Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

germ-free
Who figures Donald Trump would be a germophobe?

That’s not the only surprising thing contained in this article. Aside from the various comparisons between what Trump claims about himself and what’s reality, there’s this:

Actually, it’s hard to know exactly what percent of Trump’s net worth is tied to the casino business because most of Trump’s portfolio is in privately held companies that don’t report earnings. He’s described himself as “a billionaire many times over,” but there are skeptics who believe Trump has $300 million, tops. And the guy has a reputation for, let’s say, shading the news in a light that reflects his enthusiasms.

Is The Donald less of a mogul than he puffs himself up to be? If so, it explains why he never continued with his professional sports ownership, started in the USFL (which brought him to prominence in the first place). Think about it: If he really was serious about pursuing an NFL team, he’d have to disclose his personal finances to the league. This would be an unacceptable level of transparency, given the persona he’s built. So he found other ways to promote Trump the Brand.

Ultimately, it’s been a winning strategy:

The larger point is the way Trump is viewed as a businessman. As a private developer, he’s gifted and relentless at crafting deals, winning allies, fighting enemies, exploiting legal loopholes, charming, bullying and making sure the cement is delivered on time. He knows his market, the upscale buyer seeking conspicuous luxury that is heavy on pink marble and gilt. His properties have always commanded a premium because of the marquee value of his brand.

But stock and bond markets view Trump as a bit of a joke, which is what happens when shares in a company you run plunge by 99 percent. So Trump is saddled with the paradox of life as highly public but erratically successful executive: The people who know the least about business admire him the most, and those who know the most about business admire him the least. Which irks the man who is forever complaining that his achievements as corporate rainmaker are overshadowed by his latest brand-name spinoff and his soap-opera love life.

This is a guy who nearly went bankrupt in the early ’90s, when his real estate holdings were so over-leveraged he needed a bank bailout to stay afloat and was forced to sell some of his most treasured assets. Anyone else might have retreated. Trump buffaloed his way back into the game and turned the fiasco into a best-selling book, The Art of the Comeback.

The beautiful part is that Trump the caricature and Trump the man are essentially the same person. This isn’t an act. He brings a genuinely unembarrassed joy to the role of high-rolling, model-squiring aristocrat, and he doesn’t know the meaning of “overexposed.”

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/14/2004 10:29:17 PM
Category: Business, Celebrity
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Earlier this year, I wondered why Apple hadn’t joined in on the videogame console race. It turns out that ten years ago, they were ready to do just that, with a project code-named Pippen.

I wonder why it was aborted. Steve Jobs came back to Apple at right about the same time, so I’m assuming it’s one of the non-core efforts he eliminated (along with the Newton and the Power-PC clones). If anyone has the full story, or a hyperlink to it, I’d love to get it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/14/2004 10:05:47 PM
Category: Tech, Videogames
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last dance?
To show my appreciation for Tuomo Ruutu’s un-freakin’-believable goal in the second period of tonight’s Canada-Finland World Cup of Hockey final, I’m linking to his official website. And to his diary/blog.

It’s players like Ruutu that make me foolishly pick the Chicago Blackhawks to make some noise every year. They always make me look like a fool. This year, of course, they’ll have to wait until after the lockout ends to do that.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/14/2004 08:57:43 PM
Category: Bloggin', Hockey
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rave gal
I knew there was a good reason for adding Greedy Girl to my blogroll… She points me to D.Film Moviemaker, a fun utility that allows you to click away at creating your own shorty Flash movie!

Marvel at “Serendipity”, my tour-de-force cinematic effort, starring Rave Girl (pictured above) and Hunky Sumo in an old-fashioned love story. It’s no “Greedy Girl vs. Fabio”, but it’s the best I can do in a bleary-eyed-at-midnight state.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/14/2004 08:22:32 PM
Category: Internet
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While we don’t have protesting Batmen gatecrashing royal palaces, the Tampa Bay area does have thousands of bats nesting in our bridges and overpasses. Scree.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/14/2004 07:46:03 PM
Category: Florida Livin'
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In a move that surprised few (if any), Federated Department Stores announced they’ll be retiring the regional Burdines, Rich’s, Goldsmith’s, Lazarus and Bon Marche store names, converting them all to the powerhouse Macy’s brand.

What I’m wondering is, why did they even bother with the now-pointless hyphenation strategy? Burdines, a longtime Florida chain, was morphed into Burdines-Macy’s. The other regional stores got the same treatment: Bon-Macy’s, Rich’s-Macy’s, Lazarus-Macy’s and Goldsmith’s-Macy’s. Pretty ugly, all. I’m guessing some sort of deadlock among Federated’s brass resulted in this half-assed solution: Retain the historic equity of the regional brands, but try to wring some magic out of the Macy’s name. Didn’t work, and the whole thing has the appearance now of being a failed marketing experiement.

What was especially dumb about it in Florida was that the state already had a number of Macy’s-branded stores, mainly in the Orlando area. This re-branding turned them into Burdine’s-Macy’s (although maybe only officially — the article implies that most stores never did change their major signage).

The other thing that makes this move seem odd is that, despite announcing the hyphenated names a couple of years ago, I don’t think they really pushed them in the Tampa Bay area until fairly recently. So it’s very much like they only started to trumpet “Burdine’s-Macy’s” before they prepare to ditch it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/14/2004 07:37:16 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Florida Livin'
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So earlier today, Mikey at Electric Bugaloo lamented the loneliness of the courteous restaurant patron, sparking a somewhat wider discussion of rudeness in general.

As of this writing, my chime-in was the only one of the wise-ass variety. Hey, I thought it was funny. For the record, I’m among the apparent minority that says “please” and “thank you” while being served. I don’t ever recall being in a situation where my dining partners would ridicule me for that; that could be because I’ve known a good number of people who used to wait tables themselves.

But I found Cheeky Prof’s response to be curious:

I’m so tired of things like holding the door for someone and they ignore me so now I loudly say, “You’re welcome!” Sure, it’s juvenile, but it makes me feel better. I would never not say thank you! When did it become “wrong” to be polite?

“Sure, it’s juvenile, but it makes me feel better.” So, I guess the appropriate response to implicit rudeness is overt counter-rudeness? And not only that, but the intent is nothing more than self-satisfaction. Okay, then.

I don’t mean to pick on Cheeky Prof directly; no one’s obligated to politely educate boors. But acting like a boor in response doesn’t help, and when you come down to it, it just perpetuates a culture of rudeness. The better option would be to just ignore it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/14/2004 07:16:36 PM
Category: Bloggin', Society
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