13 Dec. 2008
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The Ailing Chicken Giant

From the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago:

Pilgrim's Pride Corp. said it expects to report a fiscal-fourth-quarter loss of $802 million, or $10.83 a share, as speculation grew on Wall Street that the ailing chicken giant is close to deciding whether it will seek bankruptcy protection.

Let it be noted, furthermore, that a search for "ailing giant chicken" comes up empty.  Before reading the article in question I would have bet it would have been the other way 'round.

Street Name

Another newspaper article, this one in the New York Times, discussed the mandatory deportation of a Cambodian named Tuy Sobil, age 30.  The story explains that he came here as an infant and never even saw his homeland.  But because his parents never completed citizenship requirements, he, too, is a non-citizen, and if he commits a felony (in his case, armed robbery) then out he goes.  He did and he went.  Of course someone brought up in a country since infancy is "as American" as any citizen, felon or not, and the story was in part about his deportation and the lamentable requirement for same.  I, however, can be counted on to extract something irrelevant from the most poignant of narrations, and I have done so here.  It seems that Tuy Sobil had a "street name," which was K.K.

Do you have a "street name" of which you are aware?  I'm sure we all have epithets of one sort or another.  Many of us, for example, share "That Jerk" or even worse.  But I have never even heard of having a street name.  We can construct "blues" names, such as "High-frequency-hearing-impaired Banana Obama."*  But of street name I am bereft! 

If even a deported felon can have a street name, I think I should have one as well.  Is there an application process?  Or do I have to, like, spend time on, and learn to speak "street"?  I don't think I'm that eager.

Freebies and Their Uses

Despite having far more stuff than I have time to play with, I'm a sucker for freebies.  A few years ago a certain motor car company offered a free hand-held voice recorder if I would only test drive one of their mammoth sedans.  Of course I took them up on it, and the voice recorder sat, unopened, in its impenetrable blister pack for several years.  A few weeks ago, in a spasm of Indburishness, I came upon it and broke out the burglar tools and triple-A batteries.  After unfolding the instructions and figuring out how to use it,** I put it by the side of my bed to record notes in the middle of the night without having to get up.  Of course you're thinking "Ha!  He recorded something and couldn't understand it" or perhaps "Ha! he recorded something that made no sense in the morning."

Wrong.  I didn't even get that far.  What actually happened, or more properly didn't happen, is that I made no recording at all.  I reached for the device and it wasn't exactly where I expected it to be.  Sleep overcame ambition, and it suddenly became morning.  This morning, in fact.  I have no recognition of what it was that I wanted to record, but daylight helped me find the recorder.  It was under the ten-times-larger instruction sheet.

Follow-up on Plug-In Hybrids

I speculated some months ago that even the current version of the Prius could be used with minimal effort as a (poor, not worth the trouble) plug-in hybrid.  Much earlier, I explored the economics of a Prius plug-in conversion.  Recently, Mark Warren, a fellow speculator, was kind enough to send me a spreadsheet which explores the subject of plug-in hybrids in far greater detail, using the Ford Escape Hybrid as a subject.  He has put a lot more actual work into this than I have, and I think he has reached similar conclusions.  I'd be willing to betI never askedthat he doesn't have a street name, either.

*I know I'm rushing it.  So sue me.
**You have to press a button.

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