Thursday, May 30, 2013

Going Big in Vegas..

I was in Las Vegas last week for a 3 day group off-site.
On the one hand, Las Vegas represents the worst side of humanity. Yet, I still can’t help but admire the massive engineering accomplishments, the organizational efficiency, the sophisticated technology and infrastructure.
While I was there, some of the younger people on my team were encouraging me to “go big” in terms of partying/drinking, etc. Now, I was up later just because I spent time socializing with teammates (and combined with jet lag and poor sleeping), I already pushed it, but I couldn’t justify going even further. And we’ll leave out the fact that I’m training for a half-marathon.
When asked, I said,
“Look you have to understand something.”
“I could definitely go big here, but let me tell you how the story unfolds.  I go big for 3 nights. Then, I get home and my wife says to me, ‘hi, I’ve been 1 on 3 with the kids for 4 days, so I need a rest.
Now, her position is totally justified because being on point with the kids is the toughest job around (and ours are even at a bit of an easier stage).
So, to be honest, I just don’t see a good result when I say in response that, ‘you know, I went really big in Vegas and partied a lot, so I need a few days to recover.’
As a result, I’m going to bed now. See you later.”

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

2 Free Hotel Nights in Vegas-Interested?

Read disclaimer at bottom first before going further.

So, I won 2 nights at a hotel in Las Vegas (MGM Grand) and I am not going to be able to redeem them.

However, I want someone to benefit from them.

Here’s the offer.

(I will choose the best entry using my personal judgment and own criteria).

  1. What makes Vegas intriguing to you?
  2. How will your trip to Vegas benefit this blog community?
  3. Are there any other “remarkable” reasons why you should get these 2 free nights?
    Get as creative as you like.

Please note:

  • All entries must be submitted as comments to this blog post
  • Deadline for submissions is June 9, 2013


DISCLAIMER: I am trying to do something nice and fun. I want to give my friends/community a chance to benefit and I don’t want to involve a lawyer or extraneous costs.  If you can’t deal with the fact that you might lose and that I am not going to write a whole long set of terms/conditions, don’t bother submitting an entry. If you’re that annoying, you should find another blog to read anyway. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Laughing when facing a mortal disease…

This blog post is dedicated to my friend, Tom Siegman. I called him on his birthday the other day and he said, “hey man, keep on blogging.”

A few days ago, a friend of ours passed away. He was young, too young. Blogged on it here.

In the months leading up to this, people had the opportunity to go visit him and spend some time with him, just to keep him company during his time in between chemo, etc.

Last summer, I spent 2 hours with him and we spent the first hour talking about serious things, like American foreign policy, educational systems, the rise of China, etc.

At some point, talk turned to his illness. He couldn’t really eat food. He would get his nutrients through an IV, but he would drink just to avoid feeling parched and then, as I understand it, most of it would just go straight out of a tube in his stomach to the bag he carried around with him.

Now, I’m not sure exactly how we got the idea, but at some point (knowing me, it was probably I who came up with it), we realized that he could drink as much alcohol as he wanted and not get drunk.

From there, the plan we hatched was to go to the University of Maryland and challenge all of the frat boys to drinking contests for money. We saw an opportunity for him to “monetize his illness.” We both had a good laugh at this.

Now, some may think this crass, but what I think it represented for Gordon (and for all of us) is the ability to keep a light-hearted spirit during times of tremendous strain.

The gravity of the situation wasn’t lost on us, but the fact that we were able to have a laugh at the same time is, I think something that is commendable—mostly for him, as I wasn’t faced with the issue, of course.

I do recall reading somewhere (and I can’t remember right now where it was), that people who can laugh when faced with serious challenges are more likely to persevere than those who cannot.

In the long run, the disease got Gordon, but from all accounts, and from what I saw, he was a true fighter all along the way. I suspect this type of attitude had something to do with it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

For the aspiring medical practitioners among you...

In the spirit of bringing hiqh quality medical procedures to the world, here's the latest.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

College Isn't Really Worth It

The joke here isn't the segment from the Daily Show. The joke is that most ppl think the segment is a joke.
Thanks to Mindy Barenblat for the link.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Death of a Friend and the Injustice of Life's Realities

I held the kids a little bit closer this afternoon. The sun seemed brighter and the air felt fresher.

Our weekend had been sent into a very dark place on Saturday morning when we learned of the passing of our friend, Gordon Lederman. Aged 44, 3 kids under the age of 7, and one of the absolute nicest guys you'll ever meet.

A funeral for a new, young widow on Mother's Day brought everything into focus in terms of life's priorities.

The unjustice of it all. The inability to comprehend it all.  Why someone who had devoted so much to his family, his community and his country had to be taken from all of us after a fierce battle with cancer.

I had spent an afternoon with Gordon last summer and his spirits were high, his resolve unwavering.  Yesterday, as the NFO and I processed the news, I berated myself a bit for not having spent more time with him, for letting my petty issues and concerns get in the way.

Last night, one of the funeral organizers emailed and asked if I would be able to organize a livestream of the funeral for those who couldn't attend.

Sensing an opportunity to give to Gordon something that I did not enough when he was alive, I agreed.  During the funeral, I noticed that 27 different viewers were able to participate in the experience. I figured that some were watching with others and was able to take a small bit of comfort that 40 or so people were able to watch as a result.

That's a small aside, of course, to the much larger tragedy.  We spent a great deal of the weekend trying to comprehend it all, feeling sad for his wife, but absolutely heartbroken for his 3 children. That's what had me choked up, more than anything.  It made me hold my own kids a bit closer today and we tried to explain to them what had happened in as real terms as possible.

It's something that the NFO and I do a lot. I feel good about the non-sugar coating approach we take. Life has realities and we're not trying to scare them, but we do need to prepare them.

However, for something like this, I just don't think it's possible to be truly prepared.

I sense I'm rambling and a bit all over the place now...I just feel the need to get it out, even though I can't really understand it. I am sorry for that.

But it is nothing compared to the sorrow I feel for his family.  I truly hope that they have the strength to persevere through this horrific experience and flourish nonetheless.

(If you knew Gordon and are motivated, here's the video of the funeral. Apologies for the ads and poor audio.)

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Gender Discrimination in Loan Docs?

We just refinanced our mortgage.

I was surprised by the language in the first sentence. A relic of a different era? Winking smile


Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Running the Dish


As is my custom on any business trip, I make a point to do something unique to the area.

Proud to report that I “ran the Dish” at Stanford recently. A great-almost 4 mile course-around a huge radio telescope.

The experience provided fantastic vistas combined with great hill work.

I don’t usually drive to do a run, but since 2 different people recommended that I do it, I figured it was worth a shot…and it was.