sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Dispatch from the Salt Mine

It's been a weird day at "the office" with weird telephone calls, weird e-mails, friends in crisis, bullshit that you wonder --- is it real or total bunk? 

It's after 2300 HRS (11PM) 0600 Zulu Time/GMT (tomorrow) and I'm still at it. I think that I sent off my last e-mail of the evening. Or maybe not, because I'm blogging while I wait to see if there's a response.

Getting older (face it, don't fear the reaper) means that I take things with a great degree of skepticism. A friend called first thing this morning, asking me to lend my good name to the board of advisors for a company that he wants to worm his way into. It's one of those companies where all the hopes and dreams of the creators are based on "magic beans" that they traded value for. I told him how to test the truth of the metal for free and explained that he didn't need a lot of money to do it. There is allegedly a patent on the machine that makes magic things happen. I asked the name of the people involved so that I could do a patent search. That caused consternation.  I wish that I had a dollar for each 'friend' who wanted me to help them refine their idea - one day to be worth billions. Yes, I should be on Shark Tank.

Or somebody wants to give me kittens. That happened the other day and I patiently explained that I didn't want an indoor cat and that taking a cat to the White Wolf Mine would be to introduce it into an environment where there are mountain lions and bobcats that are larger, faster, climb better and are higher on the food chain than felis domesticus.  If they want to feed the mountain lions, coyotes and so forth, there are wild areas a lot closer to home than where I'm headed in a month. 
"Ok, LL, I just thought you might like a cat." (indignant) 
"I'll take it under the conditions that I outlined, if it will make you happy." 
Takes the cat and leaves - angry.
Lunch at a brew-pub in San Diego. I order a chicken sandwich and a Sprite. The other two guys, both of whom have worked with me order similar meals, no alcohol. I've trained them well. Aftermath: Did we accomplish anything besides general conversation? I think so. One is headed to Morocco, another to Latin America and I'm staying here, getting ready to move and making some business connections, debating on whether to order an airplane for 2020 delivery (more on that on the blog tomorrow). I have business in Paraguay but I'm handling it on the telephone. I was invited to fly to Zurich for a meeting on Monday but I sense a circle-jerk. My two buddies agree. No flight. Complete waste of time and money. The guy who wanted the meet in Zurich with attorneys wanted me to sign an NDA. I said that it's the opposite - junk on the bunk or they can pound sand. Their options are limited. I'm working with bankers a lot these days and the bankers take my word for things. They want access. (see pound sand - opcit)

John Derva (Valuism), thanks for the hints on the Nepalese guy. Turns out he fronts for the Teochew Chinese in Thailand (the mafia has run the country since 1957).

A suggestion that I hire a secretary - no women. They are extra work, extra expense, and they file lawsuits on their way out the door (see Omarosa). The operation is already racially and geographically integrated. Suggestion tabled indefinitely. Veterans preferred but when even they ask, "What can I do, LL?" I ask, "What can you do?" And why aren't you doing it now? They don't need me to be successful and profit sharing is already diluted enough. Sometimes I'm called an AH. If the shoe fits, I wear it.

A call from a guy who has lost his credibility, asking how he can regain it. I explained that he couldn't. He's still a friend, but there's no business to be done with him. He didn't lie, cheat or steal, but he introduced me to mainland Chinese who turned out to be money launderers and kidnappers, vouching for their integrity. I found out what they were up to and he was defrocked. Sorry/not sorry.

Business calls, a new plan for Africa (which will be discussed in Morocco), and general discussions, that bounced back and forth like ping-pong balls.

The playlist continues in the background as I blog. We're onto The Animals now. Shift to Rolling Stones to Hendrix and I'm done. It's now 11:30 pm and I'm shutting down the shop for the night. Tomorrow, little league games with my family in Huntington Beach. And yes, I'll be on the phone all day. Did I make any money today? There was supposed to be an inbound bank wire that never made it. Maybe next week?