I have always been more than a bit of a weather enthusiast. I suspect my growing up years contributed mightily to that, as the impact of weather on what my daily tasks would be was quite meaningful. Bitter cold likely meant frozen water pipes and a rather cold undertaking to remedy that problem. Severe wind chills often meant a few cases of frostbite in the milking cows, and that meant, at the least, a number of weeks of difficult milking. Heat meant I was going to be hot. Thunderstorms were the most unpredictable, though. Conditions might be ripe for storms to develop, but whether my particular location was impacted was literally at the whim of nature. As a result, I spent the most time listening to the meteorologists forecasting, and then recounting, thunderstorms.
Flash forward to present day, and I still pay attention to the thunderstorms, in particular the buildup to them. This past weekend was a classic for that. Saturday sported temperatures in the high 90s, steamy enough dew points, and some real wind at 20 to likely 40 miles per hour. These conditions meant someone is going to get ‘some weather’, as my father liked to put it. It was even a bit more meaningful for me as I found myself toting my son to a weekend baseball tournament. Thunderstorms are the bane of all tournament directors nationwide, and the weather on Saturday was clearly top of mind for the director at our tournament.
Modern day forecasts are pretty cool, in my opinion. First off, meteorologists can forecast quite well for any location for 24 hours out. They include not only temperature and precipitation, but also wind speed. One can plan one’s activities for tomorrow pretty well. Also, with a smart phone, you can access this info whenever and wherever you want. So our baseball tournament director spent time on Saturday watching the forecast, which showed the storm front moving through sometime late morning on Sunday. With this in mind, the director decided to ‘consider’ moving up the start time of Sunday’s games – with a final call to be made early Sunday morning. He ultimately changed the start time from 10:30 to 8:30 AM, in hopes of getting games in before rain (and lightning).
Unfortunately, while our team acted on his decision, none of the other teams did – meaning we were across town early morning and still didn’t play. Furthermore, we then got to ride out the storm away from home.
Thunderstorms mean hail, and my wife – who can be an elite worrier – ‘suggested’ I get our car under cover. This can be tough to do in a windswept, treeless, ballfield parking lot. So once the lightning officially delayed the game, my son and I, along with another ballplayer and dad, went in search of cover – which proved really tough to find in this small suburb on the east side of the Twin Cities. My son suggested a left turn, but we didn’t find anything. Then he suggested a right turn, just as some big raindrops hit the car. My experience is the big raindrops hit just before whatever is going to happen, happens. I urged him to find something. He noted a little nursery and farm stand just off the road, and told me to turn in. I did, and one of the staff on site that Sunday morning frantically waved at me to stop and came to my window. While almost crying, she asked if I was there to shop. I felt bad to have to say no, but she immediately said that was good, and then told me to ‘pull in’. She was pointing at the open overhead garage door. I pulled in and before I could get out of the car, the hail hit.
We all stepped to the open garage door and watched the hail accumulate. The farmer stood there with us, as he had been in the garage when we pulled in. After what seemed like at least a minute of hail, the farmer finally spoke. He swore. He then explained that he had 150 acres of produce in the field, and he was sure it was all ruined.
Term of the Month
By Ny Lee
Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC)
The cash conversion cycle (“CCC”) measures how long cash is tied up in working capital and in general provides an indication of how efficiently a company manages its inventory, receivables and payables. While working capital measures how much liquidity a company is expected to have over the next year, the CCC tracks the flow of inventory and receivables into cash. The calculation of the CCC is the summation of three separate liquidity indicators, calculated as follows:
- CCC = Day Sales Outstanding + Days of Inventory Outstanding – Days of Payables Outstanding
- DSO = Average Accounts Receivable / Revenues per day
- DIO = Average Inventory / Cost of Goods per day
- DPO = Average Payables / Cost of Goods per dayThe lower the CCC (typically measured in days), the faster inventory can be converted into cash. Generally, CCC is a positive number, but for some, such as Amazon, CCC is actually negative (-30 days) due to its size and ability to command longer payment terms with its vendors. Comparatively, here are the CCC measurements of some of the leading U.S. retailers, based on their fiscal 2016 financials:
- (days) Amazon Target Walmart Best Buy
- DSO 19 2 4 12
- DIO 45 63 44 60
- DPO 95 55 40 57
- CCC -31 10 8 15
Sources: Investopedia, Forbes, Chron
Bits & Pieces
By Jeff Torrison
- Minnesota native George Akerson was the first official presidential press secretary, serving Herbert Hoover from 1929 to 1931 when Akerson left government service to work for Paramount Pictures. Akerson began his career as a reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune.
- Benjamin Franklin performed his famous kite flying experiment during a thunderstorm in June of 1752 in which collected an electrical charge in a jar. He later invented the lightning rod for protecting buildings and ships.
- Warren G. Harding was the first president to have a speed broadcast over the radio in 1922 during the dedication of a memorial site for Francis Scott Key, the composer of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
- The Roman Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, had 6.3 million visitors in 2016 making it the most popular tourist attraction in Rome.
- There are 252 different languages spoken in the homes of Minnesota public school children according to a June 1, 2017, Minnesota Public Radio report.