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November 2015

Curb Your Enthusiasm in Real Life

Do you ever have days where there is a Curb Enthusiasm series of events that seem to transpire and you believe that they would make a great episode if it was happening to Larry David? Well let me mark November 30, 2015 as one of those real life episode days. 

 


Barnes & Noble Going All Hardcover

Shopping at Barnes & Nobles for some new books this evening I noticed something peculiar.

There are little to no softcover books. The majority of the store is filled with hardcover books. When I travel my preference is to have a great softcover book to fit into my bag. Tonight I purchased two softcovers and one hardcover but it was not easy to find. Naseem Talib's Fooled By Randomness was a gigantic hardcover that looked nothing like my personal soft copy. It was so abnormal that I almost purchased it thinking it was a book I didn't own already but I doubt thats why there are so many hard copies in the store.

Where Have all the softcover books Gone?

All the softies are being forced out. Is this a non-capacity issue? Making the store look more crowded with books without actually having to fill it with as many books? I am not quite sure but the nice lady at the checkout pushing the BNC club on me said it was a corporate decision and she did not know why.

If you have thoughts or reasons on why you can almost only buy hardcover book at Barbes & Noble then please do let me know.


Jamie Dimon on Africa Banking - Helping Future Generations

In Jamie Dimons October 19, 2015 interview with Bloomberg he talks about the future and bankings growing role in the importance of worldwide prosperity. On the Bloomberg interview he talks about the importance of ignoring and not worrying about quarterly earnings. Dimon is here for the longer term and even says well beyond his time here.

With 250,000 employees and 150 countries around the world Dimon says that its impossible to fight the U.S. Government and be dragged through the mud but he is so intelligent that he says he will never jeopardize his company for ego or for an indictment of some sorts. He has been an integral part of saving this countries banking system and obviously does not receive the credit from the U.S. government for all he has done. When you compare our financial situation to that of other countries.

Dimon also says "Im opening banks in Africa to help the next generation thinking long term and for the future. Africa is a place to bank multinationals going in. Not retail." Due to problems with government restrictions in Ghana they were unable to open a few years ago but are going back in now and corporate clients want JP Morgan chase in Africa. The governments remember that Chase helps finance large scale projects and can help a country grow and while his work is not going to directly benefit all of Africa this quarter or Chase shareholders next quarter it is for the future and that is whats so respectable. 

Three Great Words

Simplify, strengthen, and improve.


Ron Bruder

Brookhill Group Founder and founder of EFE which stands for the Education for Employment. Bruder was just on CNBC and is the type of persona that we should all aim to achieve. From successful business ventures in many different fields ranging from Real Estate, Medicine, to Oil & Gas to a more noble cause once he was financially capable with the EFE.

Bruder has the right idea and over the long run we will see the successful outcome of his mission for increasing youth employment opportunities in the middle east & Africa. EFE creates public-private partnerships with employers to train children to develop enough skills to be placed for employment with a degree of desirability.

He was named to Times 100 most influential people in the world and for great reason. Hat tip to Ron Bruder.

 

I was very lucky in my life. Kids I meet in the Middle East have the same intellect and drive as I had, but don't have the same opportunities...We can make a radical difference to their lives. Once they have a job, they feel part of society. They can become a breadwinner and maybe support eight or nine people, including their siblings.

— Ron Bruder

Jiro Sushi 2 in Roppongi

The best sushi I have ever had in my life was at.... Jiro Sushi 2 in Roppongi an upscale Tokyo suburb. As you can see by the beautiful split piece Prawn Sushi below there is no expense spared. I found Jiro through a popular netflix documentary called Jiro Dreams of Sushi. It was in this film that a 90 year old Jiro dedicates his entire life to the art of mastering the craft of Sushi. (Read more below the image)

 

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Jiro has only worked in one field in his life and thinks of himself as an artist not just a chef. He takes measures well beyond what any other restaurant owner would ever do to create the most exquisite meal you will ever have thanks to it's insane attention to detail.

He has two sons and the youngest went out on his own and started his own restaurant which is an almost exact replica of the shop in Ginza located in the Hibiya subway station. The only difference is that Jiro is left handed and his son is right handed so they are symmetrical. The Roppongi location has 8 seats at the bar and two tables each with four chairs.

My friend Marc joked that the two tables were there for guests to wait while they were told to sit at the bar. The irony is thats exactly what the tables are there for.

The lunch course is 18,700 Yen and is the best meal you will ever have. It is very hard to get into the Ginza location so I highly suggest everybody to dine and support his sons location if you are in Tokyo and would like to have the best Sushi meal of your life. My favorite pieces were the Sea Eel, Sea Urchin (I typically hate sea urchin but this was unbelieveable), The Prawn, all of the Tuna pieces, and of course the Tamago (egg). The amount of detail and thought that goes into each piece is something that you need to indulge in yourself and not for me to spoil.

If you have watched the film then you understand the importance of the Tamago and the work that goes into perfectly making that finishing piece. At the end of the meal you are invited to take photos with the chefs and they have books on Jiro which are signed by the famous craftsmen himself.

My favorite part of the experience beyond the meal was this one instance which I will write about again.

The art of Modesty

Jiro's son Takashi has been mastering the art of Sushi for almost his entire life (Jiro started when he left home at age 7 and is now 90). So with a life long of Sushi and the fact that a copy of Jiro Ono's book was signed and purchased the question was asked of his son:

Would you mind signing a copy of this book for me?

His answer was as follows:

"You think because Jiro is my father and I am his son that I can sign the book next to his name but he is Master and I am nothing but a student still. I will not be able to honor your request."