Five Points – 5

Planet Earth II —

You may have caught Planet Earth I (2006).  It’s simply an incredible series about our pale blue dot floating in the abyss.

However, the good folks at the BBC took everything they learned from the first stanza, plus a ton of new techniques and technology that has been following Moore’s Law, to produce Planet Earth II (2016).

It is now on Netflix. Yay!

Some have called this 2:12 min teaser segment some of the most exciting real footage of animals ever captured.

And this is Snoop Dogg narrating that same piece of video (NSFW).


The World’s Best Film School is Free on YouTube – 

Article on how it came to be and relevant links – https://www.wired.com/story/youtube-film-school


Jocko Willink –

I recently discovered Lieutenant Commander Jocko Willink, US Navy SEAL, Retired, by way of Tim Ferriss’s Podcast.

Jocko was being interviewed by Tim on the heals of publishing his first book, Extreme Ownership – How Navy Seals Lead and Win, and it did not disappoint.

I credit a lifetime of hard nosed football and rugby coaches for my affinity for blunt, raw, and crucial feedback that I know will make me better, which is partially why I think his narrative resonates with me.  I suppose being tasked with training the SEALS makes a man good at that, among other things.

Jocko has since launched his own podcast that I listen to regularly.  I have to filter it sometimes, as it gets dark, with stories of war.  But Jocko is extremely smart, articulate, and experienced.  The lessons he shares from the battlefield translate well to business and life in general.

– Leadership is the most important factor
– Cover and move
– Prioritize and execute
– Discipline equals freedom

He also offers very compelling perspective on the necessity of violence, notably captured here with Sam Harris.


What’s on the stereo – 

This album from Manu Chao is one of my all time favorites and I’ve be listening to it like its my job lately – https://youtu.be/bnaTLcFpQnE


Happy Holidays – 

2017 is nearly a wrap!!

I hope you and yours are having a great holidays and that the new year brings happiness, love, adventure, knowledge, and peace.

Here’s the varmint sending love from Where The Wild Things Are Secret Camp 🙂

Five Points – 4

I’ve Moved —

After nearly 13 years of calling Venice Beach, California my home, it is no more.  I’ve moved to Nashville, TN.

Venice has changed over the years.  Snapchat Global HQ moved within a few blocks from my place and exclusively occupies apartment buildings as offices.  This displaced all of the folks that once lived there, creating vacant weirdness and sketch at night and obtrusive low talkers (there is nothing worse than a mumbling low talker) that do not interact with the native community during the day.

So the neighborhood changed, but so have I.  My interests are different today than when I moved there.  I was ready for a change of scenery.

Plus, I work in the music business and am from the south, so a move to music city was a natural fit.

***

Since as far back as I can remember, I have been interested in real estate.

I like that it’s such a unique tool to build wealth – brokerage, wholesaleing, flipping, development, repurposing, … airbnb.

I like that it’s such a malleable canvas to create – structures and landscaping come to mind initially, but creativity and inginuity can/should be considered in most systems complimenting real estate – plumbing, HVAC, electricity, roofing, flooring, windows/doors, the ‘feeling’ of a space, how sound impacts the experience, light, a body of water, ability to host friends and family, a work shop to build art and more.

While I have been involved and consulted on many a real estate deal (I was a licensed California broker for 10 years) and studied many thousands of potentials deals, I have yet to own my own dirt, until now…

***

Where The Wild Things Are Secret Camp is an old house on a fair amount of acres outside Nashville proper.  The property has a year round stream, several verdant springs, a small pasture, an old Airstream, and a quirky old home that was built from wood and a bit of stained glass salvaged from a very old church.

There is plenty of room to camp and guest space a plenty for folks visiting.  There are animals everywhere, but the only hunting will be for ginseng.

I am so excited to be the steward of this forest and home and welcome friends, old and new, to enjoy it with me.

All that to say, you may rest easy knowing that if you ever need a place to be, you’ve got one in Tennessee.


Thank you LA

There are so many people that have helped and taught and befriended me during my time in Los Angeles, but a few really went above and beyond…they gave to me completely unselfishly.  Much more than I deserved.  And they did it even though I’m me!  Quirky, strange, odd me…they still helped me over and over and over again.

Aaron Blatt
Robert Knox
Chris Kelley
Chris Cowan
Simon Jones
Dale Rogers
Rene Merideth
Dan Busby
Dallen Stanford
Sherrijon Gaspard
Richard Stearns
Whakapainga Luke
The Venice Breakfast Club

and Santa Monica Rugby Club.

I penned this on my day of departure and I think its good to share again.

***

Thank you, SMRC!

It was a fateful afternoon at the top of 2005 at JFK, having just taken a job in principle on Wall Street..

An unknown number on my cell contained the growly voice of Coach Krohn. Bluntly after “Hello” a statement of my past experience with the Maccabi’s and a question about my plan for life.

Sure on the first. Not so sure on the second bit.

He invited me to join the boys in Austin to see how I played and whether I could get on with the boys.  I think I faired alright on both accounts.

I quickly returned to North Carolina to explain to my world that I was moving to Los Angeles.

SMRC made it happen.

Dreyfus gave me a job first. Then Knoxy. Then Blatt. Then Putterman.
Then Merideth.

Dominic and Chris and Nathan put me up first. Revel put me up second. Then I moved into this Venice apartment with Ross and Lucky that was gifted to us from Simon Jones’ wife’s sister. CK lived here for a time. As did Cowan. And many others on visits to town or as I let out across the earth.  Aaron and Ed and Enrique and Regal helped me pack up and out just this past weekend.

The team took me in and have become my family in this strange Los Angeles city.

Riaz turned up the missing link. Paddy flopped from the back to the front and back again. Jeremy didn’t say a lot, but he didn’t have to. Killian was just getting started. Stu made us good and hard.  Doug was the voice of reason from the sideline and Danny kept the engine humming. He would always share this his thoughts, but no one ever knew what he was saying, but he was nice, and Ross was a damn good player.  Nathan took the fight with his demons to opponents and hurt more than their pride. CK was as patient as a stone and had shoulder of one too.  Jerry Banks had a hard time catching the ball, but if ever did was hard to tackle. Stampy had twinkle toes for a big man and Carl always looked so focking good. Matthew was the sleeper that embarrassed more storied men.  Dom always had a plan.  Knox was/is unequal.  Blatt led with cool way and an iron fist.

All the boys were humble servants that gave more than their share when called to task.

The Green Wave supported us across town and across the country. Over and over and over again.

I’m embarrassed I can’t remember today more of the men that most certainly gave their heart and soul and money and body to SMRC that first year I arrived and since. Please forgive me.

The Gods were kind to us and the ball bounced our way more often than not.

We lived together and worked together and chased women together and played together and lost together and won together.

And we won it all.  We won the Division I National Championship in 2005.

Then we did it again the next year.

Went off a little like flash paper. Hot. Quick.

Those accomplishments and friendships forged have been the more proud one’s of my life.

By that third year the mojo faded and the band broke up. Boys moved away. Or moved on. Got married. Had kids. And then more kids.

It was fun to turn up to training and a B side test and share a laugh. Having only one foot in the stirrups was alright. As the years swept by.

And that’s the way it goes sometimes.

I’ll never forget Blatt reminding me one day at the yard after he’d landed a solid account. “This to will one day go away. So I expect it and then it doesn’t suck as bad when it happens.”, he said and smiled. Then he got back to work.

I know this now so it’s not so tough. It doesn’t suck as bad as it could. I guess.

Their have been so many women and men over the last 12 years that treated me kindly and helped me along the way. I am ever grateful and you will forever be my family.

I thank you with all my heart for everything.

I write this from the Pit. She’s clean and smart and I’m ready to go.  William and I have a flight at 4pm one way to Nashville.  I reckon that if I intend to work in the music business, I might as well go all in.

I hope you’ll come visit. I hope that I’ll be back soon.

And I’ll be missing you in the mean time.

Dolphins,

AD


2,147,483,647

I’ve always been fascinated with prime numbers.  They have all sorts of cool properties and behave interestingly, relative to most non-prime numbers.

This past week I learned of the eighth Mersenne prime number, 2,147,483,647, by way of Ghangnam Style.

From the Wikipedia:

The number 2,147,483,647 (or hexadecimal 7FFF,FFFF16) is the maximum positive value for a 32-bit signed binary integer in computing. It is therefore the maximum value for variables declared as integers (e.g., as int) in many programming languages, and the maximum possible score, money, etc. for many video games. The appearance of the number often reflects an error, overflow condition, or missing value.[9] In December 2014, Google initially claimed that PSY’s music video “Gangnam Style” exceeded the 32-bit integer limit for YouTube view count, necessitating YouTube to upgrade the variable to a 64-bit integer.


InstantDomainSearch.com

I had a fruitful conversation with a fellow entrepreneur this past week regarding registering a web domain name…about why it was exciting and felt good and how we both own entirely to many domains than we will ever utilize.

We came to the conclusion that registering a domain is a very small investment in the promise of bigger things and exciting adventure ahead.  Whether for a new business or idea or journey…owning a domain is a blank canvas for creating something from scratch that can easily impact humans one has never met, nor will ever meet.

My go to resource for finding the perfect name is instantdomainsearch.com.  Its super quick and filters results in real time to allow for really dynamic ideation.


MICRO

Friends doing amazing stuff alert!!!

Amanda Schochet and Charles Philipp founded MICRO – The World’s Smallest Museum

Here is an awesome write up about them from the Washington Post.

Go here to inquire about having a museum installed near you and/or make a donation.  Just think…you could the person responsible for bringing a MUSEUM to your community!?  Reread that one more time.  A MUSEUM!  So dang cool!

The wise money isn’t betting against them.  Go go go!!!


What I’ve been listening to —

I’ve been listening to Buena Vista Social Club on repeat the past week – https://youtu.be/JNYOVEXJBBM

Five Points – 3

Need Photos For Business or Personal? —

Unsplash.com is an incredibly useful resource for work newsletters and other design stuffs, but recently for my home as I’m keen to inexpensively print some large format images for wall art. They provide free premium high resolution photos.  Seriously, free.  This is their copyright disclaimer:

All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible…

I also use their Mac OS app to change my desktop to a random new image daily.  Have an old monitor collecting dust?  This on the wall would be pretty cool.

https://unsplash.com

Jupiter Blues – 

In my hunt to print large format images (see above) I found some really cool hi def pics from NASA.

Whenever I think of Jupiter I think of tan and orange and reds, not blue.  Check out Jovian clouds in striking shades of blue in this new view taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia21972/jupiter-blues

Knee Surgery —

A great big fat guy..or maybe that was just me..helped me break my ankle 4 years ago.  The ankle turned out great.  But my knee had lingering meniscus damage.  I got that fixed yesterday.  Everything went off great and I hope to getting about in short order.

And I bought this cooler – ice circulating – treasure of the known world – experience changing – gadget – DonJoy Iceman Clear 3

I’ve endured a surgery or two over the years and my go to has always been the Ice Pac gel cold packs.  You can get a variety of sizes and they stay super cold for longer than they need to (15-20 mins), so I bought two to be able to rotate.

But the ice pack method simply does not compare with the water circulator.  One physically could not cool an injured body part without moving it this much any other way.  It’s cold water, not frozen, so I worry not about to much cold and condensation doesn’t moisten my clothes or bed either.  I turn it off for half an hour or so every few hours to great delight.

If you are having a procedure where ice is indicated post-op, do yourself and your care givers a favor and buy this.  Its a game changer.

Triple Top Pillow Stacking Method –

I recorded a crude video while in the hospital 4 years ago on how to best stack pillows when you have a broken leg.  It has amassed 32,000 views as of this writing and about 20 people view it every day.  Every day, some where in the world, 20 people watch that video.  That amazes me.  I don’t monetize it or anything, but I often think about how the impact it has.  Even if I were dead, it would go right on helping folks stack their pillows when they have an ole peg leg.  And it helped me again on Thursday.

It’s a reminder that I (and You) might have knowledge about something that others can benefit from if shared.

What I’ve been listening to —

Spanish guitar compilation – https://youtu.be/bwlOPnc5VSY

Five Points – 2

Design Your Own Wrapping Paper —

Curious about the perfect gift this season? I’m not sure I can help.  Need awesome wrapping paper? Look no further.  My friend Anselm Levskaya built a design tool for creating beautiful arabesque and geometric patterns.

https://eschersket.ch/

The name comes as an ode to famous graphic artist M. C. Escher merged with the popular children’s toy, Etch A Sketch.

You can experiment and fiddle with the application for free and then export to zazzle.com to apply the patterns you created to physical products, where Anselm will make a peanut ($) if you buy something. (Disclaimer: I receive no benefit from this.  I just think it’s awesome.)

Learn to Code / Teach to Code —

I read Fred Wilson‘s writings everyday.  He is a prolific investor and writer (everyday since 2003) and is incredibly generous with his knowledge and time.  For folks keen to learn some of the inner workings of the tech business in words that are easy to grasp, I encourage you to subscribe to his blog here.

This past week he shared this:

It is CS Education Week, which happens at this time every year to celebrate and energize the growing K12 CS Education movement.

The highlight of CS Education Week is the Hour Of Code, in which students, teachers, parents, and community members all do an hour of code during the school week.

I would like to encourage everyone in the technology business to find a school this week, maybe it is your child’s school, maybe it is the school building in your neighborhood, or maybe it is a school where a friend teaches, and volunteer to lead an Hour Of Code.

It is really quite easy to do this.

Here is a guide on how to help a local school

Here are some activities you can do for your hour of code

Here are some ways to volunteer

Bear Ears & Grand Staircase-Escalante Need Help —

This past week Donald Trump initiated legislation to significantly reduce the size of Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, marking the largest elimination of protected lands in American history.

It’s wrong and illegal.

I’ve racked my brain to understand how he thinks this will enrich America, his constituents, or himself to no avail.

I am donating $100 to support defending these global treasures.

And I will match donations up to a total of $100 if you are keen to join me.  Just send me a note what you’ve contributed and we’ll make it happen.

Patagonia (Gear and Clothing) has the best list of organizations that can make a difference.

http://www.patagonia.com/protect-public-lands.html

Wilderness Survival –

The end of the street I grew up on in Garner, North Carolina was the foundation of what has been a life long experiment with understanding how to interact with the forest.

Lately I’ve become fascinated with Dick Proenneke and his documentary, Alone In The Wilderness, of his time alone in the Alaskan wilderness.  A preview (10 min) can be viewed on YouTube here.

I also find myself entranced by the silent videos of David Malina – Primitive Technology, where he builds all kinds of things (baskets, animal traps, homes, etc) in the forest by hand.

Spoiler Alert Coming:  I’ve recently made a life change that will explain this new found study.

Congratulations Mom –

My Mom started working when she was 14.  She retires in a week.

Since May of 1984 she has been the Executive Director of Re-Entry, a public non-profit offering alternative sentencing to nonviolent adult and juvenile offenders in Raleigh, NC.  She started at the organization as an independent contractor and through a bizarre chain of events, found herself leading it within only a few short months.  And over the past 10 years additionally took over the day to day responsibilities for Teen Court, a program comprised of peer jurors for youth first offender misdemeanants.

Her board recently honored her contributions by creating the Louise A. Davis Youth Attorney Scholarship for the Raleigh Area Teen Court.

It was “Take Mom To Work Week” this past week as I traveled to Japan on business.  Here we are sending greetings from Mt. Fuji.  She was also seen impersonating the Emperor from Star Wars 🙂

I could not be more proud to call her my Mom.

5 Points – 1

What I’m reading —

Patrick McKenzie aka patio11 on the internetz, has been referred to as one of the most helpful folks on the internet by some in the startup community as a result of his prolific contributions in writing on Hacker News and his site.

This thought provoking list of a few of his tweets is worth a browse:

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/936615043126370306

The main takeaway for me is the impetus of this initial 5 Point Friday:

Meta thought: you radically underestimate both a) how much you know that other people do not and b) the instrumental benefits to you of publishing it.

What I’m listening to —

For over a decade I have been a fan of somafm.com.  I really love their Groove Saladchannel, for writing, programming, and background music.  They are also the purveyors of Black Rock FM (Burning Man) and a few other, not as popular, strange and interesting collections.  Get busy with Xmas in Frisko, a wacky and eclectic holiday mix for those not easily offended and Seven Inch Soul, vintage tracks from original 45 RPM vinyl.

What I’m watching —

Fred Rogers (“Mr. Rogers” of television fame) testifies before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications in 1969. If you want to see an incredibly deft display of verbal judo, watch this short clip. It’s absolutely fantastic. Mr. Rogers turns a cantankerous opponent into an ally in minutes, and it’s important to watch all the way to the end.  Hat tip to Tim Ferriss for this suggestion.  I’ve watched this before and it is truly incredible the poise and care Mr. Rogers uses in sharing his position.

Lyrical, harmonious and hilarious – Whose billy goat is this?

In case you missed it —

The most liked post I’ve recently share on Instagram is of a public bathroom at the Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan. It may employ more robots and technology than a shuttle launch: https://www.instagram.com/p/BcJb10hHzge/

Quote I’m pondering —

“You can hold your breath until you turn blue, but they’ll keep on doing it.”

– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations