links for 2007-12-24
How Did Morgan Stanley Lose That $9.4 Billion Anyway?

Christmas Eve Grocery-Shopping Dungeness Crab Inventory Management Blogging

20071208_delong_micro.jpg "Father Christmas, why are we waking up at 5:52??"

"Because we want to be at Whole Foods at 7:00, when it opens."

"Father Christmas, why do we want to be at Whole Foods at 7:00, when it opens?"

"Because it's Christmas Eve!"

"And what's at Whole Foods at 7 AM on Christmas Eve? I know! Santa!!"

"No, not Santa. You are punchy."

"You took me to see Before the Devil Knows You're Dead last night--a movie without an ounce of redemption or even a hint of a happy ending."

"But [character X] and [character Y] get together and escape to Rio with the money at the end, and live happily ever after."

"They do?"

"Well, they might. At least, we are not certain that they are dead."

"Not being sure that they are dead is not quite we see them find true love."


"And so I couldn't get to sleep until 2 after that. And now I'm up at 6:12. And I get to see Santa!"

"No. If we hit Whole Foods at 7, we get to see it and we will get to not see all the people who will be at Whole Foods at 2 PM are. We will get a parking space. And the lines will be less than hours long."

"But no Santa."

"Let's take the dog. We can walk the dog around Whole Foods and its parking lot before it opens. The smells will be a vision of heaven for the dog..."

"This seafood line looks to be half an hour long already."

"Well, the store has been open for fifteen minutes."

"You were the one who wanted to bring the dog--which meant that we were fifteen minutes away on foot when the bell sounded."

"But one of us can stay in line, and one can run about the store."

"Grated Parmesan, two cups Mozzarella, and a little Gorgonzolo..."

"I'm on it..."

"Well this looks like a convivial seafood line. Are they passing out shrimp cocktail? Or mimosas?"

"We're talking about what we will make if we get to the front and discover that there's no crab for us sluggards and slatterns--that there's only crab for the do-be pre-orderers."

"And is their crab for the non-do-bes?"

"They don't know. The crab is being unloaded right now. They're not sure how much there is--whether there is just enough for the pre-orderers or whether there's extra."


"They are envious of my runner though. They compliment me and talk about what tasks they would assign if they had a runner."

"Well, in this culture, if you are a man, you don't have to do very much to get a lot of credit."

"You got it."

"Did you get the lasagna noodles?"

"Whole Foods doesn't seem to be a lasagna place. They don't seem to think that lasagna fits their ethos. The lasagna demographic is not their demographic."

"Did you get the lasagna noodles?"

"What I could find was brown rice gluten-free lasagna noodles. So I got those."


"But I did get Bible spaghetti! Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted whole wheat spaghetti!"


"'In the year that George W. Bush's Secretary of State Condi Rice said that the Western Alliance had never been in better shape, I saw also the LORD seated upon a throne. Around him flew the seraphims: with two wings each covered his face, and with two wings each covered his feet, and with two wings each did fly.'"

"You are having so much fun I won't tell you that's not Ezekiel but Isaiah."

"'And one one of the seraphims cried unto another, and said: "Swipe your credit card now..."'"

"What number are they on?"

"They called 54. But then they called 51."

"We're backtracking. People don't hear or have wandered off. And they are really upset if they find that they've missed their number."


"Yesterday I had somebody completely break down. They were gossiping by the cheese counter when their number was called. They were distraught. We nearly had to call the paramedics."

"It is loud in here. And many of these customers look like their ears are not the sharpest."

"True. So we backtrack."

52? 52? 53? 53? 54? 54? 55?"

"55!! WE'RE 55!! WE'RE HERE!!"

"Actually, we're 57."

"Oh. Don't mind me, I'm punchy."

"We don't mind."

"55? 55? 56? 56? 57?"

"WE'RE 57!!!"

"We're refugees from Whole Foods, where they have crab only for the virtuous pre-orderers, not for the likes of us sluggards and slatterns. Do you have any crab?"

"If so, could we get one big one?"

"They're not too big, and they are already cracked and cleaned."

"Two small ones, then."

"Here at Diablo Foods we cleaned and cracked 6000 lbs. of crab yesterday to get ready for this day."

"For this one store?"

"For this one store."