Internal Customer? Oh, you mean, “Welfare Recipient”

Buy My Fish, by David Burliuk

No shirt, no shoes, no service. Might add to this, bad attitude, irrationality, hatefulness and inappropriate behavior. All or any might lead the small businessperson to cut their losses and decline to bid, as it were. Potential and/or future customers some people might be, but the pain of their interaction outweighs the benefit of their business. "Right then, thank you Sir, there's the door, and don't let it hit you in the ass on the way out." The Myth of Internal Customers This clearly isn't possible with "internal customers" and internal markets. In a large corporation, you can't decline to bid. Neither party to the internal transaction has a vote on with whomever they can do business. A corporate accountant must reconcile the … [Read more...]

Mongolian Fish Wrap

Sabazushi ---- nummy, but only in moderation

The Fish Wrap: an occasional grouping of interesting links, mostly centered around finance topics, largely from personal finance blogs, and generally well-written. A carnival of sorts, curated in no particularly consistent fashion, and only loosely governed by editorial standards. Nigiri, maki and zaba sushi. Stewed river fish. Fish and "old tofu". River shrimp and jellied squid. Fish noodles. You could say that dinner fare on my last jaunt through the pacific rim was heavy on crabby patty derivatives, and not by choice. Which justifies the reaction on the call home from Atlanta airport: Me: "Hey babe, I'm on the ground in Atlanta. Flight home's on schedule, be home around 5. What's going on?" Mrs. 101: "I'm making fish for … [Read more...]

Coffee Break: Case studies for companies – not so very good for investing or learning

At the coffee table, by Edvard Munch, 1883

  An irregular enough series here on USA Financial Service.   A collection of short blog posts on anything that I can write about in between bursts of sparkling creativity and complete blockage, marking time between longer and better-crafted blog posts. Other examples of 101C coffee breaks can be found here and here. ************************************************************************** From Viral Ethics, a nice quick article on the detrimental effect of teaching business based on case studies. Case studies are one of the most popular methods used today for teaching students and industry professionals about how to deal with a wide variety of issues.  However, research indicates that most of the case studies we use for … [Read more...]

Stupid Labeling Tricks

Good wholesome delicious whipping cream and kefir

    What's not to like from organic whipping cream and kefir? Kefir will keep your gut well-populated with new lactobacillus and saccharomyces probiotic bacteria. Be like Turkish an Greek shepherds, drink a daily glass of kefir with your morning bread and olives, and live well into cantankerous old age (without getting into a border war over a little island.) Organic whipping cream is delicious in coffee, whipped up on strawberries, and guaranteed to come from happy cows.  Or mildly contended or even irritated cows. Hard to know what they're thinking as they're getting  their boobies yanked on milked by humans. Whatever. Labels are confusing though.  On the heavy cream from The Fresh Market:  "Our … [Read more...]

Travel Notes from the Road


Ten days, ten flights, nine cities, lots of windshield time. Planes, trains, and automobiles, and not much time to walk for exercise. “My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.” –Ellen DeGeneres Bloody cold in Korea. Snow, sleet and ice. Under-armor long johns, waffle-weave thermal undershirts, thick-soled shoes and wool socks save the day. It is indeed possible to dress warm, travel light and still cut a fine figure. Always thought those Michelin-man down coats looked a bit silly in a business setting. Lost weight (again) despite eating massive quantities at Korean BBQ and Chinese banquet fare. Probably mostly due to the … [Read more...]

Investment Trends for 2015


  As 2012 draws to a close, the temptation to try and predict next year’s financial highs and crushing lows is almost impossible to resist. Investors of all shapes and sizes share the desire for good returns on their money so, in the spirit of sharing, here’s what to expect in 2013. Precious metals Gold, as ever, will continue doing its thing in 2013. Delegates attending the annual London Bullion Market Association predicted that the price of gold would rise by 7% to $1,849 a troy ounce by the time of the following year’s conference in September 2013. More interestingly, silver will begin to gain favour. The Thomson Reuters GFMS report predicts that silver prices will rise from around $30 to more than $50 an ounce. Copper is … [Read more...]

The Good Retirement Life in Asia (or not)


Every once in a while bloggers get accosted by strangers offering infographic candy. What's not to like, Hey, just share our snazzy and FREE! graphic on your blog, and you'll look like you really know what you're doing, techo-savvy-blogger-like (and we get a link back to whatever blog we're pushing, duh). Presumably, an infographic appeals to the modern short attention span: easily digestible bits of data wrapped in a pretty visual. This one is the first and probably the last to be hosted here at 101 Centavos. Keep reading below the fold for some commentary. Retire in Asia OK, now that we know a little bit about the price of rent, beer and nightlife, let's talk about the REAL reason that mostly male Westerners dream over … [Read more...]

Financial Tips: A Weekend in Sao Paulo

It's going to be a wild World Cup in 2014!  ---- Parade of the samba school Unidos de Vila Isabel, in the parade of samba schools in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil, 2012).  (photo credit to Agência Brasil)

While away on travel, thought it might be nice to post a letter from USA Financial Service pere'. My dad travels to Brazil quite often on business, and knows the country way more thoroughly than I ever will. His passion for exploration is self-evident.  By permission, here is a letter from last year, detailing a weekend traveling around on Sao Paulo's Metro.  Brazil gets tagged (somewhat unfairly) as having a very high crime rate. As with many other places around the world, just be aware and keep out of high-risk areas and be in after dark, and you'll be just fine. A Weekend in Sao Paulo (February 2012) I just spent this past weekend wandering around São Paolo (SP) and thought I would share a few impressions with you. Although I’ve … [Read more...]

Saturday Morning Fish Wrap: Kimchi and Thousand-Year-Old-Eggs Will Give You Gas

Big earthernware jars used to make kimchi ... that;s a whole lot of pickled sauerkraut!  (all photo credit goes to Wikipedia on this one)

Kimchee is great stuff. Eat enough of it, and you'll be bursting with intestinal discomfort health in no time. Take it away, Wikipedia: Many South Koreans credit their nation's rapid economic growth in part to eating kimchi. The dish is made of various vegetables and contains a high concentration of dietary fiber, while being low in calories. One serving also provides over 50% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C and carotene. Most types of kimchi contain onions, garlic, and chilli peppers, all of which are salutary. The vegetables being made into kimchi also contribute to the overall nutritional value. Kimchi is rich in vitamin A, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), calcium, and iron, and contains a number of lactic acid bacteria, … [Read more...]

Bacon is Way Better than New Year’s Resolutions

Everything goes better with bacon!  A "Luther Burger":  beef, beef bacon, swiss cheese and a grilled Krispy Kreme doughnut

As mentioned in an earlier post, we don't do resolutions in the USA Financial Service household.  We have plans and projects that spill over from year to year, so it's not too terribly practical to start at the magical stroke of midnight on New Year's day. For example, that Holy Grail of New Year resolutions, weight loss, was something I started back in July and kept on through today. Goal met, over and done with, now in maintenance mode. Although I got through the over-indulgences of the season with only a minor weight loss (1/2 lb on average), other years I've not fared as well --- as haven't millions of others. Party on, eat, drink and be merry, and wake up from the over-consumption coma in January resolving to never eat, drink or spend … [Read more...]