Category Archives: General

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

There is hope.

I just heard from an old friend. He’s developed a technique to turn sewage sludge into usable energy that is cleaner, cheaper and environmentally friendly versus the current methods of incineration, trucking to land fill, or worse spread onto farm land (YUCK!).  

He needs $1 million of seed capital. Now here’s capitalism at work. An engineer invents a system that solves a major problem. He now need to take his idea out to potential investors, convince them of his value proposition and build these new systems.

My point is – isn’t it wonderful that even in this economic environment, we have great people thinking up solutions for problems that can become tomorrows big industry. This call made me happy and hopeful. Even in bad times you can’t crush the spirit of an entrepreneur with a viable idea.

I love this and if I had a million, I’d invest in solving an environmental hazard!! And by the way, the name of the company is called Clean Recovery, Inc. Unfortunately there is no website, yet!! 

If anyone wants info, I’ll send you the powerpoint!!

Viva la entrepreneur!!

Paradox of Thrift – Part II

The following article blog in the NYT does a nice job on the topic:


The Paradox of Thrift – To Save or Not to Save?

I can’t believe that I am now reading a phrase in the newspaper that I learned 25 years ago and by the way viewed as a mere theory.  But the concept is now relevant.  And how ironic.  We all need to save more and saving is what will get us out of debtor hell.  However there is a resounding BUT….and that BUT is we need to spend to help the economy from tailspinning into a deeper recession.  So, now do you get the paradox!!

But there is a near-term solution – it’s government spending. For anybody complaining about government spending – Here’s the equation you need to know:

GDP= C(Consumption) + I(Investment by businesses) +G(Government Spending) + X(exports) – M(imports).  If C goes down because savings is going up, then there is one clear place where the spending needs to come from – it’s government.

The reality is far more complex but you get the gist!!  So keep saving wisely but don’t forget to live while you’re living!!

Old Fashioned Fun – And another reason why I love the Berkshires!

Last night friends and family strapped on snow shoes and head lamps and took off into Beartown Mountain State Forest. It was a balmy 42 degrees and the moon broke through the clouds to provide a glow and shadows along the trails. It was truly magical – the combination of bringing a group of diverse ages and backgrounds together to walk in the snowy woods and then capping the evening off with food, drinks and a roaring fire in the fireplace is priceless.

And priceless it was in more ways than one – the walk in the woods — FREE.

But let’s think about it further.  We live in the Berkshires.  We have access to nature.  During these tough economic times, combining sport, connecting with friends and family and a simple dinner is old fashioned fun.  No fancy bells and whistles.

An investment in snow shoes can be anywhere from $50 – $300; I also suggest getting some adjustable poles.  You wear your hiking boots and voila – you are ready!!  I also use my snow shoes when showing land during the winter.

So, instead of fretting about money – call some friends, get out in the woods, cherish nature and appreciate why we live in the Berkshires – I did – and I feel fantastic!!

Belt Tightening and Helping Each Other

I can’t help but think that these are the times in our lifetime that tests all of our mettle. This is a time when we should all take stock of the importance of family, friends and community. We’ve all been buying stuff for years that ends up in the landfill after we found more stuff with which to replace it. I love to shop and love stuff BUT not more than I love taking care of people that I love who are in trouble.

So this blog posting is nothing more than my humble words urging all to help your neighbors, your friends, be kind and pay it forward. Good Karma pays off and in this economy it may be our best currency!!


Find the Good in Everything

My Current Reading List has some interesting themes. The last three books I read are: What is the What by Dave Eggers, Agent Zig Zag by Ben MacIntyre, and Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.

The main themes that I gleaned were: Natural Resources, Fanaticism and Humanity. And why should I write about this and anyone care – well – it’s because I think these themes will continue to have an impact on us. Fanatics will always seek power and try to dominate whether it’s Hilter, Osama bin Laden, Elliot Spitzer or any fundamentalist sect. The fight for natural resources for one’s national security will always dominate the national agenda. And the heart warming part of this is that humanity and goodness find a way to prevail.

What is the What is a novel about the lost boys of the Sudan and one boy’s recollection of the horrors of being a refugee. Imagine the peace loving Dinkas being ousted by the oil grabbing Muslims; imagine witnessing your village annihilated and then living in a tent city for 10 years and surviving to want to return to build schools and educate. WOW!!

Agent Zig Zag is about a real double agent British spy during WW II. He was a crook with a heart. He helped the British collect information about the Germans and through it all he developed a father-son-like relationship with one of his German handlers. Despite all the horrors, Zig Zag still had compassion and saw the humanity in this one German.

And my absolute favorite, Three Cups of Tea is just plain inspiring. An American building schools in tribal, Muslim Northern Pakistan pre and post 9/11. Greg Mortenson elevates the notion of unbiased education to new heights and against all odds raises money to build schools to help many tribal villages learn about modern life. It is his belief and the belief of many of the tribal elders that education can fight the Taliban and fanaticism. I can go on and on…you must read this book to fully embrace all three themes.

For me, I am inspired to appreciate the good that is all around me, to shun fanatics and to explore ways to educate and promote tolerance.

Goldilocks and the Berkshires

I just returned from a 10 day vacation to Taos, New Mexico and Lake Tahoe, NV. While the natural beauty of both places is awe-inspiring, the skiing phenomenal and the weather quite lovely for February, I realized I felt as though I were in a fairy tale. I was Goldilocks and the three resort areas – Taos, Tahoe and yes the Berkshires.

Taos Ski Valley is quaint, yet remotely situated up a long canyon. The town of Taos is 20 minutes from the ski area and offers amazing art galleries and artisans and shopping. It’s a great place BUT you are there there!! For Goldilocks it was too little – too little people, too hard to get to, perfect for a 5-7 day vacation.

Tahoe on the other hand offers skiing, lake sports, gambling and lots of glitz, cheesy characters, hummers, excess etc. The vistas were spectacular, but all the people, traffic and hoopla detract from the views. The sounds of nature are muffled by the traffic and by the way we were staying in a home tucked above the highway with pristine views of the lake and world class snow shoeing out the back door. So I am not complaining, but again, for Goldilocks it was just too much!!

Once back home in the Berkshires, I sighed an “ahhhhhhhhh.” The Berkshires is just right!! We are near 2 world class cities (NY and Boston), we have some pretty darn good views, decent skiing, great culture, artisans, shopping, lakes etc. I am so lucky to be here.