Thursday, May 31, 2018
"Munger wanted only respect, and didn't care who thought he was a son of a bitch." (Alice Schroeder, The Snowball)

"In his spare time, [Buffett] pored over reports from the hundreds of companies he hadn't bought yet.  Partly out of interest, and partly just in case."  (ibid.)
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
"Benning’s recent ventures into found footage filmmaking (with Youtube Trilogy and Faces in 2011 and The War in 2012), and now his 2012 remake of Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969), have been seen as radically new departures in his work, but in fact they foreground a practice that he has engaged in since the 1970s: replication. This takes various forms in his films, including appropriating texts and objects, recycling or referencing bits of his previous films, and making works that revisit earlier works or experiences. Revisiting and recycling can produce complex temporal schemes that combine the historical time of a place or object with the time spent by Benning in observation, exploring the capacity of film, as a time-based medium, to reconstruct or even retrieve the past time registered by landscapes and artifacts (most notably in casting a glance [2007]). His art projects beyond filmmaking have revealed his love of American folk art, in the copies he has made of pictures by Henry Darger, Martín Ramirez, Bill Traylor, Mose Tolliver and others, and in the craft skills he employs, including building and quilting.

Benning’s practice of copying as a way of making and learning is not the pastiche of the postmodernist, but the apprenticeship of the folk artist, for whom originality sits side by side with eccentricity."

James Benning: "I used to teach a course called 'Looking and Listening.' I’d take ten or twelve students some place (an oil field in the Central Valley, the homeless area near downtown Los Angeles, a kilometer-long hand-dug tunnel in the Mojave foothills, etc.) where they would head out on their own and practice paying attention. I never required a paper, or a work of art, or led a discussion. If there was an assignment, it was to become better observers. And that they did: afterwards their art grew in a far more subtle direction."
Saturday, May 26, 2018
These recent rebuses are notes from the real-life Anodyne, Inc. which I don't post about much these days, other than to say that after practicing for thirty-odd years, I am definitely a better value investor than a bookseller.  Most of the portfolio consists of legacy businesses in Halifax, southern Ontario and southern California that: a/ own real assets (specialized manufacturing facilities; commercial real estate), b/ are underfollowed by investors and analysts and, c/ pay a dividend.  IRR on the portfolio with fully reinvested dividends was 24% last year and 21% over the last three years ended April 30 2018, with volatility below the TSE's over the same three year period.

Three companies that didn't make the cut, but would have been appealing to a younger & greener CJB:

Halmont Properties, Inc. (HMT.TO)
Hammond Manufacturing (HMM.TO)
King George Financial Corporation (KGF.TO)

Undergrad exam: figure out what's wrong with each business.  Honors thesis: figure out the better version of the same (or almost identical) business model now owned by Anodyne, Inc., or a plausible alternative of your own. Document your work in writing to your own satisfaction. 

Reading SEDAR on these guys' business models & complex internal problems may shed some light on the kind of businesses I seem temperamentally suited to owning.  If you would like market-average or slightly- above-market-average returns with considerably less stress, you could do a lot worse right now than to buy:

Alphabet (GOOGL, NASDAQ)
Markel Corporation (MKL, NYSE)
Citigroup (C, NYSE)

Or, even better, buy a low-cost US index fund, "set it & forget it."

Standard disclaimer:  I don't manage money for others & my thoughts don't constitute investment advice.  I have previously owned a produce distributor, a manufacturer of tainted pet food, and Jolt Cola, and you should treat my investment thinking with extreme skepticism. You are responsible for your own anxiety & your own returns.

"Century-old community banks, the leftover husks of former corporate dynasties, industry pioneers now occupying some sleepy niche--"
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Tell me what you gon' do to me
Confrontation ain't nothin' new to me
You can bring a bullet, bring a sword
Bring a morgue, but you can't bring the truth to me
Fuck you and all your expectations
I don't even want your congratulations
I recognize your false confidence and calculated promises all in your conversation
I hate people that feel entitled
Look at me crazy 'cause I ain't invite you
Oh, you important?
You the moral to the story, you endorsing?
Motherfucker, I don't even like you
Corrupt a man's heart with a gift
That's how you find out who you dealin' with
A small percentage, who I'm building with
I want the credit if I'm losing or I'm winning

Tuesday, May 15, 2018
"They will rank high in the great order of the nearly unknown."

(Carl Wilson on Frog Eyes)
Sunday, May 13, 2018

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

"During school, Peter sees the same strange light that Charlie previously saw in her bedroom. Peter notices that his reflection looks back at him with a different expression.

Steve admonishes Annie for Peter becoming convinced that a vengeful spirit is threatening him. Annie trashes her studio in frustration when another voicemail from her gallery pressures her about providing new pieces."
Saturday, May 05, 2018
How I'd Prefer to Spend My Remaining Time

"Charles T. Munger, Berkshire’s vice chairman, added: 'I watch Warren. He spends most of his time reading and thinking and occasionally he’ll make a phone call or talk to somebody.'"
You Must Be This Technical to Challenge Consent

"The industry’s widespread individual challenges to user boundaries become a collective assertion of the right to challenge – that is, to perform actions which are known to transgress people’s internally set or externally stated boundaries. The competitive advantage, perceived or actual, of boundary violation turns from an 'advantage' over the competition into a requirement for keeping up with them."

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