11/30/18

CEO Shoptalk – Screws v Nails

Screws v nails, Big Red Car? What’s going on down there in the ATX?

Well, dear reader, it’s going to be 80F and I may have to turn the A/C back on for a few hours. How goes the weather where you are?

So, I have been reading a bit of CS Forester (The African Queen, Horatio Hornblower). This is an author from a long time ago with whom an educated person should be familiar. If you have ever aspired to be a professional soldier — guilty — then you have to read The General (written in 1936, $1.99 Kindle or free if you have Prime).

The General, a novel, is a study in the poor quality of the generalship in the British Army during World War I. It is required reading for those who must balance the authoritarian comfort zone of military leadership with a more results oriented approach.

For the enlightened reader, it is a story of leadership preparation, the failures of “the system,” leadership style, authenticity of leadership voice, and results.

The General (C. S. Forester novel) book cover.jpg

If you have been in the Army and have read this book, you understand exactly what I am saying. If not, then you are in for a treat.

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11/28/18

Dusky Gopher Frog SCOTUS Decision

Scrambled eggs and fried dusky gopher frog? Do they serve that at Waffle House in Mississippi?

Big Red Car here on a gray morning, but maybe I’m not giving the sun a fair chance.

Today, we speak of the Supreme Court of the United States. We think of the current SCOTUS as being a 5-vote conservative majority facing off with a 4-vote liberal minority. This is, of course, as a result of the fairly recent Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh appointments.

Yesterday, they decided a case 8-0 which caught some folks by surprise. It was the famous Dusky Gopher Frog case in which the Fifth United States Circuit Court of Appeals (New Orleans) had upheld a designation by Federal regulators (talking to you, US Fish & Wildlife Service) that a 1,500 acre tract of land was “critical habitat” for the dusky gopher frog, an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.

Image result for images dusky gopher frogs

This is your dusky gopher frog exemplar. Good looking little bugger, no?

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11/27/18

Holidays – Make Them Special

Big Red Car back from a Thanksgiving trip to Savannah (to see My Perfect Daughter, Wonder Husband, Lola the Bad Dog, Bella the Saint Dog, and My Perfect Granddaughter) and to Charlotte to see #1 Son for Thanksgiving dinner.

For some reason, this Thanksgiving feels different than others. Not sure why. Really?

Baby Tempe (My Perfect Granddaughter, one of half a dozen Tempe’s including her grandmother and great grandmother). Southern thing – Faith, Hope, Charity, Temperance (thus Tempe).

Note the gang sign. This was Baby Tempe’s first Thanksgiving and it was a good one. She wants to make sure you know she is not an elf. It’s just a funny hood. Very sensitive about this. She’s eleven months old in two weeks.

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11/16/18

Jim Acosta — Exclusive Interview

So, the Big Red Car scored an exclusive interview with Jim Acosta of CNN. You will recall that he recently was put in timeout by the Trump administration for misbehaving at a Presidential press conference.

In case you don’t know who he is, here is a picture of Jim at the White House before a press conference.

“Dear Diary, look it’s me and President Trump. Wow, look at me. Great hair, huh? Had it styled for today. That son-of-a-bitch Sam Donaldson had a bald noggin and a fake toupee. I have real hair and I’m real news. Real hair. Real news. Jimmy the Reporter Acosta. Yeah!”

As we are headed to print, a Federal Judge has ruled that too many people are being mean to Jim and that he should get his press pass back because he’s nice enough.

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11/15/18

Corporate Welfare – Incentives

Corporate welfare, Big Red Car? Huh?

Big Red Car here on a sunny, cold Texas day. Ahhh, winter is here at 41F at dawn, but 65F now. Winter is hard in the ATX, y’all.

So, the Interwebs are all aghast at the gargantuan incentives provided to Amazon (richest guy in the world, Jeff Bezos, at your service) by New York and Virginia to get half of the new HQ2.

The gainsayers and the naysayers are in full throated-uproar, but nobody is really keeping score on these things, are they?

Let’s go back and explore a recent deal — the Tesla SolarCity Buffalo, New York incentivized transaction.

Image result for images elon musk

Oh, my, what have I done now? Solar City? Rooftop solar panels? Was that me?

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11/12/18

Strength of the Economy

Big Red Car here, snowing in the Panhandle and going to be 30F in the ATX tonight? Yes. Snow tonight? Nah.

So, I like to take a look at information below the surface to prove or disprove what the surface currents seem to indicate. One of my favorites is to plumb the depth of the job market and its inverse, unemployment.

Anybody with a brain knows that U-3 — the measure of unemployment that the media uses — is not very accurate for a number of structural reasons. While, folks also know that BLS U-6/7 is a better snapshot.

One other area I like to look at is full time v part time employment.

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11/12/18

Mature Startups

Big Red Car here on another cold, rainy Monday in the ATX.

So, I’m chatting with a seasoned startup CEO, and he asks, “What is the first sign that a startup is bursting through the crawl, walk, run continuum, Big Red Car? What are the things you look for?”

Says I, “When they start their own training program, conduct offsites regularly, and have an industry leading conference as part of their marketing program.”

To which he says, “Do tell, Big Red Car. What does that mean? The industry leading conference part?”

Related image

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11/11/18

Send Me

Big Red Car here on a rainy Austin By God Texas day, a Veterans Day.

Today in church, the minister asked veterans to rise and he had some kind words for all of us veterans.

It brought to mind Isaiah 6:8:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”

Then I said, “Here I am. Send me!”

The veteran is the man (or woman) who upon hearing the voice of the nation asking the same question, says, “Send me. Send me to do what is necessary to protect freedom, to vanquish evil, to free the oppressed. Send me.”

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11/7/18

Voter Turnout in Texas

Big Red Car here in the post election aftermath taking a look at some numbers. One of the most interesting numbers is voter turnout in Texas in regard to l’affaire Beto (Robert Francis O’Rourke of El Paso, Dem candidate for Senate v Teddy Cruz, Rep candidate).

This is the race that the entire country was throwing money at the Dem candidate to the tune of $72MM. Ted Cruz raised $40MM, but the story today is what happened to the turnout. What did all that money buy as it relates to turnout?

Image result for images beto o'rourke

“I raised a lot of money and came in a solid second in the Texas Senate race. Maybe I should build on my success and run for President?”

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