Saturday, October 11, 2008

Detroit Free Press Photo Celebrities

Our daughter, Liesl Eichler Clark, was in the Detroit Free Press' Business section this week. Her job as Policy Advisor with Governor Jennifer Granholm's office took her downtown Detroit on Monday morning and she had lunch at the newly opening Westin Book Cadillac Hotel that noon. Here's the article with photos:

Brandon Hofmeister, also pictured, is also from the Thumb of Michigan. He grew up in Sebewaing here in Huron County and also works on the Governor's staff.

Nice to see you in the papers, Liesl!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cash Based Economy -- Hmm. . .

My posts from Japan promised some more writing about the trip to Fukuoka. Now that October has come and the autumn days are separating me from all of those wonderful memories, it is time for me to write one more reflection about the cash based economy in Japan.

The guidebooks warned us. "Japan is a cash based economy," they said.

"Sure, but it also says you can use a credit card. Let's prepare with both cash and credit cards," is what Ed and I said to each other in the days immediately before our departure. We exchanged currency at Detroit Metro Airport and that carried us quite far.

Ed also armed himself with an ATM card since Peter used ATMs almost exclusively during his tour in Japan. Pete said he'd just go into a Seven Eleven convenience store, pop in front of an ATM, and he was good for cash.

I had called one of the credit card companies that I work with. "I'm going to be in Japan from Sept. 6 through the 15th and want to use my card."

"No problem," they said. "Thanks for warning us."

We hadn't counted on a limit on the amount of cash that you can get out of an ATM in one 24 hour period and we hadn't counted on having to pay cash (a lot of it) for tickets to four performances to see Peter in BLAST MIX II. So, toward the end of the week in Fukuoka, we were counting our yen quite closely! Ed had several days in a row when he couldn't get more than 30000 yen (that's about $300) at once. Consequently, we were borrowing from Peter here and there to pay for meals since tickets were 22000 yen (that's about $220) a crack.

So, what have we learned. Well, pay attention to guidebooks that say CASH ECONOMY!

Plus, as our country continues in this deep financial mess, we ought to seriously consider what it would be like to be a cash only economy. Not nice. There is a value to credit that we all count as almost a given. Let's hope that there is a resolution to the economic crisis soon. Our legislators should probably be reminded that as important as it is to get things right, sometimes it is necessary to get things done.

Legislation that works is what we need. We need it soon. The perfecting can come later before the credit crisis turns into a recession/depression cash based economy.