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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Road Apples, #130

In the getting older department...My middle daughter just turned 20 on Friday (see HERE).  It's amazing the perspective you get as a parent over the years.  Anyway, when your children become adults you learn to  treasure the time with them even more, for you have less of it.

Speaking of parenting...I know people who wrap their entire lives around their children, which on the surface may sound noble, but which in reality is exceedingly foolish.  As parents we must love, nurture, protect and guide our children.  But we also need to set good examples, including the importance of...

...of being independent & self-sufficient
...of having a variety of  interests
...of being intellectually curious
...of constantly learning
...of cultivating healthy relationships
...of wanting to make a difference in the world around you

Most of these things aren't "teachable", but they are "learnable", chiefly (as noted above) through setting good examples that your children observe throughout their lifetime.  Your children don't want you to tell them what to do...they want you to show them what to big things and small.  For example, telling your children that reading is important but not actually doing much reading yourself is an example of hypocrisy that children eventually see through...and end up emulating for the worse.  No one ever said being a parent is an easy job.  

Boston Bound....I am headed to downtown Boston for a class this week.  I am really looking forward to four and a half days of being a student and learning.  Hell, I bought a notebook and pens just for the occasion.  I know that this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but for me I really do enjoy the occasional "pure learner mode" times I get.  I am hoping that group exercises, presentation and the like are of the "limited to none" kind this week.  I don't want to be a spokesperson, I don't want to work in a group, I don't want to socialize.  I just want to immerse in knowledge.

Facebook...Well it seems that Facebook stock is now trading at less than half the IPO price.  I'm not a stock analyst, nor do I play one on TV.  I do, however, have some business smarts about me and I've always thought that businesses that rely almost entirely on advertising revenue have to be viewed with some caution.  Google is the exception, for a single great reason:  they, unlike Facebook, Yahoo or others provide an extremely valuable service and they have figured out ways to steer traffic effectively to advertisers.  Facebook?  I'm far more likely to delete an advertisement on the right-hand side of my page than I am to actually click on it in anticipation of a making a purchase.  I'm even MORE likely to delete the advertisement if it is political in nature.  Mark my words:  this will not end well.

Car wars...I am still pondering cars.  I did toy with the concept of actually buying a new car, but I think that pretty much has gone the way-side.  Buying a new car is much more about emotion ("Hey, I got a new car!") than it is about sound financial decision making ("Hey, I got a new car, and the value of it dropped by 20% the moment I drove it off the dealer lot!").  I am still thinking about something chiefly with much in the way of room, unlike my Kia Rio.  Something that wouldn't be blown off the road by strong crosswinds...unlike my Kia Rio...would be nice as well.  Oh, and I have another month of this kind of pondering to do.

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