Yesterday, December 9, 2010, I was attending a new member mixer at the Commonwealth Club at 595 Market Street in San Francisco. In the lobby there was a display of artwork by particularly young artists. The above drawing by Vanessa Chow, age 7, caught my eye as being particularly good. I would be thrilled if I could create such a good drawing. I snapped this photo with my Apple iPhone 3GS, so the quality is lower than you usually see here. Sorry about that.
I enjoyed the Commonwealth Club mixer very much. I met one of their volunteers, Angie Adler, who patiently and with great enthusiasm explained what to expect should I join as a member.
I plan to attend three upcoming events:
The first is a talk by Timothy Ferriss on January 6, 2011 at 6:30pm. He’s the very busy author of The 4 Hour Workweek, a book that advocates freeing up time for pursuits that really matter to you by working smarter and dramatically more effectively so fewer hours are required. I’ve read this book at the suggestion of my friend Gleb Budman, who works much more than four hours a week at his very cool company BackBlaze.com.
The second talk, on January 13th, 2011, is by Michael Milken, the infamous junk bond king of the 1980s. Milken invested in my first company Hotpaper.com, Inc. (now part of Purple Communications, Inc.) via his participation as a limited partner in Angel Investors LP, the also infamous Ron Conway led startup fund of the late 1990s. I’ve never met Milken, but I did read of his life in a book published soon after his famous legal troubles. I am eager to see him in person, as when I’ve read his recent work, he appears to be quite thoughtful and interesting.
The third talk, on January 25, 2011, is by Novella Carpenter and Joan Gussow. I don’t know of Joan, but I did read earlier this year Novella’s fascinating book Farm City. In Farm City, Novella describes how she and her boyfriend raised two full size pigs in their apartment backyard in a dangerous part of Oakland, California. The book is riveting as she describes how they dumpster dove behind fancy restaurants for food for the pigs. Full size pigs eat LOTS of food, and she could not have afforded to purchase food for them. One of the craziest stories she related is when a homeless person walked up to her while she was scooping up discarded fish parts into buckets behind a seafood restaurant. As she was scooping the slop from black plastic garbage bags, the homeless man tried to give Noella a crumpled dollar bill, to relieve what he saw as her sad plight of being reduced to scavenging for such unappealing food for herself to eat. She declined the extraordinary offer.
She’s a really funny writer, and the book still warms my heart months after I finished it.