Thursday, January 15, 2009

Steve Jobs, Nortel, a plane crash and Ricardo Montalban

It's been a nutty week. I'm coming down from juggling a zillion pieces of work and life, so I thought I'd toss a few milestones onto the screen because months from now, I think it'll be cool to look back at the week that was and remember what it was like to sit here on a cold winter's night and reflect on it all. Let's dive in, shall we?
  • Steve Jobs took a leave of absence from his job at the top of Apple. I'm already willing to lay odds - as if I'd even know how to do that, but work with me here - that he won't be back. And what of Apple's future? Whatever it is, it's just gotten that much more interesting to follow. Which means life's going to be more fun for me in the coming months. I chatted with BNN's Michael Kane about this on Jan. 5th. Here's the interview.
  • Nortel sought bankruptcy protection. This is another one of those things I've been chirping about for a while. It was only a matter of time before this train wreck of a process ended up here. And while it's sad for employees, shareholders and anyone else who appreciated Nortel for its role as a telecom pioneer in a country long seen as a world leader in ths space, it's difficult to ignore just how Darwinian the modern business world has become. And if you've become weak, stuff like this happens. Oops, almost forgot: I spoke with BNN's Michael Kane for his show, Lunch Money yesterday (spacecase that I am, I can't locate the clip - if anyone finds it, let me know) and Janet Babin interviewed me for National Public Radio's Marketplace (click here for story page and link to audio report.)
  • Ricardo Montalban passed away. While he may be best known for making "Corinthian leather" part of the modern lexicon, his most notable achievement is busting through Hollywood's stereotypes and becoming one of the first latino leading men in an industry that up until then didn't diverge much from the white guy motif. He'll be missed. The Cordoba? Not so much.
  • US Airways Flight 1549 crash-landed in the Hudson River, and everyone survived. Sometimes, you've just got to believe that miracles really do happen. Maybe I won't give up on the planet, after all. (More directly, I hope this convinces you to read the safety card, watch the demo, count rows and otherwise focus on the things you need to focus on the next time you get on a plane. The in-flight magazine can wait.)
Your turn: How's your week been so far?

One more thing: We're still taking Thematic Photographic submissions. The latest theme: "aged". Surely you can come up with something old, melancholy, wrinkled or otherwise forgotten. Head over here to get started.


kenju said...

Well, I'm not melancholy or forgotten (I make sure of that!), but I am old and wrinkled.....LOL Perhaps I should just post a pic of me!

Riocardo Montalban was suave, mucho suave!

bernthis said...

There are a couple of other things you forgot:

1. Bernie Madoff was allowed to stay in his penthouse "jail" even though he tried to toss a million bucks worth of stuff to his friends and family.

I only wish he was younger so that he would spend more time in prison

sealaura said...

gracias for remembering Ricardo Montalban, que triste!

Vodka Mom said...

crazy, crazy week!

AND, that damn Bernie Madoff is free. What is UP with that????

Anonymous said...

I like Apple, and i hope steve jobs will be back soon !

kenju said...

Carmi, thanks for the visit and the lovely comment. I would be honored to meet your entire family!!

Anonymous said...

Gotta tell you, I was pretty freaked over that crash. I've been on that very same flight many times. I was on it only last month. You are so very right to say PAY ATTENTION before you head on up. It's amazing how it all turned out. (sigh)

But AFTER you are in-flight mag. Especially if you are on American Airlines for the rest of the month! (My song is in there, along with a picture!)

mw said...

I like the thought of posting milestones - I too like to read back in my blog, though often my reaction is "What the heck was I thinking!" :).

I often listen to marketplace - I'll have to check out the link and see if I heard you when it aired - for some reason that strikes me as being a really cool thing.

I like the word 'Darwinian', though the natural selection process tends to be breeding businesses that are successful lobbyists rather than successful businesses (IMHO) :). Signs of the times - thank you for this post!

Tanya sent me :)

~j said...

the kids and i were chatting about these things at dinner last night. it HAS been a newsy week.

Tawcan said...

So many news lately I need more time to read up on all the major news articles.

Here via Tanya.

Lyn said...

I have to agree - this week has been packed with a strange mosaic of news. Not sure if CNN can keep up with handling more than one story at a time -- or at least "branding" each one! No need for fiction, that's for sure. As a long time Nortel investor (long-time 'cause I couldn't risk selling off the shares at a loss), I am saddened bu resigned to the inevitable. I learned long ago that there is no such thing as blue stock - or a sure thing (I was also invested in Royal TrustCo in the late eighties).

But yesterday's miracle landing of the American Air plane, we can be certain of one thing -- life will continue to dish out heroic, spectacular, unbelievable, gut wrenching drama. Thanks for your post Carmi - alway enjoy your blog.

Bobkat said...

The landing of that plane in the Hudson was miraculous. I am so glad all got out safely.

Glad to hear that you have conquered a busy week. I've been healing, but you already knew that :)

OldLady Of The Hills said...

There were a few other deaths, too, I'm afraid....Some who the Public would know and some that a few of the public will know....So, it has been a very sad week.....

Other than that.....I went through a HUGE Plumbing Nightmare--Now Done, I'm happy to say.

It feels like evrerything is a House Of Cards in the Economic/Business World....EVERYTHING seems to be falling apart or going into bankrupcy, etc....every day, another "business" is folding....Very Very Scary.

It sounds like Steve Jobs is terribly important to the Health of Apple....what do you think will happen without him...?

The Plane-In-The-Hudson....What a fantastic story that is! Miracle, indeed, indeed! It's good to hear a story like this when you know the possible other outcomes could have been such terrible terrible disasters...This gives one hope for The Human Race!

bobbie said...

Kenju stole my line. I am very well aged. - but I put some other pictures up anyway.

bobbie said...

But I also meant to say, I remember Ricardo Montalban so very well. He was so wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I've had nothing but time on my hands, to think and read as I lay in bed recouping from my surgery.

As an old JFK based Flight Attendent, the recent plane crash of course, dredges up many thoughts and feelings. I'm so glad everyone was ok. Yet another reminder to appreciate everyday for what it brings.

David Edward said...

re: montalban, was that Tattoo, on the banks of the Hudson yelling "de plane, de-plane to all the wet people? heheh

could NOt resist.

new post up

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you, it HAS been a nutso week. How about a commercial airliner landing on the East Hudson?!

I must admit, I didn't know our man from Fantasy Island passed on.