Sophisticated Manufacturing Techniques Make the Worlds Most Advanced Vehicle

This is an absolutely mesmerizing video of some of the worlds most advanced tech being born into a Formula 1 car..

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A Cautionary Tale about Local Government Spending

Today’s Wall Street Journal had a fascinating story in the ‘Money & Investing’ section of the paper about Harrisburg Pennsylvania and their major debt problems, in face the title of the article was “Bottom Falls Out of Debt-Ridden City”. Prior to 2008 cities were considered an excellent place to invest money for modest returns balanced by low risk. With the financial crisis that has changed, enough so that even Warren Buffet is reconsidering his investments in municipalities.

Reading the WSJ

The story is saddening but also an excellent cautionary tale, when times are good improvements go up the list of things for a city to do, and that’s not necessarily wrong. However a city backing $350 million in debt for an incinerator while neglecting basic maintenance to the water pipes just reeks of poor planning. There is a downside to a good economy, and that’s the high risk of financial over-extension. Just like a household, a city must be careful to allocate resources only when the basics are thoroughly taken care of.

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Republicans are the fiscally conservative ones, right? …right!?

Well shit, that’s wrong.  At least the data sure doesn’t seem to think so!  Check out this graph on the national deficit that I found over at The Flamboyant Introvert’s blog:

National Debt Chart showing how big a deficit the past Republican Presidents have run compared to past Democratic Presidents

*to be accurate the graph is incorrectly named, it shouldn’t say “increases” it should say “size of” Of course this chart only goes to 2004 and doesn’t show the second half of George W. Bush’s rampant spending up to the biggest recession since the Great Depression. It also doesn’t show President Obama’s spending of trillions of dollars in an attempt to get us out of that recession. You can support either side but the numbers don’t lie – the Republican Presidents are out-spending their budget by tremendous amounts.  Either they’re just ignoring basic math or the economy isn’t growing from their top-down economics (or something else, I welcome your guesses).  And since top-down (aka trickle-down) economics hasn’t worked even once in the history of the United States I don’t recommend supporting those who preach it.

UPDATE: Looks like I’m not the only one who knows this!  Check out Forbes’ article on it: http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhartung/2012/10/10/want-a-better-economy-history-says-vote-democrat/

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We have a new puppy named Bear!

About 7 months ago we got our new puppy, he is a Wheaton Terrier and Poodle mix called a Whoodle.  We named him Bear because he looks like a teddy bear when he has long hair.

Bear has really adapted well to our house and we’ve adapted to having him around as well.  We’re huge suckers for his soft hair so we’ve turned him into a cuddly dog, his favorite place to lay is on the bed half on top of you.  If you’re lucky that’s with his head on your legs, if you’re less lucky he puts his entire body on the pillow next to you!

On the up-side he doesn’t shed his hair at all, which is really cool.  However it does mean he needs the occasional haircut but we found a great groomer in KC who comes out to the house and does a great job with him (thanks Ana!).

We’ve gotten used to taking him on walks daily and Erin has even taught him to run with her!

Thanks for the pic goes to the awesome photographer Cristin

We got him way back in February so he’s much larger now, he’s 52 lbs, not a small dog at all!  However he’s not quite as cute as he was when he was young so the pictures are a little old. 🙂

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It’s Time to Get Political

Ok, so I’m getting a lot more political in my 29th year on this planet.  I guess I’m hitting that age where I’m thinking more about my future and the future of my family (of 3 now, we got a dog!).  So I’m thinking, reading and writing more and more about politics. Before I start writing on here I figured I’d give all of my (all two of you) readers a fair warning: I’ll be getting pretty political in the coming months or years.  I’ve resisted this for some time but I’m giving in, so be warned!

I’m concerned because I think the United States is (still) facing the single most dangerous threat to our nation.  No, it’s not the Russians (the Cold War is waaay over), the Chinese or even Zombies.  The biggest threat to our nation is our deplorable fiscal situation we’re in. The fact that the U.S. is 15 TRILLION dollars in debt is a problem, yes.  The fact that we were 5 trillion dollars in debt in 2008 before the economy tanked was a huge problem as well.  And the fact that our Congress can not pass any sort of agreeable budget is an even bigger problem.  The stalemate over the budget was the final factor that lead to a downgrade of US Credit in August 2011 and a lack of investor confidence is the huge threat.

Why isn’t terrorism/poverty/unemployment/global warming/immigration/abortion/zombies a bigger deal?

The U.S. has been the most powerful nation in the world for since around World War 2 – in that span of time that position has allowed the U.S. to do a lot of good for its own people and the people of the world.  Without this position very little is possible when it comes to ALL of these issues.  To make this perfectly clear: if our government can’t support itself, it sure can’t support ANY of the issues above.

So…

Without further ado, let’s set our sights on the country we love and get to discussing the issues!

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If you like Motorcycles You’re Going to LOVE this


Brought to you by the extremely talented and completely badass guys at Icon Motorsports.

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My mom is ahead of the fashion curve!

I have to give some props to my mom who, 3 years ago, knitted me an awesome winter hat that is now in fashion!

This is a picture of me wearing my hat in preparation for some snowboarding

And now you can buy an extremely similar hat from The North Face on the Nordstrom’s website (and in the guys’ section even!).  So, to all the guys who teased me about wearing a girls hat I must say “HA!”  And a big thanks to my mom for being a fashion-forward trend-setter 🙂

 

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Great Story About the Beginning of a Business from ArtofManliness.com

Among my friends it’s no secret that I love to read stories about the beginnings of great businesses and business men (and women!).  What I love about them is the creation of something from nothing.

At the start it’s nothing but a series of electrical pulses through someones brain.  It grows into a verbal conversation, or an email exchange perhaps.  Then, pretty quickly, it throws an individual (or a few of them) hurtling down a path they had only recently know absolutely nothing about.

From that spark of electrical pulses many people create businesses or business empires that turn millions, or sometimes billions of dollars in income. It’s completely FASCINATING!

Along those lines I recently stumbled across a great article from the guys over at TheArtOfManliness.com that chronicles the beginning of their fledgling business that creates a cologne called “Moonshine.”

Check it out, it’s definitely worth the read! http://artofmanliness.com/2011/11/16/from-idea-to-reality-a-one-year-case-study-on-launching-a-successful-business/

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My Hiring Philosophy – Attitude is Most Important

In the last (nearly) 2 years at my company Spotted Koi I’ve had the opportunity to to hire several dozen people.  Obviously not all of those people worked out but that is largely because of my inexperience in hiring.  We’ve learned a lot int the last couple of years and I’d like to share what I can with you so that you hopefully won’t make the same mistakes:

  1. All Employees (and Contractors) have their ups and downs – If you have an employee who is having a bad week then it’s best to just sit down and talk to them, this can provide some good insight into what’s going on and, sometimes, just talking to them can take care of the problem.  Either way, figure out if the person is having a bad day or if they are just not working out.
  2. Hire for Personality before skillset – of course skills are great and we ALWAYS end up looking for skills first but a personality that doesn’t mesh (or isn’t motivated) is a GIANT waste of time and resources.  I’ve found that finding employees who have the right mindset and the right attitude but aren’t as good skill-wise are far greater employees.  I’d much rather have a happy go-getter who needs a little guidance than an extremely skilled but lazy and pessimistic employee.  Work should be fun to go to every day.  If you’re the boss you actually have some control over that!
  3. Hiring is a crapshoot – until you’ve worked with someone no amount of interviewing will really tell you how they work.  To combat this problem we test out applicants on test-projects before they get hired on.
  4. Fire Fast – You’ve probably heard this a lot but it doesn’t pay to be a wuss about it, if you have someone who can’t make the grade then you need to fire them ASAP, give them honest feedback about why they didn’t work out and move on.  Easier said than done so think of it like you’re going skydiving.  It’s best to jump out of the plane before you think about how scary it is!

Caveat: Like most things in life, as I learn a little more I also realize just how much I do NOT know.  I’m sure there are plenty of things that I will learn even more about in the future so don’t expect this to be the end-all of advice on hiring.

SO, if you have some advice you’d like to share, please do that in the comments below so we can all benefit and fall madly in love with you.

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Goofy Pictures of Me

Want to see some random pictures of me on a regular basis?  Yup, Tony is on Dailybooth! http://dailybooth.com/tjkimberly/

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