Cord to Enter Production?

From The Truth About Cars, comes a report that the Cord brand maybe be resurrected. The 810 and 812 (“coffin-nose”) models are arguably some of the most beautiful cars ever made.

“…Craig Corbell, a Houston oil industry consultant and Cord aficionado, hopes to start production of new Cords.”

“…it is the iconic 810 model of 1936 that most enthusiasts associate with the brand. Featuring a low-slung, running board-free body, “coffin nose” prow and flip-up headlamps, the 810 (and 812 of 1937) remains a standout in the world of automobile styling.”

“…Corbell wants to have a display vehicle ready for the fall of 2017.”

Must be yellow:

cord-812-sc-phaeton-1937_0

S1:E7, John Jeter, Fort Smith Symphony

johnjeterJohn is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Hartt School of Music with a degree in Music Theory and Piano, and graduated with distinction from Butler University’s Jordan College of Fine Arts with a master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting.
John has been serving as the Music Director for the Fort Smith Symphony for 20 years, and along with the musicians, staff, board of directors and community, he has led a transformation of a small community symphony to a large fully professional regional orchestra.
John and the orchestra has received the League of American Orchestras’ Helen M. Thompson Award; the Mayor’s Achievement Award, and the Mayor’s Civic Center Award for the Performing Arts. John is the recipient of the 2012 Governor’s Arts Award “Individual Artist Award.”
Simply a great show. We talk music of course, but also the planning logistics of creating the shows, the travel of musicians, importance of attention to detail, how John got his start, and art. Some World War I & II stuff is thrown in as well.
Cleveland Orchestra: Website, Wikipedia
Berlin Philharmonic: Website, Wikipedia
League of American Orchestras: Website, Wikipedia

Music and Composers (this is just a few we discussed):

Stairway to Heaven, by Led Zeppelin
Moonlight Sonata, Ludwig von Beethoven: Wikipedia
Best of Verdi (150 minutes!), Giuseppe Verdi: Wikipedia
Carlo di Borgogna, Giovanni Pacini: Wikipedia
Flute Concerto, Christopher Rouse, Wikipedia
Sinfonietta, Jose Pablo Monkayo, Wikipedia
West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein, Wikipedia
Dog Day Blues, Byron Stripling, Wikipedia

Video:

Extreme Orchestra Opening Night – documentary (this is about John and the Fort Smith Symphony)

Museum:

Books:

Mano Zeigler, Rocket Fighter, about the ME 163 Komet

Other:

S1:E6, Todd Whatley, The Elder Law Practice

H. Todd Whatley, The Elder Law Practice.

Estate-Planning-Graphic-copyThis episode is with Todd Whatley, one of only 500 certified elder law attorneys in the United States. This is one of the most interesting podcasts I’ve done so far, and the information Todd provides is very useful for all of us.
The term “elder” is a bit misleading. Regardless of your age or your income, you can start planning for protecting your assets and enjoying life. It doesn’t really matter if you are 30 or 80 years old, there are important lessons to be learned, regardless of the size of your estate.
Todd’s website is rich with information, his weekly radio show podcasts, and a link to the live broadcast of his show every Wednesday at 9am (Central) on KURM.
Make sure to stay past the movies and other non-topic stuff, because there is a story at the end.

Amazon Echo links:

Movies:

Vacations

Larry Elison Hawaii Island – Lania (in the podcast I mistakenly said Kaui)

S1:E5, Steve Nordyke

Steve Nordyke
Steve Nordyke
Steves Little Boat2
Steve’s Maverick 18′ Master Angler
Steve's Big Boat
Steve’s Bertram 30 Moppie

Steve is a Commercial Real Estate Asset Manager with Torchlight Investors in Miami. He lives on the water in beautiful downtown Fort Lauderdale, “The Venice of America”. He has a beautiful family, and is truly living the lifestyle he planned. We talk about Fort Lauderdale, the band Rush, movies, and music.

Steve’s home is on the New River, surrounded by all sorts of skiffs, boats, and yachts. For some reason, I was too busy thinking about the podcast to take but one picture:
Photo of New River in Fort Lauderdale, from Steve's patio where we recorded the podcast.
Photo of New River in Fort Lauderdale, from Steve’s patio where we recorded the podcast.

New River that runs through the heart of Fort Lauderdale.

A member of the band Better Than Ezra (Wikipedia; Amazon) was hanging out with Steve and Rush in Monroe, Louisiana.

Movies:

The Hunger, David Bowie & Susan Sarandon
1937_Cord_GTO_Westchester_(6097100243)
220px-Duesenberg_Convertible_SJ_LA_Grand_Dual-Cowl_Phaeton_1935

Music Streaming:

Food:

Mohawk Tavern, Monroe, LA
Pauls Meat Market – Andouille sausage, Fort Smith, AR

Boating in Maui:

T2_West Maui
Trilogy – great service!

ISIS Kill List: What Would You Do?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

CCATo get you up to speed, ISIS-related groups, like the Cyber Caliphate Army (CCA), or the United Cyber Caliphate (UCC) have released kill lists of people they want murdered around the world. Some of these are military or law enforcement individuals, others are seemingly random people. The lists are intended to inspire “lone wolves” such as the one in Orlando; to consume law-enforcement resources; and to “market” their terrorist agenda.

In many of these cases, the FBI is visiting each individual and informing them that they are on a kill list, and although the FBI doesn’t think the threat is material, the individual should be vigilant.

Vigilant for life.

These lists cannot be “recalled”. The lists will be on the internet forever. And since this terror will seemingly go on for generations, the named individuals are on it for their entire lives.

My question is: what would your reaction be if you were told you were on an iSIS kill list? Would you want to know? What would you do?

S1:E4, Clint Sharp

Welcome to Season 1, Episode 4 of TBC: The Podcast.

First off, I want to thank everyone for all of the feedback. Don’t forget to rate the show on iTunes, and let us know WHO or WHAT you want to hear.

In this episode, we talk with Clint Sharp in his cool home in beautiful Montclair, Oakland, California. I have known Clint for about 20 years, both as a colleague and friend.

Clint is Director of Product Management, Big Data & Operational Intelligence at Splunk, a San Francisco-based big data analysis company.

Clint is an intensely curious autodidact, accomplished in whatever suits his interests. Genuinely one of the most intelligent people I know.
We spend talking about big data, product management, Splunk of course, and a LOT of movies.

Be sure and rate us on iTunes!

Clint Sharp’s stuff is here

A shot of Oakland

Eucalyptus trees and fire hazard
SNL The Californians
Santa Barbara

Comcast and Splunk: “Capturing Actionable Insights to Improve User Experience” 

House of Lies (TV Show on Showtime starring Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell); House of Lies (book by Martin Kihn)

Onion Talks

Peter Principle

Movies:
The Jerk
Southpark the Movie
The Big Lebowski
The Royal Tennebaums
Grand Budapest Hotel
Moonrise Kingdom
A Mighty Wind
Waiting for Guffman
For Your Consideration
The Bourne movies
Team America
Reservoir Dogs
Pulp Fiction
Django Unchained
Sleepers
The Usual Suspects
Se7en
Silence of the Lambs
Hannibal

Books
The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey (books) and TV show
Margaret Atwood, The Year of the Flood
Station 11, by Emily St. John Mandel
The Martian
The Art of the Deal

Mar-a-Lago (I called it Mar-a-Gold in the podcast – sorry Donald)

Travel
Ritz-Carlton
Four Seasons
Casa Marina and Waldorf Astoria Resorts
Gulf Coast of Florida
Cayman Islands
St. Lucia
Antigua
Davos, Croatia

pictures of bay from Montclair

Thanks to Kirkham Systems for sponsoring this podcast.

SolarCity Buyout and Tesla Shareholder’s Meeting Notes

It’s been a couple of weeks since the Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting (here is a video recording). Elon Musk was particularly passionate during this meeting.

He. Would. Not. Stop. Talking.

Not that this was a bad thing. Anytime you can hear 3+ hours of Elon Musk speaking, thats a good thing. Just as last year, it was a fairly low-key event, but this time he really wanted to spend time on the history of the company and celebrate the people that had been there from the beginning. Nice.

I’ve been thinking about a few things that he brought up during the meeting.

The Days of the Tesla Roadster

Tesla-Roadster-SportI found it fascinating that as they began designing and building the Lotus Elise-based Roadster, limitations kept popping up because the car was not purpose-built to be an EV, and by the time they ended shipping the Roadsters, only about 7 or 8% of the Roadster was original Elise parts. Even the battery and power that they licensed to use in it had to be re-invented. That is a serious commitment to getting the first car right, and as he said, “people don’t want a horseless carriage, they want a car”.

Concentration on Engineering the Machines that Build the Machines

tesla-manufacturingThis is something that Elon mentioned a few times. Tesla is concentrating heavily on building the machines that build the machines. He believes that far too much engineering time is spent on engineering the cars rather than the machines that build the cars, and that by re-prioritzing the effort onto the robotics and other production machines, not only will Tesla meet it’s production requirements, but it will result in better and even cheaper cars. Elon believes that this is true for most if not all products, and that production volume, quality, etc can be increased by a factor of 10, or perhaps even 100, and that it is a great untapped productivity boost for the world.

To me, he is talking about another industrial revolution, at least as impactful as Henry Ford’s manufacturing of the Model T. With all of the technology that has been created in the past couple of decades, he is proposing that we re-think manufacturing. It’s a fascinating vision.

On Safety and Lithium-Ion Battery’s Perceived Fire Problems

tesla-burn-featAs it seems with everything Tesla, the media has a tendency to blow things out of proportion. There have been incredibly few fires in Tesla’s – indeed much less than traditional internal combustion engine-powered cars – but it is still a topic Tesla takes seriously. Elon made note of the fact that “thermal runaway is much slower than gasoline”, and Tesla even has safety guides for First Responders. This is important and thoughtful.

Importance of Energy Storage and the SolarCity Deal

powerwall_front_angleOf course the Gigafactory is critical in lowering the price of the batteries, and hence the cars, but Elon speculated that he has a gut feeling that one day, Tesla’s Powerpack, Powerwall, and other energy storage devices may account for 50% of Tesla’s revenue. It is very interesting that he floated that ballon just 3 weeks before pitching the idea of Tesla acquiring Solar City.

I get where many financial analysts feel this is a bad idea. Many feel it is a bailout of SolarCity, and maybe it is, but that doesn’t make it necessarily wrong. I believe what Musk is doing is creating a vertically-integrated company similar to Apple. The idea is that energy storage compliments solar power and vice-versa. You cannot reliably have one without the other. So, going along those lines, I never understood why Tesla began marketing the battery storage devices in the first place, other than the fact they could just do it with the Gigafactory..

Now I see that this merger was considered for quite some time, and perhaps the timing is right since SolarCity’s stock price is at its lowest point since 2013. I also see the synergies. Analysts would say that I am a Kool-aid drinker of Musk, but I do NOT think he can do no wrong. Even he realizes that.

However, IF SolarCity merger does not create a distraction on the Model 3 efforts, AND SolarCity can benefit from Musk’s vision of re-revolutionizing manufacturing and production through building better machines that build the machines, then this will not be a bad deal. But there is no way an analyst can quantify that, or see synergies in the two companies.

 

S1:E3 – Jessica Hayes, Fort Smith Montessori

"By the age of three the child has already laid down the foundations of his personality as a human being" - Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori Quote

Jessica Hayes is the Head of School at Fort Smith’s Montessori school. Before that, she was Vice President of Museum Operations for the U.S. Marshal’s Museum.

Jessica has a Bachelor’s degree from the College of the Ozarks, and a Master’s from UALR.

We visited about Montessori, the Japanese internment camps and segregation in Arkansas, and talk about the usual stuff: food, movies, books, and music.

Montessori Links:

Fort Smith Montessori School
American Montessori Society
Wikipedia entry on Montessori education
Wikipedia entry on Maria Montessori
Understanding Montessori, A Guide for Parents Book – Amazon Link

Japanese Internment in Arkansas

Huffington Post Article by George Takei (yes, that George Takei – who was interned at Arkansas’ Rohwer Japanese “Internment” camp.
Wikipedia entry on Japanese Internment during WWII
Wikipedia entry on Rohwer
Wikipedia entry on Jerome

Books

The Thornbirds
Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys
John Adams Family (not Morticia and Gomez)
Jonathon Kellerman

Movies

Sleepless in Seattle
You’ve Got Mail
When Harry Met Sally
Son in Law
Elf
Father of the Bride

TV

Season of Friends
Veep

Music

James Taylor
Carly Simon
Carole King
Dolly Parton

Food

Taqueria Karina, 5309 W 65th St, Little Rock
Miguel’s Taqueria, 1719 Rogers Ave, Fort Smith
El Lorito on Lexington and South B St, Fort Smith
Juan’s, 3121 Towson Avenue, Fort Smith
Tassanee’s, 1611 Dodson Fort Smith
Pho Grand, 4013 Grand Avenue (across from George’s, another good place!) in Fort Smith
Chopsticks Grill and Tea, 4611 Towson, Fort Smith
Katz’s Deli, 205 E Houston St, New York, NY
Sarge’s Deli, 548 3rd Ave, New York, NY

Other Topics/Links:

Jerry Weintraub – When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man   Well, unfortunately, he did stop talking on July 6, 2015. (Can’t believe I could not remember his name during the podcast)

Bhutan, where happiness is designated by law. – CBS Sunday Morning video, where you must have Flash installed <sigh>. Or, you can read Bhutan’s Secret of Happiness text article.

John Gruber’s post on Apple Watch UI

Amazon Echo
Amazon Kindle

S1:E2 Melanie Radcliff, CPA – Podcast

Todays episode is with Melanie Radcliff, President of Radcliff CPA. Melanie is both an accountant and a financial advisor, so she has a much more holistic approach to things like accounting, tax planning, and investments.

Melanie was kind enough to sit down with me two weeks before April 15th, and we discuss not only small business accounting such as the difference in profits and cash flow, but of the importance of Star Trek and The Jerk.

radcliff-8272

Radcliff CPA

Movies:
The Jerk:  He Hates These Cans!  Navin R. Johnson, typical bastard (yeah I said typical asshole in the podcast – I have thought that was the quote for decades!)
Star Trek:
Star Trek versus Star Wars;  Star Trek: Kirk meets Uhura – Bar Fight
Why is the Rum Gone?

How to Distinguish Profits from Cash Flow

How to Calculate Inventory Turnover Ratio

Favorite Latino Restaurants: Rolando’s  and El Lorito

Disclaimer:

“Opinions expressed are those of the speaker(s), Melanie Radcliff and Tom Kirkham and are not endorsed by the Summit Brokerage Services, Inc. or its affiliates.  All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, and it is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any particular trading strategy.  Neither the named broker dealer, nor its affiliates offer tax or legal services.  Certain Statements contained within are forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements that are predictions of or indicated future events, trends, plans or objectives.  Undue reliance should not be placed on such statements because, by their nature, they are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties.  Radcliff Financial Group, Inc. is an independent firm with securities offered through Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC.  Advisory services offered through Summit Financial Group, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  **Tom Kirkham is not an employee of Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.”

Security and Privacy as a Lifestyle – SPaaL

SPaaL – Dontcha just love all the acronyms?

This is one of the most important posts I have ever scribed.

Remaining secure and private in this world is something that I take very seriously – you should too. You don’t have to be an executive at a Fortune 500 company or even a small business owner. The fact is, everyone should take security and privacy seriously.

In the hacker world, there are “white hats” and “black hats”. White hats are the good guys – or ethical hackers – and work to secure our banks, defense and corporate networks. Black hats are the bad guys, and hack mostly for profit. In between are the ones that make political statements – think Anonymous or Edward Snowden.

While really good hackers have skills that take years to master, casual computer users with just a fundamental knowledge of computers and networks can be hackers. Tools are available here and here. Tools to hack are built-in to your computer’s operating system. You can even do it by just buying your way into the business.

By far, most of the unethical hacking is done automatically, at scale. Like millions. Malware is emailed through spam or placed on a legitimate websites (none are beyond being hacked). Visit the website or open the email, and bingo, you’ve just been hacked. Whether it ends up holding your data hostage or configuring your computer to spew spam, or whatever, it is making the creators money. It really has nothing to do with your personal data – the hackers are operating at a scale that is all about numbers. In other words, if you think that no one would be interested in your data, or that you have nothing to hide, that is irrelevant to hackers. In fact, they are counting on you to use poor security and privacy methods to continue to stay in business. And yes, it is a business – a HUGE business. This article at Info-Security Magazine references a 2014 McAfee report that “estimates the cost to the global economy from cybercrime at anywhere from $375bn to $575bn a year. These figures, the researchers point out, actually exceed the national incomes of many countries.”

See what I mean when I talk about “scale” in malware?

So what I’ve discovered is that when discussing these issue with people, whether business owners or individuals, most people’s eyes glaze over, then something like “I would love to protect myself and others, but it is a such a hassle to use good security” falls out of their mouth.

My response is “SO WHAT?” It’s a hassle to first get used to wearing a seatbelt. It’s a hassle to buy and pay for insurance. It’s a hassle to register to vote. Get over it, and start living the SPaaL lifestyle. Oops, that was redundant. I guess I didn’t plan my acronym out properly. That’s kinda like PIN number. I digress.

But it is a change of mindset. Being frustrated over using a password manager such as LastPass is understandable, but it’s a necessary evil. In fact, every time I use it I am thinking of all the times that I have prevented wide-scale infections or data breaches on my computer.

It is a commitment to dedicate yourself to the pain – the pain in setting up and using a VPN, having to generate and store secure passwords, etc. But you must. Until we all do this, the scourge will remain. It MUST be a lifestyle change.

Install and USE LastPass. Make all your passwords unique. Turn on Two Factor Authentication, or TFA (most times, you can set all your devices to not require the TFA if the site recognizes the device – this way if someone else uses it, they are the ones that have to use TFA).

By all means, make sure your email addresses use unique passwords, not shared with any other site, because once your email address is hackable, so is your bank account and any other site that is tied to that email address, because email access is the key for password resets.

Other Security Reading

If you think you have nothing to hide, 1) send me all your email addresses and passwords, then 2) watch this. Glenn Greenwald: Why privacy matters.

If your organization thinks that HIPAA compliance and PHI is not worth the hassle, read this. “We’re not in this for the money. We want to help put a plan together to bring you into compliance, while you’re paying your fine.” – Office of Civil Rights

If you think security is not important to your business, read this on Kirkham Systems.