Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Jackie Keenan on the News

Jackie Keenan anchored the Crain's multimedia newscast the other day. It's great seeing Jackie delivering all the news we are talking about on the blog and at cocktail hour.

Great job Jackie.

Geo-Coded Voting

Beth Stevens forwarded this map from the New York Times on which Reps voted against the bailout. I'm not sure I would vote for it easier. There is no transparency or discussion of the price this fund is going to pay for the securities they are going to be buying. The price is everything. Hoppefully the final bill has some info and provisions written into that.

Funny Cats

Monday, September 29, 2008

Finance Nerd Jokes

By now, everyone knows the market got crushed today. You can check the Covestor badge to the right to see how I'm doing since Feb 08' (when I signed up for Covestor) and you can see my positions. Note, this is not investing advice.

My returns look pretty bad since Feb 08, but my portfolio is actually holding up really well. Hopefully Covestor will be able to do a look back and start mapping from the day you buy stocks and funds. For example, I've been in most of my stocks and funds since 02' with mixed results, but I haven't changed much.

Anyways, here is some finance nerd humor courtesy of Brian Sterz and Alphaville.
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I Love Phonetag

Over the last 3 months I've been trialing a service called Phonetag. The service transcribes my voicemails a few moments after they are left, and then sends me a text message or email (I've elected to go email only) with the contents of the voicemail and a call back number.

It's come in handy in so many situations. First, it just makes your life easier cause you don't have to check your voicemail constantly. That's freedom I'll pay for. Also, it's helped in a lot of business situations where I couldn't check voicemail, but got an email letting me know what's up.

I highly reccomend Phonetag. If you sign up through this link, then I get a free month and so do you. I believe it works with all the big phone networks. Cheers.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Public Service Post from Cuban

NPR News logoImage via WikipediaGreat public service post from Mark Cuban. I've been getting a ton of questions about the bailout and what will happen. This is a great summary. Definitely read it.

Also, Cathie Kaiser recommended the podcast, Planet Money, from NPR. It's by the guys who did Giant Pools of Money, probably the best podcast I've ever heard. Check them both out.
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Dining with Dre'

Matt Belloni pointed me to Andre Eithier of the Dodger's blog. It's called Dining with Dre and it's funny and thoughtful. Might come in handy for you folks in LA who read the blog. Cheers.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cuban on the Splurge

DALLAS - MAY 1:  Owner of the Dallas Mavericks...Image by Getty Images via DaylifeInteresting proposal from Mark Cuban on the Splurge. Why not let private investors contribute to a Private $700B fund, and then buy all the bad debt at a discounted price? This way, private citizens who want to take the risk, can do so, while taxpayers who think there are better things to do with their money (there are), don't have to get dragged into the mess. I like it a lot.

Cuban is touching on a broader trend in finance, and that is the growing ability to invest in just about anything. Barclays, among others has been a leader in the growing ETF (or Exchange Traded Funds) which essentially buy illiquid, tough to store, or immobile assets, and then sell little pieces of them in the form of shares of ownership. Just like when you own a share of Microsoft, you own one small piece, the same is true with a bar of gold stored in a bullion bank (GLD). This way, capital can flow to previously difficult to invest in areas and make a return. Also, the concept takes advantage of economies of scale in doing things like storing gold or silver (SLV). This is happening all over the world with large utility projects, bridges, etc and I really like the concept.
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Friday, September 26, 2008


Radiohead is starting a publicity push for Reckoner. It's a great song.

Radiohead - Reckoner

As part of the push, Radiohead released the stats on the Nude Remix program and they are stunning. Make no mistake, customization and interactivity pays.

Unique visitors: 6,193,776, Page Views: 29,090,134, Hits: 58,340,512, Bandwidth: 10.666 Terabytes, Number of mixes: 2,252, Number of votes: 461,090, Number of track listens: 1,745,304

Here is the Reckoner remix site.

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Friday Chill Music (September 26, 2008)

Thanks to Andrea Gouw for a little pinch-hitting on Friday Chill Music this week. She recommended the great version of "I Shall Be Released" by Wilco and the Fleet Foxes. The hook is you need to promise to vote at the Wilco website. Do it! You can find the song here for now, if you don't want to vote, but you should do the right thing and promise.

She also did a nice Bridge School themed playlist via Imeem which you can find here.

Bridge School

Thanks a bunch Dre for the help in such notice!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Production from LonelyGirl

Pretty cool new concept coming out of LonelyGirl studios. My buddy Paras Maniar, from Hambrehct & Quist and Kellogg 05', passed this onto me. It has good production value and a lot of potential. It's a bit out there, but I think it needs to be. Check it out.

Reblog: Every Industry has a Lehman

I thought this was a great point...

New Twitter Design

I got a really cool new background design for my Twitter background, courtesy of Molly Mundt. Molly is a designer and has a really cool pet startup that is about 2 months before launch. I think you'll like the product she has designed. Until then, you'll have to enjoy her designs vicariously through my Twitter page and her page.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kudlow is Pathetic

Peace at the Pump

Yesterday I was filling up with gas at the local Shell Station. They've installed those incredibly annoying tv monitors and accompanying commercials. I actually go sit back in my car because they are so annoying. Well what do you know happened -- yesterday the monitors had a bug and didn't work.

Finally some peace at the pump.

Honeymoon for Twitter

Twitter is rapidly becoming my favorite Internet/Mobile service. Check it out here. You can add the Twitter Application on Facebook so your Twitter Updates flow to Facebook status updates. It's seamless.

I wanted to point out some interesting behavior by one of my friends, Alex Bain. He has been twittering his wedding and his honeymoon. This is extreme lead-user behavior and it won't be for everyone, but when I see the lead-users pushing things even this far, I know the service is a winner. If you'd like to follow Alex on his honeymoon, check him out here: http://twitter.com/a32b

If you want to follow me, go here: http://twitter.com/scottorn
I find enabling phone updates really helps me get in tune with someone's updates, so try that too.


Lauren Novita passed on this interesting article on Hybrid Cars. I've started thinking about buying one. I road up to Yosemite a few weeks ago in Tim Moffet's hybrid Camry and it was wonderful. Add in the snazzy dashboard that shows your fuel efficiency -- that kept us occupied for hours -- and you've got a great toy.

Anyone know of any other good articles or opinions on hybrids? I'm about to get into the market.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Dear Jenny

We all have a special Jenny in our life. Forest Gump had his, I have mine (Jenny Lewis) and you probably have yours. Well, Jenny Lewis is releasing a new album tomorrow and here is the title track. I actually like it live better. Good song.

David Foster Wallace's Commencement

Bryan Kenna forwarded on the commencement speech from David Foster Wallace that the WSJ published recently. It's pretty dark but made me think a lot. Like most of his writing, it's dense, so you might want to print it out and take it home and read it later.

However you can consume it, I think you'll find it thought provoking and a window into how he was thinking before his apparent suicide.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Nice Touch: Union Station Foundation

The cool thing about the Internet and blogging in general, is that when someone does something cool or out of the ordinary, you can call it out. People who have a "Nice Touch" deserve more attention. That's why I'm posting this picture from the envelope of a Union Station Foundation contribution envelope.

Union Station is a Foundation that helps people who are homeless or have serious problems. A relative of mine found herself in a very tough situation a few years back. A Union Station affiliated house took her in and helped her overcome some challenges and get a normal life started. I'm forever indebted to those fine folks and make donations in her honor when I can.

That's why I have the envelope, what makes it cool is the wording in the stamp area. It says, "Your stamp is an additional gift to Union Station Homeless Services." Such a nice thought to recognize the small, but additional gift of the 40+ cents of a stamp. I bet that helps their conversion rate just a little bit more and it validates the nice act that a donor is making. A nice touch.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Reblog: Rules for the Splurge

Loved this Fred Wilson post about rules that should be in place for the Splurge (the $700B + Bailout). Please check out the column, quick good read.

I was discussing the Splurge with my friend Matt Belloni and he distilled it quit nicely: "the same people who were repeatedly saying everything was fine 6 months ago are now telling us that if we don't approve a Trillion $'s of bailout money in 4 days, that there will be dire consequences."

Matt and I were talking and it seems like every decision made in our country these days is made under the backdrop of fear. It's a terrible way to make decisions. Just wondering if anyone is thinking about what the increase in taxes will do to consumer spending? If you run a retail boutique, a breakfast restaurant, sports apparel company, or are a feature film actor -- is this bailout and accompanying rise in taxes (and inflation most likely) really what you want?

Reblog: Exploding the Short Seller Myth

Reblogging Paul Kedrosky's post about blaming short sellers. Politicians and Regulators have a huge incentive to blame "short sellers" because they are trying to deflect attention. They are the ones who screwed up (along with the Management Teams).

Short sellers control relatively little capital compared to the amount of money run on the Long side and the amount of capital a good company could use to buy back it's own shares. You didn't see Warren Buffet's company going up in flames last week did you? No, because he keeps the appropriate amount of cash around to buy his stock when it's artificially low.

Read that article because we have a good old fashioned witch hunt going on and it's complete b.s.

Reblogging Hegarty's: "I Love You..."

Great find from David Hegarty. JibJab makes such cool stuff.

Weekend Update

It's been a great weekend with lunch with the Callaways, a birthday party for Cully, another birthday party for Ashish and a Niners game today. So what does a guy like me do to unwind for a few hours Sunday morning? Read the Sports Guy's column.

This week he talks a lot about fantasty football and honestly, I didn't think it was a great column. However, this line was amazing:

"When you hear someone railing against fantasy now, they always sound like the mom in "Almost Famous" who's afraid to have Simon and Garfunkel played in her house because she thinks they're going to corrupt her daughter."

I was listening to Sports Talk Radio last sunday night and the show's mediator was talking about how she tried Fantasy once but it couldn't hold her attention. Are you kidding me? She lost every ounce of credibility with me at that moment, forever.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bonus: Eddie Vedder's New Song

CHICAGO - AUGUST 03:  Kerry Wood #34 of the Ch...Image by Getty Images via DaylifeEddie Vedder has a new song out and the subject is the Chicago Cubs! Thanks to Greg Mercer for writing into Kenny K headquarters to alert us about it (that's right, I was scooped on Pearl Jam). Also, thanks to Gary Anderson for pointing out that Ernie Banks is the one who asked Eddie to write the song.

Seems like all the stars are aligning for the Cubs this year. For those of you going to games this weekend, raise a Murphy's Bloody Mary for me.
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Man Ads: MNF Astroturf

This is such a great "Man Ad" (I'm coining that term). It's a billboard on the side of a bus stop for Monday Night Football. The cool thing is that it's real astroturf. I felt the immediate need to touch it. It's so cool how the prehistoric man brain works sometimes.

Friday Chill Music (September 19, 2008)

This week's chill music is all My Morning Jacket all of the time. I'm going to see them at the Greek Theater with a huge crew tonight and can't wait.

Here's an NPR list of epic MMJ concerts.

I'm going to call out their show at SXSW this year because it has a bunch of their new songs on it and will be very similar to the concert I go see tonight. Enjoy, but don't forget to check out the full catalog link because there is some great acoustic stuff in there.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Where's Bush?

Great point raised by Paul Kedrosky and Bloomberg News Services, where the heck is Bush when the country needs some leadership to help keep these banks from going down?

Speaking of Bloomberg, Michael raises the trillion dollar question. If we are going to print money to get out of this (the Fed & Treasury announced this today in the form of a Fed Bond Issuance), then who is going to buy our debt?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

VC Process

A lot of people ask me about how VC's make decisions and what the process is like. My buddy Healy wrote a good (and funny) post on the subject recently. It's high level but will help you if you are thinking of pursuing this type of finance.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cuban & Stock Buybacks

Mark Cuban has an excellent post pointing out that AIG, Merrill & Lehman spent billions on share buybacks at far higher stock prices . Why the buybacks you ask? To hide the dilution caused by executive stock option compensation. The share count rises with option issuance (dilution) so the companies buy shares back to hide the dilution and keep the share count constant.

This has been happening for a long time. Cuban points out that Dividends would be a better option for returning money to shareholders, and you should never forget that liquidity, in the form of cash, is incredibly valuable and shouldn't be frittered away trying to hide dilution.

Rose on the Crisis

If you are looking for a clear discussion of the problems on wall street and the ramifications, click here for Paul Kedrosky's blog to watch a video interview by the great Charlie Rose.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wall Street Today

This is the best recap I can do on Wall Street today.

"Boy that escalated quickly...I mean it really got out of hand..."

Crux in Kellogg Alumni Magazine

I was flipping through the Kellogg Alumni Magazine last week and came across this article on James Reynolds. Mr. Reynolds sponsors the Kellogg business plan contest every year and last year (07'), our team won with Crux: The Hangover Drink. It was super exciting for us to win and great to see our picture in the Alumni Mag this month. (I'm the handsome bald guy if you didn't know :))

Thanks for all your charitable work Mr. Reynolds. Hopefully I'll make the magazine again someday.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Foster Wallace

Jessica P sent me an email letting me know that one of my favorite writers, David Foster Wallace, passed away over the weekend. Here is a obit from Salon.com that Jessica sent and that I thought was pretty good.

Here's a link to a past Kenny K link where I recommended his Federer article, probably the best sports article I've ever read.

His John McCain article for Rolling Stone during the 2000 primary was the best political essay I've ever read. It intertwined politics and asked many coming of age questions of people in our generation. As I said in my Twitter, it was perfect.

Please read it.

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Budget Cuts?

The squeeze on local government budgets is on. check out the picture below. SF used to do street sweeping every week, not so much anymore...

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Great profile of Alec Baldwin in the New Yorker, including one of my favorite 30 Rock lines, "what am I? A Farmer?"

An entertaining read. If you aren't watching 30 Rock, you need to immediately.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bonus Song

Here's a bonus song from My Morning Jacket, via a music club I'm in called, I'm All Ears.

Friday Chill Music (September 12, 2008)

Nothing like a couple weekends in the mountains to bring back great memories. I'm heading up to Bryan & Krista's wedding in Yosemite this weekend. Can't wait. Everytime I go to the mountains, it reminds me of Pearl Jam because of the how much we played the greatest band ever during my three summers working at the Lair of the Bear.

Smile by Pearl Jam. "Don't it make you smile..."

Off He Goes at the Bridge School Benefit 1996. One of my favorite PJ songs of all time. Great lyrics. I was there for this and it was amazing. The dates for this year's Bridge School are announced, but the lineup hasn't been announced. Hope PJ shows up.

Picture in a Frame cover by Eddie. you can skip in about a minute. If you don't like this song, you're a communist (or you work at the Fed or Treasury Dept).

Finally, Last Kiss by Pearl Jam. This song is burned into my brain from my years working in the mountains at the Lair of the Bear. So many fond memories!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Code

Just an awesome article on the changing political landscape of the voting public in the West, called Code of the West by Ryan Lizza. i think this is one of my favorite New Yorker articles of the year. It's heavy on stats, thought provoking quotes and like the best New Yorker article, illuminates something you may have "felt" happening, but didn't really get.

My favorite parts were around demographic changes and how the population is so much more comfortable with technology, and how they Democratic party needs to understand these changes.

While you are reading this, listen to one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs off of their album, No Code. The song is called Present Tense and it's in heavy rotation for me. This is from a special gig at David Letterman's place.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Impossible Montana

i listened to this song a bunch of times while in Montana last weekend. Just seemed to fit. I love Tweedy's commentary at the end. One of the many reasons why he's one of my favorites.

thanks to Tim Goodman's page.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The People's Mario

Courtesy of Mark Himmelsbach's Facebook feed. The People's Mario (an animation).

On the Vine

Louisa Sadler writes in to point out Vineyard Vine's new college collection. I'm a huge fan and have been eyeing their belt section lately. This puts it over the top. I will be wearing this belt to the Big Game vs. Stanford this year.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Infinity & Beyond

Somehow I felt like this news announcement by Google that they are now scanning the archives of old newspapers, and this post by Seth Godin today about "Infinity" and how there is more of it than ever, fit together like Montana and Beef Jerky.

Pretty soon, you'll be able to page through an infinite number of small town stories from the past, including the high school sports heroics of one, Mr. Scott Orn. I may spend an infinite amount of time re-reading my old press clippings. :)

I have a very finite amount of these clippings, but they'll be there for me. Seth's point is that scarcity is not the right prism to look at business or life through anymore. Now, it's about abundance and how to sort through it or stand out in it. Google is doing this in it's own special, high tech, stop at nothing way.

How are you doing it?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Oh Yeah...

Oh yeah, this happened in Montana too...

Bar Food?

This was the bar scene, the Candy Bar scene at Bryce and Emily's wedding this weekend. Both are known for their sweet tooth, and this was the perfect touch to an amazing wedding in Montana.

Thanks for having me guys.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Chill Music Friday (September 5, 2008)

This week's chill music is brought to you by Mr. Matt Ziser, or WMJZ, which is his call sign. Incredible Pandora station. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Point Break Live

Point BreakImage via Wikipedia One of the coolest things I've done in the last 6 months is go to Point Break Live. Meghan Coles organized it -- thank you Meghan!

We caught the last show in the Portrero location, it's moved to closer to Market St, near Slim's (I believe -- don't quote me, this is a blog).

One thing is for sure, you need to see it. Seriously. Here is the MySpace profile for more info.

The play is a reneactment of the amazing movie, Point Break, only Johnny Utah, Keanu's character, is played by an audience member. It get's progressively funnier (and raunchier so don't bring the kids). It's a guaranteed good time.

There are spoilers all over YouTube, but I would encourage you to avoid those and go see it without expectations.
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