Thursday, July 31, 2008
"Whether or not it was that, it was certainly a test of his mastery of political theatrics, his sure-footedness, and his willingness to take a calculated risk. On the first leg of the trip, Obama found himself in a military gym in Kuwait, a major staging point for Americans going to the war zones. The bleachers were packed with soldiers wearing fatigues. A basketball materialized. “I may not make the first one,” he said, no doubt imagining what a metaphor-hungry press would make of a miss or, God forbid, a whole string of misses, “but I’ll make one eventually.”
Then this happens...
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Here is Healy's introduction about himself. However, the better post is a "How Not be A Underpants Gnome" a great cut from South Park.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
This entry is about Lincecum and the great Sports Illustrated article that Scott Fausel forwarded onto me. What makes Lincecum special is he throws 98 mph with a nasty curve and change up, and he is about 5-10 and 175 pounds. He's way too small to throw that hard, yet somehow he does. This article by Tom Verducci explores his mechanics and the mechanics of baseball pitchers in general. Great read.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Late last year, he pulled it off and I couldn't be happier for him. Check the video below, which is actually a commercial. You'll get a tiny sense of the moment and nationalistic pride. Way to go Omar!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
I Am Fuel, You Are Friends published a ton of Wilco covers, and I mean a ton. Head on over to Part 1 or you can check out Part 2, regardless, you won't be disappointed.
While you are listening to the toons, check out Bob Lefsetz's letter about the music industry. I found it inspiring to think that the little guys can get control over their careers and their music, from the labels. He credits the free release of In Rainbows (a Kenny K favorite) with pushing the movement over the top, but here is one of my favorites quotes:
It started with Pearl Jam. The first band made by MTV to turn its back on television. Pearl Jam was fearful of losing control, being defined by the medium instead of itself. It took back control. The medium looked elsewhere, but Pearl Jam can still play arenas, whereas everybody else who whored himself out for exposure can barely work, if they can work at all. How many tickets could Limp Bizkit sell today?
Enjoy the Wilco music and great editorial. Have a great Saturday.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Scanners - In My Dreams
Let's bring it back down. Here is a Josh Ritter song, Girl in the Water, that is really great too. More mellow.
Josh Ritter - Girl In The War
Finally, Muxtape has become a go to service for me and I found a really cool Radiohead song, Gagging Order, on this Muxtape. I'm not even sure who this person is, but they "favorited" my Muxtape, so I checked their's out. Friends through music. Radiohead is the 6th song down.
Maybe you could build a Muxtape and favorite me so I could listen to it?
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Funny NY Times article on how we should have seen the credit crash coming with the recent extension of hemlines...
Bruce Jenkins makes some great points about Ichiro. How he one of the most elegant (yes, I said elegant) baseball players on the field, yet we know very little about him off the field. I had hoped the Giants would sign him after Bonds left, but the owner of the Mariners owns Nintendo and it makes sense to have the greatest Japanese player play for a Japanese owner. It means even more to that owner. Oh well, I can still enjoy Ichiro.
Roche is buying Genentech. Holy smoly. At least they are trying to buy the rest of Genentech, Roche already owns 50% or so. It's shameless promotion time at Kenny Kellogg Headquarters. I published a paper at Kellogg examining alternative financing choices for Biotechs. My argument is that they are in a really tough spot, even mighty Genentech had to sell itself to Roche at one point. Well, that sale is coming back to bite them in the behind again. If interested, check out the paper here at Kellogg online or the embedded version here.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
"Leverage," as the laying-on of debt is known in the trade, is the Hamburger Helper of finance. It makes a little capital go a long way, often much farther than it safely should. Managing balance sheets as highly leveraged as Wall Street's requires a keen eye and superb judgment. The rub is that human beings err.
Definitely read this article.
Monday, July 21, 2008
If you are on the fence about whether to check out the show, read Tim Goodman's recap of the TV Critics Award and you'll see how much they love Mad Men.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Rebloged from Fred Wilson's Tumblr Blog.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Here's the Who. Got to love Townsend with the Arm Windmill.
Matt Belloni wrote in to recommend Love As Laughter and I concur. A few diferent sounds here but I like it. Here is their MySpace page so you can listen to a bunch of their songs.
Wells Fargo and Intel kick some serious butt. In cyclical downdraft, the well managed companies take advantage and build an even stronger company. (Thanks for pointing this out Barrett. I'm a big believer in being the last one standing too). Also, before you run out and buy Intel stock, remember it's a supplier and doesn't always have great visibility into end user demand.
Ken Rice writes in to talk about a music site that let's musicians collaborate real-time over the Internet. This is incredible stuff.
Eric Becker writes in to talk about an article on Healthcare costs he liked. He's a Ph D at Berkeley and knows this stuff. Healthcare underwriting standards and pricing is really interesting to me because it shows the cycle of greed and fear at work over a long term. You can also see companies who develop a competitive advantage (Information Systems or an emphasis on Preventative Care) start to underprice their competition and grow. Capitalism is beautiful sometimes.
"Recession Plagued Country Demands New Bubble to Invest In" - says the Onion
I met Erik Rabasca via an intro by Mark Himmelsbach. He's in advertising but also makes great music. I really enjoyed his MySpace page. Industry Soul Killer is my favorite.
The Walm writes in with a great anecdote from the Economist and Freakonomics blog. It involves pasties.
Say what you want about Airlines, and I'll say a lot of bad things, here is how they are trying to save money so they can stay in business. Really interesting.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Barrett's point was that some companies, like Intel, were still kicking butt. I totally agree and see optimism all around me
So here goes. I'm posting a great interview with Jamie Dimon, a business hero of mine for the way he cleaned up JPMorgan, kept their leverage (debt level) ratio down to 12 to 1 (manageable) vs. his competitors who are at 25x or 30x at the very least. My best anecdote on him was when he spoke at Kellogg last year. He was phenomenal and talked about how bloated JPM was when he came in. Everyone, including the Executives, had "Life Coaches." He used some colorful language but basically said, "Are you freaking kidding me, Life Coaches? You're all fired. If you can't coach your own professional life and those who report to you, I don't want you here."
He's also got a great line about "buying a house on fire." A reference to Bear Sterns.
The guy is awesome and a lot of it shines through in this video interview (from Paul Kedrosky's blog). I think if Obama wins, he could be the Secretary of Treasury (if he wants the job). They're both Chicago guys and Dimon would be an inspired choice.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
SPUD WEBB AND DOMINQUE WILKINS DUNKING (1986), 6:24. While surfing for videos of my all-time favorite NBA player, the 5-foot-3 Mugsy Bogues, I came upon this gem. It's an impromptu slam-dunk competition, emceed by Magic Johnson, at the end of the 1986 All-Star Game. While "Charlie B" Charles Barkley tries to get in the game, it's all about Dominque Wilkins and the 5-foot-7 Spud Webb. The dude can dunk - "That little guy. How can he get up like that?," the announcer asks - but the main thing I love about this clip is how spontaneous it appears. Even as late as 1986, the superstars were acting like people instead of brands. When Johnson tells Wilkins to "be nasty, real nasty with it" and warns those in the crowd that "we got all night," I wanted to kiss my computer screen. You'd never hear that now.
This 1984 music video is so awesome, it's almost impossible to describe. Multicolored rain falls on
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I feel like I'm not doing it justice so in the author's own words:
All Over Coffee strips are time bombs, moments that on the surface appear meaningless or random, but later, while going about your day, trigger connections.
The subjects are the details of life: city and landscapes coupled with observations, scenes and slivers of conversations.
Here is one of the best ones I've seen in a long time.
I found this to be a bit haunting. It really made me think. I would suggest checking it out on the web here so you can read it better.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Rather than just ignoring bad news, I figure it's worth covering for educational purposes.
Sorry if it's bumming you out but I think it's better to know what's going on.
The Obama campaign is slamming it but I think it's brilliant. Only by showing how ridiculous the "Obama is a Terrorist" thinking really is will rid it as an issue. This is brilliant satire and brings an issue that Obama was running away from, to the forefront. He should laugh at it, showing how ridiculous it is and secretly thank the New Yorker.
I mapped my favorite walk, from Regent's Park, which I used to live, to Burroughs Market, the site of a wonderful gourmet food market with the best burgers and coffee I've ever had. Mmm...burgers and coffee.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Yes those Liabilities come with Assets (loans made to people who should theoretically repay them) but we know some portion of those loans are bad. So the U.S. government (i.e. Taxpayers) will take a loss = Default % X $5T.
These moves are weakening the dollar, the U.S. credit worthiness which should scare the b-jesus out of our foreign creditors like China, Japan, and the Middle East. We're basically telling them that their investments in us will cost them money.
It's not a pretty picture. Let's hope this is a call to action and people start being more vigilant about big-time CEO's running their companies' for their own profit and for regulators to actually do something. It didn't have to come to this.
I would recommend reading Paul Kedrosky, my favorite finance commentator, here.
Her latest article is on the small Danish island of Samso, which is completely energy self sufficient. It's a fabulous story. One of my favorite aspects is how humble the people of Samso are. It gives you hope that we could all change our ways like they did. Here's an excerpt.
The residents of Samsø that I spoke to were clearly proud of their accomplishment. All the same, they insisted on their ordinariness. They were, they noted, not wealthy, nor were they especially well educated or idealistic. They weren’t even terribly adventuresome. “We are a conservative farming community” is how one Samsinger put it. “We are only normal people,” Tranberg told me. “We are not some special people.”
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I really liked this little anecdote about how Brandon Webb, a stud pitcher for the Diamondbacks, experiments when he faces Brad Hawpe, a good but not great hitter for the Rockies who just so happens to crush Webb.
Brad Hawpe of the Rockies has been Webb's professional nemesis, a left-handed hitter who hammers him the most: a .333 batting average in 45 at-bats, with four homers. Consequently, Hawpe has been used by Webb and catcher Chris Snyder as something of a lab rat because, hell, nothing else works. As Webb refined his changeup, in 2006, they measured its improvement by how it worked against Hawpe. And earlier this season, Webb started tinkering with a cut fastball, a pitch that veers into the hands of left-handed hitters. Naturally, Hawpe was the first to see it. Hawpe grinned and looked down at Snyder and said, "Oh, OK, we've got a new one."
Friday, July 11, 2008
First up is a song by the French Kicks called The Way You Arrive. I discovered the band through a music appreciation group I joined called I'm All Ears. More on the group later but it's been a fruitful place for hearing new music, eating good food and for getting extra homework.
Next up is Tilly and the Wall. This is a band I first saw at Austin's South by Southwest in March and was completely blown away by their performance. They have a tap dancer who actually contributes to the rhythm of the song and the crowd really get's into them. I saw "Tilly" at the Great American Music Hall this week and they were great. Fantastic performers. Here's a video from my favorite song of the night, Let the Beat Control you. The video doesn't have the snap of a live performance but close your eyes and picture a small venue, packed with a ton of energy and you'll get the gist.
Jim James is a long time favorite at Kenny Kellogg headquarters so we'll bring you back down to earth with Jim James' version of Goin' to Acapulco. Thanks Schweif and Ananda for the recommendation.
Bonus: More Tilly on Letterman
The EU is trying to head it off, by raising rates, because their dominant constituency, Germany, went through a terrible inflationary period after WWI and they never want to repeat those mistakes.
At the same time, the U.S.'s historical nightmare is the Great Depression, where deflation (a decrease in price levels) and a credit crunch crushed the country for many years. So the Fed is willing to live with Inflation if it means no deflation.
Interesting how we try so hard not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
It seems as though the money is depreciating so fast, the country needed a huge influx of paper to keep printing enough money to pay the army. A German country supplied the paper and recently refused to sell it to the country. Now, the dictator, Mugabe, won't be able to pay the army and he may face an uprising. Very interesting how something so small could make such a difference.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The second audiot installment is an NPR Fresh Air interview with Jason Bateman of Hancock and Arrested Development. Bateman was also great in Juno. Anyways, his part of the Fresh Air podcast comes in around minute 20 to 22. It's a substantial interview that I liked a lot.
Anyways, Greg just relaunched his website so if you live in California and are in the market for smart residential systems, check it out.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I found this hilarious quote on Dutch Evan's site:
64% of teens admit to using text messaging shorthand in writing scholastic papers.
Dutch, Dutch Evans, Jul 2008The quote comes from a Pew Internet & American Life Project which is an annual study of teens. Really funny stuff.
Well the tool just took a major leap forward by incorporating the "Reblog" capability that has been the secret to Tumblr's success. A "reblog" on Tumblr consists of hitting a simple button and the post you are reposting automatically populates in your entry, with a link to the original writer. Zemanta is bringing this feature across blogging platforms, so people like me who use Blogger, will have this feature. Reblogging is important because it makes blog posts much more viral and guarantees the original poster will get the credit for the deep thought.
My favorite Jenkins line, "With the casual aplomb of a gentleman pouring a glass of wine, Federer sent it whistling through the darkness with a blistering cross-court backhand winner."
Jenkins is a great writer and his Saturday morning column, The Three Dot Lounge is a must read. Every year he covers Wimbledon and I look forward to his writing. Check him out on Saturdays.
The match also brought to mind David Foster Wallace's essay on Federer a while back. This is the single best sports essay I've ever read and I think it's a must read! Wallace captures Federer at his best, calling Federer's play a "Religous Experience." I really can't do it justice in my description. It's just a must read.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Tim Goodman, the SF Chronicle's TV critic, wrote a pretty rough review of them. It was interesting because some of the stuff I liked about Kruk and Kuip, was blasted. Goodman has a line in his normal columns that says something like, "everything I learned, I learned from watching television." Well for me, everything I learned, I learned from playing baseball. Nothing teaches you the art of respecting an opponent, humility (getting a hit 3 out of 10 times makes you an All-Star), teamwork, and the unwritten code of guys like baseball. The reason I like Kruk and Kuip so much, is they reveal all of those little life lessons from baseball in their telecasts.
Anyways, I'm not sure if a Baseball broadcast should be held to the same standards as a sitcom or HBO special. Regardless, I thought Goodman's followup note on his blog was really interesting. Basically, he used his blog to clarify his stance. His article came across as very anti-Kruk & Kuip and his blog said that he was trying to be more critical of the direction of the program.
Interesting stuff that writers can clarify via their blog vs. waiting to be lambasted in the Letter's to the Editor section.
Highly recommend it.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
One of my favorite lines:
No Safety in Numbers
There's seldom any safety in numbers, and the more parlous the situation, the more dangerous it is to be in it with a lot of other people. London during an outbreak of the bubonic plague, the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina, the New Jersey suburbs: People are always clustering together precisely where and when they should not.
In World War I, hordes of men charged directly into machine- gun fire, no doubt reassured that they weren't alone.
No, if you want to win the recession, you need to find a hole and crawl inside it, until the shooting stops. This hole is called a HEDGE FUND.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Video is here.
By the way, what's up with NBC not letting you embed video in a blog. Join the 21st century people.
..more than half of those institutions with assets worth between $1bn and $10bn have commercial real estate loan portfolios that exceed 300 per cent of their capital, according to recent FDIC data.
Similarly, almost 30 per cent of US community banks have construction and development loans exceeding 100 per cent of capital.
In short, a lot of smallish U.S. banks are utterly screwed.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
You actually need to click through to Dutch's post because he wrote a good one. Also, I went to a music party last night and the Fleet Foxes got extensive airplay!
Dutch Evans wrote the post I wanted to write on the Fleet Foxes. I'm enjoying them immensely. See Dutch's post here. He gives some tips on what songs to start with. Nice work Dutchy Boy.
BTW - A few moments after taking this picture, Colby's arm was jarred, and a few drops spilled out. The poor woman lost 20% of her orange juice with a bump of the elbow!
The Post American World - post by VC Fred Wilson summing up Fareed Zakaria's new book. Lot's of great quotes and things that make you go hmmm.
Dear President Obama - a note from the world's largest bond manager, Bill Gross, to presumptive president Obama. Don't miss this one. One quick caveat, I agree with most of what Bill Gross says, except for the need to bailout housing speculators. As the world's largest bond manager, there is no doubt that Bill Gross owns a huge amount of mortgage debt so you must be careful to separate out advice from him talking his book. Still, he's a super smart guy who I think wants the best thing for the country.
The Confidence Man - great profile from New York Magazine on Hedge Fund investor David Einhorn. He was one of the first big guys to realize something sketchy was going on with the banks in the U.S. He sounded the alarm bell, made a ton of money and is getting nothing but heat for telling the truth.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
DATE CITY VENUE PRE-SALE
Aug-01 Boston, MA Opera House Jul-07 at 9am PDT
Aug-02 Boston, MA Opera House Jul-07 at 11am PDT
Aug-04 New York, NY United Palace Theatre Jul-07 at 1pm PDT
Aug-05 New York, NY United Palace Theatre Jul-07 at 2pm PDT
Aug-07 Newark, NJ NJ Performing Arts Ctr Jul-07 at 3pm PDT
Aug-09 Montreal, QC Salle Wilfrid Place Jul-08 at 9am PDT
Aug-10 Montreal, QC Salle Wilfrid Place Jul-08 at 11am PDT
Aug-12 Toronto, ON Massey Hall Jul-08 at 1pm PDT
Aug-13 Toronto, ON Massey Hall Jul-08 at 3pm PDT
Aug-16 Washington, DC Warner Theatre Jul-09 at 9am PDT
Aug-17 Washington, DC Warner Theatre Jul-09 at 11am PDT
Aug-19 Milwaukee, WI Riverside Theatre Jul-09 at 1pm PDT
Aug-21 Chicago, IL Auditorium Theatre Jul-09 at 2pm PDT
Aug-22 Chicago Auditorium Theatre Jul-09 at 3pm PDT
I really like this song, All I Need. It's from their latest record. Let the record show that it's Anne Meyers favorite song too.
Nude (below) is my favorite song off the record. Amazing stuff.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
How can your company be acquired by Axon Solutions, you ask? You need to start out by being very smart like Scott Barrett, learn everything there is to know about Supply Chain, straighten out your clients' businesses, then rinse and repeat. It couldn't happen to a nicer guy. He wasn't afraid to take a couple chances and good things happen to good people.
Kudos Scott Barret!
However, things are getting a bit out of hand already. He sent me this video last night, and let's just say, I'm a little nervous. I feel like I'm in that Michael Douglas movie, the Game, or something.
Where's Sean Penn when you need him?