Pre-emptive Tweets

Jan 13

In: Family life, Politics

I last night took our son out to dinner. I thought it would be a great way to chat before he and his a cappella group go on their winter tour before they go back to college.

With his permission, I’m writing about a topic we discussed: “Trump’s Tweets.” In particular, our son thought that tweeting is a very smart thing for Trump to do. The President-elect reacts to something early in the morning, sometimes as early as 3 a.m. By the time people are up and reading the news, Trump has already set the tone on a topic and has garnered air time.

My son’s observation is that politicians used to take their time and ponder their responses. They then would do a press conference. But, he thought that that Trump’s Tweets up-end all this. They pre-empt everyone, frame the debate, and force everyone else to catch up.

I last night learned a great deal from our son about many topics. It was fun, and I’m hoping we regularly will do these meals before he heads back to college.

When Will the Tide Turn?

Jan 11

In: Economics, Entrepreneurship, Technology and VC

As VC funding decreases, Eric and I are seeing more inbound emails from companies and their advisors. Quite a few are coming from the west coast, where we don’t invest, and quite a few are from people we don’t know. Some emails to me include someone who got our firm’s name wrong and someone who referenced our Growth Fund, which we don’t have.

The capital markets are always in flux and are always in a cycle. You get periods of over capitalization that are followed by periods of under capitalization. You go from a time when capital is cheap to when it is expensive. We almost are never in a Goldilocks period when everything feels “just right.”

Right now, the cost of capital is very high.

I mentioned this to one of our CEOs, who asked me what signs point to a reversal in the cycle. IMO, it is when a tech IPO is over-subscribed. That’s when teams suddenly want to file also and when VCs become bullish.

Then, the whole cycle will repeat itself. The rising tide injects optimism into the system and both entrepreneurs and VCs again begin to lean in. Mainstream media will again profile an entrepreneur who exited at a high price. Corporate VC will again be robust. More start-ups will get funded.

These patterns are predictable. It’s difficult to know when the tide turns, but it always does.

Music and Snow

Jan 7

In: Family life, Food, Personal

I love Saturday snowstorms. We’re due for up to 12″.

But, before all that, we had a family outing this morning: a youth music gala. The eastern district of the state conducts auditions for various music groups. Those groups later will audition for the all-state groups. Two of our kids are in the district chorale.

After, we went grocery shopping as the snow fall increased. I saw some whole red snapper, a rarity. I decided for dinner to bake whole fish in parchment paper. The French call it en papillote. I’ve never made it before, and I’ve always wanted to try the method. We’ll see how it turns out. Why not?

Saturday snowstorms are great because there’s no disruption to school or work schedules. And, you can spend all day Sunday sledding, stomping around in the snow and just enjoying the newness of a winter landscape.

Now, we have the fireplace going, I’m watching some football, and the kids are hanging out. Might be an evening for a little Laphroaig.

We’re enjoying the day, and I hope you are, too.

Our Christmas Week

Dec 29

In: Family life, Food, Personal

This has been the best Christmas week of my life.

Our son is home from his 1st semester at college. It is great to have him back. Also, no travel, some good meals, a happy vibe at the house, and a realization that our children have become very amazing people.

Here are snapshots of memories.

Mrs. T. and our youngest child decorated the tree. Sometimes, I read in the living room and turn on the tree lights, just to enjoy the ambiance.

I cooked a 13 lb. behemoth for Christmas Dinner. We had some guests, and that was fun.

I spent a little bit of time on the water and making up some new flies. Thankfully, I was excused from all shopping excursions.

Our youngest child loves to bake. So, a trip to Back Bay was in order.

A local spot, Rosenfeld’s, has the best bagels outside of NYC, in my opinion. I almost never eat a lot of carbs. But, hey, it’s Christmas week. Some smoked salmon and freshly-ground black pepper can’t hurt either.

I signed up our family for self-defense classes. It was super-fun. It seems like a prudent thing to do. Our friends, Joe and Cathy Esposito, own a tremendous karate center. They set us up with Mike Marchand, who did a great job. Joe is a Grandmaster and 10th Degree Black Belt. He’s a great guy, too.

One of my children loves to fish. So, we went out to a local pond. No fish, but we worked on casting until we became too cold. That was fun. I’d post a photo of her working the water, but I think she’d object. So, I won’t.

I cooked some other family-favorite dinners: enchiladas, roast chicken, BBQ ribs with dry rub (left over from the roast), etc. Nothing fancy, just some simple but earnestly-made meals.

Best wishes for a restorative holiday season!

Happy Christmas Eve

Dec 24

In: Family life, Fly fishing, Personal

Was up before dawn and was all done by noon. The river was quiet. Snow became sleet and became freezing rain. There are few people out on the water in the winter, particularly when there’s precipitation.

I love it. It’s a favorite time for me to be out there. Snow all around, treacherous ice on the paths, very cold water, and no crowds. Fingers become numb and lose their dexterity. Today, a drop of ice cold water snuck under my rain gear and trickled down my neck.

Fortunately, it became a surprisingly high-volume day. Some fish were reluctantly open to an offering. Here are some of my favorites:

When I returned to the house, brownies were in the oven. Family members were wrapping gifts, and spirits were high. Two of our girls were singing.

Last night, we went out to dinner as a family. It was fun to see our children interact, joke around, and, at times, annoy each other. At one point, I shut my eyes and just listened and felt grateful for them.

It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas….