Saturday, February 13, 2016


Now is the time, after my regular Saturday morning meeting, when I have gotten in the habit of blogging.  Usually my mind feels refreshed by having gotten up and gotten out to see like-minded folx, and today that is true to a limited extent.

The truth is, I am worn down right now mentally, emotionally, what have you, by the yoinky markets and the challenge of building a business. I feel responsible, undoubtedly excessively so, for other people's financial situations. Which is silly, because I can't control the markets, I didn't drive my clients' savings behaviors that got them to where they are today, I can't understand all the nuances of federal, state and (this month) New York City and perhaps some international tax code, and I can't single-handedly change behaviors. But still, I put a lot on myself. I have to remember that I am a generalist, and need to call specialists all the time, and that I am just one guy. But I want to do it all right.

In the evening, I am often tired, and I have found myself watching whatever is on ESPN at times. The other night I watched Iowa play Indiana, and I must say that I found myself rooting for Indiana, and wanting to go back to that point in my childhood where Indiana and Bobby Knight were the enemy. Obviously, it was really a longing for Dean Smith, my ethical father figure, and the Cold War, when the Soviet Union was our ideological antipode and America's moral and ethical role in the world was relatively clear.

It's also just nice to watch kids work hard towards a well-defined goal with clearly defined rules. In the end, the thing about sports is they are a pretty simple narrative, and one that is easily graspable, so long as you know the rules. If you get to know the players, so much the better.

As I watched, I also found myself loving, strangely enough, Dick Vitale. Indiana's point guard shot a three from 28 feet or so out and Vitale calls out "He launched one from Indianapolis!"  A couple of minutes later, they showed a replay and he said exactly the same thing. Rather than being annoyed, I was comforted by the familiar voice and, frankly, the genuine enthusiasm. Annoying as he may be, I think Vitale basically loves the game, and what's not to like about that?

Last night, I remembered that I could watch Netflix, specifically Aziz Ansari's Master of None. Ansari is a very special guy, smart, earnest, funny, in all ways a great American and the hope of our nation: an immigrant kid with an open mind and heart and courage.

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