Archives for June 2011

The Myth of Good Wine and Price

Grapes Ripening in Napa ValleyIn the past several years I have seen an exponential increase in the amount of wine I consume.  It started when I joined the Four Seasons Wine Club (no longer a member, but it was a great place to start) and graduated into wine pilgrimages to Napa and Sonoma valleys in 2009 and 2010.

Over this time I have had the opportunity to taste a lot of wine.  Some I have liked immensely, and others have been merely OK.  Fortunately, wine is like Pizza and even when it’s bad it’s good enough.

In the past few years I have started to evangelize the glory of red wine to my friends and family through proximity (I’m drinking it, they ask about it) and probably the most common question is around price: “is a $5 bottle of wine that much worse than a $10 bottle?  Is a $25 bottle that much better than a $10” and so on.

As I become more experienced and store perceived “value” of wines in my mental abacus, I have started to notice some trends and formulate some rules for future wine drinking.  Follow these simple rules and you may find yourself enjoying wine even more:

  • Price of wine doesn’t really matter for everyday drinking
  • You will never have a transcendant bottle of wine for $5, but you can certainly have a really good bottle for $10
  • Expensive wine can be bad.  Really bad at times.  Price does not guarantee success
  • Your chances of having a truly great bottle of wine go up with the price you pay
  • Buy a few bottles of nice wine when they are on sale at you local retail outlet or on a site like wine.woot.com.  Drink them on weekends and for special occasions

Based on my current knowledge level and taste, the above rules work great for determining what wine to drink.  Having said that, I am guessing that in 1-2 years these rules will sound very silly and naive.

If you are thinking about trying more wine, let me know and I can give you some advice on where to begin.  For starters, I suggest joining a club like the four seasons wine club or buying bottles on wine.woot.com.

Creating a Global Bodyguard Network

Today I have the pleasure of presenting at the Unsummit, a local un-conference in St. Paul that is equal parts fun and informative. The format is very relaxed and presentations are rapid fire and not over-engineered. I would say my deck is probably going to be on the over-engineered side compared to others, but I tried to make it as visual as possible.

The story I am sharing is about how Hucky and I created Bodyguard Careers in 2005 and how it has evolved since then into a global leader in the industry for career advice and job placements.  The goal was to be funny, informative, and if at all possible, inspirations.

Boston and Newport, RI – New England Summer 2011

I had been meaning to visit my friend Amber since she moved to New England several years ago.  Things finally worked out with a trip to Boston for the weekend.  The goal was to spend some time in both the city of Boston and greater New England.

Travel woes aside, it was a great time.   What were the travel woes?

  • On Thursday I took a train from the Newark airport to Boston.  All was well until some thunderstorms and lightning started hitting the train and a train fell on the tracks knocking out power.  I got stuck on the train for 3 hours with no power and no timeline for recover.  Here’s what I tweeted at the time:
  • Even worse, on my return Sunday I had a 11:30 AM flight that didn’t depart Boston until 10 PM.  I didn’t get home until after Midnight!  I am still so annoyed with this that I don’t even want to talk about it.

Highlights of the trip include walking to Google Cambridge for a meeting then drinks at the Meadhall, a cool gastro pub with over 100 beers on tap.  It was cool how they had the proper glasses for each beer and would only pour beers in glasses with the brewery name on it.

I got a lot of good photos of the Charles river on a sunny afternoon.  The light was just right to take some excellent harbor photos.

On Saturday Amber and I made an impromptu trip to Newport, RI in order to dodge the rainy weather in Boston and further north.  Newport is both beautiful and wealthy with some of the biggest houses I have ever seen, and a LOT of them .

That night we met up with Amanda and LaShara for dinner and enjoyed each others company.  We had a great brunch on Sunday before having to leave for the airport (wish I could have avoided that fiasco).

Overall, I wish the weather was better, but it was great to see good friends and finally make good on my promise to visit!  Managed to take some good photos too…

Living Abroad

It seems like every time I post on this site lately, it’s a heady introspective on life and goals.  Not sure why that is, but I think that because I have only been writing here 2 times a year, I try to make it worthwhile.

Writing has been difficult for me at times given my commitments as an agency owner, bodyguard, pool supply mogul, board member and myriad other things that fill my time.

See, two paragraphs in and I can already feel this post is turning into one of those types of posts.  I’m starting to annoy even myself.  This post wasn’t about that.

This post was about the thought of living abroad, which is actually tied to one of the goals I wrote down for myself in 2005.  I have always wanted to live abroad and learn another language, but once again I never thought it possible.

I’m still not sure how possible it is, but the notion has consumed my thoughts lately.  As my engagement approaches wedding, Amanda and I will need to make some decisions about where to live, work/life balance and more.  We both are very interested in the idea of living abroad at some point, and may take steps to make this happen.

Not that I have many readers left, but I was wondering if anyone has ever had this type of experience?  I asked my Facebook friends this question and got a resounding response that living abroad is a fantastic experience and everyone would gladly do it again.

That’s the type of experience I am looking for.  Going back to my roots in a sense.  Working remotely with clients, growing our business internationally, taking awesome vacations, writing more often, becoming a professional quality photographer and creating a photo blog.

I have no timeline for when we will do this (if at all) and no plans at this point.  It could be in 3 years, it could be in 10.  Heck, it could be in 20.

So what are your thoughts on packing up and moving abroad?   Would you choose the location and then move, or move wherever the wind takes you?  Would you keep your worldly possessions at home or sell everything and start over?