June 02, 2006

Back in the USA

Escaped from Toronto. The meeting went a bit long (extended Q&A) and a major US conglomerate has successfully acquired another company in the clean water category. I drove the entire trip from Toronto to Hartford; my traveling companion got to nap and work, I got to play with the shiny, glittery GPS based dashboard navigation system. We made good time; I walked in the door before 8:30 pm.

In the medical imaging field, my primary work industry, this company has acquired a few companies that I and my clients do business with (Lunar, Imatron, etc) - there seems to be a Star Trek "Borg" comparison out there amongst the field service folks. You will be assimilated. We've joked about the data port being surgically implanted.

It can be frustrating as a consultant / supplier. My clients find that the big company sourcing people are really good at turning the cranks to drop costs - but sometimes turn a high value-added product into a commodity. This sometimes means they take a partner-developed, high value design, bid it out to a company that may not be fully competant, but is willing to low-ball to do high volume business. 2-3 years later when said company is driven out of business, the big boy comes back knocking on the door. It's not fatal, just annoying. I tend to advise: walk away when they come looking to slash prices to the point of pain; no sense losing money, and they will come back a little humbler after they destroy their low cost vendors.

Speaking of clean water, I was amused to find American Standard commodes in Canada. I guess in the continental sense it's still America. But I kind of wanted to find Canadian Standard or something.....I dunno. All in all, Toronto is way too similar to a USA city for my taste, Church Street notwithstanding.....between credit cards and getting my meals paid for by my client and the ubiquity of USA currency, I never even touched a Canadian coin or bill....

Back home and trying to get back into my routine - work today and some yoga, Jazzercise and a WNBA game tomorrow. I need to get my June 1st invoices out as well as a bunch of power reports that have piled up.

Zippy has been trying to order a higher end dehumidifier (Comfort-Aire, model BHD-651) for the basement for many moons; I finally went online, found the right make / model online (Ace Hardware Outlet via ebay) and ordered it for UPS delivery. I think my inner stone butch comes out in matters of retail expediency. Just order the damn thing, and stop futzing around.

I had really weird dreams last night - odd for me. Lots of peripheral people and semi-famous in my life were there. Hockey was involved. Food was involved. Really odd and vivid.

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