Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Competition Mushrooms! (Musical Tribute)

Award Winning Stuffed Baby Portabella Mushrooms (Cremini)

These mushrooms took the grand prize at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. They are stuffed with feta, rosemary, 5 heads of roasted garlic and wrapped in prosciutto. Recipe by Jennifer Malfas

That sounds very tasty. So, with new-found optimism I went searching for more "competition mushrooms" to lighten my day.

October 5, 2011
Friendly's bankruptcy rumor sizzles

While it’s business as usual at Friendly’s restaurants, at least for now, the company is reported to be poised on the brink of filing for bankruptcy protection as tastes change and competition mushrooms.

Since when did "mushrooms" become a verb? This has gone horribly wrong! I suddenly feel like Japan in World War II!

Revenues have been on a steady downhill slope in recent years, but the regional chain with more than 500 locations and 10,000 employees retains many loyal customers who grew up on the ice cream and sandwiches.

Steady downhill slope? No!

The chain has been a fixture in New England, reaching the height of its popularity after World War II when competition was limited.

World War II? Bah!



Down with the Sickness

The song was recorded in 1999 and was released as the second single from their debut studio album, The Sickness.

Awesome timing.

This musical tribute would not be complete without a mall queen version.




The Mall Queen Version - Triebflugal

For what it is worth, I can actually play this one flawlessly on expert bass (or at the very least well enough to earn 5 gold stars anyway). The virtual bass is generally the easier instrument as seen in the lower right hand corner of the video.

You would not want to hear me sing it. Scary as this sounds, I am not even remotely in the Mall Queen's league, lol.

14 comments:

Troy said...

Goddamn DeLong has on is blog some long-winded macro BS jazz:

Robert E. Hall (2010). "Why Does the Economy Fall to Pieces after a Financial Crisis?" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 24(4): 3–20


My answer:

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=2AQ

What is wrong with these people?

Audrey said...

Mark,
Nice post.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Troy,

Why Does the Economy Fall to Pieces after a Financial Crisis?

With the financial crisis fading into history while unemployment remains stuck above 9 percent, macroeconomics is starting to ask what aspect of the legacy of the crisis remains so influential. Here the emphasis is on consumers’ continuing reluctance to resume buying durables and houses. Households are building their financial assets rather than using their discretionary income to buy cars, houses, and furniture. Existing models of durables purchasing behavior are receiving a new look, with particular attention paid to income uncertainty and to the capacity of households to manage that uncertainty in the post-crisis world of lost liquid assets and drastically reduced ability to borrow to bridge temporary income declines.

Yeah, it is real shocking that consumers slowed their purchases of cars, houses, and furniture once the economy fell apart and have instead entered a bunker mentality due to the massive uncertainty. Real shocking.

Why have I slowed my purchases? Could it be that I can no longer be guaranteed of steady long-term income from my savings now that the 20-year TIPS yields just 0.59%? Could it be that similar future returns from the stock market are suspect based on the long-term trend of the past 13 years? The economist world may never know.

Forehead. Desk. Whack. Whack. Whack.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Audrey,

Nice? You are being way too kind. Let's call it like it is.

This post was packed with the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus! ;)

Troy said...

"consumers slowed their purchases of cars, houses, and furniture once the economy fell apart and have instead entered a bunker mentality due to the massive uncertainty."

I don't buy the "uncertainty" thing.

Households were net borrowing ~$1.2T/yr 2004-2006.

That's an average of $10.000 per household per year.

One helluva artificial stimulus.

YOY CMDEBT went from $1.2T to -$200B 2007-2009.

The financial crisis is an effect, not a cause of anything.

captcha word is "reephi", LOL

Troy said...

Next spamword is "pricks".

Sorry but I couldn't let that go to waste.

How I feel about the economics profession in general anyway.

getyourselfconnected said...

Loved Friendly's up here! So sad.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Troy,

I don't buy the "uncertainty" thing.

I only speak for myself. I am not at all "certain" that we will return to normal nor am I certain that it will be as easy to make money off of money as it was in the past.

I therefore have bunker mentality until proven otherwise.

Stagflationary Mark said...

GYSC,

I've never been to a Friendly's.

I have been to a Grumpy's though, once. I'm not even joking! It was an awkward experience. The restaurant clearly wasn't doing well and they were therefore extra eager to please. The cook even came out to ask how the food was. We said it was great but it was only mediocre.

For future reference, Grumpy's is probably not the best restaurant name. It was eventually replaced with a Starbucks.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Troy,

My uncertainty appeared BEFORE the markets crashed. I turned bearish in 2004.

I think the uncertainty of most has now caught up to meet me.

I suppose it is easy to go on a borrowing spree if one thinks the future is bright. Too bad the future was only bright due to the lightning in the storm clouds, lol. Sigh.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Put another way, it was the false certainty that allowed people to feel comfortable borrowing beyond their means.

That sense of false certainty has been replaced with true uncertainty.

Heck, I can't even say with certainty if I should brace for more deflation or more inflation.

Slower growth for as far as the eye can see is about all that I am really certain about, if only because I can see provable exponential trend failures that can never fully recover.

Troy said...

it was the false certainty that allowed people to feel comfortable borrowing beyond their means.

it wasn't false uncertainty, it was a feedback effect of the borrowing CREATING the economic activity that got us out of the tech recession.

In Monopoly board game terms, every Community Chest card had 'Collect $500' on it, 2004-2006.

Let the good times roll.

I actually thought people could afford the homes they were buying 2004-2006. Then the Casey Serin story broke and I understood the mortgage makers had not been underwriting their loans at all.

Troy said...

I therefore have bunker mentality until proven otherwise.

The independently wealthy really aren't a big part of the economy, power wise, compared to the masses.

The beauty of the home inflation regime was dumping hundreds of billions of dollars of HELOC money directly into middle class checking accounts every year, plus the FIRE stimulus in real estate ladying, loan brokering, home rehab, construction, etc etc.

It was a beautiful ponzi.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Troy,

I actually thought people could afford the homes they were buying 2004-2006.

False certainty.

We're just splitting hairs here. It isn't that I disagree with what you are saying. I'm simply saying that the prosperity and the certainty were both illusions. Some people are still trying to cling to both. Take Jeremy Siegel. He still clings to 200+ years of stock market data even as the stock market has gone nowhere for the last 13 years. He's certain he's right to do so though.

The independently wealthy really aren't a big part of the economy, power wise, compared to the masses.

I am just one of many baby boomer retirees looking for a safe reliable way to protect my nest egg. About the only real difference between me and the others is that I was fortunate to be able to retire ahead of schedule. I do not live the life of the rich and famous, not even close. I drive a 15 year old Camry and shop at Wal-Mart.

It was a beautiful ponzi.

False certainty is the basis of a ponzi scheme. It is a "confidence" game. Certainty is a synonym for confidence.