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Grassfarmer



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Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:20 pm

We never had the numbers of sheep the Kiwis have but we had enough that we had no desire or need for indexes of any kind. Hundreds of ewes bred to homebred rams with nothing other than visual selection (couldn't give two hoots on birthweight or how many litter mates a ram lamb had) gave us a lamb crop that never varied much over the decades, turning in above average specification finished lambs. Numbers and size of lambs varied more with the weather conditions than genetics, management had a lot bigger impact on sheep performance than genetics in our situation.
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Fri Aug 14, 2015 12:16 am

Once you put an index number to an animal, you can tell with absolute certainty which is bigger. No
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:49 am

Grassfarmer wrote:
We never had the numbers of sheep the Kiwis have but we had enough that we had no desire or need for indexes of any kind. Hundreds of ewes bred to homebred rams with nothing other than visual selection (couldn't give two hoots on birthweight or how many litter mates a ram lamb had) gave us a lamb crop that never varied much over the decades, turning in above average specification finished lambs. Numbers and size of lambs varied more with the weather conditions than genetics, management had a lot bigger impact on sheep performance than genetics in our situation.

Grassy,
Hilly and I could neither think of the name of the Canadian {southern Alberta or Manitoba I think} with all the different breeds; sheep and cattle,   that used to post at either Advantage or 5 barx ...He was a hoot; Larry always enjoyed him...really confounding is that I wandered across his website a few months ago and now can`t find it or remember his name... Question  Question  Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad

haven`t taken the test yet  Rolling Eyes

http://www.mybraintest.org/online-memory-screening-tests/
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Grassfarmer



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:43 am

Not ringing any bells Mike, unless my memory is failing me, he must have posted on Advantage as I never followed it.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:31 am

Grassfarmer wrote:
Not ringing any bells Mike, unless my memory is failing me, he must have posted on Advantage as I never followed it.

not important; just gripes me...he was going to VA to get sheep etc...

acs wrote:
When disposition EPDs were first introduced, I thought they could be valuable, but I don't trust any of them now. (Ok, I believe the bad ones) It seems to me like few people bother to turn in the scores unless they are trying to improve EPDs on an animal they have some interest in. If you believe the EPDs the dispositions on Angus cattle are improving at a dramatic rate. Sometimes it seems like every young bull out there has a +20 or better. I do report disposition scores on my cows and the calves that I still have as yearlings, but since I have already sold off the steers and non replacement heifers which includes any bad attitudes, it does not give an accurate account. If I could report them all at weaning it would be of more value

an informative post...just think how the above influences an index etc...all evidence that the best place to select a bull for cow-making use is from your own herd...
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OogieM

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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:06 am

Whew, lots here to talk about.

First of EBVs are only a single tool in the bag to developing an animal appropriate for your needs, whether it's sheep or cattle. Sheep have been domesticated much longer than cattle and that has led to the proliferation of regionally adapted breeds. That adaptation is particularly noticeable in the UK. Similar adaption is now starting to happen in the US and for me at least one of the prime questions I ask before buying in any rams is how they are managed. The variation in how a group of sheep are managed is obviously going to affect performance and then the selection process. UK hill breeds often get to much larger weights when off the hill and on lowland farms but if they are not continued to be selected in the same manner as the hill flock they will change. The big advantage we have in the US is we have a variety of environmental and management choices and there is probably a breed out there in sheep that will fit no matter what you do. I would expect the same in cattle.

I included the guard dog issue because there appear to be 2 factors in sheep survivability in heavy predator areas. One is flocking, keeping the lambs close to their mothers and so on. Another is how the sheep flock interacts with the guarding animals, usually dogs. In our own tiny flock we've seen the sheep behavior change so that when the dogs go on alert the sheep all band together. It's happened over the years, we didn't do anything to promote or encourage it and it's vastly different from the original behavior of our flock that had the sheep scatter to the edges of the fencing as soon as a guard dog started doing the alert bark. Part of it is, I am sure, that the sheep are now familiar with the dogs and are no longer afraid of them but that would have only been the case for the first introduction of the dogs to the flock. We are now many generations removed from that base in both in dogs and sheep so what is causing it now? Our sheep, esp. ewes with no close female relatives (dams, sisters, offspring) in the flock will recruit the dogs to stand guard over their lambs while they go off to graze. Ewe family groups often put their lambs together in a creche with a low ranked ewe as babysitter. That is a very different behavior from that of the local range flocks whose ewes never let lambs leave their side. Those flocks are herded on open range while ours is fenced. Take our flock and put it on the range and I'd doubt if any would survive a single summer, the bears and mountain lions would kill them all as they moved off to search for better grazing. But in farm flock situations they do well.

It's all about knowing what you want and then using all the tools, looking at them, EBVs, even things like how easy they are to handle in selecting who to breed. That is the fun in breeding livestock and also the skill.

In our experience sheep are actually one of the toughest animals who will survive terrible injuries and disease but they are also really good at hiding their exact status from view. There are pictures of sheep trailing down from the range with huge gaping wounds and flesh gone who managed to elude predators and get to a place where they could be treated. We had a ewe with mastitis who sloughed off half her entire udder, had a huge gaping hole where you could actually see the peritoneal membrane for months and survived until she was eventually butchered. By the time a sheep shows it's sick it's nearly dead and that is where the eye of the shepherd is critical, to catch the tiny signs that something is wrong early when there is a chance to fix it.

EBVs are only as accurate as the data going in, so for good accuracy you need to know that the person sending in the data sent in the data on ALL the offspring, that they collected data in a consistent manner, that the heritabilities, variances and correlation adjustments used are based on accurate data from your breed. It's all about trust, there are folks I'd never buy sheep from no matter the numbers and there are folks I'll say just send me a ram and never worry about what I get because I know they will pick an appropriate one for our flock. Indexes are a way to take a bunch of individual numbers and create a single overall number but they don't tell the whole story by a long shot. I'd much rather see the individual EBV numbers of all the traits and select that way than depend on a single overarching number but that is because I have a very specific clear goal in mind and also know what is missing in the animals I have. I know what I am trying to improve. Without a breeding goal it's useless to look at anything, that's when you get people following fashion or extremes that are only fitted to perform in very specific environments or ones with huge inputs of say grains and medicine to get that performance.

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76 Bar



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:42 pm

OogieM...Appreciated & enjoyed your most recent post…especially:
Quote :
EBVs are only as accurate as the data going in, so for good accuracy you need to know that the person sending in the data sent in the data on ALL the offspring, that they collected data in a consistent manner, that the heritabilities, variances and correlation adjustments used are based on accurate data from your breed. It's all about trust, there are folks I'd never buy sheep from no matter the numbers and there are folks I'll say just send me a ram and never worry about what I get because I know they will pick an appropriate one for our flock.
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:00 pm

76 Bar wrote:
OogieM...Appreciated & enjoyed your most recent post…especially:
Quote :
EBVs are only as accurate as the data going in, so for good accuracy you need to know that the person sending in the data sent in the data on ALL the offspring, that they collected data in a consistent manner, that the heritabilities, variances and correlation adjustments used are based on accurate data from your breed. It's all about trust, there are folks I'd never buy sheep from no matter the numbers and there are folks I'll say just send me a ram and never worry about what I get because I know they will pick an appropriate one for our flock.

Perfect summation of why the message to NZ farmers that "it is not what you can see that counts" and "it is all about the numbers", "only the ignorant and uninformed are not after the highest % performers" has seen more than a few hill country mobs of cows go to hell in a handcart over the last 10 years and why in attempt to bring them back from the brink, the East Coast (area where they are not great recorders but have been great breeders for, in most cases, multiple generations of people - never mind the cattle) bull sales were RED hot this year breaking all sorts of records - you can only fool some of the people some of the time ........... apparently cheers

Of course what has happened is that all the "good traditionally" bred cows have exited the system leaving only their daughters bred by "high performance" bulls, being bred to even "higher performance" bulls being left - their dams and grand dams may have been able to carry the cr@p but the younger cows just add their own little magic to the mix ................. it ain't pretty.
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:16 pm

MKeeney wrote:
Grassfarmer wrote:
Not ringing any bells Mike, unless my memory is failing me, he must have posted on Advantage as I never followed it.

not important; just gripes me...he was going to VA to get sheep etc...

acs wrote:
When disposition EPDs were first introduced, I thought they could be valuable, but I don't trust any of them now. (Ok, I believe the bad ones) It seems to me like few people bother to turn in the scores unless they are trying to improve EPDs on an animal they have some interest in. If you believe the EPDs the dispositions on Angus cattle are improving at a dramatic rate. Sometimes it seems like every young bull out there has a +20 or better. I do report disposition scores on my cows and the calves that I still have as yearlings, but since I have already sold off the steers and non replacement heifers which includes any bad attitudes, it does not give an accurate account. If I could report them all at weaning it would be of more value

an informative post...just think how the above influences an index etc...all evidence that the best place to select a bull for cow-making use is from your own herd...

'nough said

If your goal is weight, terminal sire crossbreed (breed no heifers)and sell ALL THE CALVES!
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OogieM

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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:49 am

pukerimu wrote:
Perfect summation of why the message to NZ farmers that "it is not what you can see that counts" and "it is all about the numbers", "only the ignorant and uninformed are not after the highest % performers" has seen more than a few hill country mobs of cows go to hell in a handcart over the last 10 years
That is a fault of how people are using the numbers not the index or numbers themselves. EBVS can only provide some information. It's stupid to think that chasing the numbers alone will lead to better animals no matter the species. EBVs only work on a very few traits, are confounded by gene and epigentic interactions and if inaccurately calculated due to input error or fraud will mask the reality. They are a tool, like a shovel or a rake, but you can't build a garden with only one tool and you can't develop good animals with only EBVs.They are valuable in allowing some across flock/herd comparisons but they are ESTIMATED breeding values, not actual ones.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:50 am

OogieM wrote:
pukerimu wrote:
Perfect summation of why the message to NZ farmers that "it is not what you can see that counts" and "it is all about the numbers", "only the ignorant and uninformed are not after the highest % performers" has seen more than a few hill country mobs of cows go to hell in a handcart over the last 10 years
That is a fault of how people are using the numbers not the index or numbers themselves. EBVS can only provide some information. It's stupid to think that chasing the numbers alone will lead to better animals no matter the species. EBVs only work on a very few traits, are confounded by gene and epigentic interactions and if inaccurately calculated due to input error or fraud will mask the reality. They are a tool, like a shovel or a rake, but you can't build a garden with only one tool and you can't develop good animals with only EBVs.They are valuable in allowing some across flock/herd comparisons but they are ESTIMATED breeding values, not actual ones.
So would more progress be made quicker with only the use of flock data? Maybe another way to ask: how important is outside influence?
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outsidethebox



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:01 am

OogieM wrote:
pukerimu wrote:
Perfect summation of why the message to NZ farmers that "it is not what you can see that counts" and "it is all about the numbers", "only the ignorant and uninformed are not after the highest % performers" has seen more than a few hill country mobs of cows go to hell in a handcart over the last 10 years
That is a fault of how people are using the numbers not the index or numbers themselves. EBVS can only provide some information. It's stupid to think that chasing the numbers alone will lead to better animals no matter the species. EBVs only work on a very few traits, are confounded by gene and epigentic interactions and if inaccurately calculated due to input error or fraud will mask the reality. They are a tool, like a shovel or a rake, but you can't build a garden with only one tool and you can't develop good animals with only EBVs.They are valuable in allowing some across flock/herd comparisons but they are ESTIMATED breeding values, not actual ones.

This is the classic half-truth defense of the EBV promoters. It preys upon a base character flaw of the human being. On the one hand that is being unfair yet reality is what it is. Few can resist the temptation of the bigger, faster, stronger...that is just the way we roll. I have always been a skeptic/cynic of "conventional wisdom" and I come by it honestly. But even I needed to accidently run into Larry via Mike to come to the lessons to be learned here. LL invested a significant part of his life developing and proving a better way and, in the end, he gets little more than lip-service for his work. EBVs are/were a noble effort to save us from ourselves but the empirical data clearly demonstrates that you cannot outsmart a fool...depending upon how one defines "fool", of course.
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:56 am

O'box, if I screw up by outsmarting myself, does that mean I'm not a fool??? Very Happy

Eddie, J Lents says as long as you are bringing in outside genetics, you're chasing your tail. But the numbers could look good.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:10 pm

RobertMac wrote:
O'box, if I screw up by outsmarting myself, does that mean I'm not a fool??? Very Happy

Eddie, J Lents says as long as you are bringing in outside genetics, you're chasing your tail. But the numbers could look good.

Robert, Walking and talking should match. Would you call J Lents a source of breeding stock that you would consider if you were not already doing your thing? A closed herd does not always = great cattle. Just a closed population. Might be good for something but what, I don't know. Only an opinion, ... same as rear ends - some stink.

Numbers would not relate to this example.
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pukerimu



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:13 pm

O'box - thank you - you expressed my feelings on the matter succinctly and probably more politely than I could - numbers may not be the cause but they are the effect - intelligent clever breeders lose their confidence in the face of them, and those who should not have anything to do with cattle ..... much less determining their genetic future start to believe that they can actually breed cattle based on their "improving graphs" etc.

Careful with your wise words though - you could be strung up for heresy here in NZ for expressing those sentiments - our new NZAA "code of practise" expressly forbids any discussion of EBV's or Breedplan - the great provider of said numbers, unless it is the official line " genetic progress, improving performance blah blah blah" taken as direct quotes from an official Breedplan source - how do you like them apples?

Mention of inaccuracy, manipulation, false data etc etc are EXPRESSLY forbidden!!!
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:30 pm

pukerimu wrote:
O'box - thank you - you  expressed my feelings on the matter succinctly and probably more politely than I could - numbers may not be the cause but they are the effect - intelligent clever breeders lose their confidence in the face of them, and those who should not have anything to do with cattle ..... much less determining their genetic future start to believe that they can actually breed cattle based on their "improving graphs" etc.

Careful with your wise words though - you could be strung up for heresy here in NZ for expressing those sentiments - our new NZAA "code of practise" expressly forbids any discussion of EBV's or Breedplan - the great provider of said numbers, unless it is the official line " genetic progress, improving performance blah blah blah" taken as direct quotes from an official Breedplan source - how do you like them apples?

Mention of inaccuracy, manipulation, false data etc etc are EXPRESSLY forbidden!!!

Even if none of the above were possible; any formula still only measures production; not commercial profit...

“I have come to believe the phenotypic selection criteria self-governs the level of inbreeding or degree of prepotency; that production levels are self-governed by the environment; that milk levels and carcass values are self-governed by their effect on composition and that composition has the greatest impact on functional productivity. So improving prepotency of composition once identified seems to be ‘priority 1′ at ANY preferred production level.” - Larry Leonhardt

develop an index around that statement and you might have something; thought I doubt it...obviously, the more traits integrated into an index, the less accurate and more erratic the results...see the first post on the thread for the inconsistency ...
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outsidethebox



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:18 pm

RobertMac wrote:
O'box, if I screw up by outsmarting myself, does that mean I'm not a fool??? Very Happy

Eddie, J Lents says as long as you are bringing in outside genetics, you're chasing your tail. But the numbers could look good.

Robert, it's a cold, cruel world...ignorance is not bliss..."NO!"  Twisted Evil Embarassed Evil or Very Mad Razz
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Sun Aug 16, 2015 9:48 pm

outsidethebox wrote:
RobertMac wrote:
O'box, if I screw up by outsmarting myself, does that mean I'm not a fool??? Very Happy

Eddie, J Lents says as long as you are bringing in outside genetics, you're chasing your tail. But the numbers could look good.

Robert, it's a cold, cruel world...ignorance is not bliss..."NO!"  Twisted Evil Embarassed Evil or Very Mad Razz

Ouch, I guess I have to own it!
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:01 pm

EddieM wrote:
RobertMac wrote:
O'box, if I screw up by outsmarting myself, does that mean I'm not a fool??? Very Happy

Eddie, J Lents says as long as you are bringing in outside genetics, you're chasing your tail. But the numbers could look good.

Robert, Walking and talking should match.  
Would you call J Lents a source of breeding stock that you would consider if you were not already doing your thing? yes  
A closed herd does not always = great cattle. What is your definition of "great cattle"?  
Just a closed population. Doesn't that mean a more limited gene pool? Souldn't that result in more consistent cattle? 
Might be good for something but what, I don't know. Might be good for something, but I doubt good for everything.  
Only an opinion, ... same as rear ends - some stink.  

Numbers would not relate to this example.
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EddieM



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:10 pm

Quote :
Would you call J Lents a source of breeding stock that you would consider if you were not already doing your thing? yes
Tell me what is the general functions that you KNOW you are buying to perpetuate?

Quote :
A closed herd does not always = great cattle. What is your definition of "great cattle"?
Functional, economical fit with a potential for positive economic return.

Quote :
Just a closed population. Doesn't that mean a more limited gene pool? Souldn't that result in more consistent cattle?
Consistently good or consistently bad?

Quote :
Might be good for something but what, I don't know. Might be good for something, but I doubt good for everything.
Not unless they are having a dispersal sale and then the footnotes will describe them as not good but BEST for everything.
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RobertMac



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:23 pm

EddieM wrote:
Quote :
Would you call J Lents a source of breeding stock that you would consider if you were not already doing your thing? yes  
Tell me what is the general functions that you KNOW you are buying to perpetuate?Functional, economical fit with a potential for positive economic return.

Quote :
A closed herd does not always = great cattle. What is your definition of "great cattle"?  
Functional, economical fit with a potential for positive economic return.

Quote :
Just a closed population. Doesn't that mean a more limited gene pool? Souldn't that result in more consistent cattle?
Consistently good or consistently bad?

Quote :
Might be good for something but what, I don't know. Might be good for something, but I doubt good for everything.
Not unless they are having a dispersal sale and then the footnotes will describe them as not good but BEST for everything.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:52 pm

Exclamation Index this Exclamation



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nzdan



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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:02 am

MKeeney wrote:
Exclamation Index this Exclamation




Index of 0 based on all the information you've given. Very Happy
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:31 am

Dan, an old saying around these parts when unable to explain something to other people was "Do you need me to draw you a picture" ? I know a picture won`t be enough for those who cannot or will not see; that`s fine, I don`t have time for those people or need their business; there`s just far more profitable ways to spend my time than punching numbers...is a number that tells half the story any more informative than no number at all ?
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: the LCC profit index/the problem with indexes   Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:01 am

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