• Bon Mots and Cheap Shots

    Rumblings of a middle aged mad man

    A lifetime ago I sold college class rings at various Universities and community colleges throughout Northern California. In 1991, a woman at Santa Clara gave me a term that I’ve never forgotten; male madness. She was getting a degree at Santa Clara because the father of her children caught male madness after 21 years of marriage. She was in her late forties and so was he. So am I. I’m not leaving my wife, but I’m not sure I’m not suffering from the beginning stages of male madness. My father did. He didn’t leave me, my brothers and my mother either. I know he wasn’t sure who he was or…

  • Bon Mots and Cheap Shots

    American idiots

    Like you, I worked in the title industry and I had a front row seat to the disaster. I felt the excitement of the surging market. My numbers looked good, your numbers looked good. We all worked hard. We made some money. The future looked limitless. We all knew real estate agents and mortgage agents who made boat loads of money (title company owners and executives, too). They found buyers and sellers and money for transactions. That was their jobs and the made some money. From my front row, around 2001, I noticed something was a little weird. The financial markets were being battered by the collapsing tech sector. Remember…

  • Bon Mots and Cheap Shots

    Tsunami town USA, The King’s Speech

    Sometimes living in a small coastal town lets you take life at your own pace. The bay regulates the temperature, never too hot and rarely too cold. The tide comes in and the tide goes out. Whales migrate off shore, in their turn; humpbacks, gray whales, orcas and blue whales all linger over the nutrient rich up swells from the submarine Monterey Canyon. The dolphins and the surfers play, in the same surf, all year long. At one point we enjoyed calling ourselves Surf City, USA. Seems that Huntington Beach made a claim on that name. So as of March 11, 2011, we should be Tsunami City, USA (take that…

  • Bon Mots and Cheap Shots,  Wine of the Day

    All the noise, noise, noISE, NOISE

    I was looking for advanced quiet. I wanted to escape the frenzied, masturbatory noise of election season. I had just turned 47 and the Giants were on the cusp of a world series. I decided to take a drive up to Healdsburg (no speeding alleged or actual took place during this day trip). Lack of disclosure time; No one gives me nothin’! I don’t identify myself as anyone but a vino dilettant. I haven’t been asked to give a qualified accounting and you should probably disregard anything that follows. I’m happy to report the state of the grape is good. The juice in bottle and juice in the fermenting tanks…

  • Bon Mots and Cheap Shots

    And I dreamed your dream for you and now your dream is real

    We’re in the heat of a mid-term election. Politics and government and their roles in our daily life won’t leave the front part of my mind. I promise to move away from politics, but I have to get some of this out. In sales work, a primary function is to learn what the decisions makers want from the product/process/deliverable you think will help them. There are many roles, in a complex sale. Each role represents its group. One has to assume each group will acquiesce to the whole’s greater good. There is research that indicates this isn’t so. Ultimately, a skilled sales person will figure out who can say yes…

  • Boycott Foley Family Wines,  Wine of the Day

    The Place has Character

    In my last post, I was able to introduce you to Oded Shakked of Longboard Vineyards. There are many characters who make the Russian River, Dry Creek and Alexander Valley appellations great. Rod Bergland of Joseph Swan is a francophile wine nerd who is a warm patient teacher. Ask Rod about where a wine is, (in its maturation) or about high alcohol wines or how dry is a dry Gewurztraminer and you’re going to get a lesson that you never saw coming. Rod is married to Lynn. Lynn is Jospeh Swan’s daughter. If you seen Rod and Lynn you’d assume they’re a couple of hippies hangin’ in the wine country.…

  • Rant

    Buy Fresh, Buy Local

    Oded Shakked is the founder of Longboard Vineyards. Initially, he made some Syrah and Cabernet from vineyards he lived on (next to Rochioli), along side Westside Rd., in the Russian River Valley. He started Longboard when he was the winemaker at J vineyards. He made their delicious sparklers, great Pinot Blanc (one of the best food wines I’ve ever tasted), and a Pinotage that is better than any I’ve tasted from South Africa. He vinted the Piper Sonoma sparkler for Piper, too. Oded and some partners left J to take Longboard to the public. I met Oded at Vintner’s Holiday at the Ahwahnee Lodge, in Dec. 2002. The Vintner’s Holiday…

  • Bon Mots and Cheap Shots,  Rant

    It wasn’t me (you clocked goin’ 114 MPH!)

    “Got a lump on my head and a boot print on my chest. What the guys in here call the Tillamook county lie detector test. Well I did my best, but as a you mighta guessed it’s a tough test not to fail. I’m sittin’ here waitin’ in the Tillamook County Jail.” Todd Snider, Tilimook County Jail A few months ago, our beloved Wine Dog talked about being set up and railroaded. Her story was so inspiring, I set out to follow her lead. On 6/28 I was dressed in my best Orange and Black to match my son. The Dodgers were in town and we were going to boo…

  • Bon Mots and Cheap Shots

    Takin’ what they’re givin’

    Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to loose but your chains. We Americans are an ironic lot. The “greatest generation” were laborers. They were laborers who formed the first middle class, in history, who bought their own homes and sent their children to college. They were laborers who paid union dues, went to work and made things and after a lifetime of service they retired with a pension. They were paid well enough to buy the things others, of the greatest generation, made. America prospered. While America prospered with a growing, working middle class, there were some crazies who thought the communists were hiding under the bed and…

  • Bon Mots and Cheap Shots

    The Road Goes on Forever

    Today marks the end of an era. A friend of mine, if you met her or if she helped you she’s a friend of yours, too, concluded her service to the title industry. She didn’t choose this date. It was chosen for her by the data company that many of you have worked with. It isn’t part of the Evil Empire nor the bloodless empire. It was independent. She helped grow the company. She helped you and your sales rep grow your book of business, too. We knew this company succeeded because its chief competitors were incompetent. We knew, too, that if a competent competitor came along, we’d be in…