Las Vegas Sun

November 21, 2014

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From the publisher:

A variety of random thoughts

Time to clear out the reporter’s notebook, and all the random notes scribbled into it:

There is a broad line between meeting customer expectations and overshooting them. Seems sort of obvious, but actually, the concept is quite the rage in business circles these days.

Candy is dandy and the Web is quicker, but delivery of the Sunday New York Times newspaper is still the highlight of my reading weekend.

Every so often, I get a note that someone is following me on Twitter. I have no idea what to do about that.

We have met a few UNLV football coaches over the years, and everybody seems to be saying the same thing this time around: Bobby Hauck is going to be a winner. A strong college football team would be great for marketing and big news nationally, since “news” is often defined as a deviation from the norm.

The first product scanned with a bar code was a pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum, in 1974. There was no special significance attached to the moment, it just happened to be the first item lifted from a shopping cart, that’s all.

One has to wonder if Northern Nevadans are as utterly disappointed in Jim Gibbons as people around these parts are.

Long-term thinking: At the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce’s Preview 2010 a couple weeks ago, analyst Jeremy Aguero suggested that one of Southern Nevada’s economic strategies ought to be to attract seniors to our now-more-affordable communities. Noting that 32 million Americans will turn 65 between now and 2030, he reminded the audience that seniors “are a good market … living longer, better and wealthier than their parents.”

Aguero also noted that 24 percent of local business is coming from Southern California. That could change after Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Bridge opens up and shortens the drive from Phoenix to only about four hours.

A scan of department stores makes it clear that men’s neckties are in a major design rut. Of course, this may be basic economics, since fewer men are wearing ties these days.

Jon Ralston joined our group 10 years ago. Seems like only yesterday, although a few public servants probably think of it as an eternity.

I know business has been tough around town, but I was simply not prepared when my dentist closed his doors.

There’s a roadrunner near our office complex. Sometimes I wonder if the cartoon stereotypes bother it.

From the books on management science: If you want to explain how an employee’s bad attitude is affecting his or her work performance, talk first about how attitude is a key factor in behavior. Then you can talk about how behavior is a determining factor in performance.

There are five different clocks in my life on a daily basis. They all show different times. I’m not sure why.

The upside of a slow economy is that there aren’t as many traffic jams. But I think a lot of us would rather have the gridlock right now.

Don’t feel bad, you’re not the only one. We’re all doing more work with fewer resources these days. We’ve always had a good work ethic locally, but never more than now.

Speaking of work, Sen. John Ensign is fortunate to be an elected official rather than working in the private sector in at least one regard. At a lot of American companies, a manager would get released for admitting to intimacy with a subordinate. The private sector long ago learned that such behavior undermines the trust a company needs with employees.

Local weather observation: When you put the newspapers out on recycling day, it will be windy.

I suppose we can keep cutting into the state’s education budget, but does anyone really think we’ve overspending on teacher salaries or staffing levels?

Broadcasting anonymous gripes seems to be quite the rage on television these days, but I loathe that part of the local evening Fox TV news shows. I would suspect many other newspaper people and journalists do as well, since we usually put our names on our work and tend to be suspicious of anonymous comments.

I keep running into people here and there who quietly say they’re doing well in this economy. But when I ask about publicizing such success, they usually decline.

Hardly anyone leaves a voice message on the phone or sends a letter anymore. The world has moved to e-mail, and it’s all in my in-basket right now.

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