I can comfortably say that refurbishing and refinishing very old structural beams is something that I have no intentions of ever repeating. I can also comfortably say that in no way/shape/form would I ever recommend anyone else ever do this.
Too strong? maybe. But the simple truth is, what seemed like this very cool, hip, green idea, was in fact a complete nightmare. We have just finished the entire "reclamation" process of these antique beams, and it was so time consuming, so frustrating, so expensive.
If any of the readers/viewers are interested in how to do this "correctly", I am happy to share my experiences with you -- as I already did it "incorrectly" the first time... and then had to re-do it for the final product you see here:
Are they beautiful? Really, kind of a silly question.... they even look good in the photos, and i can tell you that the photos do them Zero justice.
PS: Thanks Uncle Ron -- for all your help and guidance.
This was pretty cool. I was just locking up the cabin for the evening when I heard a rustle from outside. I walked out on the deck, and I saw this deer eating berries on the water's edge. He/She didn't really like me taking photos, so I wasn't able to capture great shots... but it was pretty amazing to see this beast tromping through the water.
(Actually -- I'm pretty sure this was a girl. Like... like a Doe.
We needed to build a new shed for the water well. I wanted something different, so i built a Silo. Kinda like a grain silo. But a water silo. No... its not a functional silo.... just a shed. You know.. for looks.
This is tough. I love T-mobile. Without a doubt the best customer service and best pricing options of any carrier in North America. You can call this an opinion, but it's not... the numbers support it.
Alas, our hometown hero (T-mobile is N.A. HQ'd in Bellevue, WA.), lost nearly a half-million contract subscribers in Q1:2011. Now, That number is slightly deceiving, as they actually gained a fair number of "pre-paid" customers. But in the end, the net results are nearly 100,000 lost customers in Q1:2011. Detrimental? No. Painful? Yes.
T-mobile says the tough (sequential) quarter is due to the increased competition from the other major carriers -- namely Verizon and Sprint (We remember the Sprint results from this past year were actually on a positive track). But, the reality is that this mainly sounds like fodder for the AT&T acquisition.... which I can't say I approve of, but I've also come to grips with the idea that my vote doesn't make a difference.
As some of you know, I am very passionate about North America's wireless carriers: "passion" is a fluffy word I use in substitute of "strong distaste". Mark my words... Wireless carriers and ISPs will be a stronger force than the Oil producers in 15-years time. That may sound silly, but I can assure you that Data will eventually be a higher valued commodity than Oil-based Energy.
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For the most part, I am completely unimpressed with the current evolution of robot development. When I look at what the Japanese firms are doing, I tend to cringe because they keep putting "cute" plastics over not-very-sophisticated robotics. I know they are leading the pack in fine robotics (humanoid features, like podologic and dextrous manipulators), but in the future, I just want a robot with a nice set of wheels.... so I don't really care about that other junk.
Wheels.... and brains.
This video is the most shocking I've seen. These guys built an algorithm that allows for optimized decision making, based on specified formations. Just watch.... it starts off a little slow..... but gets very interesting. When you start thinking about the implications of this kind of technology on a larger scale -- or just within specific applications -- it can get pretty sci-fi.
"After a two-year stay in the United States, Michelangelo's statue of David is to be returned to Italy."
Just finishing up the deck. This deck is kinda funny...... its... its beautiful... its amazing.... a work of art.... and possibly the largest continuous deck in the northern hemisphere.
The amount of blood.. sweat.. tears.. that have gone into this deck... (read: money), its truly unbelievable. But, really, this deck is going to be something special.
Its almost finished(!!!), so I decided to share a few photos of the progress. We should have the railings completed this week, then we'll start-in with the dramatic low-voltage lighting features by Thursday. [Think Southbeach-Miami-meets-Disney's-Fantasia].
Anyways... its should be a lot of fun this summer for BBQ's and fishing from the hot tub.
This past weekend was spent in Salt Lake City, UT. As some will know, this is a state I called home for many years during high school (boarding school) and Jr. College, before eventually moving on to university in California.
I don't know what it is.... there is something deeply alluring about Utah. While most are quick to point out the state's flaws -- religion, bankruptcy rates, middleofnowhere -- I try to quickly remind them that if they have any passion for the outdoors (on a daily basis), Utah is very tough to beat. The looming mountains and incredible ski resorts in your backyard.... the deserts, canyons, rivers and rock formations to the South...... the epic race facilities to the West. Top all this off with nearly 300 days of sun per year, and you have quite the package for a healthy lifestyle.
(If outdoors isn't your thing, they also happen to be sitting on the worlds most advanced fiber network, and the undisputed "fasted internet in the world")
I stayed with my boarding school buddy Austin, accompanied by his ladyfriend Beth... hospitality of unimaginable opulence in Austin's mid-century hillside manor. Tranquil views overlooking the city to the West.... adrenaline-evoking sights of the rockies to the East.
We hit Solitude on Saturday. Solitude is a legitimate local's mountain -- one of few in the region.... a true diamond in the rough. So many tourists pass Solitude on their way to Brighton, Snowbird, Alta.... and its almost unspoken in the language of popular ski resorts. Solitude has everything from intense backcountry with mammouth bowls and steep tree lines... to wide-open groomers begging to be carved to pieces. Its a wonderful place.
Sunday we traversed the pass (by car) to Deer Valley. DV is - quite possibly - the most luxurious resort in North America: rivaled only by Sun Valley, Bear Creek, and... shoot... Aspen? Point is... DV is crème-de-la-crème. Like our time at Solitude, we were met with fresh snowfall, brite blue skies, and nearly abandoned lift lines.
It occurred to me... rather, it was "confirmed" to me... that Deer Valley is a place I will spend my life seeking to find residence. I'm not sure when, or how this will happen... but I assue you...... it will. With average home prices approaching several several million dollars, and an area where land is becoming less and less available..... this could be the challenge of a lifetime. I will succeed.
This one is pretty interesting. In case there was any doubt that Ebay was continually less focused on their consumer-facing efforts in exchange for becoming the be-all infrastructure for eCommerce.... I think this deal sums it up.
This is really a win-win... GSI gets to keep fueling/growing some of their recently acquired subsidiaries, while Ebay gets all the guts&glory (and high-profile customer base) of GSI's eCommerce and marketing service contracts.
Forrester says that eCommerce spending will double by 2015 (nearly $300bn), and paypal's revenues are expected to double by 2013. Between transaction processing (paypal), short-term financing (BillMeLater), eCommerce & Marketing (GSI), Ebay is sitting in a pretty comfortable position to hold a significant stake in the broad online commerce arena.
I work in Software M&A. This is a personal / business blog.