Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Elbow To The Ribs!

San Francisco has probably always been at least a little weird, what with all the technology geeks, potheads, homelessness in the city; and of course the many quaint neighborhoods like The Castro and Haight- Ashbury, to highlight just a couple.

All said, San Francisco is an amazing metropolis; an urban area that is the most significant economic, political and cultural center in California, despite what people in L.A. may counter-claim  (all they have in Southern California is Hollywood - totally fake - and the infamous LAPD).  San Francisco is also an important hub for regional or international connections, the home of Silicon Valley, the hot-bed of discovery in terms of modern communication, home of the Giants & Superbowl Champs 49ers (2013)... and so much more!

In an attempt to always be on the cutting edge of differency, San Francisco basically invented paying employees of start-up companies with relatively worthless stock - instead of money - mostly because start-ups generally don't have any money! Working virtual, or from home if you'd prefer, was obviously discovered here... because start-up companies definitely wouldn't have been able to pay monthly rent for office space.

When formal and evolved businesses adopted more casual work environments, San Francisco led the way with even more informal dress codes, including shorts and flip-flops (depending on the weather).  When serious corporations created Casual Fridays as a special treat for their employees, San Francisco techies quietly snickered and invented Formal Fridays as a snub to the rest of employed humanity!  I must admit, seeing men go to work on Fridays wearing bow-ties, bowler- or top hats and 'old fashioned' suits with neck-ties, is really quite a treat!

But... the creativity above was not deemed to be enough.  No, we can always aspire to even greater creativity, especially when commuting.  So, now we have men in workwear (as appropriate for their job, day of the week, etc.) - and a few women - commuting to their place of work on little fold-up scooters and skateboards.  

It's bad enough that pedestrians have to dodge cyclists (obviously wearing full kit: reflective Kevlar jackets, cycling helmets, bikes featuring flashing LED lights front and rear) on the sidewalks, but skateboarders and scooting men in suits weave in and out of the much slower pedestrian traffic fast, with great skill, dodging - for the most part - people, fire hydrants, cars, one another, stop-signs, etc.  Always kicking it up a notch...

Like most other people of unsound mind, I have often wonder if the splat that would follow when a pedestrian elbowed a fast-moving skateboarder in the ribs - entirely accidentally of course - would be entertaining for others to observe?  We do know that nearly everyone likes to watch people tripping, falling, crashing, etc., otherwise NASCAR wouldn't exist.

Of course, no-one would really do that, right?  The elbow thing.  Or would they?  I don't think so, but I do have a warped imagination anyway, and my imagined image of bitemarks on the sidewalk is harmless fun, right?

In a city where the standard greeting between strangers is "How is your Start-up"... creativity simply includes riding to work on a scooter, wearing black tie & tails to work on a Friday, executing on ideas at a rate unparalleled anywhere, globally... 

I accept that my contribution to innovation and creativity that seems to be limited to an "Elbow To The Ribs" falls far short of San Francisco's ask of me as newly arrived migrant in their city, but it's only been a few months... and maybe I just need more time! 
Disclosure:  I'm neither long nor short on Elbows and/or the courage to execute this limit order, and I therefore hold no positions in any of the wacky ideas offered above.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What is Chapter 7?

A short overview of Chapters 7 and 11:

Chapter 7 of Title 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code governs the process of liquidation under the bankruptcy laws of the U.S.  Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy in the United States.

A business that is financially troubled - i.e. badly in debt and unable to service that debt or pay its creditors - may file (or be forced by its creditors to file) for bankruptcy in a federal court under Chapter 7.  This means that the business would cease operations entirely, unless business operations are continued under the oversight of a court-appointed Chapter 7 Trustee.  A Chapter 7 Trustee can be a person, or a firm.   

A Trustee is usually appointed immediately, and is trusted to make decisions that are in the best interest of the bankrupt company's beneficiaries.  The Trustee has broad powers to examine the business's financial affairs.  

A Trustee would generally attempt to sell all the assets and distribute the proceeds to the business' creditors.

Chapter 11 is a chapter of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code which permits reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States.  Chapter 11 bankruptcy is available to every business, whether organized as a corporation or sole proprietorship, and to individuals, although it is most prominently used by corporate entities because of the complexity and cost of the Chapter 11 process.

Chapter 7 vs. 11:

In contrast, Chapter 7 governs the process of an actual liquidation bankruptcy while Chapter 11 is typically a process for reorganization (although liquidation can also go under this chapter).

Recently in the news:
Casey Anthony filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with debt of $792,000 and assets valued at $1,084.  I have thoughts about Ms. Anthony and her situation, but my personal opinion about the little princess is obviously of no relevance to this post!

Atari U.S. Operations filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.  According to its Chapter 11 petition, Atari owes $10 million to $50 million to at least 200 creditors and possibly as many as 999. It reported assets of $1 million to $10 million. This one is particularly sad, because Pong and Astroids provided my generation with many hours of mindless entertainment in our youth, especially before the advent of mobile devices that offer connectivity, news and entertainment on demand!