Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
It's really easy to subscribe to podcasts in iTunes. That's how I listen to them.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
While I was waiting for my car at Big O Tires in Dublin this morning, I decided to post a review on Yelp for some of my favorite small businesses. My review of Big O can be found here. It felt great to help out someone who helps me out every time I need it. Take a few minutes to do the same for the small businesses in your life and post a few links in the comments section below.
Here are my favorites:
Ella's Restaurant - quite possibly the best breakfast in the world. No joke.
Doctor Mark Savant - great guy and great doctor. I've been blessed with a lot of great physicians over the years but Dr. Savant is my favorite.
Doctor Kevin Growney - best dentist ever. I would say that approximately 25 of my friends go to Dr. Growney. He's a cool dude, only does what is necessary and makes the best wantons at his Christmas party.
Little Star Pizza - Ananda and Taylor both recommended it so we went there Friday night. You can read more on my review but it deserves a spot in my coveted "pizza rotation."
"God is the only one we can turn to at this point," said Twyman, 59. "Our leaders don't seem to be able to do anything about it. The prices keep soaring and soaring."
Amen! It now costs me $60 to fill up and that is 4 days worth of gas, so my monthly run rate is about $300 on gas. Wow.
Luckily the Fed's favorite measure of price inflation doesn't include energy or food prices.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Great Northern - Home
Been listening to this band a lot. There's a great rock element and a little bit of a power ballad element too.
My Morning Jacket - Rocket Man
Via Gust Funnel. Love Jim James. Love Rocket Man the song. Together they are Love^2.
Counting Crows - You Can't Count On Me
More Crows. This new album is really growing on me.
Counting Crows - Washington Square (live on WXPN/World Cafe)
Cool commentary from Adam Duritz before beginning another new song on the album. This is a live performance and sounds great. I'm a sucker for his songs because 1) He references a lot of places I've lived, and 2) He's great at creating visuals of those places.
I spent a wonderful summer in NYC living a block away from Washington Square. Great memories.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
So what's the big deal? The big deal is that Ambac is really only functional as long as its a AAA credit. But the stock is going to $0 you say. How can it be a AAA credit and have a stock worth nothing? One of my favorite financial writers, Bill Fleckenstein raised this question today.
I'm not really sure how this is possible but one thing is sure, the ratings agencies like S&P and Moody's are moving really slowly on this. There are obviously serious troubles here, why aren't they downgrading Ambac? Well, if they downgrade Ambac to a worse credit rating, all these bonds that are AAA rated by virtue of Ambac's guarantee will lose their AAA rating. Those bonds are held by large institutions that are sometimes chartered to only hold AAA rated bonds. Those institutions would have to sell those bonds, creating a liquidity crisis and hurting the bond and stock market. This could become a real mess.
There is something fishy going on here but something tells me it won't take long to see what happens.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
The background is that Netflix lost 25% of its value today because they announced they would be investing more in infrastructure to deliver movies over the Internet. Wall Street didn't like the sound of that and punished the company.
Is there any doubt that Netflix needs to have this capability though? I think it's great that management is playing for the long term. David likes the company for this reason and because they have an amazing recommendation engine. I think he makes a great point. Who has the best recommendation engines around? Amazon, Netflix, and Pandora come to mind. Who else do you like because of their recommendation engine?
Through the miracle of Covestor, we can track David's trades and we'll know in a few months whether this was a good idea.
Just to prove he's not a total stiff, here is an artsy entry from him and another one that highlights his favorite music of 07'.
From the article, it sounds like some type of dilution scheme was approved and implemented by Craig and his compadre. One mechanism could have been a "poison pill" which allows one group of shareholders to effectively dilute down an unwanted outsider by issuing tons of shares. Poison pills are typically used to discourage a hostile takeover. The weird thing in this situation is that eBay has been a shareholder for a while. They should have some governance visibility into Craigslist. Maybe they saw it coming but couldn't stop it and had to resort to a lawsuit.
Can't wait to see this play out.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Got a great email from My Morning Jacket yesterday. They debuted their new album, Evil Urges, at SXSW and within a few days, the whole thing was online, in imperfect form. The band wants you to hear the good stuff -- the studio recordings -- first. Totally understandable to me. So linked to their playful email about this problem, copied in below, was an mp3 called Evil Urges. I can't post it so here is a link to stream it.
My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
hello all you fine and wonderful people out there that are interested in what we do. we now live in the 90's - the era of the interweb and instant gratification. these are confusing times for all humankind, but especially for those of us in the music world as you well know... a week or so ago we played some of our new songs for the first time at a show in houston tx! about an hour later all of those songs were available on the interweb- talk about speed!!! since those and other non-album audiovisual recordings are available to people on the interweb, we wanted to make at least one "real" song version available (if one was interested in what the "real actual studio album" might sound like) to those of you who have supported us most and have seemed most excited about what we are doing over the years.
so here is the song "evil urges". we sure hope you are to enjoy it! we would put the whole thing out there on the interweb, but gosh darn-it, we're still a little old fashioned in that way of wanting the listener to be able to get the actual music when it is supposed to be released, when we say it is finished- not when someone else puts it on the interweb.... but it is the 90's now, we understand that. its a new decade and we want to be part of this decade, but whilst still maintaining a link to the past - where one can't necessarily get everything they want immediately when they want it, but rather when they are told they can have it - by their real life keeper or their digital daddy! we will play both roles here. we all personally relish waiting to unwrap that shrink wrap and smelling that fresh vinyl or compact disc plastic, mmm...that fresh cardboard and paper. or if we buy it off the interweb we all love holding our computers up to our noses and smelling those brand new digital downloads...mmm...fresh! gall durn it- we're just old fashioned that way. sometimes... gentle reader, in this age of instant gratification, waiting can be so rewarding, it can teach us a valuable lesson about the triumph of the human spirit... but sometimes, like our old friend tom petty said- waiting is the hardest part. thank you all for being so supportive of us, and unending in your love... from the bottom of our cold dead hearts!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
This column, on the SF Giant's prospects this year, had a nugget of life truth that resonated with me. I've played baseball then softball my whole life and I think the game of baseball is one of the great teachers. Here is Bruce Jenkins take on it. I agree with every word.
Among its many fine qualities, baseball is a teacher. There's a lot of real life to be witnessed out there, offering lessons in comportment, style, resilience and performance under pressure. What the game teaches us now is that there can be beauty, even pure excitement, within the realm of lessened expectations.
The young Giant's are going to learn things about failure, resiliency and what it takes to succeed this year. Many of the same things I learned my senior year when I went 0-10 with 10 strikeouts. You read that right, I didn't hit a ball fair all year. One of the best growing experiences I've ever gone through.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
"Just the energy [at CAL]... call it what you like. You walk across campus and there's just a lot of stuff going on, and it's fascinating to me. You've got to have a little bit of an open mind to what's going on. But this is the world. This is life. This is what goes on in this world, and it's here. It's kind of neat that way."
That's how I feel about CAL and why I'm so grateful to have gone there. It introduced me to the broader world, outside the suburb life I grew up in. CAL is the best.
Friday, April 18, 2008
On Friday's I'll try to do a quick links post accompanied by a sweet picture of a knight in shining armer. Interpret that as you may.
Sweet New Yorker on Clooney. The guy is pretty darn cool. I'm not even sure why I liked this article, just like I'm not even sure why I like him.
How cellphones can change the world from the NY Times. This is something we talked a lot about in our entrepeneurial and innovation classes at Kellogg.
Google Checkout Earth Day. A cool promotion run by Google and one of my Kellogg friends, Anita Barci, had a big hand in it. On a sidenote, I learned about this from Meredith Papp's Facebook Status update before I even saw it in my own Gmail account from Anita. The world is changing again.
Hilarious post from Fake Steve Jobs. Not only does he pretend like he's Fake Steve, but then he pretends like he knows Woz and then makes up this ridiculous situation. Just an amazing writer.
Great Moments in Directionally correct from Paul Kedrosky. All my consulting friends use this phrase all the time. It means you didn't get a high enough "n" or enough samples to really know what you are talking about.
Great post from Fred Wilson on the difference, or maybe not such a difference, in Facebook and Wordpress (a blogging tool). This is why I think Tumblr is such a cool service. You get both.
Have a great Friday night, happy early birthday Ananda Baron!
pearl jam - state of love and trust
Tim Culleton's favorite Pearl Jam song. One of my favorite's too.
Band Of Horses - The Funeral
I know this song is on a tv commercial, but it's awesome.
Great Northern - Telling Lies
I've been listening to this band a lot lately. More to follow.
Special Bonus comes in via Molly who sent in this NPR interview and three song set from Rilo Kiley. Great acoustic version of Moneymaker. Really highlights Jenny Lewis' voice.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Rilo Kiley - Silver Lining
Jenny Lewis With The Watson Twins - Born Secular
Rilo Kiley - The Frug
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Sometimes finance is so cool...
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Cat Power - Aretha, Sing One For Me
Cat Power - Metal Heart
Monday, April 14, 2008
Paulita's email reminded me of the sudden bee extinctions going on in some parts of the U.S. How do I know this? Because I read a really cool New Yorker article on it last year. It's titled Stung and was written by Elizabeth Kolbert. Experts have a couple hypotheses, ranging from global warming to diseases, but one thing is for sure, the bee population in the U.S. is shrinking very quickly. The article is a great read, as is almost all of Kolbert's global warming coverage in the New Yorker.
While you read that article, listen to these songs:
Blind Melon - No Rain
Wilco - Muzzle Of Bees
Money quote from the editorial:
If central banks really want to put a floor under the buck, the Federal Reserve will have to change its weak-dollar policy.
Such a change will run into enormous opposition in Congress, among homebuilders and on Wall Street – all of which want the Fed to inflate its way out of their current credit woes. (John Makin makes the case for the inflation solution here.) We only wish life were that easy. The Fed's aggressive easing in the last year may already have done more harm than good.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Here's a picture of Oski trying to cool down by sticking his head in a freezer.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Pearl Jam - Walking the Cow (Daniel Johnston cover, Bridge School 1994)
Fresh off two Eddie Vedder shows in Berkeley, you had to know I'd lead with Eddie. He opened both shows with this song. I remember listening to this while working at the Lair of the Bear, a CAL Berkeley summer camp, couldn't have been more apropos since Eddie played on the Berkeley campus.
Chris Cornell - Thank You (Led Zeppelin Cover)
Chris Cornell can sing anything and I'll like it. I really like this song.
Band Of Horses - The Great Salt Lake
Kenna was in town for a wine tasting trip. He's introduced me to so much great music over the last 3 years. Band of Horses is 2nd on that list (to My Morning Jacket) and this is my favorite song of theirs.
Eddie Vedder - Ed Vedder, Guaranteed [Humming Version Demo]
This is the last song on Sunday Morning 11. Eddie just humming you to sleep. Magical voice and Tuesday night was one of the best concerts of my life.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Here's a quick sample:
She and Him (ft. Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward) - You Really Got A Hold On Me
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
- He played a song about Santa Cruz that he had written two days before. It was fantastic. Can't wait for that one to get out on mp3.
- He did this looping thing with his voice where he created layer upon layer. The initial loops morphed into an organ like sound, and then he layered sharper sounds on top. The best way to explain it, and best compliment, is that I hope that is what heaven sounds like. (note: this is not hyperbole, it was stunning.)
- He brought Sean Penn up on stage. I'm not a huge fan, but he did make an incredible movie with Into the Wild and he did give Eddie a shot at the soundtrack, which made the movie way better. They toasted Robin Wright Penn for her birthday, and then Eddie sang a song he wrote that made fun of Sean Penn. He wrote the song 10 years ago after the first night he met Penn. (note: apparently the Penn's are back together)
- They wheeled Mike McCready (lead guitarist for Pearl Jam) onto the stage in a dolley and played a really fast version of Yellow Ledbetter, maybe one other song, and then closed with All Along the Watchtower which had the crowd in a frenzy.
Until next time, I'll be Walking the Cow...
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Such asides emerged only after Vedder calmed his first-night nerves; it took him five songs to even pause and address the audience. Pulling aside his long-sleeve flannel to reveal a battered Butthole Surfers T-shirt, he announced it as a talisman: It was the same one he'd worn during Pearl Jam's first show.Eddie has never toured by himself before, which explains some of the nerves.
Things worked out and I'll be able to go to both Berkeley shows. My most anticipated songs are Guaranteed, Society, The Wolf (weird remix version but you get the picture), Oceans, Trouble and Black.
I'll leave you with this compliment the reviewer (Ann Powers) left Eddie:
That's where Vedder's charisma lives -- in the moment when feeling finds its way forward, growing more articulate as it is shared.
Fear and Greed are huge motivators. Most of us are just hitting our strides in our careers. We're 30 years old, making some pretty good money, gaining responsibility, and our life path is unfolding quite nicely.
Now put yourself in a professional athlete's mindset. You're 30 and yes, you've made a lot of money, but you are on the downswing now. Maybe you have 1 more contract in you. You'll be done in a few years and you'll be just another one of the guys or gals reliving old memories. However, there's a magic elixir that could extend the fame and fortune for another 5 years. It doesn't really seem illegal, you know some other people in your clubhouse who are doing it and it only seems to be helping them. No side effects, at least that you can tell. What do you do?
Now fast forward. You've done it, and you're caught. You're on the stand and you can look like an idiot and rely on complete denial. Or you can come clean, explain why you did it, and remove that huge weight from your conscience because deep down, you know you cheated. What do you do?
Read Fred Wilson's post. Look at the way he builds on someone else's idea, bringing additional thoughts and promoting it to an even broader group of people. Now I'm promoting it to the 35+ daily readers of Kenny Kellogg. Maybe one of you will add something and promote it at the dinner table, a Facebook feed, or through your own blog.
This little virtuous circle proves the exact point of the posts, that technology is reducing the "transaction costs" that a firm is built to handle more efficiently.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Last year, I was able to sit in on an Andrew Bird interview and performance at Kellogg (he's an alum) and it was fascinating. For example, he doesn't really pay attention to the meaning of the words he writes, he just looks for a sound. I expect a lot of the themes of that session to make it into his blog. This should be a lot of fun.
Some choice quotes...
"I never worry about the melodies drying up. Since I can remember, I’ve had melodies in my head. I chew my food to them." -- Andrew Bird
"But when an honest, four-dimensional, hook-filled piece of humanity is finally born, there is a clue to recognizing its timelessness. There is a peaceful, non-judgmental appreciation that falls over me when I hear it, a feeling — or even a knowledge — that we songwriters really had nothing to do with its creation in the first place. It’s as if we were archaeologists at a dig and all we had to do was chip away the stone and brush away the sand that hid it from view. We were just lucky enough to be in the room that day when it showed up to sing to us." -- Darrell Brown
Friday, April 4, 2008
I need a little help. I'm volunteering next Friday (April 11, 2008) at the SF Boys and Girls Club. I'll be hanging with a new friend for the night. Kind of acting like a mentor, you know. So here's the thing, the Club is running short of volunteers and needs another 40 to make the event work. We need your help. Go over to this link, and sign yourself up. It starts at 5:30pm in the Mission and we'll be done by 9:30pm. Then we can hit the town a bit.
Thanks a bunch and I'll see you there.
Kenny Kellogg (Scott Orn)
Now, to the music...
My new apartment has a dishwasher. This is big news for me. This song reminds me of the old days, B.D. (Before Dishwasher).
Wilco - Hate It Here (SNL 03-01-2008)
The new Counting Crows is pretty good. Not mind blowing, but good. Here is one of my favorite songs from the album.
Counting Crows - When I Dream of Michelangelo
Mr. Eddie Vedder will be playing Berkeley next week. I will be there. It will be amazing. Tears may be shed. :)
I hope he plays this song.
Eddie Vedder - I Am A Patriot (Madison Square Garden 2000)
"And the river shall open for the righteous...someday..."
Thursday, April 3, 2008
You would expect an article on improving survival rates to be centered on a new miracle drug or a new medical device that allows doctors and nurses to do their job better. Well guess what, the innovation in question is a checklist. It turns out that the checklist helps standardize the incredibly complex care an Intensive Care patient must receive. One stat jumped out at me:
“A study of forty-one thousand trauma patients found that they had 1,224 different injury related diagnoses in 32,261 different injury related combinations for teams to attend to.”
Talk about complexity! Gawande compares this to the complexity an airplane pilot faces and says that would be like a pilot knowing how to fly 32,000 different airplanes. Wow.
The subject of the article, Peter Pronovost a critical care specialist at
“[Pronovost] work has already saved more lives than that of any laboratory scientist in the past decade.”
I'd love to hear the thoughts of Kenny Kellogg readers, especially those in Healthcare.
The article talks about how difficult it has been to roll out the checklist nationally. If it was a new drug, there would be reps pounding down the doors of physicians, and company execs calling on insurance companies and hospital administrators. There isn't a huge profit incentive with something like a checklist so getting people's attention is a little more difficult. The patient survival numbers are pretty amazing though.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Saturday Night Live - Season 1 - Land Shark