Tuesday, December 22, 2009

As 2009 comes to a bittersweet end many of us are looking forward to a new year of hope and opportunity in the spheres of work, personal growth and entertainment. For the last twelve months we have been faced with difficult decisions, tests of character and the tumultuous consequences of the not so symbiotic relationship between fear and greed. In our third and final installment of the holiday edition of The Pelican Report our contributors would like to focus on the brighter side of things. We would like to present a few tips to help you get through the holiday season with as much enjoyment and as little hassle as possible. Without any further delay I present the holiday edition of The Pelican Report (part three of three).

Drew V. Davitian

The Pelican Report
Issue 6, December 22nd, 2009


Cute Loot – Last Minute Accoutrements That Say It’s The Thought That Counts (In A Good Way)

Hug Salt And Pepper Shakers

$30 ($27 for members) - MOMAstore.org


Psycho Bunny Polo Shirt – Aqua

$85 – Psycho-bunny.com

Scrolling LED Belt Buckle II

$ 25 – Thinkgeek.com

Fortune Cookie Cuff Links

$95 – Cufflinks.com


The Weekend Jaunt to NYC Ensemble

Lately it seems that everyone we know in Miami is taking a quick winter trip to the Big Apple. To help out our jet set male friends we are offering a montage of pieces that should keep them warm, cool and fashionable for two days in the city (and allow them to go carry-on to boot).

Cole Haan Topper with Merino Zip Out Bib

$650 – Bloomindales.com

H & M Autumn Collection Blazer & Slacks

$60, $40 – Hm.com

Not available online
Nordstrom Smartcare Traditional Fit Dress Shirt (White, Blue, Pencil Stripe)

$50-60 Nordstom.com

Fine Merino Solid V-Neck


5 Indispensable Rules For The Holiday Workplace

1. Limit yourself to 2 drinks (or less) at all holiday parties. – We’ve all seen him, the drunken guy from accounting breathing all over the cute receptionist, or the wafer thin copy girl stumbling from cubicle wall to cubicle wall; even the boss may get messy and loud after too many scotches. You can avoid a bad hangover and embarrassing morning after moments the like by just passing on the alcohol at the office holiday party. No one will notice except you and maybe the cute receptionist who you can now confidently rescue.
2. Avoid holiday sweaters, ties, pants and all other novelty items. – Most etiquette guides speak of how a man or women’s conversation should be remembered after a party not his or her clothing choices. Rest assured though, no matter how eloquent or charming you may be, if you sport a bedazzled Santa tie to the office for any occasion, you will look like an ass.

3. Never show up empty handed. – Taking the time to procure an item before arriving to someone’s home, party, evening out etc. separates those who have class from those who don’t. A bottle of wine or flowers is an easy and inexpensive standard, but a bit more creativity can make an incredible, lasting impression.

4. Keep a toiletry bad close at hand. – The holidays mean lots of impromptu festivities with different food and drink, long celebratory lunches and the opportunity to share a more casual back and forth with managers and executives up the chain of command. These events can be perfect opportunities to distinguish yourself as a leader in the office, but that is not going to happen if you breathe the morning’s onion bagel breath on your Executive Vice President. (You should Never, Never, Never eat anything with onions in it at work, Ever.) You should have these things in close reach at all times: tooth picks, floss, mouthwash, mints, facial wipes and hand sanitizer. We avoid recommending cologne as a defense against those who will douse themselves in it before meeting the CEO thus momentarily making the hallway smell like the dressing room at a gentleman’s club.

5. Never show up too early, or too late. The rule of thumb here is between on time and thirty minutes late; no later and no earlier! Show up too late and you might as well have worn that bedazzled Santa tie because you will look like an ass. Show up too early though, and you may inconvenience your host who must now entertain guests as well as set up the event further adding to his or her stress.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thanks for reading the holiday edition of The Pelican Report (part two of three). This week we will delve into music and literature to complement our usual stay of business and fashion. In the spirit of the holidays, many of the items mentioned in this week’s report make great gifts… Ahem, in case you weren’t aware, we like getting gifts too. But without further ado we humbly present the second installment of The Holiday Pelican Report, enjoy (or don’t, it doesn’t matter to us).

Drew V. Davitian

The Pelican Report
Issue 5, December 13th, 2009


The Best Web Resources For Downloading Electronic Music (and they’re free, well most of them are)

One of the greatest resources for DJs looking to fill out their digital music bags and amateurs who just want to lose themselves in a spiritual, spiral beat is Beatport.com, the quintessential e-store where tracks range from 99 cents to $2.50. The hands down coolest thing about Beatport, other than its extensive list of purchasable DJ top lists, is the broad range of remixes available for most current tracks that suit any mood, beat or tempo.

Who would have believed a DJ popularized by BPM on XM would make the cut, but the extensive Podcast list from Darey and streaming mixes from his famous and usually kick-ass guests just rock. Check out the Nocturnal 226 Podcast which we think is quite possibly the best set Darey has ever put together.

Now we all know You Tube is the best resource for cute animal and fat people falling down videos, they’ve made many a boring class much more interesting for us. Unbeknownst to many though, You Tube’s progressive search engine and extensive network of music uploading aficionados makes it an excellent resource to seek out hard to find tracks, even if you don’t know the tracks actual name.

Now this is the site to end all sites, especially if you like progressive house and breaks. Started in 2003 as a site to share Hybrid live sets, Hybridized.org has become a mass database of live sets from some of the greatest DJs and live electronic acts on the planet. The loyal and knowledgeable fan base that frequents the site is instrumental in the updating of play lists which trumps many professional pay sites. The absolute best part is, it’s all free. It’s just people who love music, making music for people who love music. (In our humble opinion, the best sets are those uploaded by Way Out West between 2005 and 2007.)


Books You Should Read Before You Learn How To Live

These novels have helped shape who we have become here at The Pelican Report and regardless of your age, if you haven’t read them you should. (If you have it might be beneficial to revisit them too.)

Catch-22 – Joseph Heller – One of the first books I lost myself in, Catch-22 engaged every facit of my senses. I swear I could taste the heavy salted Mediterranean air while balking at the idiosyncratic nature of Milo’s “syndicate” at the same time feeling an affinity for Yossarian’s plight. This book taught me to question the authority and the futility of some things.

Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov – This torrid and completely taboo love story taught me how, sometimes, love shatters boundaries but eventually all things end. Like Milton’s Paradise Lost, Lolita coerces the reader into falling for the Antihero, the perpetrator of lascivious and unspeakable acts. Nabokov does this through an amazing mastery of the English (his third) language. Frankly, you must read this book.

The Catcher In The Rye – J. D. Salinger – Salinger creates the teenager like no one else I’ve ever read: the duplicitous nature of trying too hard and yet not enough to grow up. This relatively short but incredible story speaks to the teenager that is still in all of us. A fitting comparison would be William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience. You’ve probably read this book but maybe it is time to read it again.

Matilda – Roald Dahl – This book sold me on reading. I read Matilda eight times in two years, in a period when I hated reading. How aptly witty Dahl’s meter is and his simplistic comical brilliance exudes from every page. This story should grip the child in anyone with its wide eyed and mystical views of the world. Harry Potter has nothing on Matilda, though when the movie was finally made, it was a total disappointment.

Books You Should ReadBefore You Die

For the mature part in all of us, the part that pays bills and polishes cufflinks, we must remind ourselves to remain teachable, or we die. The mastery in these novels (and poems) can sheer through the barriers created by the jaded experiences of adulthood. The lyrical bliss, pain and bewilderment contained in these pages should be enough to through anyone back into a juvenile curiosity.

Slaughter House Five – Kurt Vonnegut – I’m not sure which notion is more frightening, that this incredible journey of delusional characters and fantastical situations was spawned from Vonnegut’s brilliant but sordid head, or that much of this story is based on his real life experiences. Slaughter House Five is the novel that brought me to the dramatic realization that truth and reality can be lucid terms. Vonnegut, in searching for an explanation of his own life, has helped the reader find theirs and anyone who is closed to this notion should again flip the stale paperback pages of this amazing journey.

Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov – Yes our dear friend Nabokov is talented enough to appear on this list twice because as time passes we often need a refresher in life lessons. Where Lolita taught us about the insidious power of love and lust, Pale Fire reeks of beauty. A conundrum in itself, this novel speaks so powerfully, without saying anything at all. As many critiques claim this novel to be a trap door to catch those who enjoy pigeon holing, we here at The Pelican Report say read this story because its perfect in its sickness, and deranged in its beauty, like all good works of art.

The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell – This book is a department from the previously mentioned works of fiction but in so being, also a must read. Gladwell claims his goal to be to help people, who generally suffer from overexposure to experiences with a lack of theory based analysis, to make sense of it all. He does this by suggesting “organizing structures” to interpret the data swimming around all of us. What this equation produces is incredibly witty and insatiably tenacious writing that engages the reader so strongly, he or she feels guilty to put the book down. I found myself comparing every one of his diagnoses to my thoughts and behaviors, is this me? Or is this me? Gladwell has clearly mastered the ability to see through the noise in his analysis and presentation of viral growth and everyone should re-spark their imagination and creativity whether it be in business or personal growth by reading this book.

Kubla Kahn – Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Before I knew much about literature I liked poems. I liked poems because they were short and, at the time, I thought easy to read. I liked poems because my brain had to do the work and not my eyes. I was a lazy reader, not a lazy thinker. I was blessed to have amazing teachers and professors along the way who quickly showed me the complex and sometimes infinitely blooming nature of poetry. Poems peel like never ending onions; they blossom like cavernous rose buds, with pedals of lyrical symmetry. In my humble opinion we cannot talk about poetry without mentioning dear old STC. You should read Kubla Kahn before you die, essentially because it is sometimes considered the greatest poem ever written; a perfect poem actually. In its perfection (like Pale Fire and Lolita) it expresses the inherent tragedy, or perhaps the Catch-22 of life: in its perfection it is categorically flawed. This divinely inspired poem written by Coleridge, as he woke from a Laudanum induced dreamscape, was interrupted half way through transcription and was never finished. Coleridge spent years trying to remember the next stanzas and couldn’t. What we are left with for all eternity is part of the only perfect poem ever written, entitled A Vision of a Dream: a Fragment and in this title lies the bittersweet nature of perfection in all things.


Sunglasses To Combat The Winter Glare

Whether you are stuck in Upstate New York, Chicago, or still basking on the sultry sand of South Beach into late December, eye protection has never been more important or more stylish. Sunglasses are one of the few accessories that truly offer function to match the form (watches we concede do as well). We’ve scoured the internet to find the very chicest shades, whether you are looking cool on the ski lift, shoveling snow, or tanning on a yacht in off the coast of Marbella this winter.

Miss’ Dior Black And Pink Gold Glasses
N/P – Dior.com

Metal Wrap Frames, Seal + Purple
£ 190 – Prada.com

Classic Aviators
N/P - Dolcegbanna.com

Medium Square Frame, With Gucci Logo
$295 – Gucci.com

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Welcome to the holiday edition of The Pelican Report (part one of three). It seems that from the end of November all the way into the new year we are inundated with office parties, festive occasions and gift exchanges so we might as well jump on into the spirit, If you can’t beat 'em, join ‘em, so to speak. In this week’s installment we are going to look at a broad range of items, from gifts for him and her, to the secret (and lost art) of effective letter writing. We’ve brought the Investing section back for this issue and we’ve always got some interesting other tricks up our sleeve for your reading enjoyment. For our readers who caught the last issue of The Pelican Report, you might have noticed that, Google Business Apps, one of our featured web based resources for small businesses, was featured on a CNBC special as the future of business (and municipal) computing. (Hey, a broken clock is still right twice a day.) So without further ado we present the fourth installment of The Pelican Report, you should read it, but what do we know?

Drew V. Davitian

The Pelican Report
Issue 4, December 4th, 2009

Personal Business
How To Get Anything You Want And Help The People Giving It To You: The Lost Art Of Letter Writing.

When I was about ten years old, my mother opened a box of cereal she purchased from the store and there were bugs in it. She then wrote a letter to the cereal manufacturer and about a month later we received a written apology along with a box of every cereal that manufacturer made. This was a smart play all around, my mother felt satisfied that the company was willing to right the wrong, the company kept a customer and received vital information that may not have otherwise made its way back to management through the store or customer service channels.
This is the key to getting what you want. Whether you’d like to see a discontinued soft drink back on the shelf at your local supermarket or you are unhappy with your latest purchase; don’t bother with customer service 1-800 numbers, go look up the CEO of the Company and write him or her a letter; you will be amazed by the response.
Smart CEOs (most CEOs are pretty smart) know that everyone in the corporate hierarchy to some extent is guilty of padding the truth, brownnosing is the non PC term. It is often difficult for them to truly identify issues in production and distribution or what the customer really wants through market research so they welcome personal customer feedback and reward it. If you don’t believe us, try it. Do this experiment: Find something you recently purchased and are not happy with, determine who the CEO of the company who manufactures it is and write him or her a letter expressing how the product or service does not meet your expectations. This will only take about twenty minutes of your time and you might find you’ll receive praise for alerting the company to its deficiencies and an extreme willingness for them to make it right.

Perfect Holiday Gifts For The Professional On Any Budget

$20- $40

For Men
Wireless Shower Speaker Set
$40 – Available at Neimanmarcus.com

For Women
Coach Signature Picture Frame Key Fob (Style 92594)
$28 – Available at Coach.com

$200- $400

For Men
AD Coin Carbon Fibre Cuff Links
$275 -- Available at Dunhill.com

For Women
Tiffany 1837 Padlock Cuff, Bracelet
$225 – Available at Tiffany.com

For Men
Samsung 55” Series 6 LED HDTV
$2,570 – Available at Tigerdirect.com

For Women
NCL 7-Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise aboard the Epic (Villa Suite)
$2,600 – Available at Ncl.com

Online Resources
The Best Websites For House Hunters

National Home Management Solution is the company in charge of marketing foreclosed properties that were originally underwritten by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This site lists an incredible amount of detailed information about HUD properties that are up for auction, including full property condition reports. The website also allows house hunters the ability to place bids on those properties making it a resource for those looking for income investments (because they are HUD properties, they are generally in low income areas).

This website boasts the best searchable map application for real estate on the internet. It’s also one of the easiest sites to search price changes and sold properties for comp purposes. The school rating resources and city statistics are also the best online.

Similar to Trulia, Zillow is a great web-portal for new home and condo sales. Its design sorts properties by city that pop up in windows on the map to improve view ability. The easy to use click buttons make sorting through different preferences to update your searches a synch and the question and answer forum is an excellent resource for new buyers.

Brickell Village Realty is a South Florida local realtor with a relatively simple web portal. Fortunately, though, it places house hunters into the MLS system to search for properties in a way usually only reserved for realtors. The functionality of the website is highly advanced though it is simple to use. This is definitely an excellent source for both buyers and renters.

Keithely Instruments: An Unlikely Partner For The Future

Founded in 1946 as a testing equipment solution for government scientists, Keithley Instruments (KEI) has been at the forefront of the tech industry for over sixty years. While it is generally easy for tech companies to flash and burn out Keithley has found its market to continually develop, especially over the last 20 years. Besides the fact that the company is well managed and allocates a large percent of its budget to R&D, Keithley has an incredibly strong cash position and even stronger balance sheet. As demand continues to increase for consumer electronics throughout the recovery, demand for Keithley instruments will increase and coupled with the company’s cost saving initiatives; Keithley is poised to make substantial profits for 2010. Look to hold the stock for over a year to see quality returns.