05/21/19

The Energy Source v The Energy Sink Theory of Life

Big Red Car here on a wet Austin By God Texas day. It is May, y’all, and it is time to contemplate the Memorial Day floods.

Here is a pic from the 1981 Memorial Day floods, my first personal intro to the phenomenon. This pic is taken at the bridge in front of Hut’s Hamburgers, home of some of the best burgers on the planet. There were car lots next to Shoal Creek and hundreds of cars ended up in the creek.

Image result for images austin texas memorial day floods

When you come to Austin, you are going to want to get a Hut’s Hamburger. Trust me on this. Get the hickory burger.

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05/20/19

Beyond Meat — Don’t Burn That Fake Burger

If you have a hankering for a burger, then Beyond Meat may be for you, especially if you like plant protein burgers. Into the conversation, comes recently IPOed Beyond Meat.

BYND came public on 2 May 2019 at $25/share. Since then, the chart looks like the following. Hello, America!

From an Initial Public Offering price of $25/share, the first trade was at $46/share and the first day ended with the price $65.75/share. This was a 163% premium to the IPO price.

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05/20/19

Thinking With Our Fingertips

Big Red Car here on a nasty, gray ATX day. Ahhh, but we love our rains in the month of May. May and September are the wet months in the ATX.

Image result for images of rain

So, I’m listening to an excellent sermon on Sunday and a thought is sprung free from my brain by something the pastor says.

It is this: “We think with our fingertips.”

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05/19/19

Herman Wouk, 103, RIP

Herman Wouk, an American writer of substantial importance has died. The Pulitzer Prize author of such masterpieces as “The Caine Mutiny” was 103, only 10 days from his 104th birthday. He was described as a man who made American literature “kinder, gentler, better” by his peers upon the occasion of his 80th birthday. An extraordinary tribute considering his subject matter.

“The Caine Mutiny,” of course, was made into a movie starring Humphrey Bogart as the unstable commander, Lt Commander Philip Francis Queeg, of a Navy, ship with odd fixations on a pair of metal balls he constantly rolled in his hand and some missing strawberries, an incredible delicacy on a US Navy ship.

Humphrey Bogart, center, in a scene from the 1954 film 'The Caine Mutiny.' (Columbia Pictures/Getty Images, via JTA)

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05/18/19

A Letter — The Greatest Gift

So, the other day, the Big Red Car is talking to one of his brilliant CEO clients and they get talking about Mother’s Day and how everybody waits until the last second to get an appropriate Mother’s Day Gift.

“My Mom is the greatest Mom in history. I need to hustle out and get her a gift,” says the CEO, a very busy CEO dealing with high level CEO stuff and crushing it. He was talking about the classic struggle of picking a gift that befits Mom’s unique greatness, one of the greatest struggles known to mankind.

“Ahh, do you want to know a great secret?” asked the Big Red Car.

“Of course.”

“Write her a letter.”

The clouds part. The seraphim competes with the cherubim for the best tunes–and a bit of hip hop because even the Heavens are woke these days.

Related image

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05/17/19

China — Reading the Tea Leaves

In case you had any doubts, the Chinese are not to be trusted.

I cite not the obvious such as the militarization of islands in the South China Sea to expand Chinese influence and to put deadly weapons upon 40% of the shipping lanes in the world, or their operation of re-education concentration camps, or their perfidy in dealing with North Korea (a vassal state which exists only because China supports it), or their reneging on things in the USA-Chinese trade negotiations.

Couple of pals hamming it up after a nice confab.

“You ready to do some de-nuking, my man?” asked President-for-Life Xi.

“Nah,” sayeth Kim, “just jerking The Donald around. Need some swag before we do that. Serious, serious swag.”

“Don’t you let him bully you, Homie,” Xi said. “I got your back. Plus, I need to jerk him around a bit my own self. Son-of-a-bitch is getting all restive about our stealing some technology. What is up with that.”

“Do it, President-for-Life. Of course, you have been stealing a lot of tech and manipulating that currency of yours. Well played. Let’s go eat, shall we?”

“What you have in mind?” Xi asked.

“Some American baloney?”

“You’re bad.”

Image result for images xi kim

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05/17/19

Fountain of Youth v Fountain of Wisdom/Experience — For CEOs Only

Grayish, cool day in the ATX which gets me thinking about the journey a startup CEO makes from ignorance to wisdom — OK, you do know that’s the journey, right?

As a young leader, I knew next to nothing about everything — so I thought, but I did have an advantage as I’d been in the Army for five years and had run largish outfits. My last command was 600 men in a unit that should have been 186 (The Army was contracting form Vietnam War levels and discharging a lot of draftees. I housed, fed, trained, disciplined them until their magic date arrived — a wild bunch. What a nightmare.).

Truly, everything I ever needed to know to be a CEO I learned in that assignment, but I just didn’t know it. I was 25.

I was young and dumb. I was drinking from the Fountain of Youth and Inexperience. There was a long line to get a cup of that stuff.

Some thirty-three years later, I was filled to overflowing with wisdom and experience, so much so that today I advise startup CEOs and assist venture capitalists prying their fully funded oxen out of ditches.

I can’t quite put my finger on when I stopped bathing in the Fountain of Youth and took up station in the Fountain of Wisdom and Experience. I just know I did.

OK, it was probably five years until I even knew there was such a thing.

Read your Malcolm Gladwall Outliers to learn why it takes five years.

Outliers: The Story of Success by [Gladwell, Malcolm]

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05/15/19

Tariffs — Some Straight Talk

If you read the current drivel on the imposition of tariffs on the Chinese — notorious thieves of intellectual property, currency manipulators, erectors of hurdles to access to their market, a despotic Communist regime — you would think the entire economy is about to explode. Let me give you some facts.

Here’s President Trump putting the squeeze on President-for-Life Xi. Ouch!

Image result for images trump xi

Tariffs are taxes, right, Big Red Car?

Yes, dear reader, a tariff is a tax. The USA depended primarily on tariffs from its formation until the first income tax.

The first income tax imposed in the US was enacted in 1861 — 3% on all incomes over $800. It was rescinded in 1872.

In 1874, the US Congress enacted a flat rate Federal income tax that was promptly found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

The Sixteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, passed in July 1909, papered over this defect, but it wasn’t ratified until February 1913.

A Federal income tax was enacted immediately after ratification and has been enshrined in the funding of the Federal government since then.

Big takeaway — we didn’t really have an income tax until 1913.

So, we lived on tariffs.

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