We’ve had my entire family at our beach house this weekend. That includes my 87 year old father, my 19 month old nephew, and a dozen other Wilsons in between.
So I’ve got a house full of folks and not a lot of time to post this morning. So if there’s any action here today, it will be in the comments.
I hope you are enjoying your summer weekend. I am.
Have a great day then, sounds like you will 🙂
That’s a lot of pressure to put on Jim.
We will expect a longer act, and more frequent appearances.
Family portfolio time 🙂
I refer to my kids as my portfolio. I expect to have at least a couple of portfolio companies from them someday as well.
Totally brilliant way of looking at parenthood! Thanks!
That’s a lot of Wilsons at the beach. Don’t forget to make some memories.
To me all of that family sounds stressful.
Been thinking about my father a lot recently – he is my mentor, my business partner and was my best friend growing up. My whole life I tried to be like him, following him into business, expanding our family broadcasting business, and eventually taking over operations.5 years ago he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and was admitted to Hospice 12 weeks ago. I’ve been to Florida three times since then, as we moved him out of Hospice to a Nursing facility – which he hated – back home.This past weekend I spent five days caring for him, and it became painfully clear he can no longer receive the care he needs at home – we must look again to care facilities. He will hate them. I fear the toil it will take on him, his wife and our family. I fear that their assets will evaporate over time. It is no way out for a great man. Not an exit he wants – and he was very explicit about it.Our generation took on human rights, equal rights and gay rights. We must look to the next generation to figure out End of Life rights.Cherish every moment…
Just curious, How many people take out long term care insurance, and if you do how much do you insure yourself for per day?
It was the first thing I started to look into when I returned home. My dad has a policy that will kick in around $200 a day after 90 days, up to $160,000. Helps, but will not be enough.I have a whole life policy which we could draw down if something happens…. Been wrestling with how to plan… Put the real estate into kids trusts, etc.Complicated stuff, and no fun.
yes, I took out an inflation adjusted policy for $300/day, no limits, If you fail to start the policy when you are reasonably young, it gets to be quite expensive. I thought i would over insure while I try to dig deeper.A friend of mine just went through 800K of saving with her dad (also Alzheimers) . My guess is that most people just don’t realize that their assets are at risk (gov requires that you spend down to 2K of assets) and how quickly one can become a dependent on the govt.
and our familySomething that for sure has to be considered. We have been there.
.Getting old is not for pussies.You are a testament to your father’s greatness by your actions. Good on you!I look at my 97 year old father and remember the mountain of a man who I knew growing up. I could never have imagined him ever giving into ANYTHING. I cannot imagine him ever letting anything beat him.He is the smartest and wisest person I have ever known.I regret I didn’t realize this earlier in life and yet we had a great relationship. I never rebelled against him because he never constrained me.When I screwed up he would say, “What? Are you taking stupid pills?”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
“Getting old is not for pussies.”I find that helpful as a mindset. I’ve just turned 50 and I definitely needed to hear that, thanks.I’m probably going to etch it somewhere.I think I’m also going to use the stupid pills line as well…
Back in college I heard a Holocaust survivor speak, and she gave a similar, albeit cleaner and wittier, quote that I still remember to this day. It was:”Getting old is uncomfortable. It’s not for children.”
It’s definitely more refined but I like the pussies version better — more bite to it 🙂
When I screwed up he would say, “What? Are you taking stupid pills?”Yes. Raised back in the “call a spade a spade days”. Might be hard for younger folk to realize how people of a different generation were raised.I still carry some of that “back in the day” attitude with my daughters. Saw them last night and I told one daughter that I liked the way her hair was (I really did) but the other daughter I told her that it looked like she hadn’t done anything with it and why not? Right in front of each other. No sense in giving compliments all of the time and certainly if not deserved.Recently my daughter called me after working late at her job to tell me about her day. She purposely called on her way home. As if to say “see Daddy I was working late and hard and I knew you would like that”. And I did.I regret I didn’t realize this earlier in life and yet we had a great relationship. I never rebelled against him because he never constrained me.I never rebelled but was constrained. Was the “European” immigrant model you simply were raised in a way to respect authority and adults. And the police if I may stick that in as well.
Ah, father-daughter dynamics…My Dad passed away 7 years ago. That’s one outlier experience I’d rather not have had; most people don’t lose a parent until they’re well into their 40s / 50s.This weekend I was rummaging through his tools and electronics kits and my mother said I’ve inherited his brains but the character of my Grandma who was an entrepreneur.My Dad was a big reason I got into STEM really really young.
What was the character of your grandmother? (You are asian, right?)
My Dad was a Renaissance man-type: intellectual.My Grandma was much more business-focused, practical and diligent.
Ahh… sorry Twain. Seems like I might have been a bit older than you when I lost my Dad and still it has been the most painful experience to date. Two of my friends recently lost their Dads in their late 50s and while I thought of how amazing it must be to have a Dad at that age I have witnessed how very hard the loss is for them. In some ways harder because they had time to learn to really appreciate their Dads. I learned to appreciate mine more after he was gone. My early adult years were filled with learning to acknowledge, forgive and accept his weaknesses as part of my maturing process. So mixed into my initial grief was “what might have been” but this has transformed into the deepest gratitude for what was.
Thanks, Donna. Your comments, “My early adult years were filled with learning to acknowledge, forgive and accept his weaknesses as part of my maturing process. So mixed into my initial grief was “what might have been” but this has transformed into the deepest gratitude for what was,” resonate.My Dad was the best of the best when I was a child. It was those wonderful experiences I spoke about in the eulogy, ‘In my father’s hands’, at his funeral. All the great things he taught us to do and about being human.I take comfort in knowing he knew I was with him every possible second in hospital in his final weeks.I like imagining he’s somewhere LOLing that I’m applying the intelligence I inherited from him and I turned the circumstances of his passing into something positive when the grief could so easily have sunk us.He was in a coma — which got me thinking again about neuroscience, data in our minds, human and machine intelligence and consciousness, and the instruments we currently have to measure ourselves.A few years later, after much thinking, I put hands to code to make the Senseus system.So my Dad was a spark of inspiration in his passing as much as he had been in my childhood.
My fathers line was ‘get your head outta your ass’ or ‘don’t give me that cavalier bullshit!’
These are hard decisions to act on. Your Dad sounds wonderful. What a legacy. You are a son that does him proud.This makes me think about end-of-life instructions or requests. From observing the experiences of others we can imagine the possible scenarios but there are still a lot of unknowns.For those of us who are parents, I think that we have to cultivate the sort of relationships with our kids that gives us the ability to trust the decisions they will make when we can no longer decide for ourselves. And free them to make those decisions if for some reason our wishes cannot be acted upon. Another sacrifice of being a parent.On the other side of this, as my own mother becomes increasingly needful of my help I think a lot about the honor that it is to do so. This is when I discover what I’m made of.
Sorry to hear about your father. My mother has said she’d never want to live in a nursing home. So, years ago, at my father’s prodding, she got long term care insurance, which will pay for her to be taken care of at home, should that be necessary. Her sister, who lives a few thousand miles away from her in Berkeley, has a policy too.Something you may want to consider for yourself and your wife. The younger you are when you get a policy, the cheaper it is.
We have in home care now for him, but it is getting unsafe for both him and the care givers… He needs a better equipped environment…Thanks all for your kind words… All my family keeps saying to each other is “this sucks.”
Dave, make sure you read the fine print on long term care insurance. I was a physician before I retired early. LTCI says it covers a lot, but it’s sort of a scam, because it doesn’t actually cover much that’s useful. My older patients used to tell me that, and now I agree from my own experience. I am taking care of my parents now, and they haven’t needed LTCI for anything. Just a friendly heads up.
Watched my grandfather go through the same thing. It sucks. Plain and simple.But, I did take solace in the fact that what was left after Alzheimer’s stripped away most if not all of his mental capabilities was his soul…and it was a beautiful soul.I wish I had more time with him to ask his advice on all matters of life. But because I didn’t perhaps I learned how important Time is — we do not control how much of it we have and it is so important to optimize it for whatever brings you happiness in life.
Alzheimer’s is probably the thing I fear most in life. I started my meditation practice in hopes that it would have some kind of preventative measure. I wish I could convince my parents to do the same.
I recently read ‘A Better Way of Dying’, which is by two sisters (a doctor and a lawyer) and covers agreements and processes to help people with end of life decisions. It really opened my eyes to how complex these decisions are, for the entire family as well as the person in question.
Ah, this morning, on boot up, there was a voice from the ASUS motherboard BIOS about something “failed”. There was noise from the mid tower case and a vibration. Three times cycled power and tried again.Finally the system started, apparently correctly. There was still a vibration and a noise but less.Checked: All three hard disks seemed to be working. Ran the Windows command WMIC, which uses the industry hard drive monitoring standard SMART, with optiondiskdrive get statusand confirmed that SMART thinks all three hard drives are okay.Don’t worry: I have two copies of everything important, one copy on each of two separate hard drives, and a copy of everything on an external hard drive connected via USB (but to protect against a computer virus connected only when I use that drive).I do backup now, both full and incremental, with just the old Windows command XCOPY but via a script with carefully selected options.Okay, the ASUS motherboard came with some ASUS software ASUSProbe to permit monitoring the fan speeds, temperatures, etc.So, right, the CPU fan was at about 2000 RPM and slowly going higher instead of at its usual 3600 RPM or so.After about 30 minutes everything looked okay with the system about as quiet as usual.So, right: As is standard about each nine months, it’s time again for a processor fan cleaning and lube: Unplug everything from the back side of the mid tower case, remove a side of the case, remove the processor fan, brush off the dust, peel back a label, add 3 drops of 3 in 1 oil to the fan bearing (cheap Chinese sleeve bearing), and put everything back together.Cleaned some kitchen tools soaking all night from effort yesterday to make coleslaw for BBQ. Made about 6.5 quarts — 99 ounces of shredded green cabbage and 10 cups of Sam’s Club house brand of ranch dressing; 4 ounces has about 253 C.Ah, checked the e-mail and news. Saw the Hacker News stuff about a $10 million Series A for startup UBeam, supposedly going to recharge batteries in mobile devices via acoustic energy transmission through the air — apparently from the physics, not promising.Now back to software! In HTML, can’t have a link inside a text box — where’d I not read that? Okay, put the link in just a cell of a table instead of in a one line text box in that cell of the table. Test some more.Now have some good initial data. Add it to the data base.See if it all looks fun to use!Contact my list of alpha testers and let them connect and play!Sure, for the first users, want focus, want “100 users to love it” especially if the 100 are a good sample of a nicely large collection of target users.If it looks good, then think about what else to do to go live!
My Dad turned 77 today. As he does every morning during the summers up here in Georgian Bay, he cooked all of us blueberry pancakes. I snuck some apple sauce into his batter when he wasn’t looking which makes them extra tasty… thus leading everyone to believe his pancake making abilities only improve with age.
Ah you’re in Canada or Boston?
In Canada… Pointe au Baril, Ontario out on the edge of the islands.
Applesauce is a great secret ingredient. I’ve even used it in homemade pasta sauce.Nice vignette. Happy Birthday to your Dad.
Fruit? I tried: 30 pounds of oranges — a lot of orange peels. Finally: Right, Wal-Mart is big on Minute Maid frozen concentrated orange juice. So, a 12 ounce can makes 48 ounces of OJ, and, gulp, down it goes!Apples? Tried those. The skins tasted like some kind of bug juice. Eventually the apples got all sticky on the counter. So, into the woods out back.But, right, apple sauce! Just had a cup as part of lunch!
Random thought: Does anyone use the downvote feature anymore?
Daughters birthday today.Bought tickets to visit Buckingham Palace without anyone knowing.Go up there austenisbly to hang out as events in the area.” I know the Queen would love to wish you happy birthday let’s go inside and see her”.Que incredulous looks like I’ve lost my mind. Right up until we walk upto the side gates and the security guards see my tickets and wave us in.She nearly had kittens
Nice. She got to go inside the palace. You got to see her smile! You won that one! Neither of you will ever forget it.
.To get the discussion going. I am a little older than most of the folks who swing by here. I have learned a few things. Not things that are particularly unique, just stuff. I’ve done a lot of stuff.Most of the shit you worry about as a young person turns out to be of absolutely no consequence when you are on the other side of it all.We spend an awful lot of time worrying about shit that won’t ever matter.In all the things I have done, it all gets down to two simple pleasures: family and floating in the ocean at Wrightsville Beach at 5:00 PM when the sun is setting toward the west.The rest of life is not all that important. I wish I had known this when I was 30.A great taco tastes just as great whether you are flush or broke.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Wrightsville beach in NC? I thought you were strictly Texas 🙂 I’ll be in Austin end of August what’s your go to spot for tacos and BBQ ?
.Tacos — Taco Deli, Juan in a Million, Gueros, Matt’s El Rancho, Maudie’s, Santa RitaBBQ — Green Mesquite BBQ, Franklin’s (look it up cause it is a chore to get through the line, get it “takeout”), Freedmen’s, Iron Works BBQ, Lambert’s, Sam’s BBQ (bring your gun), Kerlin, Johnny Mueller’sThis will keep you busy. Ping me if you need a guide.Very nice craft beers. Go to the Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery — good trip.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Thanks JLM much appreciated! I’ll make sure an armed local accompanies me to Sam’s.
Yup, Fred with family. Good for Fred and family and for knowing what’s important.I’ve known from far away to up close too many women who apparently very much, very, very much, wanted to make 100% rock solidly, iron clad sure that they never ever had any such day in their lives — ever. And mostly they were successful in avoiding any such days.Yup, some simple pleasures can be from good to some of the very best: Last night at YouTube listened tohttps://www.youtube.com/wat…withBach Busoni Chaconne D Minor BWV 1004 Valentina LisitsaShe’s darned good.Cheap — doesn’t take much of a computer, and YouTube plays it for free, usually without ads.I listened over and over. It’s likely my favorite piece of music. I made it through nearly all of it on violin. When my startup works, I should get my violin serviced and dig into the rest of that piece.It’s not easy music to like, but when learn to follow it, it’s marvelous. Having played so much of it on violin no doubt helps in liking it. Bach was something else: He was right near the beginning of such serious music but wrote some of the best ever.Yes, the violin music is full of chords to be played on three or even all four strings. So, on piano, Busoni was able to make the harmonies easier to hear — they are marvelous and even have melodic lines going horizontally among the vertical chords. Can get more than one line going at once — there’s a lot in the music, from quite subtle to not subtle at all.In the middle of the D major section — starting at about 7:34 to about 10:30, IIRC I. Stern played it at JFK’s funeral — are some triplets, with one phrasing, four notes with another phrasing, and sometimes on violin players emphasize these and make them sound insistent — I do. Well, Busoni has the harmonies so enhanced in that section I had to look for the triplets! But, they are there!Lisitsa doesn’t emphasize the third note of each of the triplets — I wish she did!A thing about the piano version, even in the most difficult parts, at least the intonation is good, really good, right on!Of course, there are several terrific violin versions at YouTube — Heifetz, Hahn, Menuhin, Perlman, Ibragimova — who is fantastic near the end of the first D minor section. Such performances tend to be as distinctive as handwriting. I especially like what Heifetz does at the end of the D major section.I really like that music.”One of the great old time pleasures left to enjoy”! It doesn’t get much better than that. Among my mother, three girlfriends, and my wife, three of them played piano, but I doubt that any of them liked this music.This morning a squirrel returned to the back porch, just in front of the window over the kitchen sink. So, I tossed out a piece of bread. Soon the little guy was sitting up, holding the bread in his two hands like a child eating a too big piece of pizza — cute. Price of admission: One piece of bread.And for the women? Apparently it used to be that mostly women didn’t have much choice, e.g., had to go along with, say,http://wp.production.patheo…whether, on their own, they really wanted to or not.Now a lot of women read Betty Friedan and scream out “Not only no but hell no, you domineering, subjugating, intimidating, manipulating, exploitative MCP” or some such. Since the average number of children per woman is significantly under 2.1, Darwin is on the case and will do what’s necessary to fix it.I’ve seen situations just like in that Rockwell picture where the grandmother apparently would have liked to have poisoned everyone at the table. I’ve seen some really bitter, angry women.
.Great music. Thank you. I enjoyed it immensely.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Glad you liked it. Impressive!
Glad you liked it. Not everyone will, at least not at first.
Really enjoyed listening to that, thanks for sharing!
Glad you liked it! Clearly there are people in the AVC audience who catch on to such music in a big hurry! Good audience!The music was written by Bach for solo violin. It is the last part of the “Second Partita” of the six Unaccompanied pieces for solo violin, three partitas and three sonatas. “The sonatas contain preludes, fugues and allegros while the partitas are collections of dances.”A Chaconne was a dance form, mostly from the rhythm. But this Chaconne is not dance music!The music is said to be in the key of D minor. Actually it is in three parts, the first and last are in D minor, and the middle part is in D major. The D major part runs from about 7:34 to about 10:30. The beginning of the D major part is soft, that is, low volume — easy enough to hear.Most elementary music theory: At a piano, to go up in pitch a semi-tone, go up one crack on the piano. That next piano key might be black or white depending on where you start. To go up a tone, go up two cracks. For the math, on a piano, quite accurately, going up a semi-tone is multiplying frequency by 2^(1/12), that is, the twelfth root of 2.D major? For the notes of the key of D major, start at D and go up tone, tone, semi-tone, tone, tone, tone, semi-tone. So, that’s going up in frequency by a factor of 2, an octave.For D minor, start on D and go up tone, semi-tone, tone, tone, tone, tone, semi-tone, which is also an octave.A violin has four strings, tuned, lowest to highest, G, D, A, E. The G is the first G below middle C on a piano. The ratio of frequencies of adjacent strings is 3/2 which, thus, is a good approximation to 2^(7/12) from a piano.The first few bars of the piece have the important theme, harmonies, and rhythm. First-cut, the rest of the piece is variations on the first bars. So, listen for the first bars and then keep listening for them, with variations, for the rest of the piece.It’s not so easy to say where the climax is, but to my ear it’s the end of the D major section. Right after that, the beginning of the second D minor section can be regarded as a catharsis after the climax — Bach wasn’t just writing dinner or music box music.It ends just on D, on violin played on the open D string and the same D on the G string. On violin, that pair of notes tends to sound starkly plain and to drone, like the end.All of this major/minor stuff is okay; it’s relevant if only because minor parts tend to be more sad or serious and the major parts, more celebratory and happy. But major, minor, theme, variations, slow, fast, soft, loud, consonant, dissonant, etc., none of these alone get to what is really important, the music, that is, the artistic expression. Maybe Bach had something in mind. Listening to it, I do!The music is less famous with the general public than, say, the Beethoven Fifth Symphony, but with classical violinists it is well known and highly regarded.And from the Busoni version, pianists can like it.Well, some people try to play a version on guitar. Supposedly there was a concert, and before the start of the concert a guitarist was sitting there next to famous composer Castelnuovo-Tedesco. In an attempt to be conversational the guitarist said, “The Bach Chaconne sure is difficult to play.”. The composer, regarded as a man of few words, said nothing until the end of the concert and then, “The Bach Chaconne is the greatest piece of music ever written.”.I heard this story years ago, but now with Google can do a keyword search and find:http://www.laphil.com/philp…with in part The piece that composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco called “the single greatest piece of music ever written” started life as the final movement of Bach’s second Partita for unaccompanied violin, one of three partitas and three sonatas in a manuscript dated 1720. Tough call, but believable, and I won’t really disagree.Also, discover a Stokowski orchestra version:https://www.youtube.com/wat…Stokowski understands a lot about that music. E.g., in an appropriate part of the D major section he makes heavy use of staccato — basically he is correct, but he removes all subtly! He misses it at the end of the D major section, goes quiet just at the best of the climax! Then he plays the beginning of the second D minor section as another light staccato — no thanks. His orchestration has a lot of tone colors, e.g., horns near the end of the D major section, which to my taste break up the continuity — too many tone colors. He does end the piece in a good way. Can’t blame Bach for what Stokowski did.But there’s a lot going on in what Bach wrote and, thus, many ways to present it.I like the piano version with Lisitsa and, of course, the original violin version with any of a list of violinists. I even like it when I play the parts I got through — I play badly (started too late with too little talent and practice!), but the music is so good that it is just fantastic fun to play. In places get to scream out to the universe about the passion and strength of the human spirit or some such.
Thanks for the additional flavor and back-story. You inspired me to find and listen to a violin performance of it (Itzhak Perlman). l am partial to the piano and its ability to accompany itself, but the violin version was a treat. Elegant.BTW, I loved this quote from Brahms that I stumbled onto:Johannes Brahms, in a letter to Clara Schumann, said about the ciaccona:”On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind.”
Glad you liked it. Fred has a good audience at AVC!”Greatest piece of music ever written …”, maybe someone should like it!Nice Brahms quote! Glad Brahms liked it — from the quote, apparently he really did!I spent too much time on that music yesterday — kept hearing parts of it when trying to go to sleep!I tweaked my “back story”, corrected a little, added a little.Another amazing part of the music is how it lays under the fingers on violin: Essentially the whole thing is in just what violinists call for the left hand first position. So, yes, while the piece is “challenging” in various respects, actually it is much less a struggle for the left hand than might be imagined. That is, somehow what Bach wanted was right there under the fingers of the left hand without the left hand having to move around a lot or do anything really strenuous. E.g., don’t have to have long fingers like Paganini; instead, Hillary Hahn and several other women, some with dress size maybe petite size 4, do just fine.
Most of the shit that you worry about as a young person turns out to be of absolutely no consequence when you are on the other side of it all.Depends on the shit though. Truth is I can tie many positive outcomes to things that I did worry about. The problem with things that you worry about (like the attributed to John Wanamaker saying about advertising)  is that you don’t know the 50% of worry that you waste and the other half (arbitrary) that matters.Here is one for you. An Eagle Scout relative of my wife who is in college and is pre-med (who my wife can help get into med school as she used to work for the dean) knocked up his girlfriend. He is 19. We both are of the opinion that with a kid and this woman (no job, no career) he is not going to be able to pull off medical school. So we are worried. Plus there is the concern that she might try to suck him in with more kids. You remember “An Officer and a Gentleman” with Richard Geer, for sure, right? https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…””Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.””
.’Tough row to hoe. If he actually WANTS it, he will do it.Eagle Scouting is the 100% correlation with becoming a General in the Army. He is a good kid.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
I believe in making the right decisions at every point in time and lessening the chance of failure. As such ditching the girl makes sense quite honestly. Why take a chance of having someone drag you down? That’s the way I look at it. (Taking emotion out of the picture and unfortunately if he chooses wrong he, not your or I, has to live with the consequences).Many years ago my older cousin had a son that was given a chance to enter a 7 year medical program (instead of college followed by medical school). He asked me my opinion.I told him something like “well if we can assume that it’s good for him to become a doctor then why (even though he was brilliant) have him go to college and then apply to medical school? Why not insure he gets into medical school now? After all, anything can happen in 4 years. (Sickness, some family problem you know, anything..)”The father took my advice (in part) and pushed his son to accept the 7 year program (combined med school and undergraduate). My logic is “do what you have to do to insure success and prevent failure”. Don’t trust the minesweeper, right?Well he now has his own practice (dermatology) and is happily married to another doctor he met in medical school (both parents of wife are med school professors).And you know the kid is smart, you know why? He did his residency at Baylor and opened a practice in Texas. Graduated first in his 7 year class by the way..
answer: he probably could have went to Harvard, did a md/phd and found a cure for Cancer.
I am in my 20s, I don’t think about half of the things that you guys mentioned here. Probably there is a lot of valuable advice i can take from you. I would still end up disagreeing with or ignoring half of them. As would any young person. But I believe that’s part of life. That is part of growing up. That is how you acquire wisdom. Everyone has to figure out for himself and has to make his own mistake. That’s how you get wise. I don’t know where I am getting with this. But this is what is going in my mind right now.
I don’t want to speak for JLM but I kind of imagine that like myself he also took a great deal of advice and guidance from people that were older when he was younger. Which is the smart thing to do. (And he has mentioned many of those people in comments). I know that I did. That doesn’t mean that I did everything those elders told me or that I didn’t disagree. That goes without saying. But it was nowhere near “half”. It was more “innocent until proven guilty” rather than “guilty until proven innocent”.If you were an aspiring musician would you discount the advice of an older rock star who has been around the block? Or a seasoned actor who knows Hollywood? Probably not. You’d be stupid to do that.And guess what? Even though making mistakes is part of growing up, part of growing up is being mature enough to take the advice of others who know more than you do and have been around the block.Look at the advice that Fred’s mother in law gave him “Get your MBA”. That kind of worked out pretty well.And lastly, it depends on the “mistakes” that you might make. Some mistakes are more important to avoid than others because they have life changing consequences. You realize that, right?
I guess, deep down, I do agree with all of this. However, sometimes I want to believe otherwise. I needed to hear this. Thanks!
.The only thing in greater supply than advice is BAD advice.When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.Don’t sweat it. Don’t bash it to fit but remember lots of folks have been right where you are. In the game of life, it is always cheaper to RENT experience than it is to pay full tuition for it.Wisdom is the application of good judgment over a protracted time period.Good judgment is developed by doing things and making mistakes.Mistakes are the product of bad judgment.When it comes to wisdom, it is always cheaper to rent someone else’s mistakes and bad judgment.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
“it is always cheaper to RENT experience than it is to pay full tuition for it.” Noted 🙂
Love that quote “The only thing in greater supply than advice is BAD advice.” :-)So true.. we live in a BuzzFeed world… I am surprised someone hasn’t yet created a search engine that searches for “10 ways to <<enter search=”” term=””>> “
I recently had to make a major life decision and when you don’t want to screw up your life boy do you value advice. However the weird thing is I find a lot of the time I already know the right answer (or at least think I do) and am searching for validation. I think the most painful mistakes I’ve made in life have been ignoring my gut to follow someone’s advice and then having it not work out. Somehow it’s easier to accept your own mistakes than the ones you adopt from others. Though from that I’ve also learned to be careful and thoughtful with my own advice.
“I find a lot of the time I already know the right answer (or at least think I do) and am searching for validation”I totally agree with this. Sometimes all you need is that someone validates your thinking and advices you to take the right step. It helps when you are either shying away from it for the wrong reasons or were lacking the courage to take that path.
So I’ve got a house full of folksI hope you are enjoying your summer weekend. I am.I don’t envy you at all although I am almost certain others do.To me relaxation is not having a “house full of folks”. To me that is work.When I used to have a boat, relaxation was taking out the boat with just my family or even myself. Taking out other people meant that I had to entertain them and couldn’t just drop anchor and read or fall asleep. And I had to drive the boat fast, I had to explore places and make things interesting. It really was “work”. The husband always stood next to me and they (if not boaters) asked the same exact questions. (Do I sound annoyed? I was..) And if people wanted to raft or water ski I was the one operating the boat I never got to do any of that. I was responsible for safety. Never once did I get to water ski on my own boat. Others got to play, I didn’t. Plus everyone would call in advance to “book time” and drop hints. And when you have a shore place and a boat you want to use it when the weather is good on a whim. You don’t want to be boxed into having to take people out if it’s cloudy. What fun is that? More or less “decide at the last minute” arrangement. That doesn’t work well with guests who think they are (get this) entitled to a commitment. There is no set check in and check out time.One thing that I have noticed about having a vacation place is how people automatically assume it is a free for all. For example nobody would ever ask or expect to use your car, your nice camera, your actual home (typically anyway) but for some reason (and this appeared in the comments the other day iirc.) “hey if you are not using it can we use it?”. People don’t value the work that goes into having a vacation place. Or of course making the money to have the vacation place and the sacrifices that it involves.  And how infrequently you actually get to use it.That said of course some people absolutely love having guests over and don’t want to be by themselves. They like entertaining people. Perhaps they even like impressing people. And maybe they are even generous and are more than glad to allow their vacation place to be an airbnb for anyone and everyone at anytime. That’s fine of course. For them. And this extends to when people that you know have parties or events that fall on weekends in the summer. They think that since you can use your place “anytime” and while they would never ask you to cancel a paid vacation they will think that you are selfish if you don’t want to attend their event on a shore weekend. (And if you have a place you know that the weather is not good every weekend and when you get events in advance you have no clue if the weather will be nice or not on that particular weekend…)
I have a friend who likes boats. He has a navy. It’s a small navy. His definition of a boat: “A hole in the water you pour money into.”
There are all sorts of sayings around boating. Another is something like “happiest day is when you buy it and when you sell it”.I’ve never understood those sayings. Nothing in life that is fun is easy. Or cheap. (Even women..)Much of this also depends on how old the boat is and where you buy the boat. The most important thing, unless you are in a climate that is year round nice (like Florida or California), is that the boat is working and ready when you want it. And not waiting for some part.My boat used to go in the water in May. I would set that up a few months in advance. The place that I used was so together that I wouldn’t even have to call to verify that it would be ready for launch.  They were that good. While they weren’t cheap to me the fact that the boat was kept in good shape during a season that might only be 3 months long was super important. Cost was secondary, lack of aggravation was key. Then they were purchased by a large corporation and service suffered a bit as the manager was promoted to some other corporate function and they pushed profits over service.
Market price gap:The day last week my snap, crackle, and pop electric power went out at 3 PM, by 5 PM I was getting afraid that maybe the power would be out long enough to melt the frozen food and that it was getting late for me to get my gasoline powered generator running. So, I started in on the generator.First discovery: My collection of 6 V lantern batteries had all the batteries weak or dead, mostly just from age — to get my generator running and connected in the dark, need some good battery powered lights. So, out to buy more 6 V lantern batteries.Since it was after 5 PM, my local building supply and hardware store was already closed. Bummer. I tried A&P which actually has a large battery collection but no 6 V lantern batteries. I tried a big drug store — they had only one 6 V lantern battery, it was dusty and looked old, and they wanted $17 for it. Nope!So, right, off to Wal-Mart. Yup, got 5 of the puppies, looked nice and fresh, for $2.50 each. They were in the camping section.So, have kids start Lamplighter Fresh Battery Service. Go door to door selling nice, fresh batteries for flashlights for emergencies. Also sell the flashlights, lanterns, etc. For the 6 V lantern batteries, get them in bulk for, what, maybe $2.25 each? Sell them for $12 each? Might work in some neighborhoods until people are determined to pull out their smartphones and check prices at Amazon, etc.Use some of your selling techniques: Have a boy go with his girlfriend or sister — as you put it, the girl makes the sale look more honest, etc.Not as clever as Obama O’s or Captain McCain, but might make some $ for some kids.
Actually (glad you remembered my selling technique by the way) another similar idea I had was for kids to work replacing home and business lighting.There are “relighting” services that cater to large offices (they are run by the big light manufacturers) but nobody who can pull fluorescent bulbs (a pain in the ass) in the local small dentist office or retail store. Have you ever done it? It’s a pain with the older style fixtures.And replacing chandelier bulbs in houses are a real pain. Who has such a tall ladder and more importantly wants to haul it out?And that’s just for starters. Essentially you take all of the rote jobs that are to small for a handyman and a pain for a homeowner and you create a menu of services that a student can do. And sell it door to door. Get some refrigerator magnets, business cards and so on.Another idea. My wife’s nephew came up to my office a few weeks ago and I gave him a bunch of stuff to sell on ebay. Previously he had been hitting the garage sales. You know, where he has competition. Why not cut out the competition? Why not get things on consignment?Then he tells me “mom is getting mad at me for putting so many things in my room”. So I told him “you can get a small rental unit for $40 per month and just keep things there. Because he is smart he took my advice.His cut was 50% of whatever he sold and he covers all of the ebay and paypal fees. A few items he sold for me he made several hundred dollars on. Your idea would work well also prior to a big storm it’s an impulse buy.These are just a smattering of the ways that a kid can make money without having to be a moron at the local supermarket checkout or flipping burgers. And for the homeowner it’s not about money at least not for me. It’s about not throwing things out of value and also getting someone to remove your “junk”.
Excellent! Master class in entrepreneurship 101! I’ll keep it for my nephews!When I was 14, I could have used such advice. I had a shot but didn’t know how to take advantage.Dad taught me enough about yard work to work in our yard. There was a walk from the front door, running parallel to the front of the house, for about half the width of the house, to the driveway. Well, Mom and Dad thought it would be nice to have a hedge just in front of the walk, parallel to the walk, a hedge about 18″ high and 12″ wide — close to exactly this. And it was to be a geometrically perfect box.So, Dad showed me how to do that, complete with two posts, a chalk line, and a especially well designed pair of hedge shears (better than electric for a really good job).Mom really loved the hedge — apparently she regarded it as a source of pride unique in the neighborhood.So, I knew how to make a ragged hedge into a cute box. Part of the secret is to cut deep enough but not too deep; have to make a careful decision when start. More is to cut just a box and not try to cut to the same density everywhere. Part of it is simple: When cutting for a horizontal surface, keep the blades of the shears, right, parallel to the ground.So, some neighbors asked me to cut their hedges.One neighbor was really impressed, apparently also wanted a point of pride in the neighborhood.And a geographical barrier to entry!Well, now, you can see that I had an opportunity to have a strong neighborhood brand for the best hedges valued by all the best people in the neighborhood.I see it too — now. Then? Nope. Bummer! Dad didn’t see it either.The flash light thing might also have worked. Just as you outlined, I could have taken my girlfriend along; that she was 12-13, natural blond, sweet, tended to wear perfectly white cotton blouses and shorts, and the prettiest human female I ever saw in person or otherwise, could only have helped.It would have also helped her see me as effective in making money and see my leadership as helping her help us make money and be bonded in a business.Also we would have had something better to do than sit alone on her sofa with her mostly wondering if we would go too far if we got started.She could have gotten, maybe, some nice scarfs or some such, and I could have gotten her a going steady ring.I was ready to do more on yard work, but I was afraid about taking on too much; I should have been. So, I had no business trying to cut a hedge 100′ long and 15′ high. Dad and I should have talked about just what I should try to do and what not. So could do a little more, learn a little more: I should have gotten some Botany 101 for Yard Work.The refrigerator magnets? Sure. And the business cards. Holiday cards. Reminder cards. References.Boys need to be taught such lessons.There was more: Mom was parish secretary at an Episcopalian church in the best part of town. Mom was also a master social climber and really good with social small talk with the best people in town. And she knew a lot of people: A five minute stop at the grocery store for a loaf of bread had to take at least an hour for all the gossip she had to do.She knew all etiquette books just cold, nearly memorized them.So, sure, at the church, she guided all the weddings, funerals, christenings, etc.So, right: She could have had a business as a high end wedding planner. But she didn’t see such a thing; she just saw the social climbing aspects.Well, she worked hard to know people, had a fantastic memory for names, and knew a lot of people. So, I had a good 35 mm camera, f 3.5 lens, good light meter, etc. I got where I could develop and print B&W, but my darkroom equipment as so poor my quality was not much: The lens on my enlarger was not good, and my prints were less sharp than they should have been. To make an 8 x 10″ print from a 35 mm negative, I needed to move the enlarger head too high. My print drying was too cheap; I never could get a good gloss on a print.So, to help me do better, Mom put me in touch with one of the best newspaper sports photographers in town, and we went to a b-ball game at my high school; I exposed a role of fast B&W film of the game, no flash, just available light, and he took me to his newspaper where he developed the film to push the film speed and then nicely printed the best shots on 8 x 10″ paper, nice and glossy.At school, the prints were a big hit.So, right: I might have taken pictures of all the school sporting events and sold the pictures to the players.Then for the people I mowed grass for, take some pictures that they could use on their personalized holiday cards — sure, have my girlfriend come along and get the people to smile.There were opportunities, but I didn’t see them.I needed some management smarts from Dad and, at some point, when there was enough confidence in the revenue stream, some capex.I just needed some of Entrepreneurship 101, but that’s just not what Mom and Dad thought about.
Haha, great definition of a boat!
Lost a friend today. My age. Diagnosed 3 days ago…now leaves a pregnant wife (twins) and 2 great kids.You never know. Enjoy what you have. Life is good.R.I.P. Greg … One of the best guys ever.
.I was always moving as an Army brat. When you go to a new school, the first new friend you make is always memorable. My first friend at one school died last week. Great guy. You got it right. Enjoy life.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
You got it right. Enjoy life.The two extremes are what are bad. People who spend everything or spend nothing. Surely you know many in both categories.
Hey Andy what was the DX?
Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Sorry about your friend.I went through a phase years ago where I was hearing about all of these people in my age group (or close to it) dying or getting sick. And each time I would hear something I would say “another reason to buy that Porsche now”. What’s interesting is that since doing that (have bought 3 so far) business has never been better it’s almost been a good luck charm.And it’s not just “death”. My ex brother in law worked for Apple at a great job. He had back pains and went in and they found a tumor. They operated and now he needs a wheel chair. Apple was great to him but eventually let him go. He was in his late 40’s at the time.
Wonder what they’re talking about in Tom Brady’s house this weekend, Deflate Gate or Inflate Gate? Seems like Mr. and Mrs. Brady are both in serious denial behaviorally.Tom should man-up, while the little lady perhaps should have considered a push-up.Lesson learned: Take responsibility for your actions. Obfuscating the truth is never a good strat.
In light of Fred’s sports post yesterday, and his frequent posts about increasing the numbers of women in tech, using the “default female pronoun”, etc., I think it’s worth appreciating what happened last night: men and women packed into bars and put down their money to watch an MMA fight card headlined by a great female athlete, Rhonda Rousey.No default female pronoun or quotas necessary, just talented and charismatic women who carved a profitable niche for themselves in sports and popular culture. I’m not an MMA expert, but, IIRC, Scott Coker’s Strikeforce was promoting female fighters when the UFC thought there weren’t enough talented ones to draw viewers. So Coker and the execs at Showtime who aired the fights deserve some credit for cracking the door open, but women like Rhoda Rousey, Miesha Tate, etc., pushed it wide open. Good for them and good for women.
Has anyone taken the Landmark Forum? It’s four days of evaluating your life and “making things right with everyone” so that essentially you’re ready for death, but you also start focusing on the path you always wanted to take but didn’t. My ex is trying to convince me to take it.
So much great stuff in the comments.I think SundayComments should be a thing.
Hi Fred,This is Emily Yen. I am an editor from Taiwanese tech media Business Next. We are the biggest technology media in Taiwan, and we have monthly magazine and website.We are going to write an article about on-demand economy, since it is one of the hottest topic in Taiwan. And it will be published this September. We have translated your articles on AVC into Chinese since Janurary, and our readers really like them. It will be great if you can share your opinion about on-demand economy with our readers.In this article, we will discuss the potential and challenges about it. For example, why Homejoy didn’t work? Can Instacart or Postmates survive? Can these kind of companies survive in Taiwan? (We don’t have lots of companies like these so far.) Is it possible that we can have a short interview with you? (By mail or Skype)Here is our website: http://www.bnext.com.tw/Thank you again for your sharing, and look foward to hear from you soon.Best, EmilyBusiness [email protected]
Does your article also address marketplace businesses? The marketplace aspect adds a particular set of challenges and complexities. This may have been a bigger issue in the downfall of Homejoy. Certainly adding the on-demand element takes the operational complexity to another level. I have these types of companies as clients (as an executive recruiter) and just finished a VP Operations search which put me in contact with people at Homejoy and many similar businesses, so these issues are top of mind. But I am not an expert in this type of business.
Thanks for your sharing. It helps me a lot. I have done some research about Homejoy, and I think the main reason of Homejoy’s downfall are lack of cash flows and legal issue, but I am not sure if I miss something else. Also, I am curious about work environment in Homejoy. Do their contractors only get little pay but asked to do lots of things?
Spring Lake Boardwalk
@fredwilson:disqus This post and comments knocked me down. But in a good way. I lost my mother when I was 18 (cancer) and my father almost exactly one year ago (heart attack). I think about them every day. With varying degrees of success, I try not to get caught up in the ‘what could have beens’ because I don’t find that productive. What I think about more than anything is what my mom and dad would tell me if I asked them a question, if I asked for advice, if they could observe me day to day (e.g. “David what in the hell are you doing?”). That makes me remember and appreciate them for who they were. I also think more and more about legacy now that I have two kids. We all become our parents. Rather than fighting that (which most of us do when we’re younger), I now embrace it and can only ASPIRE to be the people that my mom and dad were. If I become half the person they were, I’ve lived a very good life.
Must have harder to have quality time with the Gotham Girl.
Around 4 pm the Sunday dread starts to kick inYou can easily defeat that fear by simply working everyday.
then head downstairs to grab the NYTimes with the unlikely goal of reading a third of itAh! Something that we share in common Charlie. In addition to the PA Turnpike, EzPass and a closeness to a governor of PA.  Although I read it at dinner time not in the morning. In College I invited former Governor Milton Shapp to speak at an entrepreneurship class (he was instrumental in Cable TV) and also interviewed him at his house on the Main Line with his wife for a paper that I did. I actually have an audio recording of that interview laying around somewhere.
Today I’m working on understanding how to fix my home studio (hobby) so that the acoustics of the room don’t negatively impact my music production.As usual I’m reading blogs and listening to podcasts as well.Later I’ll go for a walk in the woods with my wife — they are walking trails in the North West corner of Toronto.Then I’ll work on a website I’m working on.After dinner I’ll jam on either the guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, or a combination of the four.Then I’ll listen to some music on my “audiophile” setup with a light show on the ceiling that responds to the music. I call that room “heaven”.Then typically my wife and I will spend some time talking / watching YouTube / Facebook videos, etc. on the couch — no more regular TV, and No Netflix even in the last six months.Thanks Charlie for the hijack and making it okay for all to talk about themselves.
Good routine Professor Charlie, but it sounds like your dog is getting more exercise than you are :)Curious, how many eggs is a “few eggs”? I presume farm fresh / organic / free range / fresh grass, whatever is the latest trend. But seriously, people shouldn’t buy cheap eggs.
The Gray Lady ain’t what she used to be. The NYT continues to shrink in size, quality and revenue. As a little kid, I would fight every Sunday w/ my brothers to see who would gain first access to the sports section. No fighting these days, for the sports or any other section, while the time it takes to read the entire paper is quite diminished. The NYT’s magazine is now virtually unreadable (not sure who it’s even written for these days, the selected topics, tone, etc., make it quite undesirable). Still a print subscriber, and the Sunday paper is still a morning household tradition, put the “need to read” Is def fading.
The paper has gotten more liberal and gossipy over the years, not just The Ethicist column. “About Men”, which used to be occasionally compelling, became “Lives”.
Sunday night blues is a genetic disorder
After I finished studying for the bar exam it was kind of exciting to discover what it was like to have Sunday nights “free” for the first time in my life. Still feels novel a few years later.
i dig your music centric Sunday. what music do you like to play and listen to? I went to see the Holy Trinity Rush the other week at MSG. My first and probably last show since it seems this may be their last tour. Also I assume all Canadians love Rush and imagine in grade school instead of reciting the national anthem or pledge of allegiance they just play Tom Sawyer and everyone quietly plays air guitar and drums at their desks.
Gorgeous. thanks for sharing.
.When comparing almost anything to the price of some corporate coffee, it is amazing the stuff that people do not really value.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
We’ve gone mostly organic but with eggs and milk this is absolute. I also read somewhere that anything that grows underground (potatoes, carrots, etc.) should definitely be organic.
Comparing apples and copy paper.Starbucks provides immediate positive feedback, buying organic eggs does not. Eggs are more of a “party in your brain” rather than an actual boost (as a result of sugar and caffeine) that for example Starbucks provides. Also with Starbucks there is social proof. Every morning you see others standing in line buying $5 drinks.Noting also the fat slobs that often buy those sugary Starbucks drinks that are “Walmart grade” in appearance.My dad used to always say “eh he finds time for doing X but not Y”. Perhaps Dad because “X” makes me feel good and “Y” (let’s say cleaning my room) does not. It really is that simple.
My room is too small to be able to cost-effectively tame the uneven low end and too busy (14 guitars, 9 amps, 3 keyboards, drums, etc.) to be able to properly situate the speakers and put up absorbers/diffusers. Insulating the source is a workaround for the recording, but what about for mixing? I’m investigating a solution called IK Multimedia ARC 2: http://www.ikmultimedia.com…
You mean you prefer your home studio over blowing the roof off at Rock Lititz? I’m from PA (Scranton) and never knew about Lititz and the music business connection. Fascinating. I found a great article in the journal that’s well worth a read on the Lititz music scene http://www.wsj.com/articles…
I listen to a wide range: rock, prog rock, jazz, indie, ambiance, electronic, metal, hardcore death metal and more.I play a less wide range: mainly a bluesy, prog rock, Pink Floyd-esque electric guitar, and various rock and ambient sub-genres on various instruments.Thanks for asking.BTW, I like some Rush, but I’m not a major fan. I would rather listen to Dan Swano, who was largely inspired by Rush in creating the first Death Metal Prog Rock.
The NYT’s magazine is now virtually unreadableGraphically and content wise they redid that within the last year. They spewed a great deal of ink on the fonts and graphic changes something that only a very small percentage of readers would even care about. “See how different our logo is and here is why!”. Was an inside baseball thing. I kind of liked it but that’s because of my background. And they completely killed “the ethicist” by having multiple points of view in my opinion.I don’t think the Times print edition will every go out of business even if advertising drops even more. It’s kind of a “Billionaire” trophy worth it to own it for it’s influence even if it loses money. At least with the current generation of billionaires. Once they clear out anything is possible.
I always read online. They’ve done some novel stuff with building APIs and also data visualization (via D3.js). Whether it’s something basic like the charts used to support Steve Rattner’s argument at http://www.nytimes.com/2015… or the slightly more interactive graphics in http://www.nytimes.com/2013…. The Upshot is often a good read. They partnered with filmmaker Casey Neistat for some interesting Op-Docs posted at http://www.nytimes.com/vide….
I haven’t gotten the paper in years. I follow Ross Douthat, the token op/Ed page conservative, on Twitter and occasionally read his columns and posts. Aside from him, there’s little ideological diversity in the paper. David Brooks is about as conservative as Jeb Bush, who is mocked on the right these days as a “cuckservative”. If an NYT article or column gets shared a lot on Twitter, I’ll take a look.
There’s been a far stronger and conscious shift to digital w/ in the NYT’s over past 12-18 months. Very, very late in adapting and a core prob among many legacy media biz. I read the NYT’s online too, but come Sunday I need the real thing in my hands. Still family owned, or at least controlled. The paper could benefit from an infusion of new mgt. and thinking.
I’m very happy with my Focusrite Scarlett 1820i.Headphones. Well the consensus even amongst world-class mixing engineers seems that mixing on a flat headset can only get you to 70%; you still need a room to finish off the mix.I haven’t posted to Glarslutz as the question has already been asked.
Alright. Send me a link of your music if you feel inclined. You can track me down through my profile. Have a great afternoon.
One of the best things I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that you can throw money at your problems or things that stress or annoy you. I hate looking for parking spaces and then having to parallel park in the city (and then worry about whether a meter will expire) so I almost always park in a garage. It’s also nice to worry less about someone trying to break into it or getting towed. If parking is really awful or far away I might even splurge for valet parking. I’m not at all a wealthy person but usually these things do cost less than a latte and give me more happiness.
Thanks for the kind words, and yeah “tight” is certainly not an overstatement, LOL!