Saturday, April 13, 2019

Movie Review: On the Basis of Sex

I have the best life in the world.

I have the best life in the world…

I have the best life in the world, in large part because I was born in the United States as a white male to Christian parents who deeply valued education. (Most importantly because I am Christian, but I’m going to take an economic and financial bent to this article and more or less ignore the Christian part.)

I just finished watching the movie “On the Basis of Sex” and it’s a good movie. I’ve thought about men and women for years. Men and women are different. I’ve thought about this for hundreds of hours, and unfortunately, I can’t be any more specific than “men and women are different”, because every generalization I come up with, I have an anecdotal example to disprove. Importantly, being different does not mean the inability to do something, which is kind of the point of the movie.

In July 2013 when I went to Rwanda for a week I looked at poverty for the first time as something to be solved, not simply as the natural consequence of a person’s birth, as I had looked at poverty in 2009 when I went to Pakistan, or 2007 when I went to Costa Rica. It broke my heart. In the years since I donated to a pastor in South Sudan, and now Give Directly is my main charity. Point being, I've very much realized how fortunate I am to have my life. Privilege is something that accrues slowly and in small pieces. It's generally easier to be white than black. It's generally easier to be a man than a woman. It's generally easier to have two parents rather than one. 100 years ago women couldn't vote in the USA. 160 years ago we had slavery. It can be hard to see your privilege in the moment, but the vast majority of the world can be thankful they are alive today, when there is the least amount of war around the globe on record.

My company has been on a hiring spree lately, and in the next two months as all the new employees start we are about to have double the percent of female workers as the average aerospace company. There is one particular meeting that I lead, where currently it’s four men and one woman, and in two months it will be quite possibly two men and three women. (That’s based on two of the men deciding that they do not need to attend the meeting any more, which is not at all certain, although both have voiced that they would like to hand off their responsibilities. Although they have both expressed that they like this particular meeting, so they might keep coming just because we usually get things done.) I’ve been a part of hiring two of these new women. To me, in aerospace or technology in general, hiring women is a signal that we are an employer that is desired. In other words, the top 5% of employers have their choice of candidates regardless of how low the unemployment rate is. The less prestigious employers don’t have much choice. Having started to interview people, and interviewing two of these women, I can verify that we are attracting great people! Many of the people we don’t hire are going to have good strong careers.

One of the things briefly mentioned in the movie is that perhaps some jobs will be half men and half women. Frankly, I don’t think there are many jobs that will ever achieve that ratio. I think teaching, especially at the elementary school level, and nursing will be dominated by women for a long while, while things like engineering and and law enforcement will be male dominated. That being said, equality in every possible respect is not the point. The goal at the finish line of the Boston Marathon should not be the fastest 20 runners being ten men and ten women. Defining equality as half of each profession being male or female is quite short sighted, and by that I mean that what we define as masculine or feminine today could quite likely change in 100 years. For example, male grooming was not really a thing until somewhat recently while society seems to expect women to shave half of their bodies. I like cooking, and I would be glad in any romantic relationship to do the majority of the cooking.

As I seem to end up dating women that are almost as feminist as me, and a large number of engineers, it should be obvious that mentally women can do the things than men do. Katie Bouman was the instigator behind the first image of a black hole, and she’s not a man. I feel sorry for her because of all the negative feedback she has received for her great interferometry achievement. I look forward to her using that technology to take pictures of exoplanets! I know for a fact that female engineers can have a difficult time, by getting talked over and overruled when a male engineer might say the same thing and be listened to. Having seen that happen, and having a sister who used to be an engineer (but has gone over to the dark side of management and marketing) I try to make sure that the women I work with are heard and have the resources to do their jobs.

With all inequalities, we can't have a scarcity mindset that freedom and justice are limited things. A woman being in senior management at a company doesn't take away a spot from a man, it widens the pool of possible senior managers [from just men to men and women] so that the best can rise to the top. The goal is to have the most appropriate person in each role, not simply a person in each role. Listen, if you aren't capable enough to compete with everyone, maybe you shouldn't be in your position of authority.

Felicity Jones is amazing! Armie Hammer plays just enough of an egalitarian that you might not notice he’s not the typical 1950s New York lawyer. Kathy Bates… always good. It’s a good movie. If you haven’t seen it, it’s at Red Box.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Colorado Startup Life: Weeks 20 to 30

January 27th to April 6th... sorry I haven't blogged in awhile. In February I was busy skiing, running and indoor rock climbing. When 7:30 PM on a weekday night came, instead of walking over to the local Starbucks in 20 degree Fahrenheit weather to write a blog post, I stayed in my apartment without wifi. And for the last four weeks I've been in an air cast with two broken bones and two moderately torn ligaments, so I have not been going out at night.

What happened? I've had some stress at work. Not a lot. Not nearly as much as I had at times in my previous job. The kind of stress that raises me to do a good job, to double check my work, that humbles me, and relaxed me when it eventually subsides, as it has in the past two weeks.

Our company fired it's first person. He's a great guy. He was only with us for about a month. We aim to be people that "lead from the front" and my understanding is that he just wasn't the right kind of great at his job that we hoped. It was a bit of shock to most people, and morale definitely suffered. It's instigated a larger conversation about what our culture is, and what we want it to be. And it's started a dark joke (for me as a man) that we're going to fire all the men and hire all women.

I've started interviewing people. I love it! I've interviewed six people I think one on one. I love it because I think I can learn something from everyone, so I try in my little 30 minute interviews to learn something from each person that we can use in our company, whether we hire them or not. Also, I've found a fair amount of the time that I would enjoy working with the person, but the person is not the right fit for the role or the company at this time. I have pretty high standards. Ideally you would only hire people better than yourself, and frankly, everyone I have voted we hire, appear to be able to do their future jobs excellently, and are better than me.

I think hiring is the single most important thing that we do as a company, it will either make or break us. It can turn us into a ten, or a seven or a a twelve by how employees rate the company. You don't want to be the seven because you don't attract as high of quality candidates and you don't want to be the twelve because then on a conference call a person might not realize he is not on mute and say, "I'm going to kill myself." Which is both a true story from a 200 person conference call, and a saying that was typical at that company, which former employees say was not well addressed by management. Quick tangent, I never applied to MIT, in part because it has a suicide rate. I can take things really hard sometimes, and I don't, or didn't, want to put myself in a situation where suicide was a thing that happened. Instead WPI was a great choice for me. At the time the marketing slogan was, "The university of science and technology. And life." We made fun of the "And life" all the time. However, people would agree that there was in fact support for us and our mental health. At the time WPI had something like 16 years or 24 years or some long stretch of time without a suicide of a student. As far as I know they still have not not had one, although there were two deaths while I was there, one pedestrian hit by a car and I forget the cause of the other, I think it was cancer or another medical tragedy.

My company has also been ramping toward our first full power customer deliveries, and frankly, we're not ready to deliver a full power product to the customer. So there is a little stress as we fix the bugs and optimize the system with looming deadlines. But again, it's a pleasant level of stress. We haven't missed a customer required deadline yet, and still have months before we might possibly. Then we currently have a bit of a slow 2019 for deliveries, so we will likely be able to iron out more hiccups as production slowly ramps up. Plus, I work with a great team! We really have some of the best in the industry and I am confident we will deliver. If I have any specific unique skill at our company, it's that I can deliver. When it comes to getting a product to a production state I've been through the wringer, and seen several different types of programs. I've been through four different production launches, three quite small, sub million dollar programs with less than 40 new parts, and one $150 million program with something like 5000 parts. I've also been early design stage on two $2-10 million programs with 100-500 new parts at my previous company, which would be where our two current projects are in terms of part count.

Running was going well, until I broke my leg and partly tore my ligaments. I'm hoping to be able to run again in late May, and walk without a cane in late April. I think that my focus athletically for the rest of the year will be becoming healthy and strong, by summiting the 26 remaining 14ers I have left, rock climbing a couple long technical routes, and taking a go at Nolan's 14 for the third time.

Skiing, I made eight resort days with my Ikon base pass, and eight backcountry days, and one cross country skiing day. I'm hoping to get out on a lift one more day before all the resorts close, simply so that I am not afraid of skiing next season. Of course, worst cast scenario, I simply hike up a snowfield in June and ski 500 feet.

Dating... For years I'd said I have three requirements, in order:

  1. We are on the same page with our Christian faith, and eventually worship at the same alter.
  2. She has a healthy lifestyle. 
  3. We are intellectually compatible. 
So what happens after I meet a person that meets those requirements, but I don't feel captivated and infatuated? So far my solution is keep seeing her, but not be in a rush to make babies with her. My motivation to date goes up and down. I've had a few thoughts recently that maybe I really want a great climbing and running partner more than I want a romantic partner. Probably not what I really want, but it has gone through my head. Plus it's a false dichotomy, it's not one or the other, I can possibly have both.

I hope your life is going well, and again someone feel free to post this to my Facebook wall as I haven't logged onto Facebook in 2019 and might go the whole year without using that data promiscuous company.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Aging United States

In my laid up state of a broken foot I’ve had too much time to read the news, specifically the politics, than is probably best for me. For those that I don’t get into these discussions with much, economics are always interesting to me, politics is generally just frustrating. In other words, I can geek about about tweaking marginal tax rates, or eliminating the payroll tax cap, or basic incomes, but listening to confirmation processes and gridlock turns me off. 

Today’s topic is the aging of the United States and a few effects that is having, and will continue to have. 

First, the birth rate for native born Americans is below replacement levels. The only reason the US is still growing is that we have immigration. This means a few things, it means that jobs that cater to the 65 and older crowd are only going to increase. It also means that jobs that cater to babies and infants will likely decrease. For jobs that cater to the middle there might be not a huge affect because of immigration again.

Second, changing subjects quite a bit, as it relates to the 2020 presidential election, I haven’t read any analysis about this and it’s a point worth mentioning, I think. Instead of looking at 2020 through a broad impersonal lens, let’s start with the 2016 and 2018 elections. People voted for Trump for a variety of reasons. Starting with these 2016 Trump voters, which are generally older and whiter than Clinton voters, I would assume that a larger percentage of Trump voters will die than Clinton voters, simply based on the 10+ point swing for Trump from voters over 65, and 10+ point swing for Clinton for voters under 30. So, with the addition of four years of 18 year olds, who will likely vote for the Democrat, for Trump to do exactly as well as he did in 2016, assuming the same number of people vote, there will have to be people, around middle age, that voted for Clinton in 2016 and plan to vote for Trump in 2020, and I’m not sure who that person is. Or third party voters in 2016 that become Trump voters in 2020. In other words, I have not heard anyone say, “I voted for Clinton in 2016 but Trump is doing such a great job he’s already got my 2020 vote.” I’m sure that person does exist, I just haven’t met that person.

Third, again a large subject change, I’ve read a few articles about housing lately, and it speaks very directly to me. Over the past 20 or so years as the baby boomers reached their peak earning years and started to retire, a wealth of large houses in the 2500+ square foot range were built. However, people are not getting married as young as their used to, and more importantly, not having as many kids as they used to. I’m a perfect example, I’m 32 and single, and I’m feeling my 950 square foot apartment is actually about 200 square feet more than I really want. Sure I would love to get married and have a few kids and live in a larger house, but with each passing year and failed romantic relationship attempt that seems more and more unlikely. Plus, while many call me minimalist, it’s really more of a utilitarian and practical view that I have. Who needs two guest bedrooms? As infrequently as most people have guests, does it make sense to have more bathrooms than people in a house? The upside to this is that as older people age out of houses with stairs, private airplanes, and driving little sports cars hopefully prices should be a little more attainable for those luxuries.

Fourth, social security. I propose two changes, first eliminating the payroll tax cap. Along with that change, there would be no cap on social security payments. Meaning, if you earned $10 million a year for 35 years, your social security benefits would end up being huge! The best part is that everyone would benefit, because of the three different rates of social security payout (90%, 32% and 15%), when you are above average earnings of about $5400 per month for 35 years, you only receive 15% of that in benefits, which essentially means the government is making something like 85% profit on those taxes. Or another way to look at it is, the taxes from that one person are funding multiple lower earners who end up living longer than their average life expectancy. (I know the math is way more complicated than assuming that $1 into social security for person X means $1 out of social security for person X.) The second change is raising the ages that social security pays out to better align with current life expectancies. I'm open to suggestions here, one year would make a big dent in the amount required to pay out. Perhaps part of that is not placing a cap on the age that benefits no longer increase. Instead of age 70.5 being when you max out your pay out, lets those benefits continue to increase at 5-8% per year until you want to collect. Only about 2-4% of people wait until age 70 to collect, might as well provide more incentive to let those people delay even more.

Fourth, as a whole, I don’t really know what the aging of the US, and also the world in general, means. My parents who are baby boomers lived in a time when there were kids everywhere. I live in a time where kids are now a bit rare, sort of a luxury item. In 30 years, I suppose kids will be even more rare? Are bars and loud restaurants going to close because the under 30 crowd is smaller? There will be a transfer of wealth from the dying older people to the younger people, which I have a feeling will accelerate inequality. I do think that service jobs, like the baristas standing in front of me, will see a pay increase because there will be people who are in their 70s who want services, but few people under 70 to provide those services. Although I could easily be wrong about that. 

I just wanted to share those thoughts with you, because whatever the effects, I’m sure that that there will be effects. 

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Book Review: The Case for Christ

Back in college I read the first couple chapters hanging out in a book store or a friend’s house one night. It was nice, but not nice enough I bought the book. Well, my church is going through the book in Bible study and sermons during Lent and they were giving away free copies, so of course I picked one up and started reading it.

Wow! It’s a good book! I really was not expecting much. I mean, how much 2000 year old evidence could there be? I was expecting him to cover maybe 10 sources or pieces of evidence, but when you add them all together you have dozens of points, and that’s just in his simple book for laymen. He lists dozens of sources with more thorough analysis of the individual pieces of evidence. 

I’ve been a Christian my whole life. Sure I have doubts from time to time, but it’s always been a constant. My Christian experience, and simply knowing how quickly the early church grew despite persecution from the Romans has always been enough evidence for me. It was never important to me that Josephus or Tacitus wrote about Jesus. The fact that only a few of the disciples wrote down the story of Jesus, and not all of them never bothered me. Of course, in today’s world, were the three years of Jesus’s ministry to happen, everyone would write three books about his life. However, for the first century to have the four gospels, plus a few letters from the original 12 disciples, copied and translated remarkably consistently from a group of 12 people where a few might have been illiterate, there was no printing press or internet, and both the Jews and the Romans were trying to squelch Christianity, by historic standards is as strong as evidence comes. For example, Thallus wrote a three volume history of the Mediterranean, which would be an important text if it were found, but it hasn’t survived to modern times. So why do we have the New Testament? Probably because the people spreading it were incredibly convinced that this was a really important story to tell.

Who might possibly enjoy reading the book? Good question, honestly, anyone middle school and older, Christian or atheist. It’s an easier read than the Bible and provides a context to the Bible that the Bible itself does not give. It doesn't have all the answers, and honestly we never will. 

If there is any change from me after reading the book it is that I might talk about God and Jesus more. Instead of being nervous of being ridiculed or challenged for my faith, at the moment I feel more like, ‘…whatever, and here is point A, B, C and D for your objection.’ What I’ve realized is that it’s easy to attack faith, and people have been attacking Christians (and every faith) for years, but it’s a lot harder to attack evidence, and people can't really dispute the evidence of Jesus and his resurrection. For example, why did the people who knew Jesus in large part die claiming he was raised from the dead? It's one thing to die for a faith as people still do today, but it's another thing to die for a faith that was started by a person you knew. In other words, if the original disciples knew that the story of Jesus was false, they would not have died committing to it.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

My High School Friend the Unicorn Founder and CTO!?

I'm taking 2019 off of Facebook. So if I haven't responded to your messages, it's because I haven't logged in at all. If someone wants to post any of these articles on my Facebook wall (if Facebook still has a wall) feel free to quintuple my traffic for the day. Point being, I try to be in the real world more than in the virtual one. In the past I've upset people by things I've written on social media so I try not to do that. Then every time I log onto Facebook specifically I feel like everyone has these awesome lives, with their spouses, with kids, traveling the world, doing cool stuff. And I know I'm probably part of the problem, climbing Mt. Everest, traveling around the world, flying airplanes, working at a cool new start up, etc. That's part of why I try to blog about the stuff that hurts, because I want my blog to be a place of reality.

So while checking my email I had a LinkedIn notification about one of my good high school friends who I haven't talked to in a decade. He and I both went to college in Massachusetts and despite me running a few track meets at his university, I think we only actually ever met up once I think, and I might be confusing that with when I visited him in Massachusetts my senior year of high school. He was the year ahead of me. Anyway, we both went to high school in Sabetha, Kansas and he went to an excellent college in Massachusetts, which I didn't even apply at because I didn't want to be seen copying him, even if I might have helped give him the idea to go there (haha! I don't think I did, but I might have). He was the only person that outscored me in quiz bowl over the course of the season, and had he been a little quicker on the buzzer would have had significantly more points than me, double probably. He could have gone to college anywhere. At the same time he was quite humble, and never put on a show. He was even embarrassed about how well he took one particular standardized test. He ended up getting a B.S. in Computer Science.

The last I had heard from him a few years ago was that he was working at some small tech company doing computer science stuff, and had gotten married, and was still living out in Massachusetts. I was happy for him, it seemed like things had gone his way. So when I clicked on this LinkedIn article from a large respected publisher I was blown away. He is the founder (one of three founders) and CTO at a unicorn! A unicorn is a start up company that has a valuation over $1 billion and is still private, not listed on any stock exchange. Fifteen years ago it was an anomaly, but it's actually somewhat common now... but not common enough I know any unicorn founders!

I watched the Shawshank Redemption last weekend, because I have a broken leg and can't do much else. It's been my favorite movie since high school and still is. There is a part near the end where Red gets a postcard from Texas and laughs thinking of Andy driving down the coast in a convertible with the top down. That is exactly the kind of laugh I had when I learned this about my friend. You see, at the risk of saying too much, his family experienced a trauma during some very formative years in his life. So despite the eight or nine figures of net worth that he now has, I wouldn't trade places with him. I kind of hope he keeps going and doesn't check out to sit on beaches the rest of his life, it would be pretty cool to say one day my high school friend is a billionaire.

To be clear, I have a strict no asking for handouts policy. Great financial wealth often brings out long lost friends and relatives looking for free money. Sure, I would like advice from anyone that financially successful, but knowing him years ago, there is only so much he could tell that I haven't already read somewhere else. I mean, he took a risk on a startup with two friends or coworkers, and it has totally worked out because there is a definite market to be served. I've had the feeling lately that I can't fail at entrepreneuriship. Maybe it's this nine year long bull market. Maybe it's simply the variety of people I know who have been successful at entrepreneurship. Maybe it's just that I've reached a place where I can afford to fail a little.

At the risk of giving his identity away, although everyone from Sabetha I went to high school with will already know who I'm talking about, I want to share a story. He did particularly well on a standardized test his junior or senior year. You need to know that I went to very high performing somewhat rural public high school. We had multiple individual and team state athletic champions. A large percentage (maybe 5%) or so of graduates went to prestigious universities (which is wholly unnecessary, but there is the prestige of being accepted to those colleges). From my graduating class of 68 there are two medical doctors including one who did a residency at the Mayo Clinic, and I think one Ph.D. Multiple classmates had some form of athletic scholarship. It was just a high performing place. Lest anyone from Sabetha read this and feel bad about their life post high school, that's ridiculous! We've all had issues, and I say without a doubt that every single person I went to school with fostered an atmosphere of excellence. There was a woman in my grade who had a baby junior year, and she was partly stigmatized for it. I wasn't particularly friendly with her, but she kept showing up to school and she graduated on time with us. She was thrown a huge challenge and instead of check out and give up, she at least got her high school diploma. Across the spectrum there are stories like that.

With that explanation of my high school out of the way, at a whole school assembly he was recognized for his achievement on that standardized test. We stood, everyone stood, and gave him a standing ovation. I don't remember any of the state athletic champions getting a standing ovation from the entire student body. It was frankly the only standing ovation from the entire student body I remember in four years of high school. He was embarrassed of course. But for the rest of us, there was a feeling that when one succeeds, we all succeed. Our school had a better reputation because of him. We were all more likely to get into good universities because of him. And so it is the same with him becoming a founder and CTO of a unicorn. If he can do it, we can do it. Maybe not exactly the same, I don't particularly like computer programming, and the industry he is in doesn't really excite me. But if he can have career success, then even when I have significant self doubt in my career, I have to remember feelings are not fact, and I am quite successful in my career already.

On the odd chance that this article finds its way to my old friend, because I don't have his phone number any more to congratulate him: Well done sir! I hope that you feel as accomplished as you are.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Concrete Example of Inequality

I’ve been investing in the stock market in individual companies since 2011, and one of the first companies I bought was John Deere. I only bought a little, but I still own it and it's increased in value quite a bit. They send out a nice annual report every year, and attempting to be the diligent investor, I’ve read most of it. One thing that caught my attention years ago was the major ownership. As of the 2018 annual report which was just sent out in January 2019, there is an organization called Cascade Investment L.L.C. that owns 9.8% of John Deere on page 22 of the annual meeting and proxy statement. Turns out, it’s one of Bill Gates investment firms. 
Bill Gates owns 9.8% of John Deere
So Bill Gates owns owns 31,423,573 shares. In 2018 Deere paid $2.58 in dividends per share of stock. That comes to $81,072,818.34 that Bill Gates made in dividends just for owning such a large share of the company. To the best of my knowledge, he’s basically all hands off and doesn’t really direct the company at all. However, I’m pretty sure that somewhere up the ladder phone conversations happen, and Microsoft will be used at Deere indefinitely. 

The CEO, who does a good job, made $18,525,667 from employment in 2018. In other words, the CEO who works hard, certainly ends up answering calls and emails on the weekends and at night, made less than 1/4 of what Bill Gates made, just for owning such a large portion of the company. That’s inequality! I’ll call that inequality #1 for the day. 
Top Five Employees Pay
Inequality #2 is between the CEO and the next four highest paid officers. The next four people made between $4,273,996 and $4,633,762. That’s less than a quarter of what the CEO makes. I am 100% a fan of CEOs being paid well, but is it really appropriate for the CEO to make over four times as much as the division directors? I mean, 50% more or double would still be a huge step up. I mean, for the average person, if they had a salary making $1.5 million a month I don’t think they would last very long, probably only a number of months, at the most a couple years. I just don’t really know what you do with that kind of money.

An aside, if the CEO was fired, for cause, meaning he did something wrong, he would still get over $42 million dollars. 

Inequality #3 is for the board of directors. While they certainly serve an important function, basically keeping the CEO and senior leadership from going off track, it is a part time job, something that probably takes 2-4 days per month on average. Let’s just say that it takes a total of two months of full time work per year. For the members that served a full year, they were paid $270,160 to $329,928. Hands down, I want that kind of job! You could sit on one or two boards, make half a million dollars a year, and work less than six months a year. 

I want to be on a board of directors!
The final inequality, #4, is between the median employee and the CEO. The median employee was a US based employee who made $76,083. That’s 1/243rd of what the CEO made. In other words, the CEO is doing the work of 243 median employees. What is interesting about this, is that as Deere expands outside the USA the current ratio of 29,152 employees in the USA and 42,946 outside the USA will become even more lopsided. Eventually the median employee may very well be an engineer in India, at which point the salary will be somewhat less than $76,083. As I’ve thought about financial inequality probably over a thousand hours I can’t see the reasoning to pay any one person more than 10 times any other person. Ten times the median USA income is a pretty large income. You can afford to fly first class wherever you go. You could live in a million dollar home. You could buy that fancy sports car. You could buy a vacation home. I don't see how you can really justify an income above $10,000,000 per year on a value added basis. I will say, I do think that founders of companies, like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos deserve outsized rewards for the disruption and innovation they implemented. However, there is a difference between being a manager and being a founder. A manager likely took the safe route, at an established company and worked his or her way up. A founder risked going bankrupt to corner a market that likely didn't really exist when the company was started.
Median Pay to CEO Pay

In closing, Bill gates was paid by John Deere 1,065 times as much in dividends alone, not counting stock price appreciation, as the median employee and more than four times as much as the CEO at John Deere, simply because he owns the stock and not because he worked on those Saturdays when production was behind schedule, or did any work at all actually relating to Deere. That is inequality. 

Again, I am a shareholder of John Deere. I think Sam Allen is doing a really good job. Bill Gates is donating more money to charity than probably anyone in the world, which is great. I do think people in corporations responsible for making big decisions should be paid very well. I think founders of companies like Microsoft should be rewarded for their innovation. As for my politics, I'm a registered unaffiliated voter, I like to think I'm independent. I just look at these numbers and get frustrated, and want to go into politics to revise the tax code and lower the price of healthcare or at least make the prices more transparent. I'm privileged. My parents gave me opportunities when I was young, helped pay for a chunk of my college expenses, and (along with my extended family) bailed me out in 2010 when I couldn't find an engineering job. I'm good at what I do. I'm not the best configuration engineer in the world yet, but I'm good. Still, I expect that I will only make $3-5 million dollars in my entire working career. There are thousands of people that stand to inherit more than that. And my income is above the median and above the average, for whole households! So when I struggle to save money and pay all the medical bills after having a broken leg and pulmonary embolism in six months, how is the median person or family supposed to afford a safe place to live, a car, food on the table, and a little entertainment in this country?!

Friday, March 15, 2019

I’m alive

Not sure what "I'm okay" means, but I'm alive.

I broke my leg on the first ski run of the day March 9th at 9 AM at Copper Mountain. I broke my left tibia malleoulous, and fibula near the top of my boot. At the same time I partly tore my deltoid ligament and syndesmosis ligament.

I've lost my inReach, somewhere between Golden, Canada and Longmont, CO.