The Jake Files

June 7, 2006

Freedom!

Filed under: Chandler,Economy & Business,Entrepreneurship,Self-employment,Work — Amazing Jake @ 9:49 pm

Today was my first working day as a business owner.  The dust of Corporate America will no longer cling to MY feet!

Of course, everything didn't go as planned.  After 13 1/2 hours, I got to see the kids and the Amazing Mrs. Jake for about a half hour before they all went to bed. The delivery van was backed into in a hit-and-run in the parking lot last night, so the former owner and I have to figure out whose insurance pays for the damage.  I also found out that two key employees will be leaving at the end of June, so I've only got a few weeks to learn the business, then train replacements.

But, the good news is, I came home with a lot of cash and checks to deposit tomorrow.  And, I don't have any useless meetings to attend tomorrow, nor do I have to answer to anyone but my customers. 

June 6, 2006

6-6-06: Bad Omen or Just Another Day?

Filed under: Chandler,Economy & Business,Entrepreneurship,Self-employment,Work — Amazing Jake @ 9:38 am

So today is Tuesday June 6th, 2006, or as the hysterics are referring to it, 6-6-06! 

So is there anything to worry about on this auspicious day?  I sure hope not, as I will at long last be closing escrow on my new business later today.  The Amazing Jake will be a tax-paying employer of legal employees as of 6am tomorrow.  

The lease has been approved, legal structure completed, business insurance and payroll service obtained, workers' comp insurance and credit card processing almost complete.  Fourteen hour days begin tomorrow.

I just hope Armageddon doesn't happen after I sign my papers today. 

June 1, 2006

Gas Price Hysteria Redux

Geo posted the following responses to my post on Gas Price Hysteria (which, by the way, got quite a bit of traffic in the last few days):

  1. Jake, you know I love ya. But really, Michelle Malkin? I’m sure Ann Coulter has come choice venom to spit at Al Gore, too. But some people willingly forfeited their credibility long ago.

    Of course, if I ever post any drivel by the intolerable Michael Moore, please call me on it, too! )

    Comment by Geo — May 27, 2006 @ 8:07 am |Edit This

  2. Oh, I should have said: you make a good point with the marginal increase in cost of a trip based on gas. Of course, a marginal increase in the price of oil/gas effects the cost of goods and services across the board (transportation, manufacturing, etc.) impacting far more than just what we pay at the pump.

    Still, the gas I buy right now borders on US$6 per gallon, so I remain a bit philosophical about a $3/gallon price.

    I wouldn’t buy Evian, though!

    Comment by Geo — May 27, 2006 @ 8:12 am |Edit This

  3. Just a note, so I can’t be said to simply attacking the messenger: Gore actually pays for verifiable CO2 credits to offset the CO2 created when he travels.So he’s definitely sincere about this, and is walking the walk, which completely undermines the whole premise of Malkin’s screed.   Comment by Geo — May 31, 2006 @ 7:23 am |Edit This

 So, not having heard of these "CO2 credits" I googled it, and found this:

We all contribute to global warming every day. The carbon dioxide you produce by driving your car and leaving the lights on adds up quickly. You may be surprised by how much Co2 you are emitting each year. Calculate your personal impact and learn how you can take action to reduce or even eliminate your emissions of carbon dioxide.

And, seeking to neutralize my own carbon emissions, I found this:

This travel calculator will tell you the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that is produced by your auto, air, rail and bus travel – and your accommodations. You can use it for personal or group travel. At the end of the calculator, you will have the chance to offset your emissions with wind or farm methane-based renewable energy.

Just fill in the blanks where the calculator asks for information, such as miles travelled or number of hotel rooms. At the left margin, you will see your progress as you move through each section of the calculator. You can skip a section by clicking the silver ‘Skip’ button.

Your total tons of CO2 emissions will appear on the last page: “Your Travel Emissions Results.” From here, you can choose either wind or farm methane to offset 1 or more tons of CO2.

By the way, my own "carbon footprint" comes in at a whopping 25,400 pounds of carbon emissions per year, compared to the "average" of 15,000 pounds per year.  I wasn't able to use the calculator to figure, however, the carbon footprint of Mount St. Helens, or Mount Kilawea, or the Rodeo-Chediski wildfire, or any other naturally occuring event.  It doesn't really matter though – natural disasters can't write a check to offset their offending carbon emissions!

This whole concept of offsetting CO2 emissions is laughable, and is just another example of how limousine liberals like Al Gore think.

May 26, 2006

Gas Price Hysteria

So, I'm catching up on some things around the house today, and the familiar segments have been airing on Fox News Channel:  high gas prices, combined with the Memorial Day Holiday, equal financial disaster for consumers.  Sound familiar?  I don't like gas prices going up any more than anyone else, but let's put this in perspective a bit.

According to this site, the distance between Phoenix and Sedona (an appropriate Memorial Day get-out-of-Phoenix destination) is 125 miles. 

A quick Google search found this site, which gives today's high and low gas prices in Chandler as $3.02 and $3.14 per gallon.  Split the difference for an average of $3.08.

Pick your gas-guzzling environment devastator of choice, but for this example we'll use a generic SUV getting 18 MPG.

If my public school math instruction holds true, we find that it will take $21.39 to purchase the gas for a hypothetical Memorial Day jaunt to Sedona (125 miles / 18 MPG = 6.944 gallons required for the trip, times $3.08 per gallon = $21.39 for the total gas price).  Now imagine that the price of gas goes up to $3.35 per gallon.  Surely that would prevent us from enjoying our holiday weekend, would it not?  Suddenly the price of gas for the trip would go from $21.39 all the way up to $23.26!  That's shocking!  Congressional inquiries are sure to follow.  Now imagine that the price of gas goes up to $4.00 per gallon.  The rivers will run red and the clocks will turn backward!  But, the cost of our holiday excursion will only be $27.78, merely $6.39 more than at the average price of $3.08 per gallon.

Now I know you're thinking, "Amazing Jake, that makes sense on paper, but Al Gore says the planet's going to explode if we don't stop driving so much.  What are we to do?" 

To that, I offer the following:  Just do as Al Gore does. (click on the screen cap of Michelle Malkin).

One final thought.  A gallon of Evian water costs $6.40 per gallon.  Now I know we don't consume Evian water at the same rate as gas in our cars, but COME ON!  It costs money to produce goods and services.  Give the unscrupulous windfall profiteering capitalists a break.  They give us jobs and an affordable product that makes it possible for our mobile economy to exist.

May 11, 2006

Goodbye Corporate America!

Filed under: Chandler,Economy & Business,Job Loss,Self-employment,Unemployment,Work — Amazing Jake @ 11:28 am

The Amazing Jake is soon to be a small business owner.  As regular readers know, I've been searching for a new career since March 20th of this year, and as I wrote about yesterday regarding my brief absence from blogging, I spent a lot of time over the past week and a half ruminating over my future.  Last night I made an offer on an existing small business in Chandler, and the current owner accepted this morning.

So, now begins the due diligence process.  Assuming everything checks out with the financials, business equipment and fixtures, etc., I'll close on the business at the end of the month. 

It's a little disconcerting to take such a huge chunk out of your personal savings.  But, I feel more stress-free than I have in a long time.

May 10, 2006

‘Jackson for Action’ Not What Council Needs

Thanks to Geo for pointing out this opinion on AZCentral.com from last week:

Wasn't it about 12 years ago, when Patti Bruno was first running for City Council in Chandler, that there was such an outcry from the people of our city that she not be allowed to run for, let alone be elected to, the council because she was affiliated with the Chandler Chamber of Commerce? (more…)

Local News Roundup for Wed May 10

Raises to Bring Workers' Pay Up to Standards – Edythe Jensen, AZCentral.com

Just a thought: How enthusiastic were the councilmembers to increase pay PRIOR TO the Pentz forced resignation?  I know this has been a study in the works for a while, but it was the first thing I cynically thought of when I saw the headline.

GOP Spins Democrats' Signs – Paul Giblin, East Valley Trib

Haven't paid much attention to Pederson yet, as I think he's going to get pasted in the election.  The whole slogan "No one's senator but ours" is, I think, a loser, as it turns on the electorate feeling like Senator Kyl's in someone's back pocket, a la Duke Cunningham. 

Workers Welcomed as Long as They're Legal – Sarah N. Lynch, East Valley Trib

Huge Intel Layoffs 'Unlikely' – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

Notice how they say "Huge" layoffs, and don't say "NO layoffs?"

Budget Reflects Changing Focus – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

Anger to Draw More to Polls? – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

Downtown's Future to Rely on Past – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

KTAR Gains AM-FM Simulcast – Diane Arthur, The Business Journal

It will be interesting to see how this impacts the talk radio market in Phoenix.  We already had Stern on FM prior to his defection to satellite, and now they're advertising Tom Leykis for the afternoons.  Will the KTAR simulcast prompt KFYI and/or KKNT The Patriot to do the same?  Personally, I hope so.  KFYI has a great signal, but KKNT960 could really use the additional audience that FM would provide. 

New Poll: Napolitano, Kyl Maintain Leads in Re-election Bids – Mike Sunnucks, The Business Journal

AOL to Layoff 300 in Tucson Call Center – The Business Journal

Residents Begin Recall of Sepulveda, Orlando – Laurie Fagen, San Tan Sun News

Council Runoff Election Q&A – Laurie Fagen, San Tan Sun News

Enjoy!

April 27, 2006

Analysis of City Council Debate

I'm watching last night's debate and will be documenting my thoughts as I watch it (also known as liveblogging, although I don't think watching a taped replay qualifies as "live"), then followup with analysis at the end.  NOTE:  This is a VERY long post, so you might want to get a snack.  Go ahead, I'll wait. (more…)

April 26, 2006

City Council Debate Tonight

Don't forget about the City Council election debate tonight between Jeff Weninger, Trinity Donovan, and Becky Jackson:

The forum will take place 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 26 at the Downtown Chandler Library, 22 S. Delaware St., in the City Council Chambers, second floor. “As we've seen in recent weeks, the city's leadership has a profound impact on all of us. We hope this forum will help residents when casting that important vote in May,” said Brian Johnson, editor of the Connection. (more…)

City Budget Submitted for 2006-07

From AZCentral.com:

Chandler is poised to add 117 employees, build new parks and widen roads without any increases in taxes or fees, according to a preliminary budget released Tuesday. (snip)

In keeping with Chandler's traditionally frugal financial policies, the budget includes a $101 million "rainy day fund" and a policy not to spend growth-related revenues for ongoing expenses. (snip)

Some of biggest proposed spending increases are for public works and public safety. Roads, water and sewer systems are among the beneficiaries of the $167 million public-works budget, up 35 percent from last year. The $109 million public-safety budget is 30 percent higher than last year's.

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