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The Cody Blog: Nothing's a Waste of Time

Friday, February 10, 2006

Nothing's a Waste of Time

As if we could kill time without injuring eternity! -- Thoreau

One of the most important lessons in life that I keep learning and relearning at each stage of my life is that nothing you ever do at work or to learn (learning about learning....love the layers...) is a waste of time. How many times do I use my skills of hooking up a horse trailer? How often do I utilize the tricks of jamming a post hole digger under a stone to jar it free?

Pretty safe to say never. At least literally. But those skills, those lessons -- they're still in me. They round out who I am in some sense. Certainly, those experiences help build the foundation of my character, whatever it may be.

And those lessons of working through the exhaustion. Getting up the next morning and dealing with the soreness. Turning those blisters into callouses over time. And eventually, hopefully some level of competency or even expertise develops. Invaluable.

It sounds funny, but to this day, I love mowing yards. The first business I ever launched was a partnership with my friend Robert called "Ro's and Mo's Lawn Mowing Service". The business ended when I shattered my ankle into 6 pieces in a pick up game....I'd been obessing over learning to dunk all summer and spent hours upon hours a day dunking on ever higher baskets...played through a few days' worth of "growing pains" or so I thought...turned out those growing pains were a break in the growth plate....shoulda, coulda, woulda listened to what my body was telling me...but I digress...

There's something primal and satisfying about the way the yard morphs in whatever pattern you designate until the whole thing delivers a beautiful finished product. You know what I'm talking about.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude - love the lawn thing. I have always felt exactly the same way. Nothing like spending an hour and a half transforming a messy green field into a well-manicured, organized series of stripes and cross hatches. It's a meditative and puts me in a zen-like trance. The mind can wander over everything and nothing - whatever it wants.

It's the reason why, long after I should have given up this Saturday pastime and hired some local kid to do it for me I refuse and instead went out and bought a sweet tractor so I could escape in style for 90 precious minutes.

The same can be said for other menial tasks such as folding laundry, vacuuming, sweeping out the garage, shoveling teh snow off a driveway.

In this go-go, virtual, instantaneous, outsourced world we have so lost touch with the simple mental health that comes from these things. And like you I pride myself on those manual skills I have but never seem to apply often enough: dropping a dead tree, splitting a cord of wood by hand, building a rock wall, digging in a split rail fence, etc.

The older I get, the more I want to spend my time using my body more and my mind less. Ah, and the great irony of course is that as we age we're ideally suited to do just the opposite!

2/10/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on over to my house, you can finish my basement for me! LOL

2/13/2006 07:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually thought of your latest post while I peeled wallpaper off the walls of my sons nursery so it can be turned into a 'big boy' room. Bored to death but took time to think about all the tips someone with more experience could have been giving me. Experience and learn. Experience and learn...

2/13/2006 08:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah, yards are really great. pesticide, herbacide created monocultures that serve no purpose other than to make some weekend warrior feel like he has accomplished something.

poisonous for children and pets and water.. not to mention the amout of pollution that is created by running oversized tractors.

this world has gone so mad and bad.

2/13/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger GrizzlyBear said...

Dear Cody,
How about posting some of your actual portfolio returns for your hedge fund?
Everyone and their cousin is now calling themselves a hedge fund manager, so you gotta put up some results if you want people to take you seriously.
I mean, it's one thing to get behind two of the most volatile speculative stocks (GOOG and AAPL)- it's quite another to actually have a track record of long term investing success.
GB

2/13/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Cody Willard said...

Grizzle, I will thank you for (on your third try!) finally posting a comment that kept it respectful enough that we didn't take it down immediately.

That said, you need to learn how a hedge fund works and then you'll know the answer to your question.

And for the record, I've owned and been writing bullishly on Apple since it was at $7. And same for Google since the day it went public. All in black and white, go ahead and check it out.

And finally, don't be so angry.

2/13/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger GrizzlyBear said...

Cody-
I'm sorry, but I think your response is a cop-out.
Just because you call yourself a hedge-fund doesn't mean you can't report your results. Are your investors so secretive? Even Cramer used to tell the world how his fund performed at the end of each year. You don't have to take a cheap shot at me by implying that I don't know how hedge funds work. Just tell us how your fund has done since inception. I mean we all know GOOG and AAPL have gone up... No one really needs anyone to tell them to buy AAPL and GOOG. Where is the value added? What is your fund, the maximum long GOOG AAPL fund?
GB

2/13/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Cody Willard said...

It is what it is, GB.

And if you think telling people to buy AAPL at $7 and Google at $90 wasn't value add, we're not speaking the same language.

Here's an idea: If you don't like me or my stuff --- don't read it!

Consider this the last time I'll address you. Life's too fun and busy for this nonsense.

2/13/2006 04:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Cody, what a joker.

I would have loved to be part of a "maximum long aapl goog fund" the last 2 years.

Seriously though, and I know you know this, but you give us readers more insight into your trades then most other asset managers in the media. I want to thank you for all the insight into how you manage your positions. Maybe I'll wise up soon and go for those in the money calls over the out of the money.

2/25/2006 03:52:00 PM  

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