Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2006
Exercise for School This morning, I took a taxi to Bookpeople to do some long overdue browsing. I really haven't done anything personally indulgent since starting school a couple of months ago. Indulgent really is the word. I took the taxi because I was a bit constrained for time due to a meeting scheduled with my mentor later in the day and wouldn't be able to make it on my bike and get back in time, but it felt really luxurious to let someone drive me around. Just call me Ms. Daisy. When I got to the bookstore, it took me a long time to settle into a normal pace of bookstore browsing. I think I am so used to being pressed for time and approaching every task with a clear-cut goal, so I just walked the aisles, looking around at what the rest of the world looks like on a Autumn day at 9:30 in the morning. I know that I do my best thinking before noon, so I rarely do anything but work in the mornings. It felt strange to have my thinking brain primed but only using it to
Something I Need to Keep In Mind... "Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart." – Steve Jobs, in a graduation address at Stanford in 2005.
Blasts From The Past Our good friend Jason just sent us some photos from about a year and a half ago. What a difference the days make. In this first picture, there are a couple of notable points. First, a friend once commented that in every picture Cassie, Santiago and I are in, we always seem to be gazing upon Santiago. This picture is no exception. But what a little butterball he was! Also, I still own that baseball cap (one of the few things I took with me when we fled the city). That's our way cool apartment on St. Mary Street. That place will go down in history as one of my favorite apartments of all time. Here is Jason with Santiago We were going to go swimming at the Pocket Pool but rain cut our trip short. We ended up at Cafe Luna, catching up on things before Jason took off to get his Masters in Urban Planning in California. Who would have known how things were going to get turned upside down a couple months later? Here's me and The Boy He seem
"Coin-Operated Boy" by The Dresden Dolls Most people who know me have had to endure my fascination with the Dresden Dolls. They have been described as "Brechtian Punk Cabaret," and I think this video has a lot to do with that. Music videos have long been an unappreciated art form. The Dresden Dolls have really leveraged the visual aspect of their work to create some very entertaining material. I will post the more vitriolic "Girl Anachronism" next.

The Acton Experience

I haven't been posting my work in a while.   Not because I haven't been working, I assure you.   The load is really starting to ratchet up.   Each week's assignment is taking me about 10 - 15 hours to complete.   On top of a full work load.   Ouch.   Here's a sample from Week 4: The Goal   Here's a novel idea: take a cutting edge economic concept called The Theory of Constraints and write a novel about it.   It's just crazy enough that it works.   A manager turns his factory around, saves his marriage and home life and throws out a bunch of management dogma in the process.   It's a quick read and the fact that it's written as a novel makes it far more interesting than a typical b-school textbook.   Virtually any process that creates a product could benefit from Eliyahu Goldratt's ideas.     Processes 101: Introduction This is the first wave in introducing the ideas behind processes, essentially a discrete set of activities that can be both illus

The Acton Experience - 7/10/06

I am still working hard to get caught up on my readings for Acton.   If pre-matriculation is an omen of the work load I can expect, I am going to be in for a busy year.   Here's what the June 12 assignment looked like: Your Entrepreneur’s Toolkit This was a how-to for creating a journal to document all of the work that you do during the course.   There are columns for "lessons learned" and "what I still need to learn."   Basically, it's an approach for capturing your notes on your assignments in an organized and concise manner. The Entrepreneurial Journey: Course Introduction An overview of the curriculuum involved in the Entrepreneur's Journey course: Introduction, Opportunity Analysis, Gathering Resources and Launching, Entrepreneurial Growth and Harvesting the Rewards. The Ultimate Fit Checklist This is the framework developed at Harvard Business School for evaluating business opportunities.   The framework is: Opportunity (What are the Key Suc
Great article on politics in New Orleans: First of all, this is an excellent snapshot of the politics of the great city of New Orleans, and while the stories are crazy, I have no reason to disbelieve them. The author does end on a downer note about the state of the city, and that I'm not so sure about. I'm waiting for the real pronouncement from my friends who live and work on the ground.
So, I am nearly through my first two week's of readings, compressed in to one week (!). So far, the quality of the readings has been excellent. They include: “An Introduction to Creating Repeatable Arbitrage" This is the program's philosophy for teaching the quantitative skills of business through practical application. “Because Wisdom Can’t Be Told” This is the Harvard Business School introduction to the case method, which Acton uses heavily. “Stars and Steppingstones” My favorite quote in this essay on finding your destiny: "The ultimate horror is not death. The ultimate horror is to wake up at age fifty-five or sixty and realize that you have wasted your life; either that time has slipped past while your dreams waited, or that you never had any dreams at all." Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment I have read this book twice now. Once when I was trying out some of the books on the Personal MBA recommended readings and again now at Acton.
So, this was my first week in the Acton MBA program. Actually, class starts in late August, but the deluge of "pre-matriculation" readings and assignments has already begun. I had considered applying to the MBA program at the University of Texas and even spent a semester in the MBA program at St. Edward's, but the Acton program was really the one that had captured my imagination and the one that I set my sights on. I was interested in Acton for a few reasons: *A real world focus on the work. Class is taught by practitioners who are actually in business. *The curriculum is built on business, but there is also an emphasis on "a life of meaning." *Timeline. The program is designed to compress the standard two year MBA into less than one year of full-time study, although the pace is a grueling 80 hour per week program. I will elaborate more on the program, how I got to it and my experiences in it over the next year. But first I need to get caught up on my assi
Stephen Colbert Addresses White House Correspondent's Association Brilliant, hilarious and chilling:
As a person who works primarily in the non-profit world, I think it gets easy to be swallowed up by the politics and the bureaucracy of it all. Sometimes, I need something to help remind me why I’m working so hard and why it still matters. Tonight, Cassie and I got a reminder. We saw a screening of the film “ Nobelity ” at the stunning Paramount Theatre in downtown Austin. “Nobelity” is the story of filmmaker Turk Pipkin’s journey to draw something coherent out of the bewildering jumble of our planet: to grasp the “big picture” of things and understand what each of us can do to address the most pressing problems of the world. His interest in these issues is hardly theoretical. His responsibility to his own daughters is the impetus, but his thinking draws us to wonder just what world we are leaving to our children and grandchildren. His travels take him to interview nine Nobel Prize winners in peace, economics and the sciences. His conversations with each subject are powerf
So, we have purchased a new home. Specifically, it's a condominium not far from where we are living now. It's on the unfortunately named Robert E. Lee street, but it's close to the springs and Zilker Park. Here's a satellite map.
So, today I received an unsolicited email from a photographer by the name of Frank Relle who has taken a number of truly incredible images from New Orleans, both pre and post-Katrina. One in particular, "Felicity," comes from one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city, the Lower Garden District. Cassie and I had lived in that neighborhood until fairly recently, but many of my favorite memories of the city are from that neighborhood, long before we had lived there. I was thinking about some of the places I used to haunt when I was much younger and far more irresponsible: RC Bridge Lounge (long before its recent "rehabilitation," it was the bane of the gentrifiers as a music club), the Half Moon (which seems to have undergone a reverse rehabilitation over the years) and Pie In The Sky (the Sky Pie was the greatest pizza ever, before the restaurant's many misfortunes). I miss visiting Gus the blind senior citizen who would have me and Steve over to drink room te
Since I spend about 75% of my work time either in or thinking about New Orleans but live in Austin, I am often asked to compare the two places. I spent the last five years of my life as a highly visible, highly vocal booster of New Orleans, so many people I meet are surprised when they hear that we have settled, at least for the near term, in Austin. For Cassie and me, the decision to stay in Austin was pretty easy. We didn't have any assets to protect in New Orleans. Our house was pretty thoroughly destroyed so there was no hurry to come back. We also wanted to find some degree of stability for our son; New Orleans is a dynamic place right now and since he had already spent about a fourth of his life in evacuation/gypsy mode, we decided we would try to give him a rest. So we arbitrarily chose Austin off the map. It was a reasonably short drive away from New Orleans. It was the only really progressive city in Texas. Much like New Orleans, it's a blue island in a sea of