Lurking just beyond the harbourfront? Top Five.
Kingston doesn’t usually see that many super-yachts. Top Five is the second one in harbour in as many days. Blue Moon came by a few days earlier.
These super-yachts range in price from a low of say roughly fifty million to several hundred million dollars to build. Top Five had at least 12 crew that I could see and operating costs must be significant for a vessel of this size.
If more of these yachts plan to drop by, Kingston will need to redesign its harbour. Top Five had to dock alongside the Holiday Inn. Guests of the hotel could look out directly into the ship. I suspect that some of the guests might have been able to touch the side of the ship from their balcony.
Not ideal for either group.
No country wins in a trade war. Few companies win either.
Here is the form letter:
Dear (Congressman or Representative):
I am writing you on behalf of Moog Music, a company of 100 employee-owners, based in Asheville, North Carolina. I am urgently contacting you about the recently announced 25% tariff on Chinese goods.
In case you are not familiar with Moog, they manufacture the world’s leading analog synthesizers used by artists including but not limited to Michael Jackson,The Beatles, Radiohead, Stevie Wonder and many others.
Roughly half of the circuit boards and associated components for Moog’s instruments come from China. This tariff would significantly limit their ability to manufacture synthesizers, and could put many of their employee-owners out of a job.
As an employee-owned company with a 60-year legacy in American manufacturing, Moog constantly strives to keep a balance between domestically- and internationally-sourced parts, so that they can continue employing people from their local community in Asheville, North Carolina.
Moog sources circuit boards from US suppliers whenever possible, paying up to 30% over the price of the same circuit boards made overseas. However, whether they buy circuit boards in the US or overseas, the majority of the raw components still come from China. Therefore, Moog will be unable to avoid this substantial cost increase because of the tariffs.
These tariffs will immediately and drastically increase the cost of building Moog instruments, forcing them to lay off American workers and will require Moog to move some, if not all, of their manufacturing overseas.
I do not want to see the end of Moog’s 60-year legacy in American manufacturing. I do not want their employee-owners left without jobs. I want American workers to continue have the opportunity to support their families and their community.
I implore you to convince the President that these Chinese tariffs cause serious damage to American workers like those at Moog and to rescind them immediately.
14 days to go before retirement.
Last night my management team held a retirement dinner for me. Such a wonderful evening and such a great team. Incredible food at a beautiful location in the country with dear colleagues and friends. So honoured to have been able to serve with this team.
The gift was a Mont Blanc LeGrand rollerball pen.
For almost 15 years, I carried a Mont Blanc LeGrand with me every single day that I was working. Regardless of location, regardless of business travel, that pen was always with me. I loved the feel, the weight and the quality of such a nice writing instrument.
Then one day I left my pen at the office. I had set it down for some reason, forgot to pick it up and when I returned to the office the next day, it was gone.
I was reluctant to spend the money to buy a new one as it was a very expensive pen and I did life without a Mont Blanc. I know, I know. Such a tough life challenge.
I did miss the LeGrand though and I felt badly about having lost the pen.
My executive assistant knew the story about the lost pen and she helped to decide on this retirement gift with the team.
Such a perfect gift!
I will cherish this pen not because of its feel, weight and quality. I will cherish the pen for the engraving — Best Boss Ever! — and the memories of working with such a fantastic team.
A few more retirement events before I finish in two weeks. And then a new chapter of life begins.
Retirement is just 17 days away now.
We have been planning for this moment for a long time. There are other perspectives about the retirement years and it does not look like it’s all Walt Disney World.
Chuck Underwood, founder of consulting firm The Generational Imperative in Ohio, said what’s not to like: “Most retirees badly underestimate the severity of the impact of awakening each day without a major purpose. Retirees who feel grandparenthood, volunteerism, travel, and just ‘relaxing’ will fill the purpose void consistently learn this hard lesson: for decades, their jobs have guided their entire lives, claimed the most vital eight hours of their weekdays, and been the source of most of their thinking. For decades.”
So what happens when the purpose provided by work is gone. Said Underwood, “The thought that fills the void is, ‘My life has lost its greatest purpose, I am aging, and I’m on final descent toward death.'”
Some retirees plummet into depression. Many develop opioid habits. Others drink too much booze. That’s not what any of them had in mind as they contemplated an end of work. But those grim realities are indeed all too real for many.
It’s one thing to be financially prepared for retirement, but don’t discount the mental upheaval that might ensue once you leave your career behind you. Though many seniors look forward to the downtime they’ve been missing during their working years, you may come to find that your newly unstructured existence throws you for an emotional loop. In fact, according to the Institute of Economic Affairs, retirees are 40% more likely to suffer from clinical depression than younger Americans are, and a big reason has to do with that loss of purpose, so to speak, in life.
Retirement is a huge lifestyle change. For many of us, work is a big part of our lives and identity. It is important to think through how you will spend your free time and what your aspirations are. I suspect many people postpone retirement because they have not taken the time to think through this important transition in their lives. As such, they continue to work as it is what they are comfortable with and all that they have ever known.
It goes on of course. If you follow this line of reasoning, you would never retire. Too scary.
I have a sense that governments, anxious to keep people paying higher levels of taxes as long as possible, attempt to create a narrative that, in effect, says that it is better for people to work longer, much longer, than the traditional retirement age of 65.
This despite the Statscan data showing very little movement in public sector retirements. The average age has remained at just over 61 for the past five years for public sector employees whereas private sector employees tend to retire on average closer to 64.
For the record, I will be 61.8 years old at retirement. I’m able to retire a bit earlier than the average private sector employee thanks to defined benefit pensions and a decent investment portfolio.
I have thought about the social, emotional, physical and financial aspects of retirement. Being a goal-oriented person, I have certainly put a lot of thought and effort into each one of these areas throughout my life.
I’m looking forward to a wonderful stage of life in retirement with Lorraine.
The starting gate is just around the corner.
Canada Day weekend is here. And it is a very warm weekend indeed. Temperatures are in the 30 Celsius range with the humid reaching 40 Celsius or so. In December, we were experiencing colder temperatures than the North Pole. Six months later our weather is warmer than Miami, Florida.
I’ve been working on a new camera body for our upcoming travel to Norway later this month. As much as I love my Nikon gear, it is too big and too heavy for the type of traveling that we will be doing in Europe. The Leica is my favourite camera but I only have one lens and it is challenging, at least for me, to shoot a location without the benefit of being able to cover a wider focal range.
I had an Olympus OM-D E-M1 system that I really enjoyed. A micro four thirds system that was really light and offered good image quality.
I upgraded that camera body to the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. The Mark II is an incredibly feature-packed camera. I already had all of the lenses that I needed for the trip: 17mm F1.8, 25mm F1.8 and 12-40 F2.8. For the micro four thirds system, doubling the focal length yields the effective equivalence of 34mm, 50mm and 24-80mm coverage. Perfect range for my style of photography.
I took the camera out for some test shooting. The downtown landscapes are now showing beautiful flowers.
Garth Turner really does not like Bitcoin. Or any other cryptocurrency for that matter:
Bitcoin is done. Kaput. So is Ethereum, Tether, Ripple and all the other kiddie cryptos which people have been mining in their bedrooms and selling on unregulated, undisciplined, unsecure, immature and unstable exchanges.
You can read his post here.
I was giving a technology presentation last December. During sound check, the sound person asked me if I was going to say anything about Bitcoin. I told him that I was going to talk a little bit about Blockchain, the technology underneath Bitcoin, but nothing specifically on cryptocurrencies.
“Why do you ask?” I said.
Turns out that he had purchased Bitcoin simply because everyone else was making out like bandits and he wanted in. Unfortunately, as you can see from the chart above, he bought in near the top of the mountain, that initial drop from peak which tempts everyone to dive back into the pool and snap up the coins quickly, while they are still on sale.
Except that Bitcoin wasn’t on sale.
Whether cryptocurrencies will bounce back or not is hard to say. Any type of bubble, whether it is the current nonsense with real estate in Canada, marijuana stocks or Bitcoin, will make a small group of people very, very wealthy. For most, bubbles end badly. With Bitcoin, many people bought with debt, usually credit card debt.
Someone bought Bitcoin at $19,870 USD on a credit card.
They cannot be having a good day today.
Here are some predictions about the future value of Bitcoin. A couple of these predictions claim $1 million or more for Bitcoin.
A gold rush.
At least until the bubble bursts.
You might recall a little incident with Intel, Meltdown and Spectre. Almost all Intel processors since 1995 were impacted.
On the cover of Intel’s Code of Conduct, we find this note from Intel’s CEO, Brian Krzanich:
Intel has consistently been recognized as one of the world’s leading corporate citizens and most ethical companies. I would like to thank you for your contribution in role modeling Intel values and maintaining our reputation as a company that is well respected, trusted, and admired.
As we embrace new challenges and increase our presence in rapidly changing markets, one thing that must never change is our unflagging commitment to our values and the highest ethical standards. These core values and standards are the foundation of the unique Intel culture that differentiates us, builds our brand, and inspires our customers and suppliers.
Our Code of Conduct is and will always be our steady compass. The Code sets the expectations for integrity and ethics that I expect all employees to follow. Read it, discuss it, and commit to upholding it. If you have any questions or concerns please contact your manager, your Business Group lawyer, your Ethics and Compliance Business Champion, any member of Intel Ethics & Legal Compliance, or the Intel Ethics & Compliance Reporting Portal (intel.ethicspoint.com).
I look forward to your continued commitment to live our values in the workplace each and every day.
Chief Executive Officer
Now the code of conduct did not stop Brian from selling all of the Intel stock he could after Intel learned of this security issue. Part of his unflagging commitment to Intel’s values and their highest ethical standards allowed him to profit before public disclosure.
Brian was also carrying on a “consensual” relationship with an Intel employee, against Intel company policy.
I guess someone decided to hold him to account.
He resigned today.
But don’t feel sad for him.
Looking at Intel’s latest 14a filing, which you can download here, Brian has a big payday coming.
His walk away compensation is estimated at $38 million dollars.
Not bad for a former CEO with a demonstrable track record of modeling Intel values and profiting in a timely fashion on the sale of Intel stock.
Good thing I brought a hat.
We had a beautiful day with a large group of people in one of the main parks in downtown Kingston. The stage was out in full sun which really messed with the tuning on my guitar. Every moment I was not playing, I was tuning.
I used my Fractal AX8 digital modeller and my Shure wireless in-ear rig. Everything worked flawlessly.
Especially on a small stage. With the Fractal, I don’t have to worry about an amp being too loud for everyone else in the band. Direct to the FOH and let the sound person set the levels.
The iPad, which you might make out on the leftmost side of the picture, controlled my monitor mix to my in-ear rig.
Even though I was only a few feet from the drummer, I could barely hear him. Not sure if that was a good thing. I love his drumming.