Saturday, May 21, 2016

Is that an Echo I hear?

I just read that the USA Millennials (ages 18-34) in 2015 surpassed the number of Baby Boomers (ages 51- 69) living by 500K (Pew Research estimates 75.4 million).

You might ask how this can be if only 66 million Millennials were born in the USA?  Now you see the power of the immigration issue (almost 9 million immigrants ages 18-34 which is nearly 12%).  

So what?   Let me postulate by topical area:

Immigration:  Amnesty, Acceleration, and Accomodation
Politics:  Common ideologies in this group will frame the future social programs.
Consumption:  Lots of houses, and furniture to be purchased (Harry Dent's book relives)
Culture:  More diverse and less emphasis on minority differences.
Religion:  More divisive views about role of religion (see: Millennials views)
Financial:  More Debt, Inflation, and higher Interest Rates
Technology: Increased dependency on "intelligent assistants"
Family:  More babies crying :) on planes

And the Bottom Line:   Twenty years of echo in the making.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Boston Legal #7

It was a fun evening hosted by K.C. for the seventh meeting of the guys (of course with spousal consent),  This meeting was suspiciously void of politics and world affairs (aside from some technology impacts of social networking).  

I was particularly interested in getting advice on "daughter" weddings since both have had that experience.  It is clear to me that attitudes about weddings can be a volatile as politics.  Merging two family cultures is not a trivial task.   As I mentioned to Jenna a month ago - that there are four family values and cultures that are merging (My family, Susan;s family,  and Paul's parents families).   A.M. subsequently corrected my math saying that there are  SIX cultures merging not four.   The remaining two are Jenna's upbringing (a merger of me and Susan) and Paul's upbringing.

K.C. mentioned that weddings are a mysterious family merging event (and maybe the only time other than funerals) and sets the tone for future cultural integration.   The wedding ceremony and reception afterwards will naturally create a mixture of relationships that are unpredictable.  What theme is Jenna's wedding playing out?

The evening ended with watching "Mad Max Fury Road".   Hmmmm.....  I hope this is not  a apocalyptic foretelling of events on May 27, 2017.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Lead with Love

M.L. gave me the book "Love Works" by Joel Manby.  It combines his view of organizational leadership with the Herschend family objectives of HFE (Herschend Family Entertainment). 

(1)  Make great long-term investments
(2) Make HFE a great place to work for great people
(3) Lead with LOVE

"We understand that sometimes tension can exist between these objectives, but that is a tension that needs to be managed..... This is a tension to embrace, not eliminate", said Jack Hershend as he left the Board.

I liked this thought.  It also applies to the individual.  What if we each made the above three statements guiding principles in our individual behavior?

Note each principle involves ACTION.  Joel makes the point that LOVE is not a feeling - it's an ACTION.  It is about behavior not looking for feelings.  "Treating someone with love REGARDLESS of how you FEEL about the person is a powerful principle."

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Go Cincinnati #3 for Me

Saturday was the third Go Cincinnati Saturday that I participated in (first was 2010 at Imago with R.B.'s group).  This year I joined volunteers to meet at  the Church of the Resurrection (14 Catholic Dioceses' joined Crossroads this year)  to mulch at French Park.

French Park is the second largest park in Cincinnati (275 acres) with a great history tied to a philanthropist (Herbert French) a wealthy P&G individual that bequeathed his estate in 1942.   Even living in Cincinnati over 40 years and I had never been to this park or even knew of its existence.

Go Cincinnati has been going on for over 11 years and hopefully will continue to get bigger every year.  It was pouring rain as Jenna, Paul and I attended the "pump it up" gathering at 8:10 in Oakley.  Yet as we traveled to our site, the rain subsided (although we practically froze to death with 46 degree weather) for the duration of our work.

There is just something good about the feeling of being "spent out" in service to others. The back breaking work of moving mulch was good for my body and soul (physically and spiritually). 

Later that evening was sending Ellen off on her Prom night at Paul Brown Stadium and then an evening out for dinner with Susan, Paul and Jenna.

 Today I recover from no sleep (After Prom parental paranoia), muscle pain, and February temperatures (a fireplace on in May ..... really!!!!)


Monday, May 9, 2016

Frugal DNA

The benefits of talking gadgets, technology, and college buddy competition in "toys" is the discovery of cost and value.  When I asked R.M. what his cable, internet, phone bundle package cost per month I discovered I was "asleep at the switch".  R.M.'s 200mbs download, premium cable channel package was close to what I was paying per month for 30mbs, and no HBO. 

To add misery to the moment, I discovered my own promotion packages had run out (over 3 months ago) and the cost increase was $55/mth (yes just the increase!) - a mere 44%!   This was large enough that I actually considered calling the EVIL EMPIRE -Time Warner (whom I hate and vowed never to become a customer again) to find out what they could offer.

Now I have blogged about this constantly over the years (but silent for almost 3 yrs):
Cost of Speed  7/2/13
Entertainment Inflation 2/14/12
Rate Prison 11/25/11
Delighting the Customer 9/6/11
Contracts vs Expectations 9/1/11
Cost Meter  1/29/11
Individual Prices 10/31/10
A shift in Time  1/25/10
Cost of Communications/Entertainment/Subscriptions  9/1/09   The Granddaddy of them all!

My desire and attention to analyze this in my normal "analysis paralysis" was dormant for 3 years - would this cause it to regenerate? I decided to call CBT FiOptics to give them the opportunity to save me the time and allow them to keep my business without the normal ANALYSIS PARALYSIS.

The result was a 25 minute call and a reduction of $28/mth for one year (that was at least 51%  of the way to reducing the inflation pain).  Just enough to keep me from going the extra "analysis" mile.............. UNTIL ........  

I looked in my office mailbox (was it a coincidence?) and lo and behold appeared a Time Warner teaser offer -  my package that I had just negotiated Time Warner offered for $15/mth lower.  UGH!!  My equilibrium was shattered.  Should I .... could I......  would I......  attempt to see if it was comparing apples to apples?  Was it worth the deadline call before June 13?

Add to the teaser rate - Time Warner's offer for a 30 day money back guarantee and the final temptation ---  "Ask how to get a $300 Visa Reward Card available with select packages".  This sounded worse that the free vacation packages you win with the telemarketers.

So -  is it worth $180  ($15/mth times 12 months) to even consider switching to the Evil Cable Company?

NO  -   But looking back at 9/1/2009 and doing an analysis of the total costs of communications/entertainment/subscriptions is probably worth re doing.  You just can't get the frugal out of my DNA :)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Bucket List

Last week was full of college memories.  This week 40 years ago R. M.  and I were at Miami U. taking our finals and planning the future.  Embarking on our own Defining Decade (I suggest you read the book by Meg Jay) R.M. was headed to UVA and I would stay at Miami for my Masters.

So it was fun to fly out to see R.M. and travel back to Cincinnati as he headed to Michigan.  Neither of us could accurately remember our graduation ceremonies nor did either of us have any pictures. 

At the last Vistage meeting, A.S. had us perform an exercise.  Using a visual timeline, we placed three years on a sheet of paper - birth, death and 2016.  Statistically, I chose 2040 (24 more years) as my year of death. A.S. then asked us to write above the line (and between 2016 and 2040) what we wanted to accomplish in those years (dreams, wishes, aspirations, goals --- your bucket list).  Then from 1954 to 2016 write the highlights of accomplishments to date (and lessons learned).

What struck me immediately was the impact a visual timeline has in reflecting on life.  Because the end date is unknown, we don't visually see our unique timeline and we therefore have the excuse to procrastinate.  How many things get "left behind" as time passes on?

I  have my list now -  time to get on with it.  What's on your list?