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    Published on: November 9, 2012

    by Kevin Coupe

    Talk about quick-response.

    The US presidential elections ended less than 72 hours ago, and already an e-book is available entitled "Why Romney Lost," by conservative Republican strategist David Frum, who once was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush.

    On, where the book is available to for Kindle downloads, they are describing the book as "a forthright analysis that offers a bold, hopeful plan for Republican success in the years ahead. David Frum urges a Republican party that is culturally modern, economically inclusive, and environmentally responsible - a party that can meet the challenges of the Obama years and lead a diverse America to a new age of freedom and prosperity."

    On "Morning Joe" this morning, Frum suggested that a primary goal of the book was to define the gap between the conservative political establishment and the conservative entertainment establishment; the latter, he suggests, has not served the former well, painting them into an ideological corner that makes it difficult to govern.

    But the point here is not political It is commercial.

    One can only imagine what Theodore H. White would think. He pioneered presidential campaign journalism with his 'The Making of the President" series, which would take months to publish once a winner had been declared.

    (I'm sure, by the way, that Frum had a version entitled "Why Romney Won" ready to go as well.)

    This is a good metaphor for how every business has to be prepared to respond to events - quickly.

    If not faster.
    KC's View:

    Published on: November 9, 2012

    After several aborted attempts, has begun selling wine on its website, making it available to a dozen states where the laws make the business feasible.

    According to the Seattle Times, "Visitors to Amazon Wine will have access to more than 1,000 wines from wineries nationwide. Bottle prices range from less than $10 to more than $100, plus shipping costs of $9.99 for up to six bottles.

    "Amazon will serve as a sort of middle man and discovery center, partnering with wineries that provide the wine and use the online marketplace to raise awareness for their brands and make sales.

    "The wineries will provide tasting notes, recommended food pairings, alcohol content data and other information to be posted on the site. Customers can fine-tune their wine searches by filtering results for winery location, professional ratings and more."

    The wineries involved include Francis Ford Coppola, Hall, Mark Ryan, Eden Canyon, Pepper Bridge and Roadhouse.

    The story notes that "Amazon Wine requires both buyer and recipient to be over age 21 and will deliver only to adults, not to P.O. boxes or Amazon Lockers."
    KC's View:
    I think it is fair to say that this is a soft launch. There isn't much on the Amazon website to draw attention to the wine category ... and despite the fact that I live in one of the states that Amazon is selling wine to, and have bought wine-related paraphernalia from Amazon in the past, I have not gotten an email informing me about the new category. At least, not yet.

    It seems to me that retailers that finding themselves competing with Amazon in this category may have to raise their game a bit - offering tastings and education where possible, and selling wines that consumers may not be able to get from Amazon.

    Many do this already, but the lesson is an important one - that to compete with Amazon (or anyone else, for that matter), you have to define and exploit your differential advantages, and it cannot just be price.

    Published on: November 9, 2012

    The Sacramento Bee reports that Safeway has reached a tentative contract agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) that Safeway regional president Karl Schroeder described as providing "our employees with among the best wages, benefits and work conditions in the region, while ensuring the company can compete successfully in the future."

    The UFCW says that the deal includes the health care provisions sought by the union, including coverage for retirees.

    The deal, if it is ratified by Safeway's unionized employees in Northern California, could have major implications for Raley's, which has not been able to even get the UFCW to vote on its most recent contract offer, and recently moved to simply impose those contract terms on its employees, saying that it needed those concessions to remain financially viable.

    The Bee writes that "a labor deal at Safeway could leave Raley's isolated. It would mean that Northern California's other two unionized stores, Safeway and Save Mart Supermarkets, have secured labor peace. Striking Raley's workers on the picket line would likely step up their efforts to persuade Raley's shoppers to take their business to Save Mart or Safeway."
    KC's View:
    Raley's can say as much as it wants that the Safeway and Save Mart deals don't affect it. Nobody is going to believe such a statement. The pressure is on, and Raley's - already dealing with a strike - may have to return to the table to make a deal.

    Published on: November 9, 2012

    Kayak Software, which powers the travel website, has been acquired by Priceline for $1.8 billion in cash and stock.

    The New York Times reports this morning that the acquisition could give Priceline a new source of revenue by providing it with ad dollars that it currently does not have access to. The purchase is the largest in Priceline's history. And, according to the Times, "The deal is yet another corporate evolution for Kayak. In a matter of months, the travel search site has gone from a privately held start-up to a publicly traded company to a unit operating under the umbrella of Priceline."
    KC's View:
    I cannot help but think of the days when Priceline thought it would actually make sense for it to expand its "name your own price" approach to the supermarket industry, creating a bidding model for groceries. It was, to be clear, one of the dumbest things that Priceline could have done, and the chains that bought into the concept were misguided, to put it charitably. (This is not Monday morning quarterbacking on my part. I said so from the moment that Priceline announced its grocery strategy, and beat that drum so loudly and consistently that the management of the website where I worked threatened to fire me if I didn't shut up. Luckily, Priceline shut the initiative down as an abject failure before they could attempt to follow through on their threat. It was one of those rare moments when I actually got something right ... but, as they say, even a broken clock is right twice a day.)

    This makes a lot more sense as Priceline looks to grow and expand its franchise. A couple of months ago, terry Jones, chairman of Kayak - and one of the founders of - gave a terrific presentation to the California Grocers Association in which he described how technological innovation had allowed Kayak to achieve more with less than his earlier creation.

    The larger point he made is one that cannot be reiterated enough, because it applies to virtually every business. "The balance of power has tipped to the buyer," Jones said. "We have very empowered buyers." And so, he said, businesses have to rewire themselves if they are going to relevant to these empowered consumers.

    Published on: November 9, 2012

    Whole Foods announced that "food lovers and culture buffs with a passion for the outdoors have a new way to discover 'what travel should taste like' with Whole Journeys, a new travel venture" that it has created.

    According to the announcement, "Whole Journeys connects active foodies with the cultural and culinary traditions of worldwide destinations like The Dolomites, Cappadocia, Provence, Shangri-La and more. Travelers walk, hike or bike through as they explore the foods, farms and events that make a region unique. While levels of exertion and food experiences vary, all itineraries are designed to support local communities, respect the environment and encourage travelers to share each destination’s unique food cultures with one another and the food producers themselves ... Whole Journeys’ makes its first departures in April 2013 with trips including a trip to a flavorful Turkish food festival, an epicurean biking tour in Italy, and a hike following the historic tea and horse caravan road in China. Currently Whole Journeys offers a small portfolio of programs, and guests can expect more trips in the U.S. and South America in the near future."

    Whole Foods says that "itineraries run from five days to two weeks. Most trips accommodate a maximum of 16 guests. Pricing is competitive, usually between $3,000 and $4,500 for trips offering close encounters with the lands and peoples in each destination. Travelers book their own airfare; guides, visits, hotels and most meals are included."
    KC's View:
    Whole Foods isn't the first food retailer to get into the travel business; there are a number of retailers out there that have put together foodie trips for shoppers that have taken to them to foreign countries to taste and learn about cheese, wine, etc... But this is a smart move by Whole Foods ... it builds the brand and keeps its foodie credentials front and center.

    Published on: November 9, 2012

    Sunday is Veterans Day here in the US, and two retailers said yesterday that they were instituting programs designed to support the men and women leaving the Armed Forces.

    • pledged to hire at least 1,200 military veterans to staff its operations over the next 12 months. According to Investors Business Daily, Amazon, "which has been named a top military-friendly employer for the second consecutive year by veterans-owned magazine G.I. Jobs, also said it will donate 2,000 Kindle devices to wounded service members and their families by Veterans Day ... Amazon says it employs hundreds of veterans in its 40 U.S. fulfillment centers, and that it pays its full-time, permanent employees 30% more than what traditional retail store employees earn. The company also has a team made up of veterans that is devoted to military recruitment and offers its veteran employees access to mentoring and career support to help them develop their skills into long-term careers at Amazon."

    • Kroger announced "announced a renewed commitment to hiring veterans of the United States Armed Forces. The company is encouraging military veterans seeking employment to visit to learn more and find links to apply for a job.

    "Kroger's Hiring Our Heroes initiative is an extension of the company's Honoring Our Heroes program, which aims to support the military and their families through a variety of in-store and online activities.

    "Kroger's commitment includes joining several major companies in the 100,000 Jobs Mission, with a goal of collectively hiring more than 100,000 transitioning service members and military veterans by 2020. More than 17,000 veterans have joined Kroger's ranks since 2009."
    KC's View:

    Published on: November 9, 2012

    Reuters reports that "Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc., the maker of 7UP, was sued on Thursday for allegedly misleading consumers over the supposed health benefits of an antioxidant it uses in some varieties of the soft drink.

    The Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group for food safety and nutrition, said the company's advertising and packaging suggest that the drinks contain antioxidants from blackberries, cherries, cranberries, pomegranates and raspberries, rather than added Vitamin E."

    The company responded that the lawsuit was "another attempt by the food police at CSPI to mislead consumers about soft drinks."
    KC's View:

    Published on: November 9, 2012

    In "FaceTime" yesterday, I talked about discussions my wife and I had with our daughter about the possibility that she might like to get a tattoo. This generated an enormous amount of email...and here is just some of it.

    MNB user Rob Connelly wrote:

    I have three daughters…. 20, 18 and 15….YIKES!!!  and I have for years periodically discussed tattoos with them …and I did it this way….

    I would say, girls imagine if you could get a tattoo when you were 6 years old….what would you get…. Probably Barney….right…

    And what would you think about Barney now…. You wouldn’t like it….and when you are 12 maybe you would have chosen Hannah Montana…
    Whatever you think is cool now is likely not going to be cool to you when you are 25 or 30, etc….

    So always think about Barney when you get any urge to ink yourself….

    It is still early, but so far so good…and they seem to have no interest –

    Barney is my friend….

    Maybe he will work for you….

    MNB user Doug Morales wrote:

    I chuckle when I read this, reminds me why I enjoy your writing. I’m of the firm belief if we didn’t live on opposite coasts we would be fast friends and worthy sounding boards.

    My daughter a senior at Univ of Oregon did the same approach some 3yrs ago. Much like Mrs. Content Guy, my wife was thoughtful, measured and quite monotone. I on the other hand had visions of her trying to explain to her prospective law firm (after graduation, she’s off to law school ) how the skull and cross bones was a life changing moment for her and she felt compelled to signify the event with an artistically pleasing skin mirage of colors and symbols, also do they validate parking for her motorcycle.

    As we all sometimes find out, they are good kids and they will make good choices. She opted for a very small ladybug  to pay homage to her grandmother, who  we lost  to pancreatic cancer earlier. The ladybug was one of her grandmother’s favorite things. This was touching and caring and gave her mom and I an idea that we raised a wonderful young woman.

    My victory in this?

    The actual tattoo is about the size of a quarter and is just below her waistline….out of sight, but not out of mind.

    I hope you find that same peace or resolve. If not maybe fight fire with fire….offer to go to her tattoo shop and get a tattoo for everyone in the family. Something that all 4 of you can enjoy and bond with.

    Just saying…. we ruined Facebook for them, let’s ruin the tattoo world next !

    MNB user Brian Cook wrote:

    You know your daughter better than I but I would bet she may already has the tattoo. She just wanted to see if you were open enough to show you.
    I could be wrong but bet you a dinner I’m right.

    I trust my daughter that she is telling me the truth on this one.

    MNB user Mark Boyer wrote:

    When my son was 10 years old I told him I would give him $500 when he turned 21 as long as he didn’t have a tattoo.

    When he turned 21 he reminded me and said, “Pay up,” which I gladly paid up. He’s now 26, and still ink free.

    From MNB user Julee A. Wingo:

    I’ve been where you are and unfortunately lost the fight with my children.  However, with age has come a different approach.  With my grandchildren I have spoken with them about why I personally would prefer they not get tattoos and quoted the bible, but bottom line is “I have no control over it.”  So I’ve told them, if they finally decide, after thinking long and hard, not just about what they want now, but what will they want 10-20 years from now, because if they do decide to have a tattoo removed, it is painful and scarring, that at least, to show respect for their grandmother, don’t get it in a place that would be seen by the public unless they were going out for a casual/social occasion – like the beach!  Nowhere that some strange person is going to touch that they shouldn’t be touching, and nowhere that would be seen in the workplace.  I explained how it can end up negatively impacting their professional prospects.  And whether or not that is fair, or right doesn’t matter.  It is reality.  So bucking the system to spite yourself only hurts you.  It was a long talk with  lots of examples and they listened openly and respectfully because I came at it totally from a place of loving them and caring about their future opportunities in life.  I usually start with something like, “let me give you something to think about . . . “  So far, the only grandchild who has gotten one was proud to show me it was small, “tasteful” and on her side where it wouldn’t have a negative impact on her professionally.  Hope this helps.

    Patrick McSweeney wrote:

    When my son was 16, he announced he planned to get a tattoo. During the next two years, he kept saying, “when I turn 18, I’m going to get a tattoo.” Prior to his 18th birthday, several of his friends (and members of his garage band – some who had piercings or tattoos) were at our house and he made his by now common tattoo intentions. I replied that I’d given it a lot of thought, and if you really wanted a tattoo, I would pay for it, but it would be something I’d designed. With rapt attention, all of the teens leaned forward to hear more, with admiration of “Dad of the Year” on their faces. I said the tattoo would be three-inch letters spelling out STUPID in red ink that would be tattooed on my son’s forehead. After much laughter, my Dad of the Year award was rescinded. But the message was clear. My son will turn 28 next month and remains tattoo-free (and with no piercings, either), despite still playing in a band. 
    There is hope!

    MNB user Pete Deeb wrote:

    C’mon Kevin, you and Mrs. Content Guy need to lighten up a little bit on the tattoo issue. As long as your daughter has a sensible approach and does not get “addicted to ink”  you should be prepared that sometime in the not too distant future you will be dealing with a small heart or butterfly on a not too conspicuous body part. Every generation has their preferences and tattoos are the rage right now. Neither my son or daughter have a tattoo but my new daughter in law has a couple of small ones with family related meanings and everyone is fine with it.

    From another reader:

    I try to keep the whole tattoo question simple with my three kids.  When the idea comes up,  I have one response…… “If you can afford to pay for a tattoo, you can afford to pay for college.”  So far, tattoos have been pretty much a non-issue for me.

    MNB user Kevin Mazzuca wrote:

    Kev, I struggled on whether to respond as I’ve been in that position with my daughter wanting a tattoo when she was 18.  Being as close to 60 as you can get without actually being there, I was raised that you just DIDN’T get tattooed unless you were in the military or prison! Well, her first tattoo was on her lower back to cover a back surgery scar.  From there it escalated!  Today she has 7 but each one has a special meaning; her kids initials, remembrances of her grandparents, stuff like that.   None are larger than an inch in length or diameter.  I never said anything as long as she was paying and she knew that the tattoo was permanent.  Long story short, after 10 years of listening to her nag me about getting one, she actually made an appointment for me.  I relented and I now have a sports team logo on my shoulder.  My point I guess is just that times do change along with attitudes and while a lot of us are set in our ways including businesses, we really do need to look at all points of view and adjust and adapt accordingly.

    By the way, the Italian flag is next on the other shoulder!

    MNB user Rich Barle wrote:

    I try to tell my teenage daughters that what’s cool changes with age and tattoos are permanent.  If I let them get a tat as kids they’d have Barney.  If I’d let them as tweens it was Hannah Montana.  Now as teens, it might be Team Edward or Cullen from Twilight.  Either way, what’s cool changes over time.  Once they’re out of the house and on their own dime, have a party.  Until then, it’s my rules.  Additionally, once age starts to set in and the skin starts to sag, the proud eagle my resemble an old sea gull.

    From another reader:

    While I can't give you any words of advice about your daughter wanting a tattoo, I have to agree that body art is becoming the rule rather than the exception.

    I work in a grocery store, and am in contact with hundreds of people every day.  A fair percentage of these people have at least one tattoo.  Some of them, I have to admit, are beautiful and have been created by real artists.  Some of them are sexy (can I say that here?) like a butterfly on an ankle or on the inside of the wrist.
    I understand that a tattoo can run into the thousands of dollars depending on how elaborate it is.
    I have no problem with anyone "decorating" their body..... except.....
    What I don't understand is people that use EBT and yet they are covered with tattoos.  This may be a minority of EBT users, but the question always comes to mind, "if there is a decision to be made between feeding my family, or getting a tattoo, who would ever choose to get a tattoo?" If a person qualifies for EBT, where is the money coming from for the tattoo?
    It's pretty obvious that I'm an old guy, with traditional values.  I'm not saying that people should not have tattoos. I'm just trying to figure out the rationale people have when they can afford a tattoo but have to rely on the government to feed his/her family.

    MNB user Bob Vereen wrote:

    As a senior citizen and WWII vet, I think young folks considering a tattoo need to look at some old folks like me who had tattoos when they were young.  Now those tattoos are unattractive, weak-looking, just gobs of ink, whatever color was used, and ask themselves if they want their bodies to look like that as time goes on.   (I did not have a tattoo, but friends did).

    MNB user Anne M. Taus wrote:

    Just a quick tip on the tattoo issue with your daughter… I am 35, and when I read your articles and how you parent your children, it reminds me a lot of how my parents were, namely my father. My dad and I have an amazing relationship and always have. He, like you, traveled a lot for work and was very busy providing for our family. When I was off to college my first year I remember having the EXACT same conversation with my parents, on parents weekend, to gauge their reactions. I was really undecided about doing something like that, but I just wanted to know. (just in case!!) Ironically, my dad said the EXACT same thing to me as you said to your daughter. If I get any tattoos or body piercings, he would take away my car. I remember it vividly because I was amazed he would go to such an extreme for something I didn’t think was that big of a deal.
    Just so you know, threatening to take away my car did not deter me from getting a tattoo or a belly ring piercing. The thing is, it’s not that I didn’t or don’t respect my dad and what his wishes were for me, I just wanted to do it. I felt like I was of an age where I could make that kind of decision. My dad to this day has no idea I had either done. My parents live on a lake and I spend a lot of time on their boat, my tattoo can be easily covered by clothing when my dad is around, and I am too old for the belly ring now. (that one didn’t last long… ) My siblings and my mom are aware I got a tattoo, but out of respect for how adamant my dad was against it, I have never told him or flaunted it in front of him. I guess the moral of my little story here is this, if she really wants that tattoo, she’s going to do it. And kids are pretty clever about keeping it from you if need be. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t respect you or your wishes for her, it’s just something she wants to do.
    I do think that tattoos should be covered up in the workplace. I am somewhat old fashioned in that regard and it’s probably because I woke up to go to school every day to see my dad leaving the house in a suit and tie or headed to the airport with his garment bag loaded with his 3-4 different suits for that week. I am not a fan of the casual, laid back work attire, I sometimes feel it allows for laziness in the workplace.
    Good luck with your daughter, she sounds like a bright young lady!

    I think I'm mostly depressed that a 35 year old just said that I reminded her of her dad.

    MNB user Steven Ritchey wrote:

    I don’t have a tattoo, have no desire for one.
    Years ago, there was a young man in the  youth group at my church, Nate was a really good kid, who wore his hair in many different shapes, and colors, had many body piercings.  Each Sunday was an adventure with his hair, it might be purple, or blue, or multicolored.  However, he was our most loyal youth choir member and was always at Sunday evening youth activities and volunteered for the most difficult of service projects.  He graduated high school, went to a small liberal arts college majoring in art, some really esoteric art.  I lost track of him.  Years later I was at the local Micro Center getting some computer supplies, and the kid at the service desk looked me and said ”Oh, hi Steve.”  I blinked and said, how’d you know me, he said, I’m Nate, from church in Plano.  I didn’t recognize him, he’d lost all the outward piercings, nose rings, multiple earrings,  his hair was blond, I’d never seen it’s natural color.  I just stammered, “Oh, hi Nate, I didn’t recognize you.”  He said “Yeah, I’ve changed a bit haven’t I, I learned it’s hard to get a job sometimes when you look like a carnival ride.”  He’d  graduated from college and was working there while looking for a job teaching art in a public school.  I hope he made it and he likes it, he was a very nice kid and a thoroughly pleasant young man.  He just had some different ideas about appearance.

    And from another MNB user:

    Loved reading about your tattoo dilemma!  I made the awful mistake of getting a large turkey (yes, a turkey) tattoo’d on  my ankle in high school!  I was a big turkey hunter at the time so I figured that was better than a skull and cross bones or something similar.  At least your daughter floated a test balloon in your direction first.  I just went out and got it done…then told my parents.  Boy was that a night I’ll never forget.
    The thing these kids don’t think about is what that tattoo might do to them in the future.  For me, playing a round of golf with a client became a problem.  Having to explain why I had a large tattoo of a turkey on my ankle was embarrassing.  Then, after I became a father, going to the pool with my kids became the next awkward situation….and the list goes on.
    I eventually had that tattoo removed but that is an extremely painful and EXPENSIVE process.  It cost me $60 to get the turkey put on and approx $1,500 to have it removed!!!  Talk about a new business venture we should all be looking into….tattoo removal will be HUGE at some point.  I can’t remember the stat, but there is a very large percentage of people with tattoos that say that they would like to have them removed but can’t afford it.
    Tell your daughter to take it from someone who already made the mistake and paid for it……DON’T DO IT.

    From still another reader:

    Did some alien crawl into your brain recently…maybe a tree branch in the storm…or you slipped on a craft beer bottle and landed on your head!!
    I can not believe those words came out of your mouth…what about personal responsibility…isn’t your daughter an adult…isn’t she in every way a great daughter…you’ve over reacted to something you don’t like or understand (and I’m on your side on that part of the conversation…I have 8 adult children…one is a VP in a local bank…and they all have tattoos)…their mother and I have talked against doing this for years and years and years, but never even considered coming down on a kid like this…please reconsider your position for your own sake, not just your daughter’s…she sounds like a really neat, well balanced young WOMAN…

    And another reader chimed in:

    We told our twin daughters as they headed off to college – “when you think about getting a tattoo remember that any money you think you have is to go towards college – since all of ours is!”.  They graduated in May and, from what I can tell, are tat free.  (The freshman year nose piercing hole has closed up as well!)

    MNB user Glen Terbeek wrote:
    What if the tattoo said "I love you Daddy!"

    From another reader:

    I’m with you on this one—totally anti-tat.  When I lived in Florida, I was regularly grossed out by the site of old women with tats—aging skin and wrinkles don’t add to thrill of seeing their tats.
    One other thing for your daughter—not that it matters but my son would put her in the never date group—he views it as a sign of weakness among the young women he has met during college and since college—they are less likely to think for themselves, are less confident and are seeking an identity through branding their body with something nonsensical.
    I have two much younger sisters who have tats—my father nearly went into coronary arrest when he was told.  I stand by my view that they are unattractive.

    Still another MNB user wrote:

    With regard to your daughter's proposed tattoo, your initial knee-jerk reaction, and your wise reflections, I'd suggest that this is a tiny glimpse into how out of touch most people are with America's youth.
    Everywhere you turn there are studies purporting to describe Millennials, Tweens, etc.  But few of them ever reflect on what's going on behind the obvious.
    How about the fact that kids now identify as gay as early as 12. It is now commonplace for same-sex couples to hold hands in many American high schools. And though the numbers don't follow through to adulthood, most research finds that around 50% of college women and 25% of college men experiment with bisexuality. Oh yeah, college kids also believe that Ritalin is an important study aid and there is a steady marketplace which sees regular price increases in the periods leading up to finals week.
    They also tend to ignore organized religion. I could go on, but I think you get the point. Most researchers are only focused on the obvious
    And it is this ignorance on social issues that could eventually destroy the Republican Party. The best way I try to explain this to people is to suggest that in so many ways, kids today--like your daughter--are remarkably similar to the rest of us. They generally want to do good things. They want to be liked. They (mostly) respect ideas of social justice, right, wrong, etc. And in many instances they may even hold "conservative" beliefs regarding how societies should spend money or collect taxes.
    But when they encounter controversial dialogues or ballot initiatives about same-sex marriage, religiosity, legalization of drugs, etc. they just scratch their heads in confusion. It's not that they are even for or against these issues. Rather, it's the case that--just like tattoos--these things are already accepted facts of modern life. They just looked puzzled and go on to more important things. This also explains why our successful sales rep has a dragon tattoo on the back of her neck. They just wouldn't think to care.

    MNB user Chanda Elliott wrote:

    It's nice to hear that there are other parents out there that are on the same page as my husband and I in regards to tattoos. We have 3 children, 2 of which are in college. We have told all three that if they have money to pay for a tattoo then they have money to pay for their college tuition. We feel that at least that will get them to the age of 22 without a tattoo and hopefully they will be more mature to make that decision. A good friend of ours is a dermatologist and she shares many stories of young people coming in to get tattoos removed. It is a very painful and expensive process. 

    As a business person I do agree that we need to be more open to our employees, be it tattoos, piercing, hair color etc., but I still believe we need to project a certain image that our customers have come to expect. We have updated certain policies addressing those issues, but still have some restrictions to maintain our professional image.

    And from yet another MNB user:

    Today's FaceTime about your daughters tattoo question brought back memories. The same thing happened to our friends a few years ago. Their son in college asked his parents if he could get a tattoo. Kind of like you, the dad hit the ceiling and told the son in no uncertain terms that he would never allow it as long as he was paying for his son’s college expenses. The mother was a little more accepting of the idea but the dad was adamant.

    A few weeks later, the son sneaked around and got the tattoo. (With his mother’s permission) What did the Tattoo say? “MOM."

    Clever fellow.

    And finally, an email that made me laugh out loud:

    Had to respond when I read this one.  What’s on my mind?  I have a some experience w/the issue of tattoos.   I have a son who has zero tattoo’s (both my “kids” are in their 40’s).  I have a daughter who got her first tattoo a few week before high school graduation in 1987.  Remember Opus the penguin from Bloom County?  It was quite small, just in black, but right on the outside of an ankle.  Her father’s first remark was, “Oh, that will look good in a job interview”.  At some point in college, she added her little sister fraternity letters SAE in appropriate font.  Next came her favorite sports teams, the Tasmanian Devil holding a Packers helmet in one paw and a Yankees hat in the other paw.  Both of these tattoos were also quite small and in a vertical line up from Opus.
    Then a small hiatus.
    At some point (she is an artist so draws all of her tattoo patterns beforehand, which she tells me the tattoo artists love—i.e. no complaining from the client afterward that it wasn’t what they expected it to look like), she created a vignette of a cat from the back looking into the sunset w/a spilled glass of wine beside him.  This went across her back just above her waist.  It was larger than the other’s but is totally hidden in regular clothes.
    Then, later, and this one is a classic, she drew a Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula and had it tattooed on the nape of her neck.  She was in a grocery store in the summer (tank top) and bent down getting something off a bottom shelf.  She heard someone say to her, “Honey, don’t move a muscle, I’ll get it”.  I don’t make this stuff up.  The lady then thwacked the back of her neck w/her purse several times trying to kill the spider.  It was, obviously, a very good drawing.
    My daughter is an extremely bright individual who is talented in many ways.  She’s a great mother and excels at whatever she tries.  But, she likes tattoos.  When dressed in slacks and a top, none of them are visible.  My guess is there are a lot of people you know who have tattoos that you can’t see.  I could never see the point myself, and it’s not anything I would spend a dime on.  I guess I am surprised you have put your foot down on this one as you appear from your writings to be quite tolerant of other’s ideas.  Hopefully, you will keep us all posted on how this plays out.

    I promise.
    KC's View:

    Published on: November 9, 2012

    In Thursday Night Football action, the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-10.
    KC's View:

    Published on: November 9, 2012

    We've had a number of stories this week about Flight, the new Denzel Washington movie. Anheuser-Busch InBev brought the movie into the headlines by going to Paramount Pictures to ask the film studio to remove its Budweiser brand - or at least obscure its label - from all future digital copies of the movie, which, as the Hollywood Reporter writes, "centers on an alcoholic pilot who guzzles alcohol and takes drugs both before and after he takes prevents a malfunctioning airplane from crashing."

    For the moment, let's put the business story aside and consider Flight as a piece of art.

    To begin with, the interesting thing about Flight is that the movie is almost completely different from what the trailers and advertisements would suggest. The movie is only airborne for the first 20-25 minutes or so, and after that is a Lost Weekend-style look at drug and alcohol addiction through the eyes of the Washington character.

    I have to confess that I don't think that the movie, directed by Robert Zemeckis, and is equal to Washington's searing, unsympathetic performance; he is unsparing in his willingness to examine all of the least attractive characteristics and compulsions of this thoroughly unlikeable character. You hate him, but you feel for him ... which is quite a trick.

    The rest of the movie, I'm afraid, veers too often into soap opera; it all seems too predictable and convenient, and the beats of the screenplay go exactly where you expect them to. And it never really addresses how the airline captain manages to avoid being detected for all the years that he's apparently been flying under the influence, and doesn't talk about the responsibility shared by the corporation and people that never challenged him. (There's a great business lesson here - the importance of being willing to speak up, or not closing your eyes to matters of legality and morality that subvert and corrupt a corporate culture.) There is a moment late in the movie when the extent to which the organization is willing to enable Washington's character is made chillingly clear, but it is played for a quick laugh rather than for the moral failing that it represents.)

    There are good supporting performances by Don Cheadle and Bruce Greenwood, but I cannot help but think that there is a problem with a movie in which the character you;'d most like to spend time with is the "Dr. Feelgood" drug pusher played with enormous verve by John Goodman - he may enable all of the airline captain's poor choices, but he also seems like he'd be a lot of fun to hang out with. (His appearances match up with all the best choices on the soundtrack.)

    Flight is worth seeing for a towering lead performance. But don't expect a great movie. It isn't.

    Some really good wines to suggest this morning...

    • the 2011 Domaine Mittnacht Freres Pinot Blanc, which is described by Nicholas Roberts Fine Wines - which powers the MNB Wine Club, by the way, as having "pleasant scents of fresh butter and ripe orchard fruits nuanced with fine yeast notes ... fresh and complex on the pallet, the finish is crisp, fruity and quenching."

    • the 2010 Crios de Susana Balbo Cabernet Sauvignon, described by Nicholas Roberts as having an "intense, dark ruby color with enticing aromas of ripe, black plums and black currants. The richly textured plum and currant flavors are joined by accents of dark chocolate and some vanilla-scented oak. The ripe, vibrant tannins give the wine beautiful structure and an amazingly long finish."

    I offer the Nicholas Roberts descriptions because they are far more detailed and sophisticated that I could offered. I just thought they were delicious.

    BTW...if you haven't checked it out, you ought to click here to look into the MNB Wine Club. It is a great way to find out about and taste some unusual and hard-to-find wines, and be a part of a growing segment of the MNB community.

    That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

    KC's View: