Another RFI

This time, it’s for a cordless screwdriver, of this ilk:

Confession:  for most of my life I’ve used a variable-speed electric drill to drive screws home, because my experiences with the battery-type were universally bad.  But my Bosch drills are too cumbersome, too powerful and too heavy for furniture assembly — they’re fine for construction, less so for cabinetmaking — and as I’m about to assemble some Ikea bookcases in the near future*, I need a decent cordless screwdriver.  As always, I want to buy quality — not professional, but close to it — because if the damn thing breaks in mid-task, I will not be responsible for the rage which ensues.  Ditto if the damn battery only works for ten minutes before expiring.

All recommendations will be gratefully received.


*Don’t chide me, I have very specific dimension needs, and the Swedish joint is the only place which has suitable bookcases — believe me, I’ve looked.

Oh FFS

If ever we need to be reminded that today’s (so-called) young men are a bunch of whiny twerps, here’s additional proof (and carries an extreme barf warning). One example should suffice:

And out of all the “Best Of Bread” memes in the article, only one guy seems to have a little spunk:

But as for the rest?  Sheesh;  it is, as they say, to puke.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the range before I start growing breasts.

Wealth-Envious Bullshit

Apparently, some financial “experts” in Britishland have taken exception to the massive bonus paid out to a company’s executive chairman:

One of Britain best-paid female bosses has been slammed by critics over a £29million bonus.
Avril Palmer-Baunack runs British Car Auctions, which owns We Buy Any Car, the car-buying website known for its catchy jingles.
On top of the £29 million bonus, which is linked to an increase in the share price, she also got an eight per cent increase to her basic salary to £525,000. The company defended it by saying it needed to pay a ‘competitive’ rate.
But in a report to investors, influential advisory firm Glass Lewis called the £29 million payout to Palmer-Baunack ‘exceptionally disproportionate’.

…and needless to say, the politicians want to get in the game:

Last year, Theresa May announced plans to censure stock market-listed firms who drew exceptional levels of complaints from shareholders over bosses’ pay.

There is just one problem with all of this outrage:  it’s total bullshit.  Here’s why (from the article itself):

The vast sum, 59 times her normal salary, is the result of an incentive plan drawn up four years ago to grow the firm.

In other words, four years ago the board of directors told the CEO that if she managed to grow the company’s value by x, she would be paid y.  (And I should also point out that this incentive plan would have required a formal agreement from the shareholders — the same shareholders who are now bitching about the thing — before being implemented.)

Well, that’s exactly what our Avril did, so she has to get paid the bonus.  (The size of the bonus is irrelevant, because it was obviously based on a sliding percentage driven by the amount of growth.)

Of course, the trolls at Glass Lewis don’t see it that way, because (and once again from the article):

[Glass Lewis] said the increase in the value of BCA may have been boosted by broader swings in stock market prices ‘rather than company or management performance’.

Well, guess what?  “Broader swings” in the stock market are a result of shareholder confidence in the market’s activities and results — and if the company and its boss benefit from that, it’s called “good luck”.  I should point out once again that if the market is tanking and it takes a company down with it — through no fault of the company boss, mind you — the boss may well get fired anyway because at the end (and please note this, because it’s important), executive management is responsible for one thing, and one thing only:  growth in the value of the shareholders’ investmentHow it gets there is irrelevant (except in the Land Of Wealth Envy).  When they say, “The buck stops here”, that’s precisely what it means:  the ultimate responsibility for shareholder value lies with the executive manager, and with this comes either termination or reward, as agreed by the shareholders.

All the other guff about Palmer-Baunack being a female executive, incidentally, is just smoke — her sex is completely irrelevant, as it should be.  Then there’s this:

The vote on the pay report is only advisory so, if Palmer-Baunack feels able to shrug off criticism, she will be allowed to keep the lot.

Let’s hope the woman has an iron nerve (which she seems to have, by the way), and tells all the wailers to fuck off.

Palmer-Baunack, who has a grown-up son and daughter and is married to a German executive at Volkswagen, previously defended her £7.1 million pay packet for 2015 by saying: ‘Anyone who says they don’t want money is talking bullshit. We all want to earn money for our family.’
The Edinburgh-born executive, 54, has been vocal about women in the workplace in the past. She once said she was ‘very cynical’ about the existence of ‘glass ceilings’ – the term used to describe the limits on the career opportunities for women in big corporations.

Considering that she started off as an agent for a car rental company, I think she’s proved her point.

And if the wailing gets too much, she should really tell them all to get stuffed by taking her £29million bonus and going off to live in Switzerland, Monaco or the Caymans, beyond the reach of the would-be wealth confiscators.

Good luck to her, say I.

Best Comedy TV (Part 2)

Frasier
Quite possibly one of the only spinoffs that was even better than its host series (this one from the above-mentioned Cheers ), Frasier was not just the chronicle of the exploits and catastrophes of the pompous (and hapless) psychiatrist Frasier Crane.  What set this show apart from all others was the relationship between Kelsey Grammer’s Frasier and his onscreen brother, David Hyde Pierce’s Niles, which was absolute perfection — as was the brothers’ relationship with their father, John Mahoney’s Martin Crane.  I think I’m pretty safe in saying that no better family relationship — at times hostile, affectionate, prickly, loving, irritable and always fraught with tension — has ever been written for the small screen.  While the female co-stars played a large part in the show’s quality, the three men were absolutely exquisite.  And speaking of the women, let’s not forget the very-much-underappreciated radio show producer, Peri Gilpin’s Roz: