Five Points – 48

41 –

Many thanks for the birthday wishes 😎 I’m happy and excited about life, studying mistakes from the past, and ever grateful to those I hold dear – I wouldn’t want to be on the journey without you. I have always been captivated by prime numbers and that this is the 13th (also prime) prime probably means that the Moon is in metrograde, or something.. put one in the air for me at 41 times around the sun 🌄

I’m fortunate to have been able to fly airplanes on nearly every birthday since I was 15.  This year was super special in that I’m celebrating with some of my best friends in Hawaii and was able to fly over the Kīlauea volcano caldera, seen in the back ground. 

Bad Things Decreasing from Hans Rosling’s book Factfulness –  

Illusions Of The Year –

2018 First prize
Kokichi Sugihara: “Triply Ambiguous Object”. Japan

Top 10 finalists in the 2018 Contest –

What I’m Listening To – 

Alt J – NPR Tiny Desk Concert 

I’ve had their Taro on repeat since I found this concert –

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Five Points – 47

Sears – 

Sears filed for bankruptcy on Monday.  Founded after the Civil War, the original Sears, Roebuck & Company developed a catalog business that sold the latest dresses, toys, build-it-yourself houses and even tombstones. The company was, in many ways, an early version of Amazon.

This is an interesting article on the history of shopping in the modern era, with 4 distinct stanzas –

I found this perspective very interesting as well: How the Sears Catalog Undermined White Supremacy in the Jim Crow South –

Paper Airplanes –

They are just a lot of fun to make and fly!!  And super easy…well, most designs are.  I recently found this database of designs and have tried a few.  Perfect to have on hand as the holidays approach.

Vote – 

Everything you need to vote:


If you are planning on voting in this election in Tennessee here are some things you should know:

– This is a close race, your vote will make a difference…no matter what side you choose to support

– Uber and Lyft are both offering free rides to the polls.

– ID Requirements: You DO need an ID, but the ID CAN be expired.

– Voting Leave From Work

Tennessee law requires employers to provide employees with a reasonable amount of paid time off to vote up to three (3) hours. To be eligible, an employee:

must not have three (3) or more hours before their shift begins or after their shift ends in which to vote while polls are open, and request the paid voting leave by twelve o’clock (12:00) noon on the day prior to the vote or election.


So, you’re committed to vote!  A few things to remember:

– asking other people who are not involved in the campaigns of those people running for office is a good way to learn how to vote.  It can be as easy as asking folks in a text message, email, or on social media, “What do the candidates that are running stand for and how will it affect me as a citizen”? It is important to note here that when asking this question, that one let the person whom is being asked know that you are simply curious and interested in being informed.  Politics can be an incredibly heated subject, so letting them know that you are just trying to learn can be a good way of allowing them to be honest with you, without feeling treatened because of their view.  Now, once they explain their perspective, it is critical not to judge them for their views, that you honor your promise to just be collecting information. Once you have done your surveys and collected the information, you can develop your own perspective and vote accordingly.

– voting is anonymous.  That means that your friends and family and neighbors and everyone else will not know who you voted for unless you tell them.  In that spirit, it is totally ok to decline to talk about politics and who you voted for.

– Discussing politics often times gets folks really engaged and passionate…and upset!  Part of this comes as a result of feeling as though the person we are talking to just doesn’t understand our perspective and worse, that by voting for someone other than whom I might be voting for, that the person I’m speaking with is ‘against ME’ or ‘on the other side’.  It is important to remember that this doesn’t have to be true and it takes patience and acceptance to remain objective in this scenario, but it is totally worth it.

John Wesley offered some good advice in 1774 that a great reminder:

“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them
1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy
2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and
3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”

Pondering In The Face Of Hardship – 

It was nearly 15 years ago and I’d recently been laid off from a job. I’d taken a temp position and found myself working in an environment I really did not want to be in: serving frozen nutty bars at the entrance to the Mummy ride at Universal City theme park.  One could see it all over my face and I acted like it…and that’s when an older fellow whom also temped for the same company (so he could go on auditions during the day) came over to me with a piece of guidance I’ll never forget:  “Find the love, Aaron.  No, you probably do not want to be here, but all those folks that have come from far and wide to be here at the theme park, especially the children, deserve better than you are giving them.  So, my suggestion is to embrace what you’re unhappy about and find the love, so you can turn around your outlook.”  I did immediately and it worked.

I recently found this bit from the final passages of Billie Jean King’s memoir about embracing hardship and finding the love in the little things espcially apropos.


But more important now, I must think in terms of very specific goals and realities. Of course, I can just say I want to win all three — the singles, doubles, and mixed. Easy to say and easy to want, but so difficult to execute. How can I do it? More than anything else, I must love everything that is part and parcel of the total Wimbledon scene. I must love hitting that little white ball; love every strain of running and bending those tired knees; love every bead of sweat; love every cloud or every ray of sun in the sky; love every moment of tension, waiting in the locker room; love the lack of total rest every night, the hunger pains during the day, taking a bath in my favorite tub, buying lollies for the ball boys, looking at the ivy and the trees and the flower arrangements, driving through Roehampton on the way to the courts every morning, practicing on the outside court with your stomach in your throat before the match; love watching people queue, knowing some of them have waited twenty years to experience one day at the Wimbledon; love playing on the Fourth of July, talking with Mrs. Twyman, having a rubdown, hearing the women talk (or not talk), and feeling the tension in the air, running up to the tea room through the crowds; love feeling and absorbing the tradition of almost one hundred years.

In essence, I have to possess enough passion and love to withstand all the odds. No matter how tough, no matter what kind of outside pressure, no matter how many bad breaks along the way, I must keep my sights on the final goal, to win, win, win — and with more love and passion than the world has ever witnessed in any performance. A total, giving performance: give more when you think you have nothing left. Through the desire the inspiration will be present. Love, passion, attitude, ability, intensity — the only way, a street with no curves or cul-de-sacs. I must let my inner self be out front and free. Love always.


The take away: amor fati

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Five Points – 46

Wolves – 

Anyone that has caught a glimpse of my Instagram knows I love my dog.  I have always loved dogs and truly believe them to be man’s best friend.

And I am also captivated by wolves.  I find them to be so powerful and majestic and independent.  If spirit animals are a thing, the wolf is definitely mine.

Here’s a little wolf love for the week:

What would you do if you pulled over to take a call and saw this enormous canus lupus specimen checking you out?

This fascinating mini documentary (4 1/2 minutes) is about how wolves change rivers, as studied when they were reintroduced to Yellowstone.

What I’m Watching –

I continue to consume films and documentaries about the music business and some of its luminary figures.

Quincy was out of sight.  I had chills at the closing credits and ended up at my desk for an all nighter with inspiration.  The sound track, as you can imagine, contains tons that I’m sure you’ll be familiar with.

His arranging, composing, producing, and performing was done alongside and for Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Lesley Gore, Jennifer Holliday, Barbra Streisand, Barry White and many more. He has 79 Grammy nominations and 27 wins. He has seven Oscar nominations and received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. He also has received four Emmy nominations, winning one.  His influence on music in the last 50 years can not be understated.

It was great to learn more about his story, man.

What I’m Listening To – 

Sinnerman – Nina Simone –

Quote I’m Pondering – 

“I don’t like either the word [hike] or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not ‘hike!’ Do you know the origin of that word saunter? It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the middle ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre’, ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them.”

― John Muir

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​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Our weekly newsletter is one of the most widely read in the music business.

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Five Points – 45

Hurricane Flo Update  –

My family’s river house made it out in relatively good shape, all things considered.

Dad made it down to the land on Monday and by Tuesday at the crack, had the boys working.  All of the sheetrock, flooring, cabinets, and furniture on the first floor had to be removed, but that is about is about it.  There was no foundation damage and we were able to get things out and dry before the mold set it, so we are grateful.

It shouldn’t be long before we are ready for another oyster roast.

Thank you again to everyone that has helped and sent messages.  It means a lot.

Team Captains – 

I was thinking a lot about captains and teams and how they work together this week as our employee count continues to grow.  Two staff that work for Exploration, one girl and one guy, each recently raised their hands with the desire to lead their specific departments.  And I could not have been more enthusiastic.  With competent and committed leaders, I am able to focus on other facets of the company.

What I learned though, is that much like a team sport, captains and leaders choose themselves.  I may have my own ideas about who should lead, but without the belief from the rest of the group, a leader is a puppet, often resented, and ineffectual.  I’ve resolved to believing that one can pick the players to build a team, but captainship is self selecting.

Leaders self select by leading from the front (they show how to do something by actually doing it, not talking about it).  They are humble, have patience, and are kind.  Their work is excellent and they are more than willing to admit where they may have made a mistake.  Their equals look to them for guidance and they are always keen to learn.  They routinely look for new work, even and especially when it is not their responsibility.

I’m so grateful such solid leaders choose to work with me.

Good Questions –

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” ~ Voltaire

I found this collection of questions by Patrick Collison to be quite thought provoking.  Some of them are relative to business and software, but there are a few far out ones in there that’ll have you scratching the ol’ noggin.

NASA Celebrates it’s 60th Birthday – 

I watched this short clip in awe a few times this week.  Carl Sagan always delights.

We were hunters and gathers.
The frontier was everywhere.
We were bounded only by the earth and ocean and sky.
The open road still softly calls.
Our little terraqueous globe as the mad house of those hundred thousand million worlds.
We, who can not put our own planetary home in order.
Riven with rivalries and hatreds.
Are… we… to venture out into space?

Exploration – Control Your Data.  Collect Your Money.

​My primary job is as the CEO of Exploration.  We help media companies compile the data needed to get paid.

Our weekly newsletter is one of the most widely read in the music business.

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