12/30/2005 11:01:00 AM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P| At the same time that the movie Sideways helped the popularity (and the rising price) of Central Coast's Pinot Noir, the other side of the story also held true. I'm talking about the recent disgrace in which Merlot wines fell into, leveraged by Sideways' protagonist Miles and its unforgettable distaste for the softer, fruttier, most widely planted grape in France's Bordeaux region. Although the wine variety was believed to have overcome the Sideways effect, in the end of this year, the Merlot proved it couldn't resist US's new passion for the Syrah/Shiraz and the Pinot (both Noir and Grigio) varieties as Carta Capital's Marcio Alemao relates in his entertaining article about the culinary year of 2005 in review. TV shows, CNBC's stock broker analysts, affable movie characters, the Wall Street Journal, book authors. All midia formats exert great influence in the purchasing habits of the average consumer. It's sad to see that indeed people rather use the "experts" opinions rather than relying on personal judgement. It makes me wonder which beverage, company, color, fashion trend and city will be the center of the attention in 2006.|W|P|113597226426508991|W|P|I'm not drinking any f.....in Merlot|W|P|12/26/2005 04:35:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|If you are a John Legend fan like I am I have to recommend his DVD, featuring a remarkable live performance at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. I was particularly happy to watch it because I missed a chance to see him in Columbus when I was about to move out a few months ago. The curious thing is that when I was researching to write this post, I saw that once again I will be missing a chance to him perform at the same venue he recorded this incredible DVD, on the last day of this year. Bummer. Oh well... I guess this concert will enter my list of things to do in 2006.|W|P|113564368147792004|W|P|John Legend gets lifted in great DVD|W|P|12/26/2005 04:14:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|These 100 words (for the gramatically correct: some words are in actuality composed nouns) mean very little together, but they do a damn good job summarizing this past year of 2005 for me. Not coincidentally enough, this happens to be my 100th post in a little over two years.
Stella Artois Pure Los Angeles Mojave Desert
John Legend Road trip Stephen Levitt SLK
High Street Anxiety Arena Crossing Columbus
After Hours Organizational Theory OSU Southwest
Forro Barbecue California Spice
Family Brothers Fireworks Driving
Patron Lawyers Residential Finance Corp. Alcohol
Adaptation Snowboarding Touareg House Music
Libertadores Orlando Moving Vegas
Hollywood Grilling Summer Drescher
Short North Mercedes Bud Select Carlile Club
Fashion Believing Grad School Football
Blackjack Six Feet Under GMAT Fitness
Friends Swimwear Teamwork Rogerio Ceni
Immigration Rolex Malcolm Gladwell Liverpool
Traffic Highway Patrol Business Caesars
Soccer Organic MBA Dating
Wakeboarding Success Sao Paulo Disappointment
Killington Vision Spinning Nutrition
Math Pepperdine Blogging Phantom of the Opera
Freakonomics Verbal Brazilian Boys Snow
Buckeyes Rollins Tri-Mundial Zinfandel
Career Malibu Calamigos Tricolor
Death Cab For Cutie LAX Cabo Cantina Acceptance
Brazil Economics Self-Confidence Decision
For the future, I hope to write a lot more (and better) in my weblog so that my still small but growing audience can enjoy it. Happy 2006 ! |W|P|113556111952504658|W|P|100 Words|W|P|12/23/2005 07:14:00 AM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P| One of the greatest characteristics a person can have is the ability to learn valuable lessons from past mistakes so that they aren't repeated. For companies, handling mistakes is crucial. For people, it's sometimes a matter of survival. What I'm saying isn't news at all; I've told myself this at least a thousand times, maybe more, once for every mistake I commited in life. Once a mistake passed and times of hardship are put behind us, besides learning the causes and consequences of our wrongdoing, another great thing a person may want to learn is to laugh at what went wrong so that the scars left by the action may heal a bit faster. Here's a perfect example: I was staying in this hotel where they run intervention programs for DUI arrests and I stumble upon the Nativity scene above. Although DUI arrests are no joke, a person may only laugh or at least smile at the sarcastic nature of this scene. Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Xmas, this is the Sheriff....|W|P|113535130405319206|W|P|Mistakes are to be laughed at|W|P|12/20/2005 08:49:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|I recently questioned and opposed the manner with which the international football world, especially the British, viewed the Toyota Cup. The reasoning behind such disdain was that the mighty European teams simply didn't see any purpose to face South American teams, in Japan, in such a crucial moment of their European seasons. Besides, other than money, there was no incentive to play teams that were theoretically weaker, even though such teams have proven over and over (and once again), that there were no blowouts in such games and that budget superiority meant very little in international club competition. So given the disdain, why was it then, that when the ball started rolling around in Yokohama, the Mighty Reds fell short of a victory even though the team became surprisingly competitive? Two reasons: 1) Jeitinho Brasileiro - The "Brazilian jeitinho" (jay-tee-neoh) refers to our way (jeito means "way") of working through bureaucracies, cutting through red tape to make things work, many times outside conventional (or legal) ways, using if nothing else, the ability to adapt to unforseen circunstances. Nissan's Carlos Ghosn used it to ressurect the Japanese car company and Sao Paulo, in the game against the Reds, had to rely on it too. That's what the second half of the Sao Paulo game was all about: while the opponent helplessly attacked, Sao Paulo worked through the structured British football system, and got it done, mostly by being flexible and adaptable. 2) Raça - Literally, raça translates into race, but rather than dealing with skin color or religion, the popular meaning of the word is more about guts, fiber and a supernatural effort, driven by a greater desire to achieve a goal. The Tricolor was determined to take the Toyota Cup home and in the end, Gerrard, the unbeatable and yet beated Liverpool captain (thank you, Juca Kfouri), showed that the European indeed cared about the World Championship after all. I don't like popular sayings but there's one here that couldn't be more appropriate: "It's not about the size of dog in a fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. In conclusion, I would like to highlight the incredible reception the city of Sao Paulo prepared for the three-time world champions. Besides a 22 hour flight, the team dribbled through 10 hours of celebration, from the Airport to the Morumbi (our stadium), while fans dodged fatigue and work schedules to see their heroes march through town. The team, players and the city showed the whole world that different from other sports such as basketball and volleyball, football still remains a sport played by everyone and yet solely dominated by my beloved country, Brazil. Congratulations, Sao Paulo. You deserve more than anyone the title of FIFA World Champions. |W|P|113514409825614693|W|P|Liverpool showed they cared|W|P|12/17/2005 08:29:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|I met my friend RC a few years back when we both had the pleasure to live in the most beaten up house the Ohio State campus had ever seen (OK, maybe it was top 10). Not that we were pigs or anything, but the house was in such condition that the owners simply couldn't rent it again after we left, even though the house is at a great location. Such wear and tear must be attributed to the fact that we reeeeeally enjoyed ourselves in the many years any of us lived in that creepy and yet heartwarming place. After graduation, RC and I went our own separate ways into what college students like to call, the "real world". While I've been enjoying the great California weather I never get tired of talking about, RC had moved to Chicago an year earlier to start a prominent career. And while I struggle to keep my pace at Pepperdine's demanding full time MBA program, RC have been working a full time position in a Fortune 50 company while managing to start a peculiar small business on the side. Picture this: Get two wooden structures, a few beanie bags, add some college football and hints of Natural Light and there you have it: you are ready for your first Cornhole game; best if played in a nice patch of grass under a pleasant Fall afternoon like we did in front of our house at least a hundred times. I have to congratulate RC for turning a college campus, beer drinking game into a prominent small business. While I doubt that RC's enterprise signals the turning point for America's manufacturing crisis or the birth of a new .com boom era, it certainly exemplifies two basic concepts I've been hearing a lot in my MBA classes in these past 16 weeks:
  • The Internet has modified the way we sell, enabling us, average Joes, to forgo entry barriers as Michael Porter described in his article, "Strategy and the Internet"
  • Success comes for those that make tangible results come out of creative ideas. And for simpler this may sound, it may as well be the greatest challenge anyone with a great idea faces everyday, everywhere in this world.
Once again, congratulations to RC and Cornhole Country.com for the great results so far.|W|P|113488153654644182|W|P|Cornhole Madness|W|P|12/15/2005 09:56:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|
Columbus, OH - Dec. 15th, 2005
Last week, my Mom reminded me it had been one year since my graduation. Wow... that was fast. To this date, it has also been about four months since I left Columbus, Ohio and fled to California, seeking to add yet another degree to my collection. While I have to admit the departure was extremely hard, I sensed, on my way back for a visit, that I no longer missed the Buckeye state so much anymore. I attributed this fact not only to my established lifestyle around my MBA program in Cali, but to an urgent need of mine to meet new challenges and always look forward in life. Sounds corny but truth is that if I had nothing to look forward to today, I'd still be missing the things I left behind, like the great state of Ohio or Brazil for that matter. Furthermore, all the school work and the ongoing adaptation process in LA has certainly kept me entertained and motivated over the last few months, almost with no time to think about such nonsense. My realizations didn't stop there. While sunny skies, great temperatures and a wide spectrum of colors had been waking me up almost everyday in Southern Cal, my visit gave my eyes the privilege of witnessing a genuine Midwestern phenomenon: the monochromatic landscape, covered in snow, cold, melancholy and closure seen above. The cold and the snow are easy to pick out. Saving that your not blind or extremely farsighted, you should see it. The melancholy and closure however, are a bit harder to spot. They are products of a lens right in front of my eyes. This lens makes the picture grayer, sadder. It shows great moments of the past, that have evolved to become something I just don't identify myself with anymore. It became just another memory, another past chapter of my life.
Malibu, CA - A few weeks ago
|W|P|113474073314847718|W|P|Monochromatic State Of Mind|W|P|12/13/2005 07:53:00 AM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|I've been following this tournament on Fox Soccer Channel and the feeling, at least what I get from the English is that the Toyota Cup is much more an opportunity for clubs to raise revenues (4.5 million dollars) than a truthful world club championship tournament like the World Cup. I agree that the Toyota Cup doesn't have the same kind of FIFA glamour that the event later next year has, but what other opportunities teams in South America have to play and many times to beat European teams? Maybe that's why there is so little expectations from the Britons, just plain scared to lose.|W|P|113449026416397499|W|P|Toyota Cup's Importance|W|P|12/06/2005 12:30:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|
Yesterday, a group of students presented an Economics project about factors that might influence violent crime in LA and NY. I didn't expect them to try to re-test Steven Levitt's hypothesis that there's a link between legalized abortion and crime but I was shocked they didn't even mention it. I made a comment about it, keeping in mind that I attend a Christian university. The group told me their reason for not mentioning abortion was exactly that: fear of coercive action by the school. No further comments on that. One thing they did right though was to conclude using regressions that adding police force does not necessary positively correlates to reducing crime. My professor also mentioned that Mr. Levitt is bound to win a Nobel prize someday. I agree with him. I love his work.|W|P|113390330742715846|W|P|Freakonomics Class|W|P|12/06/2005 12:30:00 AM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P| Eddie takes the Irish to the house Bucknuts offers a bit of history about this epic confront that will take place early in January. The date in the title represents the last time the Buckeyes suffered a loss to the Irish. OK OK, so there has been only 4 games ever in history. Still, it has been a very long time since the Irish took the Buckeyes down. I am looking forward to see OSU take the advantage in the tied up series.|W|P|113385783958102354|W|P|Oct. 31, 1936 at South Bend: Notre Dame 7, Ohio State 2|W|P|12/04/2005 02:37:00 PM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|
To all the pessimists that wanted Ohio State out of the BCS: You may all go to hell now. The Buckeyes qualified without the "at-large" bid to play mighty Notre Dame in what will be OSU's second appearance in the Fiesta Bowl in four years. Tempe welcomes the Buckeyes again to match up in one electrifying game against the newly rejuvenated Irish, led by coach Charlie Weiss and 6-5 tall wide receiver Jeff Samardzija. While the series is tied up at 2 a piece, the last matchup went in favor of Ohio State, who went to South Bend to beat the Irish 29-16.
Once again, congratulations to both teams for a great season. The Buckeyes showed they could rebound from two heart breaking losses and ND deserves all the credit for such a great comeback. I look forward to see the Buckeyes gain the advantage over ND on the 2nd of January at 5pm. Go Bucks!
|W|P|113373837529303517|W|P|Buckeyes go BCS Bowling|W|P|12/02/2005 12:49:00 AM|W|P|BRAFury|W|P|What point have we reached in our lives? Back in the day, people were taxed (and still are, more than they should be) on things such as cattle or gasoline but in today's digital world, there are much more entertaining ways to increase government revenues. After infiltrating itself basically everywhere possible in the face of this planet, the iPod is making its debut to the amazing world of macroeconomics. Or at least people people tried it and failed it miserably. However, an idea was born. From an innocent consumer standpoint, definitely a lousy idea. |W|P|113351336937039066|W|P|The New iPod: iTax|W|P|