Condolences

First, my condolences to the families of the Virginia Tech students who lost their lives in the horrific shooting rampage that occurred there today. I was shocked and saddened to hear the news this morning and it is truly difficult to comprehend the magnitude of this tragedy.

My research paper on the wave of Chinese solar IPOs is nearing completion. The editing is finished and I will do one more read-through and add a small section, after which it will be officially done. I learned a lot in the process of writing this paper and I am proud of my work.

Tomorrow I have no class so I plan on getting my notes together to begin studying for my lone final in Capital Markets & Securities Regulation.

Exercise: A nice run of the Oak Creek loop for the usual 48 minutes. It was nice and warm with temps in the mid-70′s and lighter winds than I have been experiencing of late. I hope to get out for a run again tomorrow.

Worthless “news”

Why is the break up of “Prince” William and Kate on national tv? Why do people care? The whole idea of treating people “royal” for doing absolutely, positively nothing has always seemed ludicrous. This story added zero value to my day and may have even been negative due to the time wasted. To top this whole thing off, the break up was apparently due to Kate’s inability to deal with the paparazzi onslaught. I feel bad for this girl; all she wants is to be left alone. People need to stop caring so the media can focus on legitimate news, of which there is plenty these days.

Night in SF

Yesterday I went out to a club in SF. It was fun time. The most interesting part of the night was seeing some of the Golden State Warriors basketball players at the club. I recognized Andris Beidrins, Zarko Cabarkapa, and Sarunas Jasikevicious. Zarko and Andris are 6-11 and I am tiny next to them. The Warriors are vying for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference with three games left to play. They need to win at least two of them to have a chance. It’s been a long playoff drought for the Warriors (since the 93-94 season), so I hope they pull it off.

Arnold

I had a great pump in the gym today working back muscles and biceps. Speaking of muscles, check out this great article/video about Arnold Schwarzenegger pumping up the green movement. I highly recommend watching the video clip which is an instant classic. Arnold says we don’t have to give up big cars, we just have to make them “environmentally muscular.” He warned politicians that do not address the environment: “Your political base will melt away as surely as the polar ice caps — I can guarantee you of that. You will become a political penguin on a smaller and smaller ice floe, drifting out to sea. Goodbye, my little friend.” Awesome!

Long Friday

After the British troops explained themselves today, I am less troubled by their behavior. If they were indeed subject to psychological pressures and tricks in order to appear at “staged” events, then I am not in a position to judge them. I’m not sure what the Iranians were trying to accomplish here – they definitely did not earn points from the international community.

It’s Friday and I am tired after waking up at 7:30 am for class. With a make-up class from 1 to 2 pm, today was a long day, and all with the same professor!

Exercise: A good Oak Creek run today for the usual 48 minutes. I finally felt like I was getting into a solid rhythm at the end of the run. Tomorrow I hit Arrillaga gym for some weightlifting.

British navy not so royal

Please

I watched the British sailor hostage “crisis” come to a close on world news yesterday. It’s a stretch to call it a crisis as the whole thing looked like a big staged event by the Iranians, complete with video confessions and general media frenzy. When the soldiers left they were decked in suits and were carrying bags of presents like they were tourists or like they had just left an awards show.

There was once a time when the British navy was the best in the world; a fleet that was meticulously trained and highly professional. If the British navy was once royal, it is clearly not anymore. The behavior of the “hostages” was ridiculous. I guess they didn’t teach the troops how to carry themselves in such situations. The soldiers acted like the Iranian authorities were family and made Ahmedinejad look like a kind, forgiving man at the end of the day (which he is clearly not). Their reaction to the decision they were going to be released was borderline childish. I’m happy they were released and there was a peaceful resolution, but the British navy has some serious problems to rectify.

Business as usual around here. Despite only having three classes, I’m finding myself quite busy trying to write a massive paper and doing research for a professor. I’m going to the law school this afternoon to hear billionaire and real estate entrepreneur Sam Zell speak on the $39 billion buyout of Equity Office Properties. This should be really interesting. I bet there will be many questions of his recent acquisition of the Chicago Tribune Company.

Exercise: A really good pump at Arrillaga gym yesterday primarily working shoulders. Today I went on a run and it was enjoyable. I did the normal Oak Creek 48 minute stroll. I didn’t push too hard, but yet I felt relatively smooth and I wasn’t laboring too much (unlike Monday… I don’t want to remind myself). I am aiming to start hitting the dish soon once I feel like I am in a nice running rhythm. Running the dish should be good training for the mountain running and speed climbing I plan to do this summer.

Planet Earth Show

With temperatures in the upper 50′s and a nice sunshine, it was a nice day to be outside working in the garden in Sammamish. First, I mowed the lawn, which was literally a foot high in some spots. Then I did some last minute pruning on some fruit trees. Next, I cut back the sticker bushes which is a slow process. Finally, I did a general clean-up, throwing droppings, branches, and any other debris that fell over the winter into the thickets.

Other than the yard work, I have been watching some tv, including a great show on Discovery Channel called Planet Earth, which a series about the most spectacular natural events on earth. It is a joint effort between the Discovery Channel and the BBC. I have to say, it is an amazing nature show (and I have seen quite a few)! Some of that footage is unreal. I heard $1 million was spent on each episode and it clearly shows. I highly recommend watching this show, even if you are not into nature documentaries.

Skip the Chinese Buffet

Chinese Buffet

Ewwww!! A study finds Chinese restaurant food is unhealthy – what a no brainer! I could have told you that long ago – it’s obvious just by looking at the food and how it is prepared. So much of the food is greasy, oily, fatty (especially pork), and totally fried. Thus, Chinese restaurant meals are naturally loaded with saturated fat and calories. I’d have to say Chinese food is probably the worst food for your health of all the Asian offerings. The bottom line eating routinely at Chinese restaurants is not good for your waistline and heart. And don’t think you can go and just order a veggie dish. These meals are problematic because they are frequently stir-fried in greasy oils or soaked in fatty sauces. Thus, even vegetables that start up with relatively few calories end up turning into a calorie-heavy grease fest. Do your heart a favor and skip out on the Chinese buffet line!!

Quarter Finale

I took two quarter classes this semester and they are now over. This leaves three classes to concentrate on for the 4 weeks (plus Spring Break week) remaining in the semester. It will be nice to have all afternoons free (except Monday evening from 6:30 pm to 8:10 pm) and no class on Tuesday at all! I’ve still got a lot of work to do on my paper for Venture Capital so I am going to have to keep plugging away. Also for Venture Capital, I’ve got a term sheet negotiation tomorrow which will fill up the balance of my Friday morning.

Polar Bear

More sad global warming news here.  Global temps set a record for the warmest winter on record. Also, earth is losing its “sunscreen” as aerosols (of which emissions have been severely curtailed) dissipate in the atmosphere. I wonder how much news like this – how much bleaker the outlook has to get – for the worldwide community to take action to make some real progress on this issue?

Exercise: A good workout at Arrillaga working back muscles and a little biceps.  I actually motivated myself to go at 2 pm and it was empty, so I was very efficient. If you go to a busy gym, I highly recommend going on off-peak hours to maximize your workout time.

A True Hero

Irena Sendler Czarek Sokolowski / AP file

A Polish woman, Irena Sendler, who rescued 2,500 Jews in the Holocaust was honored by the Polish parliament today. When arrested by the Nazis in 1943, she refused to give up the names of the Jews she saved, who were mostly children, even after being severely tortured. She is a true hero and I’m glad her sacrifice is being honored. The story can be found here.

More information about her story can be found here; and of course, the wikipedia entry.

Exercise: Another beautiful day and I enjoyed it on a 48 minute Oak Creek run. I felt much better than yesterday and it was just a fun time out there!

Some political commentary

I think I am finally starting to turn the corner on the sickness. The nasal congestion is diminishing, my beloved voice is returning, and my taste buds are springing back to life (slowly). For no reason other than this, I am in a cheerful mood :)

This blog is not a political forum for me, but it’s tough to resist today. I can’t believe some “liberal” Democrats who are disappointed with the new Iraq troop withdrawal plan introduced by Democrat leadership in Congress. It’s basically a no-win situation for Democrat leaders: on the one hand, they have George Bush threatening to veto anything and everything, and on the other hand, they have people from their own party saying they are not doing enough! This just seems wrong to me and a manifestation of why politics sucks. I think the new Democrat plan is the best way for the party to at least make a strong statement on their position, fully knowing President Bush will veto such legislation if it ever gets to his desk. One thing the Democrats should not do is push too hard and alienate the moderate center swing voters, which is the key to winning any election in the United States, and most importantly, the presidency in 2008. At the end of the day, I think a real withdrawal out of Iraq is going to have to wait until the Bush administration is through.Red Tape

I was also very disappointed to here that FEMA is not providing vacant mobile homes to many victims of the recent tornadoes just because they were not decalared “Federal disaster areas.” Instead, hundreds are sitting idle a few hundred miles away. Moreover, FEMA is trying to get rid of this overstock of trailers from Hurricane Katrina by selling them for 40 cents on the dollar. This is just plain ridiculous! Not only are the tax payers losing out big time, but FEMA is failing to provide resources to Americans who most need it, again! How much worse can red tape and bureaucracy get? I hope somebody high up changes the policy after the story was broadcast on world news…

Lastly, how hypocritical is this?  It would be nice if we could elect Bill Clinton for President again…

Arrillaga: I had a sweet workout at the gym today with half of it before Environmental Entrepreneurship class and the other half after! The first half focused on shoulders and second half featured some bicep exercises. I felt good both times!