March 2009 issue

MrVO Launches
"New" Website!

Well, OK, so most of the content is still the same old stuff. But it's presented with a spiffy new look and some killer graphics


Some of you may know that I'm a frustrated designer and computer geek at heart.So I took about a week of free time, and started hammering out a new batch of HTML code for the new site.

Oh, I'm no purist! I used Dreamweaver to write most of the code, but had my HTML chops down well enough to go into the raw code and do the troubleshooting and modifications without using the fancy software. I'm pretty proud of it, but always welcome recommendations and critiques.

Check it out and let me know what you

Instant Starbucks? Ecccch!

A few days ago in New York, Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz announced the unveiling of Starbuck’s new "Via Ready Brew" instant coffee. Word is on the street that it’ll probably go for about a buck-a-cup at your nearest Starbucks. (That’s the one a half block closer than the others, to your right.)

I feel a sort of “New Coke” atmosphere developing around this concept. Somebody in company management seems to have forgotten the stigma that has been permanently attached to the phrase “instant coffee”, and decided this was a smart marketing strategy! How would you like to be a barista who had to take a training course in how to pour hot water?

We used to just sigh and say, “Bunt, bitter, and cheap? …Hey, two out of three ain’t bad!”

But now, I guess they’re going for the trifecta!

Telltale Signs…

A recent local news item noted that teens were outraged at a job fair when dozens of jobless baby boomers showed up to compete for summer jobs with fast food restaurants, theme parks, and golf courses!

Colleges are experiencing a sudden surge in applications by middle-aged, jobless adults needing to acquire skills for a career change. One source even swears he saw Bernie Madoff on a downtown street corner, begging for Keugerands!

Sirius Issues!

The latest development from Sirius XM satellite radio is welcome news to Apple devotees. Sirius XM has been working on an application that will allow subscribers to stream the channel’s Internet content to their iPhones and iPod Touch devices. When released, this application will permit an estimated 7 million U.S. iPhone users and additional iTouch users to access Sirius and XM Internet content.

Pardon my asking, but is this really a good thing? We can already get all that stuff through our dashboard radios (with some add-ons) and our MP3 players and cell phones already eat into way more of our spare time than they should. I’m not sure I want to be around when someone, raptly listening to Howard Stern on their iPhone, steps off the curb in front of someone listening intently to “The Coffeehouse”, channel 30, while driving their Hummer to work.

Enough with the portable distractions, already!

MrVO: The voice of BMW OnLine

Want to know about BMW's Peformance Driving School? I'll tell you all about it at "".

If You Can't Laugh About It...

The problem with investment bank balance sheets is that on the left side nothing is right and on the right side nothing is left.

How do you find a good small-cap fund manager? Find a good large-cap fund manager, and wait.

The credit crunch has helped me get back on my feet. The car's been repossessed.

Definition. P/E Ratio: The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing.

A plan to bail out the Big Three automakers stalled in Congress today. Yeah. As a result, Congress plans to buy a better-built Japanese bailout plan. (Conan O'Brien)

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