Morning all:

Quote Of The Week:

“The most dangerous strategy is to jump a chasm in two leaps.” Benjamin Disraeli

The quotation reflects exactly why, yesterday after work, all the deck furniture was hauled out and set up in one fell swoop. Marcia had the chairs done when I got home, leaving the table and deck-bar for me.

Step two was that we initiated my Christmas gift by grilling, to perfection, some great hamburgers. Then it was a little music as a fitting background to a stunning outdoor meal. It was sweet!

Step three will be that this morning my next mug of coffee will also be outdoors, along with some Dave Brubeck jazz.

What is interesting is NOT the fact that last Wednesday morning around 6:00 am I was drinking a coffee on my couch, slid my laptop over and went on-line to check the overnight mail from my overseas offices, that then without a pause entered the Zappos web site and ordered a new pair of cross-trainer shoes, finally I reviewed a stock I have been tracking and sent a Hallmark card. Early risers do ‘stuff’ before the sun rises all the time, no, this is not unusual.

What is interesting IS that I gave so very little thought to the fact that, well before eating breakfast, I had accomplished what would have taken me all morning only a decade ago.

I am putting together an article for a trade publication and a presentation I have to give in early summer. The gist for both will be sustaining manufacturing businesses in a changing global world, and I am doing some research to prepare.

First, my Zappos experience is a model that is exemplary in the retail world. When I ordered my shoes navigation of the site was a breeze. I received an immediate confirmation. I have a “no questions asked” return policy—up to 365 days; and they pick up the shipping charges. And when I got to work I had a mail explaining that they were messing with their shipping process, didn’t want the chance I would be delayed, therefore were shipping, priority, that morning. The next evening I went walking in my new shoes.

Anyway, back to my research. It was as recent as 1995 that Netscape went public. That meant that for the first time a common standard for a web browser became available, thus allowing klutzes like me to readily communicate with other PCs. This has allowed a huge dissemination of knowledge. Today literally hundreds of thousands US tax returns are actually prepared in India, batched over by US based CPAs. Thousands of students go on line every day with a tutor who happens to live in India.

Ordering at a McDonalds drive-through can mean that you’re talking with a kid standing behind the little window. Or, just as readily, that you’re talking with an order taker several states away who assembles the orders for a number of restaurants.

Reading about the fact that a medical specialist, hundreds or even thousands of miles away, will diagnose, and eventually using robotics, actually perform surgery, is in process of actually happening. In Iraq the military drone aircraft flying overhead are often flown by a ‘pilot’ stationed at a base in Colorado. Except for the fact that the average passenger would break out in a sweat, I think that it is already perfectly feasible and safe to have electronic and remotely flown commercial airliners—maybe service would actually improve.

OK, Marcia, should she actually read this, will be bored to tears by now, so a change of topic; our battle with Netflix is not yet over.

Netflix is not at fault. It is strictly a Dirk thing. Marcia took one look at our latest arrival and muttered, “huh, what were you thinking?” She was staring at a little envelope containing the new DVD. The description said;”Angel-A, an inspiring film from French director Luc Besson” Then the words: “Black & White film with subtitles in English.”

I think I’ll watch it some evening after she’s gone to bed.

Make it a great week everyone. Remember the immortal words from Andy Rooney: “Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.”

Cheers,

Dirk

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