Showing posts from July, 2010

Would You Pay More for T-Shirts Not from Sweat Shops?

Would you be willing to pay a few bucks extra for a t-shirt for your favorite sports teams? Of course not, right. You'd want to pay the lowest possible price.

If you own a store, would you want to find the cheapest manufacturer or one that charges a few dollars more for the same product? I would assume that you would want the cheapest possible price for that particular product. If the quality of two identical products is the same, why would you willingly pay more for it?

One sports garment manufacturer is gambling that you will pay more. The higher price apparently goes to pay a living wage, not to line the pockets of the owners. They pay their employees more than other, similar companies in the region.

The company is Knights Apparel, and it operates in the Dominican Republic. Here are the first few lines of an article by Steven Greenhouse. It appeared in the July 16, 2010, edition of the New York Times. Click here to read the full article online.

SITTING in her tiny living room he…

Back to Normal Life

Okay, I survived the last week of doing normal work AND the groundwork for my doctoral thesis. Hopefully, I can just slide back into the swing of normalcy now. I will still have more work to do, but the hardest part is behind me for now.

Is anyone still there? My apologies for the long absence.

Julie and the boys seem to have survived church camp. It was a week full of blessings. I only went up one evening to do the camp devo for all 160 or so people. It just so happened that my evening there was when ten of the kids had decided to get baptized. Parents & guardians had been called in advance, so there were plenty of extra faces there for the great events of the evening. Yosemite Bible Camp is turning into a major boost for our young people and families. This is undoubtedly a key building block for our church.


Battling the Heat

Okay, I know we were spoiled in May and June. Our air conditioner spent very little time in operation, and our PG&E bills reflected that. But now, the fun is over. The real Valley summer is here. It's 107 on our back porch. That's better than the 112 we experienced last summer when moving into our new house. But it's still brutal.

Speaking of heat, I hear that Europe is battling intense heat. Unlike Fresnans, they aren't used to temps in the 90s -- at least not sustained temps. Very few people have AC. I'm sure people are wearing as few clothes as possible.

When we used to live in Prague, many Czech women didn't need much of an excuse to wear as few clothes as possible. Sometimes that was good -- or at least good to the eyes. Sometimes that was painful to see. The guys sometimes didn't wear the most flattering clothing either, while others knew how to dress sharply.

Needless to say, I'm glad to have AC.

This will be a brutal week as I try to finish…

First Famous Sports Streaker Is Embarrassed by Past Actions

The year was 1974. The setting was Twickenham Stadium in London, the 82,000-seat home of English rugby. It was cold, and Australian accountant Michael O'Brien had no real reason to do something crazy. Except that he couldn't say no to a dare.
His Aussie friends told an English colleague, "Don't ever bet O'Brien. He's so crazy that he can never turn down a challenge." The Englishman couldn't believe it, so he bet O'Brien ten pounds that he wouldn't run across the field naked at half time. O'Brien, who couldn't say no, took the bet, and the game was on.

To win the bet, he had to reach the fencing at the far end of the playing field. He stripped down and flew across the field. The police tackled him just before he reached his goal. Although the TV broadcast was in commercials, photographer Ian Bradshaw captured the shots that went round the world.

O'Brien was taken off the field and fined ten pounds -- the amount he won in the bet. Ev…

World Cup Picks Revisited

As the second semifinal kicks off between Germany and Spain, I admit that I feel somewhat vindicated in most of my picks. I picked Germany to beat Spain in the finals. That obviously can't happen now since Germany & Spain wound up in the same half of the knock-out brackets. But I think I nailed the two most dominant teams in the tournament. This semi would be better as the finals in my opinion.

I nailed it when I said South Africa would be the first host not to escape their group. And I predicted Italy and France's quick demise. And Mexico choked as always.

I picked the wrong African team to go far -- Cameroon instead of Ghana.

One team I completely overlooked was Netherlands. I knew they were on a roll coming into the tournament, but I messed up by not even mentioning them. I view that as the one major mistake in my picks. But it's been a fun World Cup. Too bad it's almost over.

Screamin' Mimi's Ice Cream in Sebastopol

After a couple days in San Francisco, one realizes how important food is to our economy. I enjoy food as much as the next person, but I've never been in a position to visit any Michelin 3-star establishments. Me? Because of economics, I'm one who tries to find a hidden gem or a quality meal for a reasonable price. In my mind, it's a huge splurge to pay more than $50 for our family to eat out. Yeah, it happens on occasion, but this kind of a meal is a big treat for us.

So after smelling great food odors in San Fran, we were primed for some quality food at a reasonable price. (By the way, we did eat some good food in the Bay City.) So when I asked the hotel clerk about his favorite ice cream spot, he didn't hesitate, "Screamin' Mimi's in Sebastopol! It's a little out of the way, but it's the best."
We headed over to check out the redwoods at Armstrong Redwoods State Park. On the way, we just happened to swing through the bohemian town of Sebastop…

Watching Soccer with Vuvuzelas

I just saw this video on a Czech news site. The video shows fans watching a live broadcast of the World Cup on Prague's Old Town Square. I think this makes it extremely clear why many European soccer clubs are already posting regulations that ban vuvuzelas at matches this coming season.

I read somewhere that these lovely devices produce the same decibel level as a chain saw. What a nuisance!