‘Twas the Chum Before Christmas…

Although I’ve been busy on the highway pages all day, I still found some time to accumulate some chum to share with you all as a holiday gift:

  • From the “It Makes Me More Productive, Boss” Department: CNN is reporting that goofing off at work or reading a book may improve your productivity. They identify a number of work habits that help folks work smarter, not harder (or is that the other way around): (1) Read a book at work; (2) Take frequent breaks — or longer ones; (3) Blow off low-priority tasks; (4) Ignore e-mails and voice mail; (5) Set aside time to clear away the cobwebs; (6) Goof off; (7) Lower your standards. You know, I’ve got some of those down pat!
  • From the “It’s What’s Not For Dinner” Department: According to the LA Times, China is cracking down on an increasingly common menu item in Guangdong: Kitty-cats. Yup. Domestic cats are being rounded up and sold for about $1.40/lb. But some Chinese are drawing the line. Eating cat, they say — that is just too disgusting. The Small Animal Protection Assn. says one Guangzhou-based business captures up to 10,000 cats per day from different parts of China. Hopefully, protests will help stop this.
  • From the “And You Thought Your Christmas Was Hard” Department: The LA Times is also reporting on another business being hit by competition and the economy: the Poinsettia business. Originally most of the flowers came from a Southern California grower with an exclusive method, but someone figured out how to copy it, and now there are cheap poinsettias everywhere. Think of that when you see them in the market. Of course, there is one business making money right now: Pawnshops.
  • From the “Grinch that Stole Christmas” Department: The NY Times has a nice profile on the Sandlers, formerly of World Savings, who popularized the Option ARM. We all know where that took us.

To those that celebrate Christmas, may you have a happy and joyous one. For those of us who don’t, we can take comfort in the fact that we only have a few more hours of Christmas carols. Me, I’m off to belatedly light my Chanukiah!