Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, July 24, 2021

Here’s what I’m wondering:

Why, in this age when every walking-and-talking person totes a wireless phone on them at all times, would someone pull up in a car and start honking his horn for minutes on end? Thus creating a nuisance for the ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD?

Doesn’t it make loads more sense to call whoever’s getting picked up, and letting them know in a quiet, personal, nonobtrusive way that the ride’s here? Instead, there has to be a racket, adding the existing cacophony of noise.

Really, I’d have thought we’d advanced, socially and technologically, by now. There’s practically no reason for anyone — taxi pickup, relative, roadtrip companion, etc. — to not go this route. Why incur societal wrath?

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 07/24/2006 11:33:11 PM
Category: Society
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Today’s announcement of HCA’s $33-billion leveraged buyout by a consortium of private-equity financiers and the Frist family is making news because of the record-setting pricetag ($21.3 billion in share buyback, plus the assumption of $11.7 billion in debt).

It ought to also set a record for the longest gestation period in dealmaking history. Dr. Thomas Frist, CEO of then-Columbia/HCA, was fishing in LBO waters all the way back in 1997, at the start of the company’s troubles:

“I’d love to do an LBO (leveraged buyout),” Dr. Thomas Frist, Columbia’s chief executive, told a group of New York analysts two weeks ago, according to some in attendance. “But I don’t think I can right now.”

So about nine years from strategizing to realization. I guess it does take a while to pile up all that dough.

This caps off an intriguing rise-and-fall for this consolidation play in the healthcare industry. At the crest of its high tide, HCA dreamt of dominating the emergency room like no other administrator ever had. At one point in the mid-’90s, I recall reading an interview with one of the company’s bigshots (possibly the chief exec), wherein it was proposed that someday, HCA would become synonymous with healthcare — that when people needed medical attention, they’d offhandedly say they were “going to HCA” instead of “going to the hospital”. Obviously, it didn’t quite work out that way.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 07/24/2006 09:38:22 PM
Category: Business, History
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Something I’ve still not re-oriented my brain toward, now a half-year after relocating to New York:

Whenever I see the abbreviation “S.I.” in the local news media — mostly in Daily News headlines — the first thing that comes to my mind is Sports Illustrated.

Without fail. Which gives me an odd mental approach to an article like “SI Dad Thankful Tot’s OK”.

Of course, around here, “S.I.” refers to Staten Island, the “other” island borough in New York City. It’s a local point of reference, so I guess I’ll eventually get my head out of the sports gutter and mentally identify with this shorthand.

It could be worse. I could be walking around thinking that “S.I.” refers to Strong Island.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 07/24/2006 09:08:30 PM
Category: Media, New Yorkin'
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