Five Points – 13

Guns – 

I’ve struggled in writing this passage.  I don’t understand how any sensible person can defend our current status of affairs with regard to guns in the United States.

I just don’t understand.

It doesn’t matter that people shoot themselves or police or EMS or innocent bystanders or the law makers or even our baby children…kind, smart, happy children while they are at school.

It is sickening and demoralizing and I do not understand.

America’s gun culture in 10 charts –
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr –

The most important thing a citizen can do is to vote –

And I will match your donation to a total of $100 to help establish sensible gun laws –

How Skating on Thin Ice Creates Laser-Like Sounds –

This small lake outside Stockholm, Sweden, emits otherworldly sounds as Mårten Ajne skates over its precariously thin, black ice. “Wild ice skating,” or “Nordic skating,” is both an art and a science. A skater seeks out the thinnest, most pristine black ice possible—both for its smoothness, and for its high-pitched, laser-like sounds.

Protein – 

I love my protein shake, every day, as soon as I am on my feet. The habit started in my effort to mitigate fat and to build muscle, but I’ve learned it is also good for the brain.

My go to brand is Ascent Protein

What’s on the radio – 

Crazy – Gnarls Barkey cover by Ray Lamontagne –
Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen cover by Jeff Buckley –

Taking Apart A Jeep in 60 Seconds –

Five Points – 12

Study – 

I’m studying a lot these days for the first time in a few years.  Head down research.

I was searching around for tips and tricks on how to get more out of my effort and found this remarkable guide using comics.

It really is good.

How to study –

How Olympic Ice is formed –

Cool photo – 

Where’s Waldo in a 360 photo on Facebook.  Viewable only on mobile.  Can you find him?

What’s on the radio – 

This compilation album is my first memory of learning of lounge funk.  And I still love it.

Hotel Costes vol. 4

John Perry Barlow – 

He was a good man with good ideas.  His untimely passing is as good a reminder as any that we have a responsibility to contribute to something good.  Something that helps other people.

Five Points – 11

You Might Make A Difference; Part Two —

Last week I wrote about how one might make a difference if they try.  I took my own advice.

Again, I used my company’s blog as a forum to test an idea and it seems to have legs.

I remarked on the announcement from Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Warren Buffet (Bershire Hathaway), and Jamie Dimon (JP Morgan Chase) that they were joining forces to create an insurance cooperative/company to provide health coverage for their 1,000,000+ employees.

Seems like a good idea.

And then I had a brain idea!!

A handful of large multinational corporations not withstanding, the music business is but a collection of independent business persons working together.  From the biggest stars to the newly minted indie…producers, attorneys, managers, roadies, sound engineers, copyright analysts, royalties accountants, A&R pitch men, the door woman at the Troubador….every last one of them needs health insurance.  And I believe that we might be able to collectively bargain for better rates and better coverage.

In my article I mentioned that from my experience in real estate, I knew a handful of people that kept their license current and board dues paid simply to be able to get group rate health insurance.

And I believe the same spirit may be utilized for the music business: an association or cooperative that offers multifaceted benefits for folks that work in the music business.

No sooner than I published the idea did the emails and calls come rolling in..offering ideas and suggestions, where work toward this ultimate goal had already been done, and how I was wasting my time.  I take all of it with a grain of salt, but am generally not knocked off the path simply because something hadn’t been done before.

From a high level, I am organizing a steering committee to better understand the viability of this idea.

So, here’s my request for help:

Do you know anything about associations and their ability to underwrite/enable their members to get health insurance?

Do you know anything about health insurance company incentives or rationale for working with large groups?

Are you interested in helping 500,000+ folks that work in the music industry get coverage?

What I am reading and watching –

Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, republished some of his good ideas.

Principles: Life and Work

From Amazon:

Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he’s developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business—and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.

I then found a video he made and offers for free on the fundamentals of how the macro economy works. I found it to be a really good explainer, as someone who knows a wee bit already, but will likely add value to folks that are pure beginners as well. 

This week in space travel – 

You’d have to live under a rock to have missed the launch of Space X’s Falcon Heavy, the world’s most powerful rocket on Tuesday.  Elon Musk used the launch to test the rockets that will ultimately take humans to Mar’s.  The payload this go round? A Cherry Red Tesla Roadster with a space man at the wheel, Space Oddity playing on the radio, and “Don’t Panic!’ on the dash display. Oh, and a live stream via YouTube that is still broadcasting.

What’s on the radio – 

Thievery Corporation – Lebanese Blonde

This Rube Goldberg Machine –

Five Points – 10

You Might Make A Difference —

It’s pretty common to hear folks say “What difference can I make?  I mean, really?”, when discussing politics or issues that seem much bigger than ourselves.

I’ve been guilty myself.

However, a few weeks ago, I wrote an article for work highlighting a proposed change to the taxation law that would have absolutely affected my clients in the music business.  It was to be part of the GOP Tax Plan that was recently passed.

The proposed change would have changed income for the sale of a song writer’s catalog to be viewed by the IRS as ordinary income (~40%) instead of capital gains (~20%).

I thought that was a really big deal, so I wrote about it.

The next thing I know, my article was forwarded and referenced by folks that were able to influence the proposed bill.

Within 48 hours of publishing my article, the provision had been stricken from the bill that was ultimately passed and I was invited to the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International to record an official interview with their Executive Director, Bart Herbison, explaining what went down.

I don’t believe my article was the only influence that contributed to the change of the bill, but I do feel confident it might have played a role.

I share the story to encourage folks to consider that their voice as an individual does indeed have an impact.

What brain twister made me scratch my head –

Mathematically Correct Breakfast

How to Slice a Bagel into Two Linked Halves

What I’m Reading – 

I love boats of all stripes.  Anything that floats (barely), to me, is a thing of magic.  I also love Hemmingway for a multitude of reasons.  So this book has been a treat to open again.

Hemmingway’s Boat:  Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost.

From the description on Amazon:

A brilliantly conceived and illuminating reconsideration of a key period in the life of Ernest Hemingway that will forever change the way he is perceived and understood.

Focusing on the years 1934 to 1961—from Hemingway’s pinnacle as the reigning monarch of American letters until his suicide—Paul Hendrickson traces the writer’s exultations and despair around the one constant in his life during this time: his beloved boat, Pilar.

Drawing on previously unpublished material, including interviews with Hemingway’s sons, Hendrickson shows that for all the writer’s boorishness, depression and alcoholism, and despite his choleric anger, he was capable of remarkable generosity—to struggling writers, to lost souls, to the dying son of a friend. Hemingway’s Boat is both stunningly original and deeply gripping, an invaluable contribution to our understanding of this great American writer, published fifty years after his death.

What’s on the radio – 

Toots and the Maytals – 54-46 Was My Number

Quote I’m Pondering – 

“Bestow pardon for many things; seek pardon for none.” ~ Seneca