If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty
desk a sign ? ? (Just asking…. Here's Your Sign….) Albert Einstein
It's Not What You Gather, But What You Scatter
That Tells What Kind
of Life You Have Lived.
Love What You Do: Do What You Love.
The New York Stock Exchange had its origins as a group of brokers met under
a tree on Wall Street. The date: May 17, 1792.
People who are happiest
and most successful have one key thing in common:
If they take an emotional hit, they don't ball up in the fetal position and give up. Amanda Woerner
Closing a Credit Card Acount:
Did You Know ? 78% of Americans mistakenly think that closing a credit card
account harms their credit score ? NOT TRUE ! If it is paid off, it actually ex-
-pands your credit line. (Now You Know.) Better Homes & Gardens 3-2017
Debt of Collection:
About 70 Million consumers have a debt of collection; and one third of all con-
-sumers have been contacted by a debt collector. Fifty-three percent of people sur-
-veyed said that at least one collection effort was mistaken in some way…37%
were contacted more than four times a week---15% were sued by a creditor or a
Survey by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of 2,000 consumers with credit reports. ConsumerFinance.gov BottomLinePersonal 7-2017
About 60% of employers research job candidates through search engines and social
media sites. And: About 40% of employers said they were less likely to interview
job candidates if they could find no information about them online.
Source: Survey by CareerBuilder.com BottomLinePersonal 7-2017
Electric Vehicle Factory Cancelled:
Reports that a Shanghai court froze more than $180 Million in assets belonging to
one of electric car maker Faraday Future's biggest backers; tech $$$Billionaire
Jia Yueting, the Faraday Future Chief Financial Officer said the decision to scrap
the plant was 'due to a shift in business strategy'. (Uh Huh.) The work on the $1 Billion plant in southern Nevada came after suspending the project and sinking at
least $120 Million into it.
The Gardena, Calif.-based company said that it will look for an existing facility to
produce its electric vehicles in California or Nevada.
Houston Chronicle Wire Reports 7-11-2017
Minimum Wage Law:
Seattle's minimum-wage law is boosting wages for a range of low-paid workers,
But: it is also causing those workers as a group to lose hours. It is also costing jobs
according to the latest study on the measure passed by the city council in 2014. The
report, by members of Washington U. team studying the law's impacts for the city
of Seattle, published by a nonprofit think tank, the National Bureau of Economic
The law gradually raises Seattle's min. wage until it reaches $15 for all workers by 2021. The second jump, in Jan. 2016, raised the min. wage to $10.50 to $13. The team concluded that the second jump had a far greater impact, boosting pay in low-wage jobs by about 3% since 2014, but also a 9% reduction in hours worked in such jobs.
That resulted in a 6% drop in what employers collectively pay-and what workers
earn-for those low-wage jobs. That translates into a loss of about $125 per month
per job. The report also estimated that there are about 5,000 few low-wage jobs in
the city than there would have been without the law. (Uh huh !)
In addition to earnings, the report analyzes data on work hours-relatively rare in minimum -wage studies. Washington is one of only four states that collects quar-
-terly data on both hours and earnings. The UW researchers did conclude that, for
low-wage restaurant workers, the law cost them work hours.
Houston Chronicle//Seattle Times 6-27-2017 byline: Janet I. Tu
Meanwhile, back at the ranch:
Tesla Sales in Hong Kong Screech To a Halt:
According to data from the city's transportation dept. that was analyzed and first reported by the Wall Street Journal, not a single newly purchased Tesla model was
registered in April after the government in March announced changes to the tax
benefits customers can get from buying the electric cars.
The city capped the tax waiver at $12,500 and is only applicable to first-time
owners. Prior to the change in policy, there were 2,939 first-time Tesla registra-
-tions in March and around five times that number in February.
Teslas already cost a lot more in China than the U.S. because of shipping and ex-
-port costs. Without the tax benefit, it now costs $118,400 for a Tesla Model S in
Hong Kong. Before, it cost $72,900 for the same model.
Tesla faces a similar challenge in Denmark, where sales of electric vehicles plunged 60.5 % compared to the first three months of 2016. Tesla currently offers
U.S. citizens a federal tax credit that roughly chops $7,500 off the sticker price of
one of its models. Tesla has sold over 100,000 cars and has roughly 400,000 reservations for the Model 3. The federal tax incentive is designed to start fading
out once a car manufacturer sells its 200,000 electric vehicle in the U.S.
Houston Chronicle//Washington Post 7-11-2017 byline: Alex Shiffer
For many products, extended warranties are not worth their price. But: in certain
situations they DO make sense. Here are some examples…
Lawn & Garden Equipment: with heavy use; often runs low on fuel that can de-
-grade parts. Fixing the equipment a few times when you do not have a warranty
may cost almost as much as buying something new.
Cars: increasingly complicated and costly to repair now even though they are more reliable than they used to be. If you buy a new car and plan to get rid of it
by the end of the warranty period, an extended warranty is not important. BUT:
if you plan to keep it longer-or if you buy a used car-consider getting the war-
Home Improvement Projects: such as new siding, are intended to last many years,
so an extended warranty can be worthwhile.
Computers: are generally reliable but can be very costly to repair without warranty
Helpful: check your credit cards-some issuers offer deals on extended warranties.
Lowe's Buys Houston-based Distributor:
Lowe's Cos. announced the $512 Million acquisition of Houston-based Mainte-
-nance Supply Headquarters, a distributor of maintenance and repair products for
The company operates 13 distribution centers, serving 29 markets in the southern
and western U.S., a portfolio of 5,300 products, including appliances, plumbing,
HVAC, lighting, hardware and electrical equipment.
With the acquisition, Lowe's said it now operates 16 distribution centers that generate more than $400 Million in incremental annual sales nationally. The ac-
-quisition was part of Lowe's strategy to broaden relationships with professional-
-level customers like multi-family housing complexes.
Houston Chronicle Wire Reports 6-27-2017
The Yogurt Battle: Oui, Oui.
General Mills unveiled a yogurt product that executives hope will disrupt the mar-
-ket-place like Greek yogurt did a decade ago. Ambition and stakes are high for the product, called Oui by Yoplait, which is a key part of the turnaround plan for
its bruised yogurt portfolio.
General Mills, based outside Minneapolis, calls it a French-style yogurt, saying the product uses a culturing process that is true to Old World heritage but new to U.S.consumers. (oh.) David Clark, president of U.S. yogurt for General Mills, said, 'It's been 10 years since a new segment has emerged in yogurt and this is what our business needs to get back to growth. (oh.)
Oui by Yoplait faces an uphill battle for consumers' attention in a crowded dairy aisle. Packaged in small glass pots, Oui is a product meant to appeal to the 'indi-
vidual experience'. Made with fewer ingredients that are non-genetically modi-
-fied. Cultured in each individual glass pot rather than in large vats. (oh.) The sturdy glass pots mean that protein is not disturbed. Texture is thicker because it
is not stirred or transferred after being heated and cultured. (oh.) (So how much does the 'small glass pot' contribute to the cost ? Cost wasn't mentioned. oh.)
Houston Chronicle//Star Tribune 6-27-2017 byline: Kristen Leigh Painter
When Amazon's $13.7 Billion bid to buy Whole Foods was announced, John
Mackey, the grocer's CEO, addressed employees, gushing about Amazon's
tech innovation. 'We will be joining a company that's visionary, I think you are
going to see Whole Foods Market evolve in leaps and bounds,' he said.
(Ummm.) A major question about the acquisition is what Amazon's technology will mean for those Whole Foods workers. Will it make their jobs obsolete ?
Experts say the most immediate changes would likely be in warehouses that cus-
-tomers never see. That suggests the jobs that could be affected the earliest would be in the warehouses, where products from suppliers await transport to store shelves.
As Amazon looks to automate distribution, cashiers will be safe-for now.
Adding robots to warehouses hasn't dented Amazon's hiring spree. The company
had 351,000 employees at the end of March, up 43% from a year earlier. CEO
Jeff Bezos in January, pledged to hire 100,000 new workers over the next 18 mos.
Amazon has not had the fresh food sales volume to justify big investment in re-
-frigerated warehouses. Whole Foods gives them an incentive to reinvent how
groceries get to your store and doorstep.
Whole Foods has11 distribution centers specializing in perishable foods that serve
its stores. It also has seafood processing plants, kitchens and bakeries that supply
prepared food to each location. Those are the places where Amazon could initially
focus, according to experts.
Amazon may be considering building a network of automated warehouses design-
-ed for the grocery business. These would likely be 1 Million sq.ft.-large enough
to serve Whole Foods and Amazon various other grocery initiatives like Amazon
Fresh and Prime Pantry-and would utilize robots and automation to reduce labor
costs, said Brittain Ladd, a supply chain consultant who spent two years working
on Amazon's grocery push.
Houston Chronicle//Bloomberg News 6-27-2017
byline: Spencer Soper & Alex Sherman
Between Jobs Ministry:
The Spring-based Northwest Bible Church created Between Jobs Ministry 23 years ago; a small group that helped the church's unemployed members transition back into the workforce. Today, the group has grown to include job seekers who are not formal members of the congregation, including many residents of Spring and Klein, NWBC pastor Roy Farmer said.
The organization has help place more than 13,000 people in a wide variety of industries, including oil and gas, retail and manufacturing. The Christian-based
group provides free job-hunting assistance for the nearly 400 job seekers who attend the ministry's five-hour seminar every Wednesday. The weekly session covers topics such as networking, financial planning and tips on dressing for work. 'We teach God first, your family second and work third,' said pastor Roy Farmer . 'We teach them how to be helpers.'
Northwest Bible Church, 281-376-1110, 5503 Fellowship Ln. Spring, TX.77379. Community Impact Newspaper 12-2015
Job Search Program
: John Wesley United Methodist Church, 5830 Bermuda
Dunes, Houston. Near Champions. Joel Bates: 281-444-5757, Bob Gillespie:
281-537-2606. Church office: 281-444-2112. Program is 7 weeks. No Charge.
AARP Foundation Services: WorkSearch Initiative, AARP Benefits Outreach Program, this and more are available to you and me. 1-888-our--aarp or visit: aarp.org/foundation to learn more.
AARP's New Work & Jobs Website: aarp.org/work .
Free: Senior Living and Care Guide for Houston area. 1-800-820-3013.
Retirement & Assisted Living Communities, products and services. Map.
Dead batteries and Flat tires are increasingly common reasons for car breakdowns.
Newer vehicles (those less than 5 years old) had more problems of these types than older vehicles did. Reasons: easy to damage, low-profile tires and electronic
keyless ignition, which can tax the battery if the key fob is stored too close to the
vehicle. (Who would have known ?)
Source: John Paul, senior manager of Traffic Safety, AAA Northeast.
Taking Care of Business: Coming …. and Going……..
Volvo Going Electric:
The Swedish-based company Volvo; owned by Chinese automaker Geely, said that
starting in 2019 EVERY CAR it makes will be equipped with an electric motor,
signaling an auto industry shift toward electrified cars and China's intention to be-
-come a major global player in that market.
Houston Chronicle Wire Reports7-9-2017
QVC to Merge:
With the retail landscape undergoing drastic changes, home shopping television networks are not immune from the online competition, prompting Liberty Inter-
-active, which owns QVC, to reach a $2.1 Billion deal to merge with longtime
rival HomeShopping Network. Houston Chronicle Wire Reports 7-9-2017
Hobby Lobby Fined:
Hobby Lobby is paying a $3 Million fine over artifacts smuggles out of Iraq.
Steve Green, company president said the company 'should have exercised more
oversight' in handling its acquisitions abroad.
Houston Chronicle 7-9-2017