2023 Year in Review: Tough breaks, but it’s all right

I just completed my review and reflection of 2023. 2023 threw me a lot of bad breaks. These bad breaks made me hyper aware of how time is finite. Our parents won’t be around forever. I won’t be around forever. My 46th birthday was the first one in which I did not want to happen, as I suddenly didn’t want time to pass. Before, I would own moving on to the next number. “I’m a man, I’m 40.42 is the answer to everything. Life was moving in the right direction. But this year, I didn’t want time to move forward. read more

Irvine Mayor and City Council Elections

Irvine folks… If you’re looking for some guidance on voting in the Mayor and city council races, here are my thoughts/endorsements for our mayor and city councilmembers. These are my opinion only. Would love to hear your thoughts or questions if you have any.

tl;dr
Mayor: Farrah Khan
Irvine City Council (vote 2): Anthony Kuo, John Park

One of the most pressing issues is the Veteran’s Cemetery. If you’re against the Veterans Cemetery being built in Irvine, these are the best votes. They have the best chance at defeating pro-cemetery candidates. Scott Hansen (city council candidate) is also against the cemetery. (More on cemetery below)

In 2020, after my role model Andrew Yang dropped out of the presidential race, I decided to get more informed on city politics. I felt like it more directly affected my life, and I could hopefully have a relatively bigger positive influence on it.

Mayor:

I’ve met Mayor Farrah Khan many times in her two years so far, and she’s been out in the community supporting the orgs I’ve been a part of and overall is very knowledgeable and things have gotten done under her watch. Farrah has been so accessible and has had great answers to any issues I ask her about. As I said about Andrew Yang, when you meet a politician and don’t immediately hate him/her, that’s a win. 🙂

City Council:

For the city council, it’s more of who I DON’T want on the council. As for who I am SUPPORTING, Kuo seems to have a lot of support, and I don’t have much negative feelings on him, so I’m OK supporting him. Between John Park and Scott Hansen, I chose Park because he came close in the previous election to defeating the person I don’t want. In the one time I did hear him speak, he said something that resonated with me. He said there’s a lot to be done, but “The sky is not falling.” In political campaigns where there’s so much outrage and attacks, we do need to remember we live in a pretty great city. Scott Hansen is closet “Yang Gang” so that immediately earned him points in my eyes 🙂 but I feel like Park has the better opportunity to win. If you’d like, you can vote Park and Hansen, because Kuo seems to have good support already.

If you’d like to learn about about the councilmember I do NOT support, I will explain in a later post. 🙂

Cemetery:

The proposed area where some want a veterans cemetery built is on a former air base. It makes sense why it could be an appropriate place for it. However, as of now, there are a lot of residential areas around that proposed land, and people don’t want to live near a cemetery for many reasons. The county has already moved forward with plans to build the cemetery in Anaheim Hills, with the support of pretty much every city and many veterans groups. Because of that, I am anti Irvine cemetery and pro Anaheim Hills cemetery. Seems like a win-win.

The Irvine cemetery group doesn’t want to give it up and is resorting to legal maneuvering to try to delay the Anaheim Hills effort. If their three candidates win mayor and city council, they will have the majority and probably throw everything at it to stop it. Hence, the endorsement of the three candidates above.

2020 Packer Season Ticket Waiting List Update

Twenty years ago, I got on the Green Bay Packers season ticket waiting list. Every September or October, I get a postcard that tells you where you are in line. And so, I’ve been tracking my progress every year for twenty years.

Here’s the latest:

  • Waitlist number: 34,208
  • Change from last year: -623
  • Projected time left: 63 years
  • Change from last year: +1

I calculate the projected time left by taking a linear regression from the beginning and average it with the linear regression for the last five years. And yes, it looks like the projected time to get my tickets has actually increased this year. read more

My 10 Year Anniversary

Today, Feb 2, 2021, is the 10 year anniversary of leaving the corporate world. You can read more about my departure here and my Jerry Maguire moment here.

This milestone snuck up on me today, as with most of the world, the COVID pandemic has taken center stage for pretty much everyone. My business is showing the same revenue as last year, which in a normal time would be disappointing, given that previous years I’ve grown the likes of 50% or even 5X. But, in this time, I’m very thankful and blessed to be at 0% growth and not a 90% drop. I really hope the restaurant, travel, entertainment, and events businesses hang in there because I know there’s a lot of pent up demand for these things. I for sure am feeling it!

Every once in a while, I play the “what if my business would go to zero” thought experiment to prepare me for the worst. I never would have imagined that it might have become reality. My business was set up perfectly in this pandemic, low overhead, work from home, and cleaning products for Pete’s sake. Despite that, supply chain issues almost made me have to start executing the plan that I had war gamed out. Namely, sprayers for spray bottles had gotten scarce, being gobbled up by governments and big companies who needed to disinfect their space. Ironically, BECAUSE I was in the cleaning space, I almost lost access to all my inventory, which would then leave me with no products to sell, and BAM… business going to zero.

First plan for my e-commerce business going to zero was to work on a completely different product. A product so different it should be able to hedge against an e-commerce cleaning products business. And that would be a football office pool picks site, confidencepoolpicks.com. Well, COVID threatened the football season as well, and with no football season, there would be no need for football picks. At least the football season continued on this year, even though revenue dropped by 50%. It’s just amazing how far reaching this pandemic was. I had two very different businesses that were both threatened by it.

But I count my blessings every day that I was able to keep things going. My life wasn’t as adversely affected as much as many others were. As we hopefully see a light at the end of this pandemic, with vaccines coming through, things hopefully are starting to get back to normal and I can resume my quest to become a $1 million business again!