Posts Tagged ‘Royal Farros’

My best friend passed today.

His name was Milo.  And he was an 11-year-old male Doberman, a gift for my daughter from Santa Claus when she was just six years old.

Some may say a strange gift for a young child… especially judging by the initial fears from parents of Elle’s other six-year-old friends.

But as my wife predicted, everyone came to love Milo.  He was so gentle and child-like around family and friends that we often called him, not a Doberman, but a Doberboy.

On the other hand, with Milo at the foot of Elle’s bed, no child ever slept as safe.

I spent more time with Milo in the last 11 years than I think any other living creature.

He was a good listener, graciously letting me do most of the talking.

Milo was always there for us.  He’d gleefully smile when we’d return home (I kid you not).  He’d run with me.  We’d rough house like boys do.  He was watchful day or night, always vigilant.  He’d put his head in my lap when he knew I needed a hug.

Milo had what is known as “Wobblers” — Cervical Vertebral Instability or CVI.  It’s found in large breeds such as Dobermans.  Instead of the bones in his spine protecting his spinal cord, they abnormally compressed it, causing increasing paralysis.

We first starting seeing signs of Wobblers about 2-3 years ago.  It was about then that we could tell he wasn’t so keen on chasing squirrels around the yard any longer (squirrels, of course, being a major security violation).  We were hoping it was just age.  But sadly it wasn’t.

Even with increasing paralysis, Milo carried himself with the dignity befitting his proud lineage to the very end.

There’s a big hole in my family’s heart tonight.  Please keep a good thought in your’s for Milo our Doberboy.

Milo

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At some point soon I’m going to hit another decade mark… and for the first time that I can remember, it’s kinda bugging me.

I don’t feel old.  I don’t think I act old.  And, yet, when an app asks me what year I was born, it takes me quite a few spins on the digital thumb-dial to get to my birth year.

Ouch.

When I was growing up, I always looked a bit older than I was.

That wasn’t such a bad thing.  I played my first hand of Blackjack in a real casino at the age of 16.  Even though I was underage myself, I was always the guy that got the girls into bars that couldn’t get in themselves.  And I was drinking at the Oasis from freshman year in college on — and since they carded almost everyone, that was quite a feat.

Now, later in life, I’m working hard to flip that.  Definitely helps that a shaved head is a fashion choice these days.  ;)

But regardless of how one looks, hitting a big milestone birthday gives you the inalienable right to share some beer-can wisdom.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

*  There is absolutely no downside to being polite to everyone.

*  And more than that, try to be genuinely nice… and, even better, kind… to everyone.  Because everyone deserves that.  The Golden Rule is golden for a reason.

*  And that includes animals, too.

*  And that includes the planet, too.

*  Never ask someone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself.  Only jerks do that.

*  It may feel like a sprint but it’s really, truly a long-distance race.

*  You can’t do it alone.  And even if you can, it would be lonely.

*  Doing is better than not doing.

*  Don’t quit.

*  Don’t act your age.

*  Don’t judge.  You just never know what someone’s going/gone through.

*  Remember there are two sides to every story.

*  Take the high side.  Closed doors reopen all the time.

*  In the darkest times, make sure you have a goal… any goal.  There always needs to be some light… any light… at the end of the tunnel.

*  From time to time — especially in the darkest times — try a little spirituality.  It really is good for the soul.

*  Always ask yourself:  Am I proud of the way I behaved?  With family and friends?  With strangers?  In social situations?  In sports?  In business dealings?  When no one is looking?  That’s your true compass.  So few people actually ask themselves this… but from an integrity point-of-view — and from a, “is this the kind of person you want to be?!” point-of-view — that may be the most important question in life.

As you can see, I had to drink a lot of beer to gain that much wisdom.  ;)   There are probably some other really great ones… but after a few challenging and battered decades where I thought of throwing in the towel many times, those have served me well for as long as I can remember.

Which, according to my driver’s license, is a fairly long time.  :)

Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency to get the rest of his wall built.

The democrats warned if the republicans want to play that game, they could declare gun violence a national emergency, too, when a democrat gets elected next.

Do both parties think these are threats? 

I say this is AWESOME, let’s get them both fixed!

I love more ways to bypass the Washington D.C. political swamp.

(Well, uhm, until we actually have a dictator.)

There is a lot I don’t like about our president.

However, his tweet this morning reveals one of the things I love about the guy… that with new data, he can bypass a bunch of time-wasting politics and thrust a critical issue into the limelight in a moment’s notice:

I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race. The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!

What’s the new data?  Maybe someone told Trump the deficit projections… driven in large part by almost $6 TRILLION in military spending since 2001?

I’ve long thought we spend a ridiculous, INSANE amount of money on the military.

We can pretty much bury the entire planet knee deep in nukes… do we really need to spend some 20% of budget on more superfluous weaponry?

Spending half as much… even a third as much… would still make us the biggest military spender in the world.

Good for Trump to bring this issue front & center…

… which is sure to confound both his greatest skeptics AND supporters!  :)

The market is getting rocked by giants swings of volatility.  When it goes up, everything is just the b-e-s-t ever!  And when it goes down, everything is just the worst, worst, worst!

It’s hard not to get caught up in the wash.

Two fundamental emotions drive investing and the stock market:  Greed and Fear.

Greed that you want even more… and fear that you’ll lose everything.

We had an interesting debate the other night:  What’s stronger?

For my money:  Greed.

Because the people involved in the stock market are a self-selecting group… they are, by nature, aggressors.  They want better food… better clothes… better cars… better houses.

So the natural bias of the people that make up the market — over the long run — is up.

That thought gives me a bit of comfort as we watch the market chunk lower.

In many ways, Gordon Gekko did have it right, right?

P.S.  I think this also has to do with ever-increasing population as well… as in, the more people we have, the more things that get bought, benefiting public companies.  But this concept is for a different post.  :)

Stan Lee (a.k.a. Stanley Martin Lieber) passed today.

I tried to think of the right thought.  I have such terrific memories of diving into brand new comic books… but “thanks for the memories” just didn’t seem appropriate.

I was always entertained… but that seem to miss the significance of Stan Lee’s work.

So here’s what I know about Stan Lee and the teams of talented people he worked with over the years:

They knew how to create, no, craft a character.  Even with incredible superpowers, you could somehow identify with them and their situations… your frailties were their frailties… your fears were their fears… your hopes were their hopes.

My earliest hero was Spiderman… but later in life I branched out to just about every character he crafted…

… because I had something to learn from each.

So, ultimately, I want to thank Stan Lee for being a teacher and the greatest storyteller in my life.

Excelsior!

Apple announced earnings today… they beat on top and bottom lines… and even though iPhone unit sales missed by a tad, average sales price crushed expectations.

Sounds good, right?

Not so fast.  Apple is DOWN almost 6.5% in the after market.

Yikes!

Turns out guidance came in a bit light.

And, Apple said it was going to stop reporting on unit sales, which — supposedly — signals to analysts less volume going forward.

Here’s what I think:

WHAT IS EVERYONE CRAZY?!

Apple just reported 40% earnings growth.  That’s right — 40%.  That’s spectacular for any company… but a company Apple’s size?  That’s p-h-e-n-o-m-e-n-a-l.

To put valuation in perspective:  Usually your P/E matches your earnings growth.  So if you are growing at 10%, you have a 10 P/E.  So if you’ve grown earnings by 40%, you should have a P/E of 40.

But that’s not the case for AAPL.  Apple has a trailing 20 P/E… or, even more amazing, just a forward 14 P/E.  Which means there is a case to be made that AAPL is undervalued… it could be trading 100% higher… or even 200% higher in some circles.

Further, with a company like Apple — that is, consistent… steady… predictable — is light guidance really an issue?  Especially given that Apple usually gives lighter guidance… and has been doing so since the days Steve ran the company?

I think not sharing iPhone unit totals is the real issue… and it’s not with investors… but with analysts that are tasked to create projection models.

Fair enough, it will make their job harder.

But, seriously, Apple is consistent… steady… predictable… AND growing earnings at 40%… and, btw, growing revenues at a whopping 20%, too… their job is already pretty straightforward.

So here’s what I also think:  AAPL may initially go lower… but at some point the investment community is going to say, “It’s the #1 product in the world, produced by the #1 brand in the world.  40% earnings growth means they continue to knock the cover off the ball.  Most of the macro economic indicators are still intact.  Uhm, are we daft?!”

That’s when the momentum will shift… and we’ll see AAPL move higher.

And, despite what will seem like a stock-crushing open, I think it could happen sometime tomorrow.

UPDATE:  Well, uhm, maybe next week.  :)