Occupational hazard being my occupation’s just not around

Sometimes I come up with a line that I can just work every which way.  I started with a pirate theme today.  You see, at 4:15am today, Rita decided I needed to get up.  She is no longer relegated to her crate at night and now sleeps in the bedroom.  She decided the best way to wake me up was to step on my face.  Of course, she’s a dog and I’m a person and her dog foot slipped off my face and caught on my earring.  (which REALLY woke me up)  I checked the earring as much as you can at 4:15am right after a dog steps on your face, apparently not as well as I should have.  I got out of the shower this morning and ARRRRGH!  I’m a PIRATE!  I looked around as best as I could, since by then I have literally moments to get out of the house and catch my BARF train and it’s no where to be found.  Anyway, it made me think of my favorite pirate song that had the great line in it that’s today’s title, which can mean only one thing…DANGER RANT AHEAD!

I’m taking some classes, which is one of the reasons I go missing now and again.  I have to read or study for a test.  One of the classes I’m taking was having a discussion about the life of a neighborhood.  I’ve heard this theory before, applied to investing in real estate.  Essentially, all neighborhoods go through four phases:

  1. Integration
  2. Equilibrium
  3. Disintegration
  4. Rejuvenation

Integration is when a neighborhood is built and for lack of a better word, “comes up”.  Schools are new, homes are new, roads are new, commercial centers are new and the neighborhood is integrated into the town or City.  The next phase is Equilibrium.  This is where the trees are established, the homes and businesses are established and maybe 3-7 years old, the appliances and kitchens are still in style.  The roads are in good repair but not new and the schools are in great shape and the children score well in testing.  The next phase is Disintegration.  This is where the roads get a little long in the tooth, some of the front yards start to lose their luster, maybe there’s more absentee ownership, homes need a coat of paint and the interiors show their age.  The final step, which is really the beginning of another cycle is Rejuvenation.  People like me come into the neighborhood, remodel the homes, landscape to current designs and generally do what they can to improve the state of things in the neighborhood.  This is a phase with a lot of first time buyers and sweat equity.  And then it starts all over again.

I think companies go through the same thing.  Old Repulsive is an excellent example.  They’re disintegrating right now.  If you were to go back 15 years, they were flying high and virtually untouchable.  But they blinked.  The Evil Empire tried to take a run at them, but their unwavering burger flipping mentality, and lack of vision kept them from ever being as great as they could have been.  Especially considering some of the staff they recruited and then unceremoniously shitcanned when things turned southerly.  The Bloodless Empire quietly built a monster.  For years, all any one in these parts could do was hope to be Number 2, because Number 1 was locked up and had been locked up for years.  Normally being Number 2 means you’re first placed loser, but in this industry, you’re really Number 1.2, because no one could catch the Bloodless Empire.  Now the mirror has cracked.  Almost ten percent of the Bloodless Empire’s stock is owned by a hedge fund.  They say jump and the executive team asks “how high” halfway up.  And they’re now spinning off the “information services”, which means the title company.  The implementation has been half assed at best and the truth is, when you serve only your corporate masters, your soul becomes a commodity and eventually worthless.  So at the end of the day, a hedge fund that bet on the Bloodless Empire is dismantling it in the name of a “spin off”.  This is the disintegration phase.  As monkeys fly out their asses in Boston the rank and file are assured that there will be no change in your day to day functions.  Blah Blah Blah.  We’re under fire from consumer groups and politicians and we can’t seem to justify our existance our get our of our own way.  The only real unanswered question is what will become of this business?