Saturday, May 31, 2008
By the way, don't underestimate the influence of Murphy, the dog pictured below. I think the place would go to pieces without her. :)
Friday, May 30, 2008
M. Ward - Transfiguration, No. 1
M. Ward - Helicopter
this one is a little faster
Jens Lekman - A Postcard To Nina
Great song, listen to the lyrics closely. He's a great storyteller and it's a funny story.
The Watson Twins - Just Like Heaven (The Cure Cover)
I'm a sucker for interesting covers and this one qualifies. You know the Watson Twins from their work with Jenny Lewis, but they're here singing it up by themselves.
Ryan Adams - Enemy Fire
Continuing my Ryan Adams binge and not regretting it one bit. this song is from SXSW in late 90's/early 2000 when he burst onto the scene.
Have a great Friday.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Even more baffling is when the Fed talks about how "Core CPI" which takes out Food and Energy costs, only the two most important things we spend money on, is under control. Well this type of stuff is finally starting to be exposed. On Wednesday, Dow Chemical, the world's largest chemical maker announced across the board 20% price increases on everything they make. Then they pointed the finger at Washington.
Consumers hit hard in recent months by sharply higher prices for gasoline and food should prepare to start paying more for various household items following Dow Chemical Co.'s decision to raise its prices by up to 20 percent to offset the soaring cost of energy.
The company, which announced the price increases Wednesday, took the unusual step of directing blame at the nation's energy policy makers.
"For years, Washington has failed to address the issue of rising energy costs and, as a result, the country now faces a true energy crisis, one that is causing serious harm to America's manufacturing sector and all consumers of energy," Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical's chairman and chief executive, said in a written statement.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
According to a new survey from AARP, one in four middle-aged (45+) and older workers say they postponed plans to retire due to economic conditions. Almost 25% of people aged 45-to-64 surveyed said they are prematurely taking money out of their 401(k) and other investments.
Admittedly, we don't know what the baseline is, but I it still seems like a sign that things aren't so great and people are postponing dealing with their finances.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
My advice is to be persistent with admissions, don't stress about any one part of your application too much (people gravitate to GMAT because it's numerically measurable), and make sure you have a good story for your essays and interviews.
Once you get in, the advice is easy...Accept.
Kenny Kellogg Community - fill in your one piece of advice below. Himadri and others will be waiting.
Don't forget your favorite PJ song. Right now, mine is Come Back.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Life is funny though and my good friend from Kellogg, Phil Preuss, was telling me a story a few months ago about his undergrad days at Stanford. And who did he mention? That's right, Stu. Turns out Phil and Stu were really good buddies back in the day. Yep, life is funny.
So I reconnected with Stu and among other things, he told me about an Internet Radio Non Profit he works with, called KEXP. It's fantastic. Check out their Live Performances link. I can't get enough of site.
Thanks a bunch, Stu. Here are some of my favorites.
KEXP: She & Him - I highly recommend You Really Got a Hold on Me.
KEXP: The Drive By Truckers
KEXP: My Morning Jacket
Sunday, May 25, 2008
However, I remember reading a while ago that Miles Programs are actually not that great for airlines. Although they help with loyalty, they're really costly. Everyone has to offer them because all the other providers do too. One more cost that is strangling airlines. Search is such a ridiculously profitable business that it's hard to imagine this being cost prohibitive, but I think moves like this are how a categories profitability get's chipped away at over time.
By the way, don't you just love the competition between Google and MSFT? Google is developing an online Office Suite that they give away to hurt Microsoft's cash cow Office Suite. MSFT turns around and starts paying people to use their search platform, hoping to inflict another cost on Google and hurt Google's cash cow.
I love capitalism.
the chart is a reblog from James Siminoff.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
From Grant Smith:
Ok... so... In case there was any questioning left about that CD you put together at the end of CPM last year, I'm now up to 6 CDs bought/acquired on the heels of it:
Navigators - Glory, Glory
John Meyer - Continuum
John Meyer - Room for Squares
Gomez - How We Operate
Wilco - AM
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
It's really not relevant to ask for more recommendations, when you already post them on your blog. But I figured I'd pass back the news.
Thanks for the kind words Grant.
By the way, I met Grant while studying in London in 06'. Of all the decisions I made while in MBA school at Kellogg, studying at London Business School for a quarter was one of the smartest. From a pure fun perspective, it was unbelievable, from an "eye opening" perspective it was equally valuable. I will never, ever forget my Negotiations class and all of the different culturally influenced styles and perspectives on truth and responsibility to the other party. Finally, I made friends like Grant who I plan on staying in touch with throughout life. Good stuff.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Jack Johnson and G. Love - Holiday - (Madonna Cover)
I'm crazy about Madonna and i'm not going to apologize for it.
Jack Johnson, Zach Gill, Eddie Vedder, Boom Gasp… I Shall Be Released (Dylan cover)
The Band is such a great band. Love this cover.
Wilco - (Don't Fear) the Reaper (Live) (Blue Oyster Cult cover)
Saw Wilco play this in 04'. Loved it.
Jeff Tweedy doing the Ruling Class. Not a true cover. (Note: It's a satire of religion so don't take it too seriously.)
Another reason to check it out is because there are rumors that he is in the hunt for the Democratic Vice President nomination.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Naive? Maybe. But I'm a believer. So what are those 100 people doing right now? Well here's an example:
O'Reily and Olberman - two big TV personalities - are fighting over nothing of substance. Instead of talking about real issues like soldiers (think Colby Buzzell) getting pulled back into the war. Instead, their venom is spilling onto the lapels of the network presidents who only care about protecting their own reputation. Depressing.
I'll try to find the clip of Eddie talking about 100 people later. Until then, join Eddie in a little Throw Your Arms Around Me.
I love music but I'm the ultimate outsider, having never played an instrument. That's why I love columns like Andrew Bird's, which shows the art of making an album. That will be some mighty fine sausage.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
He brought his Amazon Kindle with him (pictured to the right). This is Amazon's attempt at a mobile book or paper reader. You download content to it wirelessly, and read it like a book. It's the size of a medium sized notebook. I have to say that it's pretty sharp (I sound like my dad). It's easy to use, the text looks good and it comes in a nice case.
I'll be asking for one this Christmas.
Tim Goodman of the SF Chronicle has been writing an excellent series about the TV business. This isn't hardcore stuff, but it's really informative and has the Tim Goodman humor sprinkled in. He's using the "Upfronts" where TV execs show advertisers previews of their new show as a window into the business.
Here are a couple articles I like:
Upfronts, a season of decisions, decisions
Networks Hope to Do More with Less
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Every time when I hear about a soldier's death now - which is always reported very briefly - there always seems to be a short mention that it was the soldier's second or third deployment, and now my name might be among them.
Colby is a real person, with considerable talents and a lot to offer the world. He is getting recalled to Iraq and now risks becoming a statistic.
This has to stop.
Listen to this because 1) it's good history and entertaining, 2) it will help you understand where we are going with interest rates pushed down and commodity prices spiraling out of control, and 3) understanding how the global financial system works could help you from making a disastrous financial mistake sometime down the road.
We seem to have an out of control bubble every 3-4 years nowadays, so you need to know how to spot them, because the Fed doesn't.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Neko Case - In California
Beautiful week in San Francisco. Seems fitting that we celebrate California a bit on this edition of Friday Chill Music.
Jens Lekman - You Can Call Me Al (Paul Simon cover)
I'm becoming a big fan of Jens Lekman. He's covering one of my favorite Paul Simon tunes here. Good stuff.
Jack Johnson - Monsoon
Been listening to the new Jack Johnson album a ton. Really smooth. He's incorporated some new instruments and it's a bit of a different sound for him. Check it out.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Eddie Vedder - Satellite (live in Berkeley 4/7/08)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Mixed in with the humor are great points, like this one:
"They said we were suicidal, ridiculous, old-fashioned, hubristic, doomed. The effort cost us huge amounts of time and money and was far from a sure bet. But my feeling is if you don't dare bet on yourself and your own people, you shouldn't be in business."
-- El Jobso (Fake Steve Jobs)
We played this game MagnetX marketed by Psyx Games. It was developed by two guys in Tracy, CA. It's pretty slick looking and fun. Essentially, you try to place a magnet on the board without causing the magnets to all crash together. It's pretty hard to get past 6 or 7 and you are playing it against people. The Wikipedia entry has a better description of the rules.
My uncle said the guy who developed this still works at his hot dog stand in front of the Tracy Home Depot. Crazy stuff. I'd recommend it and will buy one.
I love hearing these "little guy" success stories. I hope you do too.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Two cool posts by Dutch.
When Consumers find out Your Company Has No Soul
Saturday, May 10, 2008
It's worth noting that I found this clip via the Feeddo Blog. Feedo was started by a guy named Edwin Khodabakchian who is the visionary behind this piece of Oracle Software. Oracle bought his company a while back. Feeddo looks like it's going to be it's own very cool piece of software.
Anywhoo, I've been interviewing some folks lately and the most creative answer I got was Potenco. It's a mobile power generator. You pull a string and it builds up electricity. It can be used to power mobile phones or computers in really tough environments.
Great idea that could change a lot of lives.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Just about a year ago, I published The Dip.
It turned out to be one of my most successful books. Perhaps you have a copy--which I appreciate more than you can guess. Now, here's the favor:
A year later, would you mind sharing your copy? Take it off the shelf and loan it to someone. Someone at work or in your family, perhaps. If I could double the number of people who read the book, it would be pretty cool.
This is how I feel every time someone tells me they read this blog or passes it onto a friend. Thanks!
Jeff Tweedy And Jay Bennett (Wilco) - The Lonely One
I've been listening to a ton of Bon Iver lately. Skinny Love is incredible, but you probably knew that. Here is another one I really like.
Bon Iver - Blindsided
Finally, I keep linking to a new Counting Crows song every week. It's a great album. I've had a soft spot in my heart for them for a long time. Among other memories related to their music, I remember having my best CAL lacrosse game of the year (yes, I played Lacrosse at CAL. I used to be fast, believe it or not) and a few buddies and I hiked behind the Greek Theater with a large malt beverage each and listened to the Crows' concert for free, just outside the Greek. Great night with Mercer and Becker. Anywhoo, here is another song of theirs off the new album I like.
Counting Crows - Washington Square (live on WXPN/World Cafe)
Here is a great Old School Crows song.
CountingCrows - Round Here
Thursday, May 8, 2008
"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on. There was just an AP article posted that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me. There's a pattern emerging here."
This video comes from a blog called Horse, Pig, Cow.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
If you like that one, you'll probably also dig the Sports Guy's Video on former CAL Hoopster, Rod Benson.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
If you enjoyed the video, you'll dig here performing "I Feel It All."
Great Colbert episode!
In the mean time, definitely read his blog. He has viewpoints ranging on running a startup to just plain business sense. I loved the observation he made below on this chart that was in the wall street journal:
The % of Americans working in finance is at the highest point since the Great Depression.
Not a comforting thought for someone like me who works in finance.
I always try to pay attention to little tells like this. I remember reading in early 2000 that the Technology and Communications Industries made up a record % of the S&P 500 stock market index. That is one small tell I wish I would have acted on.
Monday, May 5, 2008
I saw this work with my own, baby eyes. My mom started working with Elegant Clutter when my brother and I were super young. She found the perfect business for her, bought in at the ground floor and the rest is small business history.
I'm sure there are a lot of other really cool stories like this out there. Send them in.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
"In response to recent events Federal Reserve Board voted unanimously to authorize the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to create Yahoo Lending Facility (YLF) to avoid significant stock market distruption and to support Yahoo! Inc shares. Yahoo! Inc and its authorized agents will be able to borrow from the facility to support stock price.
This facility will be available for business on Monday, May 5. It will be in place for at least six months and may be extended as conditions warrant. The interest rate charged on the credit will be the same as the primary credit rate, or discount rate, at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
In addition, Yahoo! Inc shareholders who are unable to sell their shares at or above Friday, May 2 closing price, will be able to swap Yahoo! shares for the US Treasuries at the set price of $29.70 per share."
Sad but interesting story on Giant's Left Fielder Fred Lewis in the Mercury News. Heartbreaker but worth the read.
Enjoy the DVD and buy the albums. Here are a few of my favorites:
Billy Bragg & Wilco - Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key
Billy Bragg & Wilco - At My Window Sad And Lonely
Unfortunately it's only an abstract sample so hopefully you can find the full version somewhere.