a row and the little calendar on my desk says that spring officially arrives tomorrow (March 20). Of course, it snowed here three days ago and the forecast for next week shows high temperatures below freezing to start the week so I could be wrong. Or maybe I am just shell-shocked from these past few months of constant snow and freezing temps. Okay, I am giving my confidence level a rating of 80 percent … that spring will come and then be followed by summer. Ah, I remember those days so well!

Summer Photos 007_formatLombard Taste 13 178_formatThe Sports Thing

I am a little bummed here today. My highly touted Blackhawks continue to slump (Philadelphia beat them last night 3-2 after the Hawks had a 2-0 lead) and I am starting to have my doubts. Not good. Of course the big thing (sports-wise) right now is the NCAA basketball tournament. And don’t forget that both the men and women’s NCAA tournaments are being played now. Hey, how come nobody offered a bunch of money for predicting the women’s games winners? Too late now but next year, I think I will perhaps raise some money for this. Just doesn’t seem right, does it?

The Quotable Thing

This week’s quotes (there are two) were submitted by Bobbie Rovner. One is credited to Mark Twain, while the other author is not identifiable (anonymous). I like them both. Thanks, Bobbie, and thanks for lunch last Thursday as well. It was good to see you and I’m always up for free lunches!

“No man’s life liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.” -Mark Twain (1866)

“Talk is cheap … except when Congress does it.”  -Anonymous

Have a Wonderful Week, Everyone!

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