Merry Christmas Everyone

It’s Christmas Day, a holiday in much of the world and one of the biggest religious days of the year. We are spending it with family and friends on a beach in the caribbean. I hope that all of you are spending the day with friends and family. I know that Christmas is a tough day for some and I hope that you have someone close to you to spend it with.

We are on our seventh day of our vacation and have dialed it down to such a level that pulling out a laptop and writing on it is a real effort. As the Gotham Gal says in her post today, that is a good thing every once in a while.

We are back in NYC tomorrow and I plan to write some posts next week, like I did last year, on what happened in 2015 and what I think will happen in 2016. I’m looking forward to that, but for the next 24 hours I’m going to chill out with friends and family and put the finishing touches on a relaxing getaway week on the beach.

#Random Posts

Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield


  2. William Mougayar

    The weather on the East Coast (even Canada) has been unusually warm, so you won’t feel the temperature change too much! There isn’t a speck of snow in Toronto, and it feels like a different kind of non-white Christmas. Merry Christmas to all, and peace on earth as a wish that’s needed even more than before.

      1. awaldstein

        Don’t get me started on them.Talk about a company ripe for disruption!

        1. LE

          I recently ordered a few large boxes of (30 rolls to the box) Brawny handtowels from Amazon for the office and they were delivered by Fedex. I joked to the driver “you guys used to deliver important things look at what you are doing now”. He shrugged and laughed. It was sad. The UPS driver also has a totally developed a bad attitude apparently because of the pressure at the depot they are putting guys under which almost certainly has to do with Amazon (who is now delivering many packages by way of USPS) [1] [2] [3] and of course working on their own delivery logistics. Amazon is like Walmart in a way with it’s suppliers.[1] I tip all of these guys at Christmas time and know them fairly well.[2] The USPS guy seems to have an attitude as a result of all of the extra work he has to do delivering packages for Amazon and having to hustle so much. Typical blue collar attitude btw. (Ditto for the UPS driver who apparently doesn’t realize the pressure that his company is under..)[3] I noticed this developing over the course of several years with this particular driver and his view of the company. Even the guy who was helping him this year with holiday packages was kind of loafing not the same as in prior years (say 5 years ago..)

          1. laurie kalmanson

            NY Times story the other day spoke about Amazon’s moves to disrupt the delivery services; mentioned in passing the infrastructure they built to serve their very large Amazon thruput

          2. LE

            I had seen that but noted much of this prior to the article from canaries in the coal mine.What’s interesting is that in theory I am not so sure they can shave off much $$ from operating this themselves. The reason is that the profit that UPS or Fedex makes (highly efficient operations, right?) is already based on giving large discounts to Amazon. (We are not talking USPS here..) My guess is this is in part a ploy to make sure they continue to get those discounts and to let those companies know they there is leverage out there. Not that they couldn’t cherry pick parts to maybe save a bit on here or there. Back in the day when we did printing we did work for the GPO (government printing office). On that work we essentially made no money on however it allowed us to make money on other work by keeping us busy and utilizing resources maybe buying in bulk being a more important customer to the upstream and so on. So it would be foolish for the government to think (even if this was amazon and they had their shit together) that there was much to make. Profit margins are perhaps 10% let’s say and that’s with making large amounts of money from customers who don’t check pricing (they did exist and provided a large part of the profit).The bigger threat is the decline of the bread and butter pay full list or near list customers. If those customers lose business and people use Amazon (like I do) then there is less price insensitive shipping to go around. That is a big threat. I order a ton through Amazon things that I might get elsewhere online if it wasn’t so easy.

          3. laurie kalmanson

            All good pointsMake it up in volume doesn’t last forever

          4. awaldstein

            This is a hard one.Perishable goods especially–which massive amounts get shipped–are a huge issue and a massive volume business from juice to wine to just vegies and fish.Tough one.

          5. laurie kalmanson

            I think it doesn’t work outside dense urban places; NYC and ???FreshDirect rose from the ashes after WebVan pushed that model past the breakpoint and they are intelligently not everywhereThat said, I remember the milkman making deliveries, but that was a subscription service not on demand

          6. awaldstein

            Agree.Zipcar as well is an urban solution.

        2. JLM

          .A very interesting comment as Fed X was a disruptor itself once upon a time.Check what Amazon is doing — they are trying some small portion of their truck movement on their own fleet. Bought an airport. And are trolling to buy 10-20 airplanes while also being serious about drone delivery.Fed X is getting so big they are losing a bit of their elite status.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. awaldstein

            This is wide open and will take someone like Amazon with capital and logistics in their blood.A significant but temporary industry or ex Fed Ex exec have built companies like Periship which buy Fed Ex services in bulk, and put part of the profit back in to cust support and insurance.Big changes a coming…Have a great holiday my friend.

          2. JLM

            .”Your margin is my opportunity.”This is why Amazon is so dangerous and potentially predatory — in the nicest way.Same to you, my friend. Be safe.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. LE

            It’s dangerous. For one thing [1] it’s kind of the opposite of protections for the working class that unions have provided. Driving all of the profit out of something also means that downstream wages will be lower especially if there is no competition.Let’s take it this way.If Amazon doesn’t exist and doesn’t deliver then shipping is handled by Fedex, UPS, local companies, the guy selling his product with his own truck and so on. If Amazon not only exists but does their own shipping (and make no mistake they have siphoned a boatload of business off of everyone) then Amazon controls the wages and with no competition (meaning people earning a living can’t go from UPS to Fedex and someone working for the local wholesaler can’t get a job at another local wholesaler) because most goods are coming by way of Amazon.Hence less jobs, similar to what has happened with China.Amazon even has Amazon Basics say for data cables and other products that I buy. The other day I bought those because they are “good enough” instead of a brand or some other source (or Amazon). So Amazon wins I save a few dollars and the money that I saved comes out of somebodies pocket and more of it goes to China (instead of just some of it). Make sense?How is the food out in Steamboat btw?[1] My “why the PANYNJ is good” is that people actually make a living blue collar wage working for the existing delivery companies.

          4. K_Berger

            Interesting to note that Amazon Basics get very high ratings. More than “good enough”.

          5. JLM

            .Any collision between tech and muscle powered jobs results in the loss of jobs. That is the curse of tech.Great restaurants in the ‘Boat.Cafe Diva — you have to get a reservation a month or so earlier at the least. I have never seen an empty table until the other day. Ever in decades.E3 Steakhouse — best steaks ever. Unbelievable wine list. Once you get to a high quality steakhouse, there is no room to ascend. Had First Son’s 30th birthday party here and they will not have any problem making payroll this week.BistroCV — can go hand to hand with Cafe Diva though CDiva is intimate and romantic where BCV is high class people watching.These three places could hang with Aspen and Vail but both of them have some better joints.You have to work some Italian in just for the body heat calories. Mambo Italiano is my favorite though there are several other good ones.The Boat has the feel of a small place.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. LE

            I think they more invented a market than disrupted a market. In the sense they allowed things to happen that weren’t possible (easily w/o couriers) prior to Fedex (guaranteed overnight or 2 day delivery). UPS at the time was pretty much multiple day service and didn’t offer any overnight I am pretty sure of that. And certainly not with letters and paperwork. And no service guarantee on anything (iirc). Fred Smith noted a niche and filled that niche essentially so this to me is different than disrupting.

          7. JLM

            .Not disagreeing with anything you say. In retrospect, what Fed X did seems painfully obvious but still it took someone to do it. And, they did it.JLMwww.themusingofthebigredcar…

  3. awaldstein

    Nothing quite like getting in the zone in the Caribbean.Enjoy.

  4. Mario Cantin

    Good reminder that we should have empathy for those for whom today is a sad day.

  5. Matt Zagaja

    Thought I’d share a tradition that I share with my family every Christmas Eve via this NPR write-up:….Maybe others have fun traditions that they want to share. Merry Christmas to all!

  6. Chris O'Donnell

    We just got back from the Caribbean yesterday. This was our first time “skipping” Christmas to travel, and we all agree that travel > presents, so I think it may be the new normal for us.Happy holidays to all and here’s to a great 2016!

  7. Stephen

    Decided to try Christmas somewhere else apart from the Caribbean where we live. Our trip to Toronto has been good so far. We keep hearing how unusually warm it is. Happy you decided to try the Caribbean Fred. All the best to the each of you for the season.

  8. JLM

    .Merry/Happy Everything from Steamboat Springs where we’ve gotten more than 60″ of snow in the last 10 days. It IS a white Christmas and last night was below zero. Well below.Wouldn’t it be great if the peaceful joy that tries to permeate the planet today could be around every day of the year?I left church services last night with my family and thought: “Is this a great country or what?” But my existence is quite selfish.Today, some Americans (proxy for soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, Coast Guards, CIA, DEA, foreign service corps, etc) will be doing their duty in foreign lands and for them especially I wish a Merry Christmas.God bless and protect them until they can be with their loved ones again in the US.I remember one particularly poignant Christmas when I was with the 2nd Inf Div in the ROK up close to the DMZ. The snow — the XXXL snowflakes out of Manchuria — was falling and it was colder than a witch’s tit. I walked the fence around the fire base and wished every one of my soldiers walking guard a “Merry Christmas”.I stood and chatted them up for a few minutes. Asked them about their family Christmases. I had a rifleman with me so the guard could chat while my guy stood his post.When I got back to my little Quonset hut with the heater (which was usually on strike but happened to be working, perhaps, my Christmas present), a young soldier brought me a mug of hot chocolate from the mess hall and asked, “How far are we from the United States?” I cannot recall what I told him.I do remember that hot chocolate was stronger than sin and hotter than Hell.I was probably 24 years old.God bless the AVC community and to Fred, SUNSCREEN.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. mikenolan99

      My first Christmas without my dad – your comments about Korea brought back bittersweet memories. He suffered from Alzheimers in his final years, and re-lived much of that time in Korea. Of course, he shared very few stories about the war while we were growing up – but the stories flowed this past year. He credited his hatred of racism, his leadership skills and his ability to be calm in any storm to his time in Korea. And, we found out, he earned a Purple Heart for stabbing himself in the hand while disposing of a grenade. He tried to turn it down, but was told the Army didn’t give a shit what he wanted. πŸ™‚

      1. JLM

        .My first Christmas without my Dad also.In the last year of my father’s life, we re-fought the entire Italian campaign several times. We never talked about the war until I had graduated VMI and been overseas myself.Less than 1% of our population has served in the military which is incredible.Merry Christmas to the Nolans.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. mikenolan99

          Merry Christmas to the Big Red Car, and all those who ride along!

          1. JLM

            .The Big Red Car has been negotiating for a new paint job last having been touched a quarter century ago.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        2. LE

          Wow sorry to hear that I missed that your father had passed away.

          1. JLM

            .My Dad died on 1 October and My Perfect Daughter was married on 31 October 2015.http://themusingsofthebigrehttp://themusingsofthebigre…I have spent the balance of the year licking my wounds and rejoicing by turn making for a very thankful Christmas wherein My Perfect Daughter and new husband and First Son w/ super powered girlfriend have all rallied in Steamboat.It has been a Hell of a year. I am really looking forward to 2016 when I can shed my skin and get back into the game.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Twain Twain

            I’m sorry to hear about your Dad and congratulate you on the marriage of Perfect Daughter. Your children are lucky to have you steering Steamboat.I had 30+ years less time with my Dad than you did and most people do. The first couple of years are tough.But family and friends see us through and time increases the gratefulness for shared memories.Looking forward to 2016 and more JLM-isms, :*).

          3. LE

            First Son w/ super powered girlfriendWell congrats hopefully on that. Won’t be a situation of “they started to fight when the money got tight and they just didn’t count on the tears..” (Billy Joel, Scenes from an Italian Restaurant discussed below in “Master Class”…The entire video:

          4. awaldstein

            Enjoy.My son and I meet in Aspen in two week for some times on the slopes and in the wine bars together.It’s the stuff that makes life great.

          5. ShanaC

            sounds like you needed the time

        3. RichardF

          Merry Christmas, Jeff I am sorry I had no idea about your father’s passing, my sincere condolences, no matter what the age, “good innings” and all that, it fucking hurts. My father passed, Christmas Day, 4 years ago. I wouldn’t say it gets easier but maybe I get used to it more.Steamboat, snow and your family around you, what more could a man want or a father want for his son, cheers.

  9. Twain Twain

    Hoping everyone has a magical time with family & friends!

  10. Stephen Voris

    To friends, to family, to kinship, warmth, and cheer!To rest and renewal in the turning of the year.

  11. pointsnfigures

    Merry Christmas to each and everyone. Peace be with you. Do not be afraid.

  12. Nidhi Mevada

    Same to you Fred πŸ™‚

  13. John Revay

    Merry Christmas to everyone on AVC.Fred please enjoy a Mai Tai – with a little umbrella hanging out of it before you head back north…..and please say hello to John – I always enjoy his commentary on Morning Joe.

  14. Tom Labus

    Merry Christmas Everyone.

  15. Brandon G. Donnelly

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!Heres’s my Christmas tradition…

    1. William Mougayar

      nice! I didn’t see it on your foursquare πŸ™‚

  16. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Happy Holidays to the Wilsons and everyone here!

  17. Dave Pinsen

    I hope Brad Feld is doing ok today.

  18. ShanaC

    A belated happy holidays – it’s been exciting(burnt cookies, burn treatments, star wars, and soup dumplings)

  19. ErikSchwartz

    Merry Christmas! (A few days late).When was the last time the Jets and the Pats have played a meaningful game? It’s been years. Go Patriots! πŸ™‚