Monday, March 27, 2006

A night in San Francisco with Donald Trump

This weekend, yours truly went to see The Donald speak at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco. I'll repeat what I remember. Keep in mind, the following is a report on what Mr. Trump said, so don't assume I agree or disagree with anything. I'm just repeating what I remember.

One thing I just got to love about Trump is he loves to be surrounded by beautiful women. While the other speakers wore real spiffy suits and talked about real estate investing, Trump was proceeded by beautiful women dancers in tank tops. Ten dead zombies for the intro.

Trump started off a story of how The Apprentice started. It was nice, but more you had to be there so I won't bother repeating it.

What I did like though is that he gave five points on what it takes to succeed in real estate investing. He drummed into our heads that real estate is still the best investment out there. People make more money in real estate than pretty much everything else combined. He gave the example of how the average American family's best asset is their house.

After he ended his speech, a lot of the 61,000 people audience left. Yes, it was that big. So we pushed our way up to the front so we could actually see the man in person.

He came across confident. Some people confuse that with arrogance, but people like me see it as a strength, not a character flaw.

He opened up the floor to a Q&A section, where the audience was allowed to ask anything, and he really meant anything. A few highlights...

Mr. Trump made it clear that he is in no way a homophobe, which delighted the San Francisco audience greatly.

As his mentor, he mentioned his father, who also doubled as his main role model in life. Yes, he had a strong father, and that he cites as one of the big reasons he's as successful as he is today.

He is happy, and loves what he does. He emphasized strongly that if you don't like what you're doing, do something else. You have to love what you're doing or else you won't do a good job at it. He noted that not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, and he prided himself in actually steering away some people he cared about from being entrepreneurs.

When asked about Martha Stewart, he said he harbors no ill will towards her, but yes, he was mad that she blamed her failures (of her version of The Apprentice) on him, even though he helped her every way he could.

Someone asked him about the Iraq War and he went off on it. He thinks it's a huge waste of money, and the real threats are not Iraq but Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan having nukes. He said something like 700 billion dollars is spent in the Iraq War, and that could hypothetically cause interest rates to go up, which would be an economic disaster.

He made it clear that he's disappointed that we're spending that kind of money in Iraq but we have yet to fix Louisiana.

So someone else asked him if he wanted to run for President, and he made it clear he wouldn't. He loves his current job and his life as is. Although he has political opinions, he has no intention of running for political office.

Someone else asked him what success is, and he said that it's being happy at what you're doing. It doesn't matter if it makes you money or not, if you're happy doing it, you're successful.

Back to money, he still believes real estate is the best investment there is. Someone asked if he owns anything in San Francisco, and he said yes, 30% of the Bank of America building.

The next Apprentice will be in Los Angeles.

Someone asked him why it's such a bad thing that Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan have nukes. Mr. Trump said that Iran and North Korea are rogue states, and Pakistan is a revolution away from becoming a rogue state. All it takes is a nuclear bomb dropped in San Francisco and we'd have a serious disaster.

Someone else asked him what would happen to San Francisco real estate if a rogue state dropped a nuke in San Francisco. Trump immediately dismissed the question as being stupid.

Someone else asked boxers or briefs. Geez, you have one of the best real estate investors in the country in a Q&A and that's all they could ask? What a moron. That's almost as stupid as the guy who asked about San Francisco real estate if a nuke was dropped.

Someone brought up the Forbes list and he's mentioned as having $2.4 billion in net worth. He hinted that Forbes made a low estimate. He said that he really doesn't care where he is on that list, because he loves what he does, and that's enough for him.

All in all, it was a good experience. Of all the things I'll remember most, Trump emphasized liking what you're doing and being a good parent. He talked about parenting skills many times and despite his dislike for his ex, she's a wonderful mother. Oh, and he said many times to get a pre-nup.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Odds and Ends

Still have no time, so just dropping by for a quick post. Things going okay so far. Everything's cherry but my lack of sleep. It's really starting to catch up. I already submitted my proposal and I'm waiting for another party to make it happen.

There still is tons of work to do before the funding starts. When it happens, it will all pay off and we'll be together as a family again instead of living in two different cities. Thanks you jack*ss CEO's for sending so many middle class jobs to India, while you all gave yourself bonuses. I'm severely disappointed that none of these jerks got tarred and feathered. We still don't have the net worth we had in 2002 because of it. Other families I know of are in far worse situations, so I can't complain too much.

If you're wondering why kids in America aren't going into computer science, it's because kids aren't stupid. Nobody wants to be treated as disposable.

The anti-zombie compound

Mrs. Z and I still haven't decided which blueprint to go with for the anti-zombie compound. I'm going to submit another one to her soon and see what she thinks of it. It's really hard to tell her tastes.

I can't wait for it to get built. Yeah, I know it's still several years off...


I got an email from a friend of mine that I offended with my last post, so I want to make one thing clear. Success and money are not the same thing. If you like what you're doing, if you have a good family, if you're an asset to your community, you're successful.

I made a list of successful traits awhile back. It made me realize I still have work to do on myself. Yes, I do have flaws. Of all those successful traits, only about 10% had anything to do with money.

Violent crime

One of my pet peeves is when someone tells me how to do something but has no immediate experience with it. It's like, would you like me to remove your gall bladder? No, of course not. I don't like some dork who can't change a tire telling me how to fix my engine.

The same is true with people who never experienced violent crime who tell me what I can and can't do to protect myself and my family. We've lived in ghettos, and now my wife and son are in a nice, safe area while I'm by the refineries again. Although we've lived in much worse places, it still sucks.

I just learned the other day that when someone breaks the window to steal your car stereo, don't grab anything within the car. The nice thing is glass cuts cleanly, so I was able to take the bandages off in only two days. Yeah, I know. I'm kind of stupid like that some times.

There are evil people out there; some real twisted bastards who get off on doing violent acts to innocent people. If one of them attacks you, your best two choices are to do greater violence to him or flee. Either way is fine. Calling the police won't work, because you'll be dead before they get there. That's just reality.

I don't care that Mr. Thug was abused as a child. I don't care if Mr. Thug's daddie was an alcoholic or his mother used to make him wear dresses and belittle him. Mr. Thug attacking me or my family dies. It will be better for you too, because that's one less thug for you and your family to worry about. Plus, saves taxpayer money.

Violent crime is a fact of life in bad neighborhoods. That's why normal people who live in bad neighborhoods do everything in their power to get out of them as soon as possible.

You can't reason with violent criminals. The sad thing is, you just have to protect yourself from them. I've found one thing I have in common with thugs is none of us want to die. That's why the good guys having guns is such a good deterrant. When a thug gets shot and killed by a normal, hard-workin', tax-payin' family man or woman, it makes me happy. In case you haven't figured it out yet, I hate thugs.

Two more weeks and I'm out of here though and in a good neighborhood where I don't need weapons. I like it that way. Until then, I'm armed at all times.