Sunday is Mothers’ Day, the day we set aside to give mothers a small portion of the credit they deserve.  When a child is born we call it "giving birth".  That’s what moms do.  They give us the greatest possible gift, the gift of birth.  Then they take care of us for the rest of our lives, no matter how old we (and she) get.

So, take some time this Sunday to let your mom know how much you appreciate all that she’s done for you.  For some of us, someone other than our biological mother has filled in.  Be sure to thank those people too.  And if you’re someone’s mom, all of us at Tacony Corporation wish you the best, happiest Mothers’ Day ever.


That Mall’s History

Here’s are two interesting web sites for you history buffs and curiosity seekers.  The first is called DeadMalls.comDeadMalls features the history of shopping malls that have seen better days.  Chances are that if you lived in a larger city, you have fond memories of the shopping center where you hung out as a kid.  But, changing times and trends have made it obsolete and it may be on its last legs, or gone entirely.

While you’re at DeadMalls, be sure and check out their "Links" page.  They connect to come cool sites including one on grocery stores and several Howard Johnson’s tribute sites.

The other site you might be interested in is similar.  It’s called, another shopping center history site.  (A labelscar is the still-visible outline of the letters when a name is removed from a building.  The site compares it to the white non-tanned skin that you see when you remove your watch.  Like DeadMalls, Labelscar has a state-by-state index and some interesting links.


How to Dial a Phone

This has nothing to do with business, but I had to pass it along.  We’ve come a long way in a short time.

On the other hand, those old Western Electric phones would have survived a nuclear blast and kept on working.  Maybe we haven’t come so far after all.

Small Business Week, 2008

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America (emphasis added, mb)

In communities across America, small business owners are working hard to turn their dreams into enterprises. Small Business Week is a time to celebrate the many achievements of small business owners, entrepreneurs, and employees, who contribute to the vitality and prosperity of our Nation and create new job opportunities for our citizens.

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and my Administration is committed to fostering an environment in which the entrepreneurial spirit can thrive. By keeping taxes low, we leave more money in the hands of Americans to save, spend, and invest. This year, we have also temporarily expanded incentives to help small businesses invest in new equipment and expand their enterprises. We have also expanded market access and opened new markets for American goods and services abroad, helping our small businesses compete in the global economy. To make health care more affordable and accessible, we continue to support Association Health Plans so small businesses can band together to get the same discounts that big companies receive.

The underpinnings of our economy are strong, competitive, and resilient enough to overcome the challenges we face, and in the long run, Americans can be confident that our economy will continue to grow. During Small Business Week and throughout the year, we recognize the determination and ingenuity of America’s workers and entrepreneurs who play a vital role in building a more prosperous future for our country.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 20 through April 26, 2008, as Small Business Week. I call upon all Americans to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs that celebrate the achievements of small business owners and their employees and encourage the development of new small businesses.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.


Veterans’ Day

[This post originally appeared on November 10, 2006.  It still applies.]

On November 11, 1918 an armistice went into effect between the Allied nations and Germany, ending what was then called the Great War, “the war to end all wars”.

Today we know it as World War I.

One year later, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 to be Armistice Day saying “the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.”

In 1954, after World War II and the Korean conflict, Congress changed the name to Veterans’ Day, a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, as part of the Uniform Holidays Act, Congress made Veterans’ Day one of the “Monday holidays” but so many states continued to celebrate it on November 11 that in 1975 it was moved back.

Sadly, the day seems to have lost some of its significance, in spite of the fact that so many of our young people are in harm’s way today.  Hopefully all of us will take some time today to think about the sacrifices that have been made and are being made today to protect our freedom.

Thank you to all our veterans!

Fall Back

Just a friendly reminder that Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend.  Chances are you had at least one computer try to make the change last weekend, but this time it’s for real.  Remember to set your clock back one hour before you go to bed Saturday night.  Also, it’s a good time to check the batteries in your smoke detectors. 

Oh, by the way, I know this is a business blog and no place for personal stuff, but say "Hello" to Michael Harold Buckley, my new grandson.  He was born this morning (Friday) at 7:58.  He weighted 7 pounds and 6 ounces and is 20 1/2" tall.  I promised him I’d get him on the Internet before he was twelve hours old.  So, here he is.


From Across the Pond

In case you missed it in the comments, our post "Bad Ideas" was included in this week’s Carnival of Small Business Ideas.  John Crickett, a business consultant from Great Britain, hosted the carnival on his blog, Business Opportunities and Ideas.  Your favorite blog has been included in several blog carnivals in the past, but now we’ve gone international.

Thanks to all of our readers for your continued support, and be sure to check out John’s blog. 

Catch 22

We begin today by acknowledging that, for obvious reasons, we all prefer to shop at local, independent retailers.  But if you bear with me for a bit, I think you’ll see why this is an important piece of information that could save you a lot of money.    It’s from the Insureblog.  [Disclaimer:  I found Insureblog when they posted a trackback to a post on MYOB.  Insureblog found MYOB because our post, Bad Ideas is an "Editor’s Choice" on the Carnival of the Capitalists this week.  While we appreciate the mention, we don’t link to other blogs just because they link to us. We link to other blogs when we think they have something that can help you. This post is a good example.]

Mike Feehan is the author and he points out that you can save money buying generic prescriptions at Wal-Mart.  Even if you have prescription coverage, your co-pay is going to be more than the $4.00 that Wally World charges for generics.  Obviously, if you have a $10.00 co-pay the $4.00 price is going to save you $6.00.  On a prescription that you refill monthly, that’s $72.00 per year. 

OK, that’s great.  "But I don’t shop at the big boxes", you say.  Fair enough.  Neither do I.  But, here in St. Louis, one local grocery chain isn’t just matching Wally’s $4.00 generic price, they’re actually filling generic prescriptions free, so I suspect that similar things are happening in other markets too.  If so, you can support your fellow independent retailer and still save some money.  Just keep in mind that nobody’s making any money at $4.00, so if you have a local store offering this price, make sure you do some of your other shopping there, too.   

As mentioned above, our post Bad Ideas is featured this week on the Carnival of the Capitalists.  The COTC is hosted this week by The Startup BlogThe Startup Blog is brand new, so there’s not a lot of material there yet, but according to their initial post, "This blog will feature news, trends, strategies, and advice for startups and entrepreneurs."   You might want to check it out. 

There’s also an interesting post in the Carnival called The Introvert’s Guide to Selling from the Business Pundit.

Ask Before It’s Too Late

Today’s post has nothing to do with business, but it’s such a good idea I had to pass it along.  Thanks to Dave Delaney for mentioning this in a comment on Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation podcast., under the subject of genealogy offers a list of fifty things to ask your parents or other family members.  The object is to get information for a family history search.  But, even if you have zero interest in genealogy, the answers to these questions will give you a great insight into your parents, probably revealing information about them that you don’t know because you’ve never asked.

Obviously if you know some of the answers, you won’t have to ask all fifty questions.  On the other hand, the fifty questions listed may give you ideas for some other things you’d like to know.  The best way to do this is to set up an audio recorder to save the answers for posterity.  Attach a microphone to your PC or laptop to do the recording and you can save it as an .mp3 file.  Then you can burn it to a CD or email the file to out-of-town family members. [Audio recording software like Sound Recorder (included with Microsoft Windows) and Audacity are easy to use and they’re free.  Many laptops have built-in microphones that make recording easy.  If you’re uncomfortable with the process, a cassette recorder would also work.  But there’s probably a teenager in your life who would love to help you do the recording.]

If your parents are gone, or even if they aren’t, you should pass this idea along to your kids.  They may not be interested today, but someday they’ll thank you for having the foresight to leave them a priceless family record.

Gov Gab

  Here’s something from the Federal Citizen Information Center, you know, the people in Pueblo, CO who send out the pamphlets on just about every subject under the sun.  This is a blog called Gov Gab.  According to their press release, "

"Visit for a fresh take on
government information seen through the eyes of five federal employees. Though
they have different backgrounds and interests, all the bloggers enjoy sharing on
a more personal level how they use the great government information they’ve
discovered while working for FCIC, 1
(800) FED-INFO, and Each weekday
you’ll find a new entry, and you can join the conversation by leaving a comment
or emailing the bloggers. Come check us out!"

I did check them out and it’s a pretty interesting blog.  The posts are conversational and cover a variety of topics.  The blog is barely a week old, but it looks like they’re going to post every week day.  So far, there’s nothing heavy, just some enjoyable conversation.

Like the press release says, "check them out."  You might as well, you’re paying for it.