Monday, August 3, 2015

Through the Keyhole - August 2015

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Through the Keyhole

Informative & Interesting... not your everyday company newsletter.
Dog Days are here again!
By now we are all thinking about the end of summer but you don't have to put away your sunscreen just yet.  We have plenty more sunshine to go before the fall is upon us.  Remember that Labor Day falls late this year and combined with an early Memorial Day, we got a long summer...
One of the puzzles of summer is why so many of us persist in pretending that August is a month when nothing happens, when we can step back, tune out, take a break, and recharge. Europeans even think they are entitled to take the entire month off. 
There’s a melancholic quality to August, a month nearly synonymous with “waning days of summer.” Less acknowledged in our cultural vernacular is the extent to which the “waning” feeling is as much about the end of another year as it is about the end of summer.
And now for a new keyhole picture above- Can you guess where it is? You will notice that I have used the complete picture above.  I believe it necessary for one to guess the location.
"This place really shows off the forces of natural erosion and was once described is a 'hell of a place to lose a cow'.  HooDoo you know who's been there?"

Last month, Stuart Aynsley guessed correctly with Punta Mita, MX.  That one was not so easy... 

Correct answers will be given recognition but half the fun is trying to figure it out.  The correct answer will be revealed in the subsequent issue.  Good luck and have fun.

If you like this newsletter, forward it to someone else or sign them up HERE.

As always, send any items you think are newsworthy, interesting or just plain odd to

Punta Mita, Mexico - Keyhole Answer

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"This place will change your life, said a friend of mine some 8 years ago. Located on a "point", this location was once a bustling fishing village that was moved to create this world class resort."

My friend, Robert Daugherty advised me about 10 years ago to "go to Punta Mita, it will change your life."  That was about as strong a recommendation one could give so I went...and it did.  My family has been going to Punta Mita since then and we have invested every moment we can in being there.  Thanks Robert. 

In 1999, the Four Seasons Resort (pictured above) opened here on this peninsula just north of Puerto Vallarta, MX.  Just last year Bill Gates's company, Cascade Investment LLC, purchased the resort for $200M. 

Punta Mita is a 1,500-acre (6.1 km) beachfront village located on the north end of Banderas Bay in the Mexican state of Nayarit, about 10 miles (16 km) north of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. There is evidence of prehistoric (pre contact) human settlement in Nayarit. On the Punta de Mita peninsula, a hilltop archaeological site known as Careyeros Hill has been dated to circa 800 AD.

Punta Mita is surrounded on three sides by nine and a half miles of Pacific Ocean beaches and coves including Litibu Bay.

Punta Mita is at the same latitude as the Hawaiian Islands. It is kept comfortable year round by gentle sea breezes, with average summer temperatures around 85 °F (29 °C), and 75 °F (24 °C) during winter months. One will see whales here in the winter months and it is quite a spectacle. 

Because of its temperate, tropical climate, Punta Mita is a popular but low-key vacation spot. Hollywood celebrities such as Demi Moore, Orlando Bloom and Vince Vaughn have vacationed at Casa Aramara in Punta Mita, a private resort built by Joe Francis. Billionaire Thomas Siebel has also visited the village.

Punta Mita has several residential communities ranging from condominiums and townhomes to private, single-family villas. All of these homes are set among a rural Mexican fishing colony town. It is also the location of the Four Seasons Resort, Punta Mita as well as the St. Regis Resort, Punta Mita.

The Marieta Islands are a 15-minute boat ride from Punta Mita and are a Mexican national park.

In November 2012, several prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors, including Wendell Brown, Mike Maples, Tim Ferriss and Taro Gold, launched a structured mentoring program and early-stage seed fund in partnership with the MITA Institute and Tech Accelerator. The MITA Institute hosts an annual "Tech Talks" conference in Punta Mita, which brings together venture capital and tech leaders from both the U.S. and Mexico.  I am proud to be an investor in this technology effort.

In any case, this place is special and those who know it love it.  The Mexican people are so gracious and welcoming.  If you find yourself longing for a low-key, high service vacation, look no further.  Come to Punta Mita.  It will change your life...

Ranked #1 Best Hotels & Resorts in Mexico for Families with a score of 96.36 

Ranked #4 Best Hotels & Resorts in Mexico with a score of 93.54  

Ranked # 50 (tied for #50) in Top 100 World’s Best Hotels with a score of 93.54 

TV Commercial

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Live the Dream (Video)

A typical sunset (video)

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Not quite like Windows 95...

Almost 20 years ago, Microsoft licensed the Rolling Stones song “Start Me Up” to add a dash of rock ‘n’ roll to the release of Windows 95, the product that catapulted the company to a high-water mark of influence in the tech industry.

Microsoft‘s tagline for Windows 10, a new version of the operating system that was released last month: “A more human way to do.”

That slogan is part of an advertising campaign for Windows 10 that Microsoft is using. The ads started appearing online and on television July 20 in the United States and outside the country on July 29, which is when Windows 10 became available for downloading to the first wave of consumers.

complete article


Things that cops might say...

1. "You know, stop lights don't come any redder than the one you just went through."  

2. "Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch after you wear them a while."  

3. "If you take your hands off the car, I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document."  

4. "If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."  

5. "Can you run faster than 1200 feet per second? Because that's the speed of the bullet that'll be chasing you."  (LOVE IT)   

6. "You don't know how fast you were going? I guess that means I can write anything I want to on the ticket, huh?"  (MY FAVORITE)   

7. "Yes, sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help. Oh, did I mention that I'm the shift supervisor?"  

8. "Warning! You want a warning? O.K, I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket."  

9. "The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?"  

10. "Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy and corn dogs and step in monkey poop."  

11. "Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven."  

12. "In God we trust; all others we run through NCIC."  ( National Crime Information Center )   

13. "Just how big were those 'two beers' you say you had?"  

14. "No sir, we don't have quotas anymore. We used to, but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we can."  

15. "I'm glad to hear that the Chief (of Police) is a personal friend of yours. So you know someone who can post your bail."   AND THE WINNER IS....  

16. "You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't.. Sign here."

Check out THIS dog!

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This is Ryan Erklin's dog who looks like a monster at only 6 months.  I hope his yard can take that beating...  Meet Odin.

see a clip of Odin's future here

Ever want to move Down Under?
A home available for $1 a week through the Rent-A-Farmhouse program.

Looking to rent a house in the country? It wouldn't be unusual to come across an ad like this:
"Farm cottage three-bedroom, has kitchen, living, dishwasher…small paddock…enclosed verandah."

It would be unusual to see such a rental for $1 a week.

And yet that's exactly how much some properties are going for in struggling parts of rural Australia.

All the renters have to do in return is send their children to local schools and fix up the houses or maintain the farmland.



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Ransomware on the rise - stay informed.

A scary malware is on the rise and it could end up costing you a fortune.

Ransomware, which is a type of malware that holds your mobile phone, computer, or certain files on your computer hostage until money is paid, is increasingly becoming a cyber criminal’s favorite kind of weapon.
In fact, there was a 165% increase in new ransomware during the first quarter of 2015, according to data published Tuesday by the security firm McAfee.

New ransomware chart
McAfee Labs Threat ReportThere was a surge in new ransomware in the first quarter of 2015.

Why is Ransomware becoming a big deal all of sudden?

Laws they don't teach in physics
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Law of Mechanical Repair- After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee. 

Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible place in the universe.

Law of Probability - The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

Law of Random Numbers - If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal; someone always answers.

Variation Law - If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.

Law of the Bath   - When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone will ring.

Law of Close Encounters - The probability of meeting someone you know INCREASES dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

Law of the Result - When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, IT WILL!!!

Law of Biomechanics- The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

Law of the Theater & Hockey Arena - At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

The Coffee Law - As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

Murphy's Law of Lockers
- If there are only 2 people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

Law of Physical Surfaces -
The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.

Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy - As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it OR the store will stop selling it!

Doctors' Law - If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there, you'll feel better. But don't make an appointment and you'll stay sick.

Baseball rivalry?  Watch this hilarious clip.

The guys at Funny or Die made a video of Chicago that aims to answer the eternal debate — The North Side vs The South Side.

We’ll leave it up to you to decide who wins the debate. Right after you finish laughing.
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Watch here

Dog Beach.

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Things that you learn when living abroad...

20 Things You Only Understand About America After Living Abroad

Sometimes all it takes to appreciate the good (and the bad) in something is a little time apart, said your parents when they dropped you off at camp. Well, the same holds true for countries. While obviously there’s no place in the world like the United States, you don’t necessarily realize just how unique a country it – and its red-white-and-blue-clad citizens – is until you live abroad. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of things (both positive and negative) about this great land that you can only appreciate by leaving.

The U.S. is pretty terrible at coffee
There are a lot of things America is good at, but coffee is not one of them. It may be difficult to fathom that there is a better order than your Starbucks sugar-free vanilla double latte, but coffee is 10 times tastier in other countries. Luckily, more cities across the U.S. are catching on to what good coffee tastes like, so you don’t have to travel too far for a good cup.

America is terrific at portions and pours
Excess is our specialty. We tout a reputation for being obese, but that’s only because we’re wonderful at giant burgers and free pours of booze. Believe me, there’s nothing worse than watching a foreign bartender measure out exactly a 1oz shot for your $20 cocktail. In the U.S., you learn what an “American pour” (land of the free pour?) really means. Bottoms up.

American credit cards are downright medieval
I never expected to feel embarrassed when swiping my credit card, but it turns out that American banks are waaay behind the times when it comes to paying for stuff. In fact, some foreign cities have gone as far as to BAN our classic signature receipts altogether, entering a brave new world where customers simply tap their credit cards and walk out. Meanwhile, I’m relegated to “taking it old school” if I ever dare use my American card.

The U.S. is massive… like really big
You truly don’t understand how vast the U.S. is until you leave behind the amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties. A quick flight from New York to Miami or Chicago to San Francisco may be an easy trip for most Americans, but the sheer enormity of the country overwhelms most foreigners.

Easy 1 minute FUN personality test


Have you ever been interested in finding out just how suggestible your personality actually is? Well, this quick and easy test might prove insightful if you’re looking to learn a little bit more about yourself!

It begins with the “scientist,” Richard Wiseman, standing in an orange room. He asks you to close your eyes and raise your hands, and then he describes a scene to you. What your body does during his story actually says a lot about your personality.

You’re either someone with a good imagination, someone who is more down-to-Earth, or you’re someone who is a little bit suspicious of everything! Who knew this could all be figured out with just a one-minute test? I tried it three times and got the same answer each time!

While this test is not fool proof, and there are a plethora of other options and things to say about your unique personality, I have to admit it’s definitely worth trying at least once! Once you’re finished with it, let us know what your answer was, we just love taking cool little tests like these!

Do you think Wiseman was correct in what his test said about your unique personality?

From the Green Lake Ice Cream Shop

11 Crazy things seen on Google Earth

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You sank my battleship

Concordia before it was righted and towed out to sea

Plane Graveyard

Who are these people?


This is real but not sure what the point is...

Hungry Hippos


The dreaded stool sample

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"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Chocolate-Chip Cookies (with salt)


Ingredients1 cup unsalted butter, chopped
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp medium-grain kosher salt
1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
12 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Flaky sea salt to finish

1. Preheat the oven to 360°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over the lowest heat possible, stirring occasionally.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Pour the melted butter into a large bowl and whisk in the sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until just combined. Stir in the vanilla. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to stir in the dry ingredients until barely blended. Stir in the chocolate.
4. Refrigerate for 5 minutes, then roll into 3 tablespoon balls and arrange on the prepared pans, leaving 3 inches between each cookie. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake until the tops are cracked and lightly golden, 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Cool on the pan for 2 minutes. Then, move to a wire rack to cool completely.

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