Thursday, December 18, 2008

Camaro Update

Car is mostly stripped and 1 quarter panel's already been replaced!

2008 Camaro Painting

Tomorrow is my last day of work in Detroit...this year? Ever? Everyone in greater Detroit is on pins and needles right now while Washington debates whether or not to make loans to the failing (formerly) big 3...or is it kinda big 1 and little 1. I'm not sure what to call them anymore. With so many production company's announcing 4 week (or more) shutdowns it's not easy to ponder coming back to the office on Jan 5 and finding there's nothing to to sell to! Scary prospects, but that's the reality we face. I've given a lot of thought lately to how i can escape this industry, it's just not fun anymore. I'd love to go back to school for a Masters in Economics but my mind isn't made up yet. All i can focus on right now is getting out of here for vacation!

Stay tuned..the corrigan year in review is coming up!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Where can i get financing!

It's in the way you dress. The way you boogie down. The way you sign your unemployment check. You're a man who likes to do things your own way. And on those special odd-numbered Saturdays when driving is permitted, you want it in your car. It's that special feeling of a zero-emissions wind at your back and a road ahead meandering with possibilities. The kind of feeling you get behind the wheel of the Pelosi GTxi SS/Rt Sport Edition from Congressional Motors.

All new for 2012, the Pelosi GTxi SS/Rt Sport Edition is the mandatory American car so advanced it took $100 billion and an entire Congress to design it. We started with same reliable 7-way hybrid ethanol-biodeisel-electric-clean coal-wind-solar-pedal power plant behind the base model Pelosi, but packed it with extra oomph and the sassy styling pizazz that tells the world that 1974 Detroit is back again -- with a vengeance.

We've subsidized the features you want and taxed away the rest. With its advanced Al Gore-designed V-3 under the hood pumping out 22.5 thumping, carbon-neutral ponies of Detroit muscle, you'll never be late for the Disco or the Day Labor Shelter. Engage the pedal drive or strap on the optional jumbo mizzenmast, and the GTxi SS/Rt Sport Edition easily exceeds 2016 CAFE mileage standards. At an estimated 268 MPG, that's a savings of nearly $1800 per week in fuel cost over the 2011 Pelosi.

Even with increased performance we didn't skimp on safety. With 11-point passenger racing harnesses, 15-way airbags, and mandatory hockey helmet, you'll have the security knowing that you could survive a 45 MPH collision even if the GTxi SS/Rt were capable of that kind of illegal speed.

But the changes don't stop there. Sporty mag-style hubcaps and an all-new aggressive wedge shape designed by CM's Chief Stylist Ted Kennedy slices through the wind like an omnibus spending bill. It even features an airtight undercarriage to keep you and a passenger afloat up to 15 minutes -- even in the choppy waters of a Cape Cod inlet. Available a rainbow of color choices to match any wardrobe, from Harvest Avocado to French Mustard.

Inside, a luxurious all-velour interior designed by Barney Frank features thoughtful appointments like in-dash condom dispenser and detachable vibrating shift knob. A special high capacity hatchback holds up to 300 aluminum cans, meaning fewer trips to the redemption center. And the standard 3 speaker Fairness ActoPhonic FM low-band sound system means you'll never miss a segment of NPR again.

Best of all, the Pelosi GTxi SS/Rt is made right here in the U.S.A. by fully card-checked unionized workers and Detroit's famous visionary jet-set managers. Even if you don't own one, you can enjoy the patriotic satisfaction that you're supporting the high wages, good benefits, and generous political donations that are once again making the American car industry the envy of the world.

But why not buy one anyway? With an MSRP starting at only $629,999.99, it's affordable too. Don't forget to ask about dealer incentives, rebates, tax credits, and wealth redistribution plans for customers from dozens of qualifying special interest groups. Plus easy-pay financing programs from Fannie Mae.

So take the bus to your local CM dealer today and find out why the Pelosi GTxi SS/Rt Sport Edition is the only car endorsed by President Barack Obama. One test drive will convince you that you'd choose it over the import brands. Even if they were still legal.

original page at

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Economic Downturn?

Who knew! I've decided to be a good consumer and get my car's a few pics!

2008 Camaro Painting

I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving, i know i did. I had 2 actually. I was making up for lost time since i hadn't been to a proper thanksgiving dinner since 2004! Although i could've done with less driving (mel's with me on that one too i think) I had a great time visiting all the family and friends. And paris seemed to really enjoy uncle steve's frozen pond! To give credit where credit's due...Great Job on all the pics Aunt Jo!

2008 Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey day! almost here. I'm looking forward to doing allot of bad eating! I'll also be getting a guy kicked off on stripping and painting my car.

Found this today..thought it was worth sharing. Add this debt to your budget the next time you review it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake

Nice to see our leaders actively supporting so many industries. I was worried that the wine industry would experience a slowdown. close call.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Too big to fail?

Revenue – 166 Billion
Profit Margin – (13.42%)

GM Generated over 160 BILLION in sales, yet they still can’t manage to get their costs under control.

GM’s not too big to fail; they’re too big to survive. The sad reality is that given current sales, GM’s internal costs are simply far too big. You don’t have the sales you want…you have the sales you have. GM can hope, pray and plan for sales to go way up but they’ve gotta survive these lean years first and that’s not happening. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

The government should not bail out GM. That would be a poor use of taxpayer dollars. The private sector, knowing the outlook and turnaround plan for GM, will not loan them the money, nor should we (taxpayers) for the same reason. I work at a supplier supporting GM in NE Michigan, I understand the potential impact a bankrupt GM would have if it failed as much, if not better, than most…but it doesn’t matter. GM has tied up many resources and is not using them efficiently. Those resources should be allowed to move elsewhere. Other industries, companies etc. GM generates a -7.5% return on assets, that’s a poor use of said assets.

Let’s walk through a bailout scenario –
GM get’s 50 billion…this buys time.
Sales remain steady(?) in the next 5 years
GM has to cut it’s internal costs by billions so that when the 50 billion dollar bailout run’s out they can not only pay it back (with interest), but generate a profit. Cash flow must be positive. Don’t forget, GM’s already got 45 billion in debt on the books.

To do this, what can they control…
Reduce current employee wages, beneifits.
Reduce retiree benefits.
Asset sales
Capacity reduction(s)
Reductions in development costs (including elimination of redundant brands)
New product development

Will sales go up? Maybe
Will sales go down? Maybe

They can influence sales, sure, but only to an extent.

That’s the simple scenario…I’ve seen allot of efforts to achieve those changes but so far it’s not worked. It’s not been enough. Would you buy a car from a company that just required a multi billion dollar bailout?

Let’s look at a Bankruptcy scenario –
GM files ch. 11
GM presents a plan to reduce all costs inline with sales
Asset fire sale
UAW’s pissed but can’t strike.
Sales drop..tbd
GM emerges smaller and right-sized in line with their sales.
The peasants rejoice?

Would bankruptcy hurt sales? Sure, but they already suck. And who’s gonna buy a car from a company that needs a cash injection from the fed every few years.

They’re both crappy, risky scenario’s. There are no guarantee’s in life, but I’m not willing to buy their stock (nor are most apparently) we shouldn’t be forced to invest in them via our tax dollars. I’d be (a bit) more comfortable with a bailout (loan) if GM was already in bankruptcy because at least then you know everything is on the table to ensure the necessary changes can be made.

It’s easy to focus on the blame game. The unions demanded too much. Management gave too much. They focused on trucks too long. Their quality is bad. There’s some truth to all these but at the end of the day…who cares. It’s for all those reasons that they should fail. Is any of that going to change enough in the future?

Keep in mind that the government helped make this mess. Their policies towards automakers are rooted not in logic but in political pressures. The government skews markets by supporting vehicles that people don’t want and can’t be built economically (volt, for example) while vehicles with high demand and margins are taxed and pushed out of production (trucks). They’ve done everything they could do to kill truck/SUV sales and promote the sale of unprofitable vehicles. If the government wants to help long term..they’d cut fuel taxes (including on diesel and state level taxes) and offer tax rebates on profitable vehicles. But politically that doesn’t work, the greenies would raise hell.

Today, right now, the facts remain.

GM’s market share is down, and will never approach previous levels
UAW costs are un-competitive
Current/future retiree obligations cannot be funded given the sales outlook
GM has too much capacity
GM has too many redundant brands and redundant products
Development costs are too high.

The numbers confirm all this.

I made a post about GM a few years ago…I can’t help but wonder how things would be different if Rick W had read it!

Actually that’s not totally fair. I think Rick Wagoner’s done a lot and been on the right path…it simply wasn’t enough, it was too little, too late.

What’s even more scary are the parallels between GM and our own government.

Enormous Structural budget deficit – check
Unfunded (and growing) retiree and health care liabilities – check
Huge Debt – check
Inflexible labor costs – check
Too many retirees’s being funded by too few employees - check
Generous employee benefits -check

Someone once said, as GM goes, so goes the nation. Let’s hope not. A GM failure could be catastrophic, but more catastrophic would be enormous government investment in a ship that’s already to far underwater to survive. Or a government that runs out of money and who's currency no-one wants.

As for me? I’m good. Looking forward to thanksgiving! Mmm…turkey. I’ve already told Mel all healthy eating rules are off for both of us on Nov. 26. 

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Not Much to report...

....but i thought i'd make a new post. It's been very busy at work over the past few weeks but i stil found a little time to make some progress on my boat project. I really thought this was gonna be a 1 or 2 month of today i'm goin on 4 months. The sanding is what takes so long, well, that and the fact the adhesive i'm using is doing a better job keeping my hands stuck to the hull then the wood.

Mel and i went to a halloween party last night which was allot of fun. It's a little strange to go to a party and not drink, I'm never really sure what to do with my empty hands. I guess i know what all the DD's feel like. I do find it entertaining to listen to all the drunk conversations as a sober person...makes me wonder if all of my drunk conversations sounded so funny. Probably not.

Chris Craft pics october 08

Thursday, October 09, 2008

youtube and pic

I like this....note that there are 3 people in the picture.

and this....

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Sell, Sell, SELLLL!!!

so sayeth cramer anyway.

First off i should say that i don't condone selling right now..well, not for everyone. I actually have been asked this a few times in the last week. I must spend too much time on bloomberg at work. For most people this fall shouldn't prompt mass selling but it truly depends on your situation. If there's money invested in equities that you may need in the next 5 years (for retirement, a house whatever) then i would sell and horde cash. Never invest what you can't afford to lose. However if you don't need the cash in the next 5 years then turn to history and realize that markets in the long run will continue to perform as long as business's continue to exist.

I however am a bit of a hypocrite (don't say anything mel) because i liquidated virtually all my equities about 5 months ago. I'm not gonna pretend i saw this coming ..not exactly anyway, but i knew that our economy wasn't sounds and the cheap money policies of Greenspan would catch up. Lucky me i suppose. For someone in my position (relatively young, long investment horizon) this kind of drop affords some opportunity to really find some bargains. I plan to keep my investment strategy exactly the same...find a solid company....selling at a cheap price...go in big...hold!!! From that standpoint if you are riding this would be a good time to re-evaluate where your money is and make sure the companies you own are solid.

Start with these questions...

Why did i buy this company? (hint: "To make money is a BAD answer"..or rather, a very incomplete answer)
What's it's competitive advantage?
Who are it's competitors?
Can i trust it's management?

There's a million more worthwhile questions to add...but start with those.

It's best to try to look at investing as if you're buying the whole company. Why buy a little piece if you're not willing to buy the whole company? That would be speculation. And if you're willing to buy the whole thing, would you sell your company if it went up 5%? 10%? No, most likely you'd continue to grow it until you need to sell..not just because the market says it's worth a bit more.

A few of my favorite quotes and my take on them.....i wont cite sources cause I'm lazy

"Short term markets are voting machines, long term markets are weight machines. " for the long term. The real value will reveal itself over a long enough horizon.

"When there's blood on the street, buy". similar to "when others are greedy be fearful, when others are fearful be greedy" i.e. situations like today may present some real bargains.

In a strange twist this fall is having some unusual impact on muni bonds. watch their returns...

As for what to do with your cash right now? you need it in the next 3 months...5 years? You can put together a CD ladder and get about 25% over 5 years guaranteed. Even just sitting on cash isn't a bad idea. I'd be very concerned with buying and commodities or other assets right now due to the risk of deflation.

ok, enough preaching. i just find economics and investing fascinating.

On a lighter note, we'll be getting some visitors this weekend. Maw, paw, mo and bro will be coming out for a long weekend. The weather is looking pretty good for a nice fall weekend and i think we'll spend sometime outdoors here in lovely oakland county michigan.

Regarding my treatments....they are progressing as planned. They don't give me any real bad side effects, just some mild stomach issues and a little light headedness, but it passes quickly. This time of year it's tough to eat well too...there's just too many opportunities to eat badly! But if I learned one nothing from AntiCancer it's that eating well is critical to being healthy and fighting cancer.

Friday, October 03, 2008

So i understand...

...the solution to falling asset values (i.e. home values) is for the government to step in and by securities that the bank's hold whose value is dropping? Why should we, the taxpayers, take on these assets? at what price? for how long? For every winner, there's losers. The government saves a few banks but at the cost of investing taxpayer dollars in overvalued assets. Not to mention that anyone shopping for houses right now is HOPING for falling prices.

It's also apparently irrelevant that we don't have 700billion to spend, i think our rainy day fund was tapped...who am i kidding, we don't have a rainy day fund. We'll have to borrow the 700 billion.


So this "bailout" passed the house wed night, but the dow fell about 300 pts. Maybe the "market" isn't so convinced on this bill after all.

Oh, and remember this gem?

This took effect Oct. 1. This little piece of legislation (agree or disagree with it) has the potential to prop up home prices much more effectively then the new bill. But politicians and the media seem to have forgotten about this bill.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm (kind of) done

That's right, last Tuesday i had my final high dose treatment. It's hard to believe a month went by so fast, but it did. Overall it really wasn't that bad, fatigue was my biggest issue. Much to the surprise of my doc's i worked half days through all this and i even managed to be somewhat productive at work. emphasis on somewhat....

Last Saturday i turned 29. I got probably the best birthday present I could have hoped for (aside from learning that my cancer is completely gone), i was invited by my (awesome) girlfriend to attend a wedding. Oh, but not just any wedding..a lesbian wedding. I met the two girls getting married (hehe) a few months ago and have been looking forward to this ever since. I don't have any pics right now, but as soon as i get copies i'll post a few. It was a great time. There was nothing too off the wall about it...there was a ceremony, reception, food, drinks, dancing etc...but what made it just that little bit funner was when i looked around the dance floor, it was at least 50% girls dancing with girls.

life is..not so bad. :)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Short update

I started my interferon treatments about 2 weeks ago. Each day i have to go down to the hospital and sit in a chair for about 45 minutes while a bag of interferon is pumped into me. After 2 weeks of shots my arms look like those of a crack addict! I've also got to take a handful of pills everyday, they're actually quite colorful. So much so that i thought i'd put a pic up so everyone reading this can see. The injection itself isn't too bad but the first few nights afterwards were pretty rough, i had severe flu like symptoms (fever, chills, cold sweats etc.) but lately it's been much, much better. If i had a month of nights like the first night, well, i don't know how i would've survived without alcohol. Thankfully though i'm halfway done with the high dosage portion of the treatment. After this the dosage goes way down and i only need to give myself a shot 3 times per week.

I put a few more boat pics up too. This things allot of fun. I don't really have a proper workshop to work in, but i've been able to contain the mess so far. Thank god mel brought a proper vacuum cleaner with her.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

An update

What can i say, my life just isn't that interesting. It's been almost a year since i left Europe and i think i've written 3 posts? and not even text posts!!! like i said..not much going on.

Until now...

On June 23 i found out i have cancer. Stage III Metastatic Melanoma to be exact. I found a lump in my groin. After realizing that it wouldn't just go away on it's own i got it checked out and lo and IS a tumor (in my best Arnold accent). My first reaction was to google all the info i could find. Unfortunately the internet can be dangerous in these situations and needless to say the first few weeks were pretty tough. My online search told me that stage 3 is one stop short of Stage 4 (naturally) which is incurable. Melanoma, despite being “just” skin cancer turns out to be a pretty nasty disease, the survival rates are scary (no need to rehash them here...just take my word for it).

I was torn about whether to write about this or not. On the one hand, it's a private thing and I'm a pretty private person..why broadcast this to the world. But on the other hand, this is going to have drastic impact on the next year of my fact the rest of my life...and writing about it is kind of therapeutic. Even if no-one's reading this any more.

So where am i now on all this? What's the status? Well, after 2 biopsies, 1 colonoscopy (NOT COOL), 1 PET scan, 1 body MRI, 1 Brain MRI, a bone scan and a lymph node dissection i can proudly say that i'm cancer free....maybe. The last one on that list, the lymph node dissection was the culmination of all the other tests and involved cutting out 10 lymph nodes from my groin. I had (as of last tuesday) about 12 inches of stitches and 2 JP drains coming out of my legs. In addition i had to be on crutches and couldn't drive for the last few weeks. Luckily though i had some great pain killers! Not a fun way to spend 4 weeks of summer but they cut out the offending i got that goin for me.

Thus far i think the recovery's gone quite well. I've never been under the knife for anything so this was a very new experience for me. The fatigue, pain and overall uncomfortableness (is that a word) were pretty intense in the beginning but it's improved every day to the point where I'm completely off the crutches and painkillers, the stitches are out and both drains are out. I drove my car last friday for the first time in 4 and a half weeks. SWEET FREEDOM!!!

That's the first half of the treatment. Now comes the immunotherapy part. 4 weeks, 5days per week 1 hr per day of IV interferon followed by 1 year of self administered interferon. This might get rough. I won't run through all the boring details but this stuff has a tendency to really knock people on their ass. I'm hoping to work as much as i can through this. In fact i worked last Friday, yesterday and today! albeit partial days, but i need this to get some sanity back in my life.

So that's my story. It's been a tough couple of months but luckily i've had some incredible help and support from my family and of course Mel. I can't imagine trying to do this alone and thankfully...i don't need to. It felt good to write it down and hopefully it wasn't too bad on the reading side. I'm not sure how much i'll write in the next few months, particularly if the interferon (immunotherapy) hits me hard, but i'll try.

On the plus side, here's a few “silver lining's” that i like to focus on
-i'll probably lose some weight
-i get a handicap parking pass
-i didn't drive for a month..i.e i probably wont be over on my lease
-i got a nice boat model to build as a gift
-i didn't have to work for nearly 5 weeks, but still got paid!

Oh, the boat model. Odd thing to throw in there right? Well one of my dive buddy's back home was nice enough to donate a really cool Chris Craft model to the “help occupy corrigan during his boring 4 weeks off” fund. Donations are tax deductible people.

Here are a few pics.

Chris Craft Model

It's not done yet, but it's been allot of fun and i'll throw some more pics on as i move forward.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Election fun..

With Spitzer and Kilpatick doing such a bang up job gathering support for the democrat's this election season, i thought i'd share this youtube video to do my part.

Good stuff

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

to blog or not to blog...

that is the question. I didn't write that, it's a slightly modified version of something in a play by some dead guy.

In case i isn't obvious to those who've seen me i made it back from australia alive. I had a great 2 month vacation and in fact made it back to the states just in time to take another 2 weeks off. I don't know what all these unemployed people are complaining about. I loved it. But it had to end eventually and i started work back up here in MI in early January. I'm here and working like i never left. The natural question is whether to keep this thing up since i'm not technically at large anymore (at least in the national sense)...truth be told i don't know if i will or not. Depending on my motivational level it may become more of a photoboard..but we'll see. to kick it off i'll throw up a few pics of my new apartment in the gut of pontiac and also some from my upcoming beer pong tournament. 16 teams..but in the end, there can be only one.