Friday, December 25, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Some links: Here's a link to a good Wikipedia article on the Boeing and Airbus rivalry. Here's a recent Xinhua newspaper article on United Airlines' latest purchase, in which you'll note that United is hedging its bets and splitting its order between the 787 and the A350.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
And here's a link to last year's article about the Cabela's Attache, which holds a lot of stuff. I note that the price has gone up ten bucks but I think it's still a good buy.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I scribed a more contemporary look at things on April 13, 2007, which is available here.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Although Saipan's Bestseller books can order the novels (no, they don't carry them as normal stock; yes, they're still in print), I didn't have space to list the titles in my column, but this link (a great site indeed) has the information
The photo here (from Wikipedia) is of the first edition of the first McGee book, The Deep Blue Goodbye, published in 1964. I like the old, retro covers, the modern ones don't have as much character.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
(Math note: I wrote that a micron is a thousandth of a meter, which is correct, but a more formal definition would be a millionth of a meter. Same thing.)
The photo of the Leptosira bacteria is from Leptospirosis.org.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Incidentally, various computer manufacturers call their system recovery features various names. That's why my article says "whatever they call it" to refer to this stuff. If there is a universally accepted generic term for the concept, I don't know what that term is.
Friday, July 17, 2009
An alert reader in the mainland requested that I post this link to a map of U.S. unemployment rates. Put your cursor over a state to see its data. Note that the "official" unemployment rate (which notoriously understates actual unemployment) is sometimes about half of the actual rate of unemployment. For example, in South Carolina, the "official" unemployment rate is 11 percent, but the actual rate is (according to the link) 20 percent.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
This weirdness started last year, but the year before that, on October 26, 2007, I gave a heads up; here's the piece. So, yeah, uh, "told you so."
About a year later, the headlines started noticing a credit card crunch. Here's a November 14, 2008 piece in the Wall Street Journal's Smart Money. And here's a March 3, 2009 piece from Bloomberg.com.
I know that credit cards aren't as common in Saipan as in the mainland, and there are a lot of folks who are just learning about this realm. For them, a handy link is ClarkHoward.com. Clark Howard sometimes lists the best credit cards (you can do a search for that on his site), which is a useful starting point.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
If today's column interests you, then you can see this link (about the launch of the first Chinese-built A320) and this link (about Boeing's 787 struggles) and this link (about Airbus' latest struggle).
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Given Saipan’s lousy state of affairs, bailing to the states never looked so good.
Unfortunately, bailing to the states never looked so bad, either; the economy is shedding over a half million private sector jobs per month.
These thoughts are continued in today's column.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Many people don't know about these yet, but super-small "netbooks" computers are starting a trend in computing.
The first models were, well, "cute" and "intriguing," but that was about it. But the latest models are downright impressive. I think they're just the thing for island living; they're easy to tote, they're cheap, and some models can go as many as six to nine hours on battery power.
Friday, May 15, 2009
"When the man is right, the world is right." That's the moral of a story I got from W. Clement Stone, and I took it to heart as a kid (still do, actually). At the time I had no idea I'd actually get to meet Mr. Stone. So here's today's column.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Here are some related links, as promised in my review:
The book's author, Albert Wolfe, is also author of Laowaichinese.net, and it's via this site that I discovered Chinese 24/7.
Chinese 24/7 has associated audio files that are free to download at Chinese247book.com, which also carries more information about the book.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Everyone in Saipan, and probably everyone reading these words, has experienced this minor annoyance: You’re sitting in a restaurant, just about to take hold of the cheeseburger you’ve been craving all day, and along comes a colleague of yours who, just your luck, has six visitors in tow. Your colleague, of course, can’t help from dispensing introductions. The hands extend automatically, and you find yourself rubbing more raw flesh than a Bangkok go-go dancer. And you don’t even get a tip or a lady’s drink out of it....(finish today's column here).
Also, here's the link to the Jim Rogers interview I mentioned in my column.
Friday, April 24, 2009
The coming Asian arms race is finally getting notice in the world's press. Today's column is about that gig, and here's a link to a piece in the same vein I did back in 2007.
We're at the juncture where economic changes (namely, Uncle Sam's slide, but, as a secondary factor, China's rise) are going to induce military changes in the Asia-Pacific region. After all, armies march on their wallets.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Anywhere under the U.S. flag, be it Saipan or the mainland, the total disconnect between popular perception and economic reality is really shocking now. But emotion will prove to be a very poor substitute for reason (isn't that always the case?).
If you think that my take on things is less than cheery, then here's a link to the Atlantic magazine's May edition, in which economist Simon Johnson has his say.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
If you’re serious about earning a living in
Friday, March 27, 2009
Sometimes being a fly on the wall can be mighty instructive. This week's column is about 12 minutes in a cafe that offered profound insights into investment psychology. I'll probably do a follow up piece in the near future.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
No matter how bad your financial lot is on Saipan, you can still enjoy sunsets and warm breezes. Don’t worry, I haven’t punted economics for kum-bay-yah platitudes..." Here's the entire column.
As for the title, "Romeo void," here's a YouTube link to the 1980's New Wave band.
Friday, March 6, 2009
What's the most useful language for a tropical adventurer? I think that a little bit of Tagalog can go a long way, and for those who agree, today's column reviews an unassuming little book, Tagalog (Pilipino) Made Nice & Easy (Amazon link here). Synopsis: It's a great book for picking up a few useful words and phrases.
As for Saipan, it would be fun to make a list of all the languages that have been spoken here, since we're a linguistic crossroad, but I don't know if anyone will get around to it....
Saturday, February 28, 2009
As the hysteria over the U.S. economy, and its moribund stock market, flows through headlines, here’s a fact for you: I warned you about this gig over five years ago. Here's today's column on the gig.
Best of all: Here is a link to my Feb. 13, 2004 column that boldly predicted exactly what we've seen recently. Not bad, eh?
Friday, February 20, 2009
Netbook computers: yes or no?
(Note: This article ran on a Monday instead of the usual Friday.)
At first blush is sounds like the ultimate tool for tropical life: A tiny, dirt-cheap (under $300), Wi-Fi capable notebook (OK, "subnotebook" or "netbook" ) computer that can be toted anywhere. You can check the news over your Shirley's Special Omelet, update your blog over coffee, then head to Micro Beach to finish work on your blockbuster novel as Jimmy Buffet (or, in my case, Jerry Reed) plays from the hard drive...." Here's the article.
Friday, February 6, 2009
When it comes to betel nut Saipan holds world-class status. But even in this sacred realm we're being upstaged, as Taiwan's betel nut culture puts some very sexy spin on the otherwise mundane chore of vending betel nut.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
* * * * *
At the end of my column I noted three tech items of interest. Here are some links:
1. Conficker worm: Here's a CNN piece. It sure looks like the security software companies are hyping this to promote their products.
2. Seagate hard drive failures: This came to my attention thanks to John C. Dvorak's Jan. 21 podcast. Here's more information.
3. Heartland credit card hack: Here's a WSJ article.
Friday, January 16, 2009
If you're looking for some good news, you can consider that on a business-to-business basis, what remains of Saipan's private sector is a pretty cozy proposition. So cozy, in fact, that it can spoil us. As more folks use the Internet to venture into international commerce, there are frustrations...some of which I address is a bilious screed for this week's column.
Friday, January 9, 2009
"Saipan has experienced this lesson in economics, though it has never learned it: Destruction follows delusion. Personally, I'd like to see construction follow coherence, but it's not up to me to determine such things for the Commonwealth..." Thus starts today's article.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Every columnist picks their opening theme of a new year with great deliberation. I'm not part of the huffing-and-puffing crowd about the economic situation, since I forecast it for years in my column and it's pretty much old news by dint of long inevitability.
So my first piece of 2009 is about....water.
Saipan's water situation is sometimes ticklish, but seldom dire. Still, typhoon preparation does require some thought in the water realm, and for those who enjoy adventuring, or even living, in the more remote tropics, finding clean water is more than a matter of taste, it's a matter of health.
The photo, incidentally, is the Katadyn Pocket Filter, one of many such devices on the market to help clean up water for hikers, travelers, or for emergency preparation. Actually, to get a bit pedantic here, water "filtering" and water "purification" are two different things; purification is the higher standard of cleanliness. But that's a more detailed topic for a different day. For now, I just thought the basic topic is a useful thing to consider for the new year.
(Note: Because of the New Year's publishing schedule, this column ran Saturday, January 3, instead of Friday.)