How do you make sense of what’s going on in the world? Read this book …


If you want to understand why the present world of politics, business and economics seems so contrived, fake, rigged and unreal, I recommend you read Atlas Shrugged.

Just finished reading “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand; all 1000 plus pages!  My feelings about the book may be summed up in one word – WOW!  The book is loaded with adventure, creepy characters, heroes, villains, and some of the best descriptive writing I’ve ever encountered.

But, that’s not the reason it’s on my recommended “must read” book list.  This is a must read because of its relevance; its relevance to what’s happening in the world today.  The book was written back in 1957 but Ayn’s story about what happens to the world when the “looters” take over seems to be coming true.  If you want to understand what you see going on around you today – to make sense of the apparent melt down in society and the economy – read this book.

Ayn wrote the book because she saw the downward trend of the United States; even back in the 40s and 50s.  She was more perceptive to these trends than most Americans because, growing up in Russia, she saw and experienced – first hand – what happens when the “looters” take charge.  She observed the same “looters” trends happening in the United States.  She could see government regulation taking over.  She could see laws put in place so politicians could “line their pockets.”  She could see private companies going to Washington to ask for (pay for) “favors” and get them.  She could see the people that don’t produce anything – add no value – start taking over; start giving the orders and redistributing the wealth.  She could see the talented, prosperous, intelligent, hard working people treated like beasts of burden to produce more and more for the non-producers.

Her response to this dangerous path and injustice to the “producers” of the world was  to write her epic book, “Altas Shrugged.”

If you want to understand why the present world of politics, business and economics seems so contrived, fake, rigged and unreal, I recommend you read this book.

How do you fix a leaning Shade Sail Pole?

Today I worked on a project I’ve wanted to do for a while now.  You see, a few weeks ago I went out to look at my shade sail and noticed one of the poles leaning inward.  This was the one pole I installed myself.  It is 0.7 meters into the ground with 12 or more bags of concrete holding it place.  Apparently, this isn’t enough; the pole moved from it’s 3 degree or so backward lean to about a 2 degree forward lean.  I suspect the pole will hold but the inward lean gives me just enough doubt to want to do something about it.

So, today I did.

I got my son-in-law Dwayne involved.  He’s a tradesman (boilermaker – welder) and he jumped on the project like Arnold Schwarzenegger jumps on a new Terminator movie script.

We made a plan.  We executed it this morning.  And, now the shade sail pole brace is built and installed.  I still need to tighten the assembly but that will have to wait until the ground bracing concrete drys.  We’ll give it 2 days; that should be enough to ensure we’ve got a solid ground brace.

I took a few short videos to document this project and want to share them.  So, sit back, relax and enjoy these short videos so you can get a better idea of what we did to brace the shade sail pole.

“Live What you Love” – Naomi Simson


With Naomi SImson and my daughter Franchesca.

Just got back from an October Business Month talk from Naomi Simson author of “Live What You Love” and founder of “Red Balloon” a hugely successful online gift retailer.  She’s also a television personality staring in the hit show “Shark Tank.”

Her talk was engaging, entertaining, inspiring and – best of all – practical.  Some of her nuggets of wisdom include the following:

  • Just as much effort to play a big game as a little game
  • Relationships create the brand experience.
  • Just say “Thank You” a lot!
  • We think the business is about money; money is just the scorecard.
  • Unite purpose and passion and you have the cause

She ended her talk by sharing three important things to have in life.  First, a wishbone.  That’s for your big dreams and aspirations.  Next, a backbone.  That’s to keep going when everyone else gives up.  And, finally, a funny-bone.  That’s so you can enjoy life along the way.

I appreciate Naomi sharing her business and life insights this morning.  She appears to have her funny bone in good alignment as she comes across as a person who’s loving life!

Interest rates and the property investor …

Interest RatesWhen interest rates go up, most homeowners react the same way … they take a big gulp!

Conversely, when interest rates drop, these same people let out a big cheer.

Now, what about most property investors?  How do they react?

You’re right, they react about the same.  Maybe they take a bigger gulp or let out a bigger cheer, but the reaction is generally the same.

You see, for the property investor, the results are multiplied.  That can be good news or bad  news.  If rates go up, then the “pain” is mulitplied; hence a bigger gulp.  If rates  go down, then the “joy” is multiplied, hence a bigger cheer.

What I’d like to do today is put some numbers to this “pain” and/or “joy.”  Take a look at how interest rates effect a property investor’s cash flow.

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What sort of gun control do you want?

Gun Control. I worked so well last time.Gun control is a fact of life.  There will always be someone in control of the guns.  It’s just a question of “who’s in control?”

I figure there are essentially two types of gun control.  One is the dictator scenario and one is the free society scenario.  You can have one or the other, but not both.  Which one do you want?

It seems to me the current “gun control” dialog suggests you can have both.  I don’t think so.

One form of gun control is in a dictatorship.  That’s where the dictator controls all the guns.  The dictator rules with an iron fist.

The very first step in the dictatorship manual is to get control of the guns.  It’s step one.  Got to do this step first, then it’s smooth sailing.  You can’t skip this step; you must carry it out first.  Then all the other steps are easy.  All the other steps – like government takeover of the press, government takeover of private business, elimination of free speech, elimination of opposition political parties – become a walk in the park; no worries; done deal.

Who’s going to stop the dictator?  Who’s going to stop the person who controls all the guns?

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