Monday, July 31, 2017

Last August I spent several days with Clara and Megan on their boat. During the trip they shared their plan to travel south along the the coast to Morocco and then west to the Caribbean, where they'd winter, charting the boat out to vacationers. In the spring they planned to travel up the east coast of the US, visiting along they way.

They asked if I wanted to join them for a leg of the trip and the only part that made sense was the return, via the Canadian Maritime provinces, Greenland, Iceland and on to Ireland. Tomorrow I fly to Boston and will spend a couple of days with Leah, David and the kids, before meeting Clara and Megan in Woods Hole. to start our trip up the New England coast to the Bay of Fundy and then east around Nova Scotia to the Strait of Canso towards Prince Edward Island. From there north to Labrador and Newfoundland before starting east to Europe.

I'm allowing about 6 weeks for the return and if it is running longer than that, I'll need to fly home.


Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Some changes at Marjorie's work have her being in Paris more than unusual this summer, which pleases me. We planned to get away this past weekend to meet up with Anne Marie and Hannah at Cap d'Agde. When I arrived at M's apartment she was only beginning to pack and had carry-on sized bag on her bed with a bunch of stuff thrown in. "I think your over packing," I told her. "What do you mean, I need things for 3 days, plus the evenings. How big is your bag? She asked. I picked up a brief case, "about this size." "Remember we're going to a naturist resort, a sarong, maybe a dress and a sweater if the evening is cool. That's about it," I replied. "Really?" she said not quite believing me.


Monday, May 08, 2017

Marcon has won and that pleases me. I believe he understands the problems facing France and more broadly, Europe and has salient ideas to improve the economy. The question is does he have the political skill to generate sufficient support to implement his program? 

Under the French governing system, a president whose party doesn't control the legislature is pretty weak. At present, Marcon's party, En Marche, has no seats in the outgoing legislature. Legislative elections are next month and it is doubtful En Marche can gain a majority, but it is important that they gain enough seats to give Marcon a power base that may enable him to draw support from centrist Republicans and Socialist to pass legislation.  

We'll see.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

My sojourn in LA is over and I'm waiting for a red-eye to Atlanta. Tomorrow I'll spend some time with my grandmother and then a red-eye to Paris.

It has been a good and productive week. Thursday was my chosen play day and I chose to go surfing at Malibu. The surf was only OK, but now I can check that on my list of things to do. On the beach I met a woman who invited me to a party in the Hollywood Hills that evening. It was mostly a movie entertainment industry party, which is something that I don't have much exposure to. My new friend kept disappearing and I suspect there was some sniffing going on and that I should seek out other acquaintances.

A guy began hitting on me, earlier a woman pointed him out to me, saying he was a hot new star of some show. I hadn't heard of him or the show, but expressed appropriate appreciation of being in the same place... It was time to go and a quick check showed a Lyft driver not far away and it was back to my hotel.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

After voting Sunday, I headed to CDG for a flight to Los Angeles. I have several meetings here this week including, hopefully, hashing out a real estate transaction. My partners in the REIT are back at work following completion of their maternity leaves and a spare office has been turned into a nursery for the babies. Acquisition and disposal, has always been the part of this business that I've taken the lead on, so even if they had not been gone, I would be handling this. But now that they've returned, I can focus on Kim & Co II.

The polls were still open when I landed in NY and learned of Macron's victory while in the air to LA. I did a quiet fist pump when I read the news. I volunteered some for his campaign. I like what he has to say about the changes that France needs to make in its economy if it wants to prosper. He understands that France needs to create new business and the resulting jobs if the country is going to meet then needs of it citizens.

I'm staying in Santa Monica for the week and I surprisingly like it here. If for some reason I were to move back to the US, I'm believe it would be Southern California. Perhaps a cute little bungalow within bicycling distance of downtown and the water.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

The wolf is still at my door, is it time to let him in?


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Is Uber collapsing?

Uber has been making more news lately due to its unforced errors and executive turmoil than for its business. 

Months ago Francis and I sat in on a call seeking investors in the company, we listened, asked questions and politely said we'd think about it. The minimum required investment is far beyond my personal means, though if truly intriguing, a syndicate could be formed. After the call we discussed it and both believed that there were too many unanswered questions and more troubling, too many questions brushed aside.

The company's VC valuation is about $69B based on cash investments of $13B, this is a huge valuation and investment, but the firm continues to lose money quarter after quarter due to the fact that the cash raised is used to subsidize the fares that users pay in an attempt to drive competing car services out of business.

Top level concerns that I have about Uber as an investment include, few economies of scale that can achieved through growth and the barrier to entry for a competitor(s) is low. The other day I came across this series at Naked Capitalism on Uber that paints a dire picture of the prospects of the company.

We'll see, but it won't be my money at risk.