It’s Been A While

It’s Been A While

I’m here for my twenty month update.  Damn, I need to clean this site up it looks like shit!  There has been a lot going on in the last almost two years down in Austin so I’ll hit some of the high points:

1.  Startup – As I think I noted in the previous post, I worked with a former banking colleague on a startup for about a year and a half.  Learned a lot but ultimately felt differently about how things should be managed than my partners.  Good idea, smart guys, hope they succeed.  I’m pondering what to do with my spare time in the future…

2. Small Business – I still own the dog training business in Austin and it’s doing very well (no thanks to me, all thanks to my brilliant manager).  Considering expansion/growth options and enjoying employing ten people who get to do work that they are passionate about.

3. Samantha – I still own the best dog ever.  She’s 12 now but going strong due to her health regimen of sleeping 23 hours a day.

4. Alcohol – I quit drinking on January 17th, mostly to try and maximize my workouts for once.  (I have had a few slipups – I’ve drank three times since.)  There are not many silver bullets in health, but quitting drinking (if you are a non-moderate drinker) is one.  You will drop several pounds of water weight shortly and start to feel generally great after a few weeks.  I made it 75 days before the first slip-up and it’s amazing how good you feel after getting it all out of your system for a couple months.  And not coincidentally…

5. Health – I am down an even 30 pounds since January 17th.  The first two weeks of not drinking I didn’t do anything with my diet; on January 31st I started tracking all my calories in myfitnesspal and tracking my weight meticulously on two different scales.  The diet side is incredibly easy if you quit drinking: max calories at 11x your body weight and of those calories have at least 1 gram of protein per lb of body weight (minimum fat is important as well but I think most people get the .4 grams/lb of body weight pretty easily based on the crowd at the Spurs-Thunder game.)  Get a kitchen scale, weigh everything, track diligently.  I think cheat days are stupid, 11x is pretty reasonable (I’m not sure how well this works for women, but for men it should lead to 1-1.5 lbs/week weight loss.)

6. Future Plans – I have a few ideas I’m about to pursue further; it’s too bad I’ll probably never be a world famous pundit though.

7. RIP – Sadly, fan of the site and frequent commenter Bill passed away last year.  He was a good person and had a sweet spirit – rest in peace, Billy P.  You were a good man.


I say this every time I do one of these spurious posts, but I will post some new content.  This site is seven years old new I should be getting some google gainz any time now…




Back To Work…

Back To Work…

Just back in town from Houston so why not drop an actual UPDATE up in here for the remaining three readers (and the 17,392 Somali scam artists that visit)?  As I alluded to in the initial unwordy post, some things have changed for the Chillster of late.

1.  I am back to work at a full-time job.  After close to six years of non-employment, suddenly I:

  • Have a senior position at a promising startup company that I believe has a chance to be extremely successful in a pretty unsexy market segment (hopefully the only time “unsexy” and “Chilly” are together in anyone’s stream of consciousness, ever).  Very excited about this opportunity and have been using parts of my brain that have been in storage for some time;
  • Own a business that has thirteen employees;
  • Am doing some informal advisory work on a middle market deal (thanks to my banker homies for all the SDC this, and MergerMarket that (I know it’s the same shit now but struggling with what else to put in there that wouldn’t me sound even more dipshitty, bear. (“Bear” is my new slang abbreviation for “bear with me” – if you don’t like it, deal.)))

I have hit a couple of nadirs in my life – first, when I was an aimless college dropout – the Navy fixed that (mostly by process of elimination, such as “well, I sure as fuck don’t want to be enlisted in the Navy” and “I cannot contemplate life for even one extra hour as a submarine officer” but still); then when I was putting in a robust four hours a week as a pharma rep (3.5 hours were driving), I got kind of bailed out by the Navy again (admissions offices were very kind to ex-Nukes and Naval Academy guys back then) and got a fancy MBA and fancy job that I hated that ultimately led me to want to take six years off and be something of a minimalist.  Hoping this time I can pull it together and not go to the extremes of my previous professional life and maintain some of the perspective gained from seeing folks at various end-0f-life stages.

2.  Last week I ran the fastest 3.0 and 4.5 mile times I’ve ever run.  Better not older, etc.  Not sure exactly what happened but I had something of a breakthrough in running during the summer and gained over one mph in speed despite the fact I didn’t lose a ton of weight or anything.  (I did drop a few pounds when I was on essentially on the unpopular “endless sobbing” diet plan.  I got some perspective on how absolutely shitty it would be to have chronic depression – cannot imagine feeling like that every day without ever getting better.  Understand why there are so many meds out there now.)  Don’t race me.  (Disclaimer: all of my record times are on the same treadmill at the gym – it’s been so fucking humid here that if I went for speed records I would definitely die of heat stroke in under half a mile.  Now that fall has fallen, I’m looking to prove it outdoors.)

3.  After running outside, I for the second time got a persistent rash under my eyes.  The first time I got five years ago, it it lasted months (even after visiting an unhelpful dermatologist “I’m not sure what that is?  It’s pretty weird-looking”) and had me scaring babies and shit.  I’m kind of hoping that I actually got bitten by a radioactive raccoon and am about to start exhibiting my newfound trash-eating superpowers.

4.  I finally got an iPhone two weeks ago.  I keep my phones until forever and absolute failure; my beloved Mytouch 4G died in May so I bought a shitty windows phone as a bridge to the new iPhone.  I ordered a 6 Plus and was delighted to find that it was the size of a ping pong paddle (or maybe a surfboard for squirrels).  Did you notice that I used the past tense a couple times there?  If so – very observant!

So once I got the phone I would make sure and tell everyone “Look at my big-assed phone! It’s huge!  I never drop them – also, I never get raccoon rashes – so I’m going to wait to buy a case, do some research, you know, make sure my $30 goes to the right product.”  In my defense, I did not drop the phone – due to its immense size, it decided to shoot out of my pocket when I did the customary lap-making maneuver that happens anytime you sit down on something.  I was sitting in an SUV, and the street was not a receptive environment for the 68 square inches of screen.  First cracked screen I’ve ever had.  When it happened all I could do was go “Oh, no!” in the exact same tone and volume that a six year old girl would have used.

I figured the screen would cost $400 to replace and that it would take a month for the new screens to even arrive.  Somehow, it was $129 at the Apple store.  They didn’t have screens so they just gave me a new one.  I ordered a case and some tempered glass for this motherfucker.  I don’t know any of the features on the thing, but I do know I’m pretty terrified I’m going to break it again ASAP.

Anyway, I’m hoping for a renaissance with writing on this site, there may be some interesting developments.  I’ll let ya’ll know about the eye rash.






I’ve heard from a few people recently who wondered why I never update WPz anymore…so I’ll lob in a little something for the 5-6 total readers that still swing by occasionally…

1.  I still live in Austin, TX having purchased a small dog training business late last year.  That has been a very successful venture despite the fact that most of my due diligence conclusions were incorrect.  Just happened to inherit a very solid manager and then learned to hire every good trainer we could find.  Very tough business (the only barrier to entry is pretty much thinking of a dog-related punny name) but have been running a pretty consistent looking ROE of about 80%.  Great potential for expansion, etc, just need to regain motivation and get cracking.  Have some non-traditional ideas to achieve that growth.

Owning a small business is very rewarding in non-financial ways, too.  Pretty interesting to work with folks that are actually passionate about their craft.  99% of investment bankers are solely passionate about their bonuses (I was not in the 1% of that sample set).  Basically everything is pretty much banking divided by 10 – the people that work for me are paid about 10% of what their roughly equivalent banking counterparts would make (and I make about 10% as well).  My formula is to hire the best people, pay them very well (compared to competitors), don’t nickle and dime staff, charge high prices, provide the best service, don’t nickle and dime customers, profit.  So far, so good.


2.  Sadly, my mom passed away in April.  The last few months of her life were very difficult.  In some ways, the fact that my dad had a stroke and really didn’t know what the hell was going on made things easier.  My mom was pretty lucid up until the end.  She had a surgery on Tuesday afternoon, I drove through the night to get to Arkansas by 7:30 AM when the ICU opened.  I stopped to get gas and a bite to eat at 7:25 AM.  I let my dog out for about two minutes before walking into the ICU.  I knew what room she was in so went directly there and saw here laying naked and not directly attended, although there were nurses in the room.  I was told family was in the waiting area, so went and found my sister – she had passed away literally while I was in the parking lot.

In some ways I think that was better for me, as she was awake at 7:30 and communicated (via her eyes) with my sister before going into cardiac arrest.  She was crying at the time – my lingering worry was how scary that moment was for a non-religious woman and whether I’d have been a comfort to her then.  My sisters said the fact she knew I was on the way was enough.

Her service was done by the same preacher who did my dad’s service, although for unknown reasons, this one was about as religious as possible – a direct contradiction to her beliefs and the way she would have wanted things to go.  Probably appropriate since she was usually pissed off about things like that – I told my sisters she would have cussed us all out big-time for it.  I gave a little additional speech at a family dinner which in hindsight was probably too heavy on negatives – my mom was to put it mildly “difficult” and it was tough for me not to try and be somewhat truthful as her oldest child was in attendance and had not spoken to her in over thirty years.  She was a conflicted person who I hope has found peace that eluded her in life – she did have six successful (well, not sure I’m in that bucket exactly now) kids and that counts for a lot.


3.  I’ve been without an SO for about six months – first time in around 16 years with more than about a two week gap…if you do the math on that you can determine there were some times of overlap leading to damaged/ruined friendships and/or relationships, violations of trust and tarnishing of reputation(s).  Probably was time for me to take a break and take personal inventory or all that stuff you are supposed to do.  Hadn’t really started that process until recently and has not been made easier by significant structural changes to my life: family, career (ha?), physical location, among others.  Have been roughly as emotional as a pubescent teenage girl (that’s probably redundant now that I type it) which is an odd thing since we try to keep it  pretty stoic in Chillyville.  Supposed to be good for you if the back of my Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul dog food bag is to be trusted.

Currently drinking box wine and a Super Big Gulp of sweet tea, just in case you thought I was gonna class it up too much.  Feel free to drop me a line if you want to hear more of these non-amazing adventures.  I will hopefully perk up for future updates as there are probably a few posts about the small business purchase alone that would be interesting.  I know a lot of people think of getting into something so I’ll be happy to share my experiences.  It is actually a little weird to be making decent money (disclaimer: for Texas) off of other peoples’ hard work (I mainly do back office type stuff so only work a handful of hours a week).