Getting Rid of Stuff - Board Games

Kelli and I are getting rid of some games we don't really have interest in. Let us know if you want any, and can come by at some point to pick some up.

Sid Meier's Civilization: The Boardgame
The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring Strategy Battle Game (Games Workshop)
Twister moves
Battle of the Sexes
Scruples (may be missing stuff)
Get The Picture
Memory Madness
Mad Gab
Mensa Mind Pack

Kids jigsaw puzzles:
Winnie the Pooh (24 piece)
Hello Kitty (64 piece)

On Stupid Protests

Well, I'm just posting today because of the stupid LJ strike, which says you *shouldn't* post today. I think the reasons for the strike are stupid, and people are getting riled up over nothing.

True, I am a paid LJ user (The only feature I use is stylesheets so I can get a single RSS feed for all my friends), but you get better functionality with the ads level of service than you did with the simple basic.

Furthermore, I looked at the Russian interview, and it really wasn't as inflammatory as the original translator claimed.

In sum, don't just react to something because someone is whiny tells you to, do think a little bit for yourself. If you have investigated and thought about it and still support the strike, well, I support that--but don't expect me to do so.

In today's news...

CEO Option Grants Considered Harmful

It didn't really become clear to me how this would be true until reading Buffett's Letters to Shareholders, but he makes the case very clearly, though he doesn't actually emphasize the gambling aspect.

Stock options themselves are fine vehiclesfor getting an investment in a company, and I personally will probably never directly short shares when put options are available. (That said, my strategy is almost completely on the long side--the short side is too unpredictable to time properly.) However, there are two problems.

We have, thankfully, corrected the accounting problems in terms of stock option grants, so that's a step in the right direction. But when you give out options, it only makes sense to give them to people who can make a difference, not in return for goals which have a negligable impact on the bottom line. This means that in startups there can be some good use of stock options because things are so small that everyone has a signficant impact on company performance, and it will frequently be *less* dilutive to investors than trying to get another round of funding.

In large companies, however, options tend to be given out to people who don't have such a significant aspect. And, if they're actually destructive when given to CEOs, not just a shower of money, it's hard to see why you'd use them as incentive compensation at all. A restricted stock grant as opposed to an option for a CEO makes a lot more sense. The bottom line is, you want the people running to business to think and act like the own it, not that they're playing with someone else's toy.

Unconscious Sabotage

I was reading this article in my RSS reader this morning, and a thought occured to me.

Dropped Call Earns Ousted Sprint CEO $55.3 Million in Severence

It is a matter of fact in many mergers like this, that many of the people helping to integrate the merger are going to lose their jobs following the merger. This clearly means that it is in their best interest, consciously or not, to delay the integration. This could be in the form of deliberate non- or slow- work, or it could simply be a decision to jump ship before they're pushed overboard.

Billions of dollars were spent on this initiative, and I've got to think, that some portion of that would have been better spent in "exhorbitant" seeming bonuses to a large swath of relevant technical people. The first structure that occurs to me is a year's salary when the merger is completed, and an additional year in severance if their job is lost during a certain time period, rather than saying "as a result of the merger" which would be too easy to work around.

I clearly have not looked at specific numbers and have no idea how well this would work. I know it's been done for "higher-ups" in various mergers...but where it would be most efficiently applied seems like it'd be the higher level rank-and-file.



I was inspired to do this after seeing the initial bit in a Questionable Content comic. What autocompletes in your browser after hitting one letter?

i idm71[redacted-work]

In the "Problems that are OK to have dept."

I'm currently struggling with what kind of car to get when I return to the US. There is a set of parameters that are fixed: I am getting a convertible, probably 2-3 years old, stick, under $30k. Within these parameters, though, there are two major contenders and I don't know which way to go.

The crux of the problem is that there are several competing factors, and I just don't know which ones are more important to me at this point. So in way of explanation, I will toss out the models I've considered:

1) Honda S2000. I've been in love with this car for some time now--I actually considered purchasing one here in Qatar. It's a sweet car, sporty, and I'd bank on it being reliable since it's a Honda (as a subset of Japanese cars). I'm not actually going to be commuting to work by car anyway, so I don't need a car I can car pool with, or anything like that. Drawbacks: 1) Only 2 seats, 2) favorite color only came out in 2006 (minor). I don't know that I feel comfortable with only having room for one passenger, as it's mainly a pleasure vehicle, and my vision would be to use it for enjoyable trips, particularly since I'll be living with Kelli and Jamie. It also means that I'm hamstrung in being able to help out in giving rides to people, but perhaps this really isn't much of an issue these days. Trunk space might also be something of an issue.

2) BMW 3-series. It has 4 seats. The body is quite nice, though I'm not crazy about it, available colors are OK. I suspect the reliability somewhat more, and the resale value doesn't seem to hold up quite as well--though coming in at the 2-3 year mark probably equalizes things quite a bit. The performance will probably be more than reasonable for what I really want and would use it for. I'm not going to be taking it out on the track or anything like that. There seem to be some good deals if I look nationwide, though I'm not really comfortable buying a used car site unseen. One other problem is that the rear seats might not really have enough room to be very useful--I've never really looked closely at one in person.

3) Toyota solara. If it weren't for the fact that the car is completely uninspired, it'd probably be the right compromise. The exterior is OK but more eh than the BMW. The interior...looks exactly the same as every other Toyota ever. Which is to say, "boring".

So, gods of Livejournal, I would appreciate any thoughts you may have. Anything else I might be missing/forgetting? I'm pretty down on American cars, and whatever it is, I want it to be very reliable.