Low-Hanging Entrepreneurial Fruit

I pay thousands each semester to go back to school (ugh!) but I would likely pay hundreds more to not have to deal with the University of Arizona’s registrar office anymore. The consistency of the dour service (I’m clearly always bothering them by coming to them regarding THEIR JOB) and the inexplicably arcane system leave me thinking there is a lucrative service opportunity for an enterprising young person.

An example of my most recent exchange with registrar staff:

Her: “You have to fill this form out again and have the professor re-sign because to switch discussion groups you have to switch lectures”

Me: “But there’s only one lecture.”

Her: “No, my system says there are two.”

Me: “Ma’am that may be, but there is literally only one lecture.”

(This ACTUALLY went back and forth a couple times before I got the following response) Continue reading

On The Question Of Scotch-ortunities

As I watched the reports this morning of another polar vortex bearing down on our friends and family to the east, images of the consequent blizzard of Facebook memes referencing snide remarks about Arizona and relatives in the Sunbelt popped to my mind.

Additionally, I thought of a story I recently related to my brother about a conversation about scotch I’d had with our father just after New Year’s.

My dad has become a dark rum enthusiast over the years after receiving a rather nice bottle some years ago from my Cayman-dwelling aunt & uncle. At the time I remember it being something of a mini-revelation, “There’s such a thing as GOOD rum?” I decided to contribute to his bar this year for Christmas and thus purchased for him a very nice bottle of pirate water. Continue reading

Sharp Turns at 34

Tom Woods recently posted a question on his website regarding how you pursue, at a later age, a career in Austrian style economics and more generally the liberty movement.

It got me thinking because I had recently just done this exact thing…

I worked in finance for several years then opened an insurance agency with two friends.  After 8 yrs and a lot of personal study I felt called to do something supporting liberty leaning organizations and the cause of freedom.

So at 34, I sat down for a couple beers and a pizza with my wife and asked her a simple question, “If I wasn’t working at [RADIO EDIT], what would you see me doing?” then I just sat back and listened for 40 minutes as she told me many really interesting things… she said I’m a good speaker and writer, I’m great with clients, I teach well, she actually said she thought I’d be a great stay-at-home-dad 🙂 but curiously not once did she say she saw me selling insurance policies for the next 30 years.

So when I told her what I was thinking, she was definitely behind me, but when I said I wasn’t quite sure what to do she immediately responded that I needed to go back to school.  I mentioned it would take a few months to arrange things at work and she said no, I needed to get into classes right now.  This was August of 2012, so I had already missed the deadlines for our local university but she insisted that if I was going to do this I sign up for SOMETHING at our local community college.  To dip my toes in the water, re-stretch the intellectual muscles, awaken the student skills that had lain dormant for 15 yrs. Continue reading

Asking My Daughter A Loaded Question

Mentioned a story to a new-mom friend of mine and she said I should pass it on to all the (many) new-soontobe-dad friends in my life.

Sometime after informing my 14 yr old daughter Haily of our impending family addition, we were out having dinner at a favorite local Mexican restaurant. After receiving our food, I decided to toss a question to Miss Haily. I did not vet this question with my wife ahead of time… I like livin’ on the edge.

I asked my 8th grader daughter, very simply, “Talk to us about our parenting. Tell us the good, the bad, whatever. We’ll just sit here and listen. Open floor…”

What followed was… well first 15-20 secs of distrustful gazing and silence as she gauged if I really meant it… but after that about 30 minutes of touching, revealing, honest reflection on familial interaction, teaching, discipline, communication, leadership and more. Continue reading

So There I Was…

As we all know each spouse has their strengths and weaknesses.

I have learned over the last several years that at time us Davidson men are likely a little too reserved. We think things through maybe a little too completely. We balk in social situations when we could forge forward.

This thoughtful consideration of not only what we say and do but also how things will be HEARD and SEEN does generally serve us well, but sometimes may be too much.

Luckily for me I have a wife of a very different stripe.

I think it is summed up best in her own words, “Tay you know how most kids are taught NOT to talk to strangers, well my dad taught us TO talk to strangers.”

Years ago I balked or even interrupted when my blushing bride would call out across a restaurant for our waiter or grabbed random strangers to ask even randomer questions, but over the years I became comfortable with her judgment and most recently would even nonchalantly throw her at situation that I wasn’t brave enough to stick my own foot into.

Continue reading