Wednesday, March 28, 2007

In memoriam: Ram Myers

Goodbye, dear friend.

I learned of Ram's death on Tuesday evening, from the mother of Ram's wife (Rita, who is also a dear friend).

She added that Rita has requested that people not try to contact her.

It's now early Wednesday morning, and I am going to bed.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Beautiful Portugal!

I recently had the privilege of visiting Portugal. What a beautiful country! Ok, so I took a few photos. Want to see some? Stay tuned ...
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"Software should be called HARD-ware"

The quote is from an acquaintance of mine. I'm sure somebody else has said this, but it's a good point!
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Log base 2 recommends ...

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Hershey's kiss-off


On February 16th, Hershey announced that they intend to close their chocolate factory in Smiths Falls, Ontario. The factory is about an hour-and-a-half's drive from my home in Ottawa, and as careful planning would have it—I was there today. (The photo of a lamp post that I took, shown to the left, provides some evidence of this.)

Like most members of our species, I have—shall we say—"a thing" for chocolate, and Hershey's make some very delectable chocolate treats. I happily carted home several kilos of the stuff from the Hershey Chocolate Shoppe that is attached to the factory. The Visitor's Center also features a "free self-guided tour from an elevated viewing gallery" to see the treats in production, which is pretty cool.

What isn't so cool is that a total of about 500 people will lose their jobs with the closure of the factory. As I understand it, 100 positions have already been eliminated and eventually about 400 more people will lose their jobs.

Incidentally, the population of Smiths Falls is roughly 10,000. The closure is expected to be devasting to the town. The outrage has only just begun.

This is only part of what Hershey calls a "Global Supply Chain Transformation". One of the cornerstones of this program is to:
Construct a flexible, cost-effective production facility in Monterrey, Mexico to meet current and emerging marketplace needs.
Hmmm ... "cost effective". Umm, does that include all the costs?

Here are a couple of other lines selected not-entirely at random from Hershey's description of how they plan to transform their global supply chain. First:
The program will result in a total net reduction of approximately 1,500 positions across Hershey's supply chain over the next three years.
And the second, a quote from David J. West, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer:
We recently announced a manufacturing joint venture in China with Lotte Confectionery Company, another step in our disciplined global expansion.


Update 29-Mar-2007: "Hope impedes retraining for Smiths Falls Hershey workers".

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A model of decency, responsibility, courage



Aristides de Sousa Mendes (1885–1954):
I could not have acted otherwise, and I therefore accept all that has befallen me with love.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Thought du jour from Log base 2

God didn't design humans. Natural selection did it for Her.

By the way, when I googled "thought du jour" just now, I got "about 23,100" results. Double by-the-way, does anyone have a roughly precise (if you know what I mean) notion of what Google means by "about x results"? Triple by-the-way, it almost goes without saying: props to Google!

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