2014 Review

Life: my daughter Nina was born on July 4. A food blogger I follow wrote the best description of having a second child: First babies are amazing for the absolute awe they inspire. When you’re an adult, not all that much feels new anymore, but a first baby makes the whole world new again. When O was born, I felt like my world had been cracked open and a flood of emotions and experiences I never could’ve predicted came rushing in.

New car

I bought a 2002 Subaru Legacy GT wagon in 2004 with the goal of keeping it for 10 years. It had about 50K miles on it when I bought it, but it still seemed like a good bet since I didn’t drive much and my father worked for a Subaru dealer. But from the start, I hated it. The drivers compartment was too small, it was gutless, it got terrible gas mileage, and it seemed to require too-frequent expensive maintenance.

More fun with morality

Is a Moral Compass a Hinderance Or a Help For Startups? – Slashdot. Put another way: is being a Libertarian bad for business?

Decision Points

Secret Kill List Tests Obama’s Principles – NYTimes.com. I’ve been reading George W. Bush’s memoir, [Decision Points][2]. I was hoping for a “choose your own adventure”-style book, where he lays out all of the information available and then asks the reader (even rhetorically), “What would YOU do?” Instead, he walks the reader methodically through each decision. I wanted more. I am not sure why this surprises me. Ask yourself: what information would you need to order the military to execute someone without a trial?

Coffee pot economics

At my office, there is a kitchenette with six coffee urns and one very simple rule: if you empty the urn, you start a new one. See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwWjEZDBawo&feature=kp Obviously there are various factors here. If you empty the urn, and someone else saw it happen–or if you empty the urn when you are running late for a meeting with your vice presiden, these things can influence your decision making.

Nina Ellen Pratt - July 4, 2014

Our son James took his sweet time being born, despite arriving four days prior to his due date. Emily started noticing contractions on a Sunday night. We spent all day Monday packing and preparing to go to the hospital before finally heading in around 5:00 PM. Once we arrived, we were immediately turned away and told to go walk around the block for a couple of hours. In the middle of the night, we realized that he wasn't coming imminently, and the doctor fired up an epidural so Emily could sleep.

Count those beans!

I love this: ”…real shareholder value is not about what I can make this quarter. It’s about whether we are going to be in business for a long time. That does not take a spreadsheet guy running the business. The odds are almost always that if an ex-CFO is running a public company, it’s a short-term play. Not always, but almost always. It’s why Boeing screwed up the 787. They put the MBAs and the finance guys in charge in a technology company.

---and just in case that last post was too depressing

33 Unbelievable Places To Visit Before You Die - The Meta Picture.

Detroit

This is an outstanding blog: GooBing Detroit. Click here for the author’s explanation of what it all means. In Seattle, we were relatively insulated from the Great Recession. My 401(k) took a hit, and my property values dipped a bit, but everything recovered quickly and now we are a boom town again. I knew a couple of people who were underwater in property and couldn’t sell, but I don’t think I knew anyone whose house was foreclosed or anything like that.

Fun with home improvement, the saga continues

When we moved into this house, we used the third bedroom as a junk room/office. It had green walls. From time to time, I thought about painting, but never did–probably because I knew it would only be temporary. We’ve now turned it into the little girl room: We filled in all of the holes and imperfections in the walls. The walls in this room were really beat up. The closet was once a cedar closet, so there were dozens of nail holes.