2.27.2011

A Wrightsville Beach Sunday Morning


For the first time in a long while my Red Head and I have sequestered ourselves at the beach for the weekend. Not a big deal for most, but for us, right now, a godsend. The weekend is a brief respite from what's been a tumultuous fall and winter for our family. We've hung tough, together, and we deserved a little time away at our beloved Wrightsville Beach. I can't believe it's been two years since our last visit.

So, I've just a few moments ago slipped out of bed to enjoy the sunrise. We are on the ocean and it will be spectacular. Before the quiet escape I watched for a few minutes my wife sleep, something all men should do once in a while, I think. She too, is spectacular and I say to myself again, as so many times before, "I am a lucky dog". Tumult and all.

My joy at this daily utterance brought to mind someone I call a Friend I've Never Met. He, too, is married to a Redhead--his the blogospere original and an authentic Irish one, we're told. This FINM, as many of you may have figured, is M. Lane of The Epic. He curates as fine a blog as one will find. And he's no doubt a fine gentleman.

His family is having a tumultuous time as well, as you will see when you read this recent post. So, here I am at the beach, basking in the warm endless glow of my red head and he is there-wherever that is-with his IRH next to him, or perhaps he's pacing the floor, coffee cup in hand, anxiously waiting for the next visit. I pray the former.

As I watch the sunrise I am struck by a sense of both helplessness and hope. M. Lane knows that sweet and sour vibe, no doubt. I reach out to that which is responsible for such a beautiful expression of a New Day, ask for renewed courage and faith and pray for good outcomes for the both of us-me and my FINM- and for blessings upon our beloved wives, especially his IRH, their Future Rock Star, our Hip-Hop artist and our Uber-Child. And all God's children.

It is a New Day. It is wondrous. We have hope. The tumult will pass and leave us stronger, closer, and more thankful than ever for our lucky dog lives.

God bless us, every one.

2.26.2011

Berkshire Hathaway's Regular Guy Sends A letter To The Shareholders


Good ol' Boy
Warren Buffet's letter to shareholders is something I look forward to each year. It's available to read as of today. There are some great insights to be gleaned from his conversational narrative of the Berkshire year and what's likely to come. Learn from The Master, I guess. It's a very enjoyable read.

His folksy ways are part of a well established persona, of course. And while it's true he lives in the same home in Omaha that he purchased "pre-uber-wealth", I don't believe for a second that he and ol' Charlie Munger don't do a hell of a lot more due diligence when buying a company than the WB myth portrays. Just on a handshake my arse.

Along with the Mary Meeker tome previewed in yesterday's post, I've got my weekend reading all lined up.


2.25.2011

USA, Inc.: A Basic Summary Of America's Financial Statements


Mary Meeker
Kliner-Perkins' Mary Meeker has released what looks to be a must read for every American; those who believe we can continue to spend, as a nation, the way we are spending now (and have for many, many decades), those who know we can't but may not fully grasp the consequences and especially every limber-dicked politician at any level.
It's a "USA as corporation" review of our nation. Can you say "General Motors?"

This is a 266 page PDF and I admit to not yet reading it. Yet, a quick review of the bullet points from the Business Insider web site where I found it and the table of contents, it's evident this will be a good read and has the potential to be a seminal work.

Read it, and if it is as dramatic a work as I think it will be, then send it to all of your state's limber-dicked solons.
 

2.03.2011

Thursday. Late.

He works downtown in the District. She spends her time midtown in one of those trendy fashion boutiques--the second story kind. They met while drinking with friends one Thursday night late at Whiskey Blue. You know, the bar in W New York. Lex at 49th.

They were standing near each other, but on the outer rim of their individual party circles. Maybe five yards apart. And even though the place was jammed, their eyes met. Her tongue licked her lips before she threw back her Campari, pushing the empty glass into a girlfriend's hand. He involuntarily cleared his throat and ran his fingers though his longish hair before taking a sip of his Martini. Slowly, they worked their way closer as their friends chatted away.

When they were face to face no words were spoken before she took his Martini from him, pulled out the stabbed olive, drank it down and then offered up the olive by its red plastic sword to his mouth. He opened, showing perfect white teeth, and took it in. Then she spoke: "Buy us another Martini, will you?"

"Yes, of course," he said, as a tentative smile crossed his face and he started toward the bar. A good ten minutes later he worked his way back toward where he had left the beautiful young woman. Like a Lab with a tennis ball tightly mouthed, he held two Martinis. Both with double olives.

He did not see her, could not spot her. He waited, wondering if maybe the lady's lounge had a line. Time froze until she appeared. She was arm in arm with a tall, well dressed man of their age. He wondered why he felt a twinge of jealousy. "This is Bill. He kept me company while you were at the bar. And for such a long time you were gone," she pouted. The Lab felt the prickly heat of not knowing what to say or do.

"Alright," she said to Bill. "Leave us now, will you? I have a Martini to drink with this beautiful man." They kissed quickly; Bill playfully licked her nose, winked at the Lab and departed.

The next morning there would be no memory of the conversation as they drank together, surrounded by the hoard of young, hip New Yorkers. He would, however, vividly recall how she dropped the empty Martini glass and put her head on his chest, pressed her body tightly to his and raised a hand to his face and looked up to him. "Walk me home, will you? It's only a few blocks. I shouldn't go alone, I think."

"Yes, of course."

New York small and with a Murphy bed, her one room plus small kitchen place was well appointed. Lots of black, including what struck him as an elegant, modern black leather couch too grand for the space. An extravagance for her, no doubt.

She hung their coats, walked to him and again raised her hand softly to his face. She smiled, looking him in the eye. She sighed softly toward him and then moved toward the leather couch. She lost one high heel as she settled her knees on the leather and posed upright.

He stood awkwardly in the middle of the small room, watching her watch him. He struggled with her persona. She was so beautiful and visually so... So innocent? But there was an edge to her, to be sure.

She steadied herself and pulled up her black satin skirt on one side. Her stare softened yet she still focused directly on his eyes. He remained rigid and unsure. Just before she popped the first garter she hiccuped, softly, childishly. It was an endearing moment. She sighed a soft "ooh".

"What are you doing?" He regretted the question as soon as it was asked.

"What does it look like I'm doing?" she asked. "Come over here and help me, will you?"

He moved to her and his hands touched the cold leather as he knelt to help her. She smiled down toward him and hiccuped softly again. "Ooh..."

"We can stay here on the couch. Be nice, will you?"

"Yes, of course. I will."