Friday, May 26, 2006

Heads are Gonna Roll--Regions Financial, AmSouth to Combine

Regions Financial, AmSouth to Combine
from Yahoo Finance

"Regions and AmSouth have 230 branches within a mile of each other, Jordan said."

This is very huge news for us here in Nashville. I have banked with Amsouth and Amsouth's predecessor, First American Bank, for 25 plus years. My dad was an original founding board member of First American. We go way, way back with this bank.

Honestly, this merger is kind of strange because the "banking footprints" do not compliment one another. In fact, they overlap quite significantly.

Just down the road here in Belle Meade, there is a Regions branch just 100 yards from an Amsouth Branch. Commercial Real Estate people are probably salivating at the possibilities. There would be no sense in keeping both branches open. I think AmSouth has signed on to build a brand new branch in the new Tony Girantanna building where the old Belle Meade theatre used to be.

What about all of the commercial banking people around here (not to mention Birmingham, Knoxville, Memphis, etc) that call on the same businesses as former competitors, that is, Regions banking folks versus AmSouth banking folks. No reason to keep two full contingencies of bankers serving the exact same market. Well, maybe an extra one or two, but not double.

Yes, people are probably shaking in their boots at both banks wondering who is going to stay and who is going to go. Such is the life of corporate business and corporate take overs.

But this one is a little strange--the only way they can make this work is by cutting ALOT of overhead, namely people and branches.

We'll be watching with interest. But, as for me, Pinnacle bank sure looks like a good play here. Small business people hate this continuous upheaval of bankers, mergers, and new faces.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Thousands of Iowa's Corn Farmers See the Future in Fuel

Thousands of Iowa's Corn Farmers See the Future in Fuel

"Iowa, the top corn-producing state, is the nation's ethanol leader, generating 25 percent of U.S. ethanol in towns such as Coon Rapids and Steamboat Rock. In addition to 22 ethanol refineries in operation, the state has seven under construction and at least 20 are being planned.

The boom here has largely been a grass-roots phenomenon, fueled by clusters of growers, bankers and small-town professionals. Aspiring biofuel plant owners have been barnstorming the state, delivering investment pitches in firehouses, schools and community centers.

Six thousand farmers have bought in.

'There's quite a bit of exuberance for the ethanol plants. They're paying real good dividends,' said Rockwell City farmer Keith Sexton, president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and an investor in four biofuel refineries. 'It's coming on board almost faster than a person can keep up, unless that's your day job."

Monday, May 15, 2006

A New Twist for the Moonshiner: Ethanol - Energy - A New Twist for the Moonshiner: Ethanol - Energy

This is a great way to promote the fact that Ethanol is the fuel of the future.

I remember when people used to scoff at gas stations that used to "cut" their gas with ethanol. In fact, it was those cut rate gas stations of the past like Pilot and Scott that used to frequently "cut" their gas with ethanol to keep their pump prices low. And what did most consumers do? Go to other "pure" gas stations. How stupid. I was one of those that used to avoid ethanol/gas mixtures.

Now, I am a complete and total advocate of E85/ethanol plus gas mixtures. Anything to reduce our dependence on oil, rather foreign or domestic. Scroll down to read where E-85 is available in Nashville NOW. Don't buy a new car without ethanol capabilities--read this article linked above too!

"An upstart Tennessee business is marketing stills that can be set up as private distilleries making ethanol — 190 proof grain alcohol — out of fermented starchy crops such as corn, apples or sugar cane. The company claims the still's output can reduce fuel costs by nearly a third from the pump price of gasoline."

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Men's National Team--Soccer - Men's National Team

If you haven't already heard, the World Cup is this summer in Germany. The World Cup is to soccer fans what the Super Bowl is to football fans. The only difference being is that it's held every 4 years, and there is truly a World Champion unlike the incredibly arrogant claim of the Super Bowl winner being a world champion. How can the Super Bowl winner be a world champion when it's a game only between U. S. football teams??

The World Cup is truly an international spectacle that promises to be great sports televion this June. Budweiser is spending more on advertising with the World Cup than they did with this past Super Bowl. This sport might actually finally be catching on in America. It's truly great soccer at the international level!

In any event, YOU, yes, YOU have the opportunity to see our team, called the U. S. National Team play against Morrocco here in Nashville, TN, this May 23rd at 6 pm at the Coliseum. Pretty cool. It's called the "Send Off Series" and it's a "friendly" match to help prepare our team for the grueling World Cup. Our first World Cup match is on June 11th. More later.

Tickets are reasonably priced (unlike most professional sports). There are good seats for $25 and $35.

Hope to see you there. Click the link above for ticket info if you don't want to call TicketHassle at 255-9600.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Best advice for Pacman is to grow up

Best advice for Pacman is to grow up By David Climer in the Tennessean

Thanks to Rex Hammock of RexBlog fame for pointing to this article in his own blog, and for making the point that the best writing in the Tennessean happens to reside in the Sports section.

I could not agree more. The Sports section of the Tennessean is also well rounded, very well delegated with different beat writers to handle multiple sports, and although I may not agree with the aggressively negative nature of David Climer or the mindless chatter of Joe Biddle, the Sports section generally rocks. Plenty of coverage on professional, collegiate, and high school sports for the market place. Not too much Nascar, but just enough. And don't forget about fishin' and huntin'. The Sports sections is just a good read.

Editorially speaking, all we have is David Climer and occasionally Joe Biddle. Climer does hit a home run with this column on PacMan. This guy (PacMan) is just not ready for Prime Time.

Poll Gives Bush His Worst Marks Yet - New York Times

Poll Gives Bush His Worst Marks Yet - New York Times

Okay, you all have read and heard about these polls now for the past few weeks. Seems like when the polls are bad about Bush, someone does another one, and so the latest poll numbers seem to be on a self perpetuating cycle. The media just loves it when the numbers are this bad for Bush. So, they do another poll....This one just happens to have been conducted by the New York Times, one of the libs favorite print media pubs.

I have posted many times about my unease and unrest over the IRAQ war, particularly as it relates to the obvious inability for the IRAQI's to get their shit together in the most basic sense. Too many factions. Too many tribes. Too much 15th century thinking. How in the world are we going to change that? We toppled Sadam. Great job! But, building a democracy in IRAQ? Doubtful. So maybe I see why so many people blame Bush for this over zealous goal of his.

And, okay, so Bush is on the wrong side of the immigration issue. We need to seal up our borders and only let in legal immigrants. I have no problem with Mexicans coming to our country, and neither do most Americans. They just need to have the proper visas. Why is that so hard and why is there so much debate? Just come in legally, seal up the borders, and everything will be fine. No one is talking about cutting off trade or prohibiting legal immigration.
Okay, so I can see why so many people blame Bush for being led down this path, actually, being pushed, pulled, and drug down this legal immigration path.

And then there are the gasoline prices..Bush said in the State of the Union address that we were addicted to oil. He's right. Now, lead us out of this mess. Propose to retrofit every gas station in America with Ethanol pumps. The U. S. government should pick up the tab. Spend mega billions on ethanol production, not the paltry $150 million on various alternative energy initiatives. E85 is the answer, I am convinced. It will take 5 years if we start now on an aggressive campaign to roll out ethanol. Each year we wait, our dependence on foreign oil continues. Think of the international political ramifications if we could produce enough ethanol to reduce and possibly eliminate our dependence on foreign oil. My bet is that the Middle East would cool off, and not be the political hot potatoe that it is. Easy for me to see.

Bush is just not leading us right now. He is in a quagmire. He just does not seem to be the same leader as he once was.

But, here's the rest of the story. The economy is rocking and rolling. Unemployment is at or below 5% nationally. That is awesome. Tax cuts got extended. Inflation is tame. I cannot remember a more robust time--economically speaking. It is almost economic nirvanna out there.

But, Bush gets no credit for this. He is getting pummelled for Iraq, immigagration, and not necessarily gas prices---but just not LEADING us, the country, out of the gasoline addiction.

I hope this does not make me a Democrat to say these things!

"Americans have a bleaker view of the country's direction than at any time in more than two decades, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. Sharp disapproval of President Bush's handling of gasoline prices has combined with intensified unhappiness about Iraq to create a grim political environment for the White House and Congressional Republicans.

Mr. Bush's approval ratings for his management of foreign policy, Iraq and the economy have fallen to the lowest levels of his presidency. He drew poor marks on the issues that have been at the top of the national agenda in recent months, in particular immigration and gasoline prices."

Monday, May 08, 2006

E85 (ETHANOL) Available in Nashville

National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC) and E85


YOU CAN BUY E-85 HERE IN NASHVILLE at the FOLLOWING LOCATION: (note to the people raising their eyebrows--E-85 is the commercial name for ethanol fuel. It is made from agricultural products such as corn and other products. It does not come from the middle east or from way under the ground, any ground, no matter what the geography, for that matter. It does not cause pollution. IT IS THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE. THE FUTURE IS NOW.

500 N Main
Nashville, TN 37206

So, here is what you need to do to have ZERO dependence on foreign oil, help the environment, and be ahead of the curve:

1. You will be surprised how many cars run on Ethanol RIGHT NOW! Click this link to see what I'm talking about

2. Buy one of these cars in the above link, or, if you have one, go to the station above and start buying 100% ethanol

3. Go to the ethanol station for your energy needs as often as you can, preferably every tank if possible

4. You will be a hero.

5. I am not a hero yet, but I'm working on it.

#1 Nashville, Tenn.

#1 Nashville, Tenn

"What we loved: Hillsboro Village, for the acoustic guitars at Cotten Music, kitchenware at Davis Cookware and the triple chocolate mousse at Provence Breads & Café."

You've probably heard by now about how Nashville, our great city, was picked as the Number One place to live by the editors of Kiplinger Magazine. Pretty heady stuff for our fair city, no? But, does the quote above hit a chord with you? Kitchenware and Chocolate Mousse?? Does that sound like Nashville to you??? Here's what I would have written-

What we loved: Hillsboro Village for the coffee at Bongo Java with the Jones Pet Store vintage signage, the ultra cool Belcourt Theatre plus the hip and original local restaurants. All just a few stone's throw away from the classicly modern statue of Musica on the Round about separating Downtown from Music Row.

(Opry) Mills pulls through-- gets $2.23B in financing

Mills gets $2.23B in financing - Pittsburgh Business Times

Excellent news! This should see the company through the recent rough patch. Here is an overview from the article;

Mega-mall developer Mills Corp., which is considering putting itself up for sale, says it has received a commitment from Goldman Sachs for up to $2.23 billion in financing.

The loan, subject to a number of contingencies, would be used to repay debt and to finance continuing operations.

Arlington, Va.-based Mills, which owns more than 40 retail properties and operates the Pittsburgh Mills, hired Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase earlier this year to explore the sale of the company or other options.

AHA! I Knew it!! Lesbians' brains respond like straight men

Lesbians' brains respond like straight men

Sorry for the unexplained absence. Thought I'd catch your eyes with this latest research from some university in Canada.

Ever wonder why straight guys sort of find it interesting when 2 women "get together" ...Seems as if our brains are on the same wavelength so to speak.

Ever wonder why hetero women get along with gay men so well? Same theory.

Heterosexual women and gay men found the male pheromones pleasant, while straight men and lesbians liked the female pheromone more than the male one. Men and lesbians also found the male hormone more irritating than the female one, while straight women were more likely to be irritated by the female hormone than the male one.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Viruses catch up to the Mac

Viruses catch up to the Mac This is from

"Ferris said he warned Apple of the vulnerabilities in January and February and that the company has yet to patch the holes, prompting him to compare the Cupertino-based computer maker to Microsoft three years ago, when the world's largest software company was criticized for being slow to respond to weaknesses in its products.

'They didn't know how to deal with security, and I think Apple is in the same situation now,' said Ferris, himself a Mac user."