Posts Tagged ‘Isaac Phillips’

Letter From New York 02 22 2016 Silent stars and a good day…

February 23, 2016

Outside, the world is dark, though the moon is full and bright and big overhead.  It has been a clear, sunny day with temps in the mid-40’s, pretty perfect for the 22nd of February. 

Yesterday, I went to church and then to Albany and by the time I got home, the stuffing had been knocked out of me and I tumbled into bed about five and ended up falling asleep somewhere around nine.  Going to a party up there exhausted me.  Carrying a crockpot up a small hill was nearly impossible.  I felt old and fragile and I was not happy.

Today, I woke up early and it has been the most active day I’ve had since I was out of the hospital.  I was doing just fine and then, about twenty minutes ago, the wall was hit and I sank back into bed.

My sister, the nurse, has been telling me to listen to my body and I have been.  When it says rest, I do.  I stretched too far yesterday.

So here I am, propped up in bed in my sweats, jazz playing and my laptop in my lap.

It was a good day.  Good class.  Isaac Phillips, a young entrepreneur, Skyped in from Mexico City where he is working on an app for the Latin American market.  This sounds promising.  Ads delivered to your phone in exchange for your data bill being paid.

Isaac is a really good young man.  And he is not much older [and younger than some] of my students.  He spoke about following your passion also meant suffering for your passion.  It was a great dose of reality about what it takes to make it in the high tech world.

I also showed a short film about the history of media which featured a poster of “The Jazz Singer,” the first talkie.  A lifetime ago I had lunch with May McAvoy, who was the female lead in “The Jazz Singer.”  She and three other stars of the era  talked of the ’20’s as if they were yesterday and were a window into a world that was gone.

One of the other stars that was there that day was Leatrice Joy, who was divorced by John Gilbert so he could marry Greta Garbo, who left him at the altar.  She was one of my mother’s favorites.

Esther Ralston was another, top billed over Gary Cooper in her day, who talked about having to beat off her husband with her umbrella when he tried to push her into the Grand Canyon after the stock market crash so he could collect the insurance.

These were women who had lived and were still seizing life when I met them.

On Twitter, I posted an article about the controversy between Apple and the Feds over unlocking a phone used by the terrorist couple in Riverside who killed fourteen and wounded many more.  Apple is not wanting to do it; the Feds are demanding it and everyone is thinking about it.  I have made no decision about it and was a bit surprised when my post brought forth strong comments on both sides of the issue.

And then I realized it was really important and how we decide this is going to be important going forward.  How does a free society remain free in a time of terror?  I don’t have the answers but appreciate the questions being asked.

Meanwhile, Ted Cruz has fired his spokesman for a tweet, inaccurate, about Rubio.  Cruz is getting a slimy reputation and he is trying to shake it.  He’s not shady but he hires people who are…  Excuse me?

Jeb Bush spent $130,000,000 running for President and has now bowed out of the race.  I actually thought he would be the candidate; it seemed logical.  My friend, Jeff Cole, picked Rubio.  I think Jeff is smarter than I am.

In Kalamazoo, Michigan an Uber driver shot eight people, killing six and picking up rides between the killings.  Officials are describing it as “unexplainable” and it is but then so much is “unexplainable.”

Russia and the US have agreed to help implement a ceasefire in Syria, which is great if it works though it doesn’t include the Nursa Front or IS so who knows what actually will happen.  Hopefully, some relief for the tortured souls living there…

Also tortured, but not as viscerally as Syria, is Yahoo, a tech giant who has lost its way.  In 1999, it was the Google of its day.  Now it’s not and there is lots of talk about dismembering the company, selling it off in pieces.  Marissa Meyers may well be its last CEO. 

And that’s the last I can do for today.  I am worn out.  Need to quit now and allow myself to fall asleep watching something good, start tomorrow all over, hopefully as fresh as I felt today.

Letter From New York 04 11 15 After a pause…

April 11, 2015

Yesterday, there was no Letter From New York. As the afternoon wore on, I felt pensive and uninspired. My mind was full of thoughts from my lunch with Isaac Phillips, a young entrepreneur whom I had met at a New York Video Meet-up. He is working on several apps and is whip smart in technology.

We had a wide ranging conversation about technology and then the general state of the world. After Isaac departed, I stayed and answered a couple of texts. Feeling discouraged about the state of the world based on my conversations with Isaac, I couldn’t seem to motivate my mind to move my fingers for a blog post.

Even though the day was grey, damp, and chill in New York, I had entered it with a good attitude and was feeling upbeat about most things. But if you look out on the global landscape, it’s hard to be upbeat. And I was thinking globally yesterday.

Today, I am thinking very locally. Tomorrow my friends Lionel and Pierre will be driving off to Baltimore so that Lionel can start his new job with AOL’s Ad Tech group. Tonight, I am having several neighbors over for a little farewell splash at the cottage so I need to be organized and moving today.

Falling asleep early last night, I woke early and decided to get my morning coffee, peruse the Times and do a blog early, so that it wouldn’t be on my mind as I prep for this evening’s serious nibbles and drinks.

While Lionel and Pierre have only been living across the street for eighteen months, they have been regular visitors at the cottage since the very beginning. Having them across the street brought another layer of security and hominess to this little neighborhood in Claverack. They hope to get up on a monthly basis and I am going to attempt to get down on a monthly basis to see them but it won’t be the same as having them in residence.

What will be in residence in all our lives for the next eighteen months will be the build-up to the 2016 Presidential Election. It will kick off with seriousness tomorrow when it is anticipated Hillary Clinton will officially enter the fray. She heads off immediately for Iowa after her Sunday announcement and our lives will be pummeled by politics until the last vote is counted.

In the background, Obama has been quietly praising up his former Secretary of State. It will be interesting to see what role he might play in the campaign ahead.

In financial news, GE is selling off its financial unit, GE Capital, to refocus on its core manufacturing skillsets. Being a financial giant doesn’t look as good today as it did before the financial crisis and GE is making a bold move to reshape itself.

In a low key but historic moment, Obama and Raul Castro shook hands at the Summit of the Americas being held in Panama. There will be, I’m sure, other encounters through the weekend.

Today, Saturday, Walter Scott, the South Carolinian shot in the back by a police officer, will be buried while a number of Southern Californian deputies are suspended after video surfaced showing them beating a suspect after his capture.

Captured in Yemen were two Iranian officers, allegedly offering support to the Houthis. If true, this will ratchet up the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia, both vying to be the big guy in the Middle East. In the meantime, Yemen is in chaos.

Outside my window, the sun is streaking down, cutting a path of light across my bedroom carpet. Today is supposed to be cloudy, grey and maybe a little rainy so the morning sunshine is deeply appreciated.

I still feel a little melancholy today but it should pass as I prepare for the evening’s fete. It will be a good day!