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Whooohooo, they're talking a cooldown for part of the Golden State for a day or two! I did notice it's not going to reach much past Bakersfield and won't make it over the mountains into Nevada. ...although Oregon seems to be set for some cooler weather also.

I'm ready. Last week was a bad week to be out on the roads. Every day made it past the century mark and those quick getaways from the office turned into brain frying torture runs. ...and since this week marks a major case-lot run, I think I'll do a little planning and pick a cool day.

...and it's on to round two of ordering stuff for the new rigs. Round one is complete with all the major, long lead-time items on someone else's clipboard. Next up is the durable goods with the thirty day leads; those should take a day or two to sort out. I'll handle the disposable stuff; or more likely, have Janeen do that batch, after the holiday.

So it's off to work; I'll check in later if I free up...


Ah, the all-electronic paperless office... We all heard about that one. ...a long time ago. ...and anyone working in an office environment knows it hasn't happened yet. The closest we come to awareness of the potential is when the email goes down and people actually have to get on phone with each other. ...but only if the fax machine is out of order.

But we're getting a little closer... Remember Jakob Nielsen's bit from a week or so back about PDFs not being appropriate for use as a web medium? ...and how it was designed as a print medium?

...and I've really only had one use for PDFs, and that was on the church web site for forms that needed to be submitted in a standard format. I mean, I don't really care if the manual is available in PDF if the same information is available in HTML; HTML renders more quickly and I can cut and paste from it.

But today I found a new use for PDF files that I simply hadn't run across before (or I've been stuck under my rock a little too long once again): One of my vendors who deals in form management needed to send me a proof series. Yeah; that's been a boon for FedEx... No longer; they emailed me the proofs as PDF files. Wonderful, just wonderful. Why on earth haven't we done that before? I mean, sheesh! Here's something I can print out and give to the department head for the informational detail check. ...and I can zoom in on the artwork to check the quality without needing my glasses.

...ain't technology wonderful?


Oh my... It is soooo late and I am so blasted tired. I'd really like things to calm down either at work or at home so I could catch a break. I don't know what it is that brings stuff out of the woodwork when I'm headed off on vacation, but if I ever find out...

...and tomorrow is a major shopping run to make sure we have paper and paper while I'm gone. But in the meantime, someone decided they needed the van on one day's notice. They've since been convinced otherwise (paper covers rock <g>).

On the home front, we've been dealing with a sick cat who may end up talking the long walk RSN. ...and Shelley really hasn't recovered all that well from last week's events. ...and this week is proving just as challenging. I do hope that's a light I see a light at the end of the tunnel...

...and I don't hear a whistle as yet!


Forty-eight hours and counting... The California coast beckons, reaching out with a blanket of cool fog to keep us tucked into bed late each morning and lifting it in time for us to enjoy eight hours or so on the beach. Yeah, it's a tough job, but I knew that going in...

John Vogt had a piece on Tuesday about inventory that I'm going to add to for a moment. In a business like John's, where the bean counters look at the bottom line and want to make changes to it, one of the numbers that jumps out at them is that big fat figure next to the word "Inventory". That's usually after they look at personnel costs and get told they cannot lay off any more people and they have to go hunting somewhere...

...and inventory at a "job shop" is a killer: You can keep parts and raw material inventories low, and then run out and buy on the spot market (and take your chances with availability); this keeps the inventory figure low, but can drive the product cost up and throw off your forecasted costs and prices. ...or you can plan your buying based on your forecasting to minimize your raw materials cost. ...at the expense of cash flow.

...and that's the rub: your cash is sitting on a shelf and not moving. ...except out to the tax coffers, one reason you don't see anything but 'current' books on the book shelves in recent years. ...and why at one point furriers in California would hire refers to truck their goods across the state line for a time every year.

But what happens if you need an assembly or ten and you don't have raw stock? ...and in John's case, if he's doing remanence testing, I'd guess that the either the cores or the windings aren't made with stuff from the local sheet metals R us.

For contrast: I churn my stock about once a week or better. ...along a 3000 mile supply line. I suspect John's shop churns on an annual basis: they have to have stock ready to go because the customer actually thinks he can walk in and buy it off the shelf...

So it's a balancing act to maintain those levels and keep the cash flowing. ...and probably more than you wanted to know<g>.

Catch you later...


Better late than never... I'm pretty much done with the packing gig. ...actually, I'm really done: the mommy van looks like it's ready for the usual haul across the desert, just ten hours earlier than usual.

I think I'll treat myself to a midnight swim!


Travel update... We've made it in safely; the kids are settling in for a night's sleep 'camping out' on the living room floor and Shelley is realizing that there is absolutely nothing that has to be done. ...for the first time in many, many days.

Me? ...compound low. ...first-under. That about says it all.

...and if those references are somewhat cryptic, Tom will likely be happy to answer a question or two.

...it would normally be Miller time. ...but tonight, I'm going to take a page from Mr. Buffett's book.

Jimmy's, not Warren's...

I'll check back in tomorrow...


Sporadic updates for the next week or so... Today was a wind-down day for all of us. We even had limited beach time: Brad's wet suit was bothering him and Daniel got smacked by a wave and got to do 'the tumble'; he decided he'd rather boogie board another day.

Looking west...

Shelley caught up on a phone call or two and started writing notes to people (tangible versions, not email) and I started on the stack of books, magazines and newspapers I bought along. I'll have to see what sort of routine we settle into to see what gets accomplished.

I did manage a nap in spite of all the relaxation...

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