Happy Thanksgiving!

What is your favorite holiday of the year?

View Results

It’s that magical time of the year in which in a very short time window we have so much to celebrate starting with Thanksgiving. Two of my kids and two of my grandchildren are coming in for the holiday and only because the third kid isn’t coming in, can we talk about politics without casserole dishes being tossed around. Then again, does anyone really want to talk about politics anymore?

It is the perfect time to be thankful for so many things. Here is a partial list, please feel free to add to it with your comments:

  • Not spending the holiday in the hospital
  • Not being homeless
  • Not being an alcoholic or drug addict
  • Not having any mental illnesses
  • Not owning any guns and no plans to
  • Having a car/SUV
  • No credit card debt in double figures
  • Having a job that pays more than $10/hr
  • Happily married to the best person on earth (OK, I’m a little biased!)
  • Working out daily
  • No longer having to waste Saturday’s watching Spartan football
  • Not having cancer and being able to support ACS (TNG raised more than $100K this year once again)
  • Being able to walk normal again after hip surgery
  • Not being hungry and able to enjoy turkey, whipped potatoes, whipped sweet potatoes, veggie casserole, salad, rolls, condiments, stuffing, gravy, pumpkin pie, key lime pie, apple pie, red wine, single malt Scotch and not having to clean up afterwards!
  • More than 100 of the greatest talent working at TNG
  • Crackling fire on a cold night
  • Ass on the beach with a cold one in each hand (OK, the cold ones are not going to happen!) looking at the ocean
  • Delta, Starbucks, Apple and Costco
  • My dedicated blog readers who read my bullshit each month
  • Not living in California
  • Duolingo and Candy Crush
  • Buddy’s Pizza
  • Dean Sanjay who got away with $3M

As human beings we love to complain, toss out our opinions, pretend we are the best coaches and appreciate that misery loves company. But in the end, it’s all noise and one more thing I am thankful for: Ability to filter out noise. After all, we are on this side of the grass for a very short time and why not enjoy that time instead of bitching about it?

So there you go. Happy Thanksgiving and I will enjoy every minute of it and eat too much too quickly. Will I get up for that second plate? Absolutely. Will I have seconds on dessert? Absolutely. Will I enjoy that glass of single malt? Absolutely. My wishes for you is that get to enjoy the same.

Larry

Out Of My Mind On My Birthday

Out Of My Mind On My Birthday

If the 2020 election was held next week, who would you vote for?

View Results

You know you are getting old as Jimmy Buffett says in one of his songs, “Girls start calling you sir,” and when you get cards that state there are too many candles to fit on top of the cake and even lewd cards like this one: The nurse is talking to an elderly couple and addresses the man, “The doctor would like a urine sample, stool sample and semen sample.” The man says “What does he want?” The wife answers, “Your underwear.” OK, love the happy birthday wishes but at the end of the day, it is just another day and I love quoting Buffett, “I’m getting older but never growing up.”

Loved the cookies that magically appeared today as well! Thank you to the mystery gift buyer!

IMG_2530

What category is bigger: Baby diapers or adult diapers? Good answer, adult diapers and growing past $10B a year. The biggest issue the product has: It’s name. Perhaps they can make birthday cards with them or start advertising during NFL games. Women actually have bigger needs for these than men, so perhaps give them away on the Ellen show. More joys of getting old.

My hip is doing great, thanks for asking.

Now that Coty has put most of the P&G brands it bought for $12B and OPI up for sale (now that is a big markdown), who is going to buy them? And with Revlon still for sale, what is that saying about the pro beauty business? Let’s see if private equity steps in or one of the large public companies like L’Oreal or Henkel.

Not a good day to be in the food delivery business. Grubhub wrote a 16-page letter to its shareholders explicitly stating they no longer had a competitive edge in the business. Everyone and anyone can deliver food from restaurants. Their stock plunged 40%. Even Amazon got out of the business. And what about Uber and Lyft? The entire WeWork story is something for TV. No wonder key brands are doing so well, makes perfect sense for LVMH to add Tiffany to their collection.

Speaking of TV, finished season 2 of Succession, one of the best series ever. Now watching The Loudest Voice on Showtime, the true story about Roger Ailes life who started Fox News with Robert Murdoch. Utterly fascinating.

Consumer spending is targeted at $1456 this holiday season, about a 5-6% increase over last year. What holiday gift do you want this year? For me the new Apple Pro Ear Pods are it, matching Midnight Green for my iPhone. Have to get them now!

Barron’s magazine came out with its 2020 predictions and among them, who is going to be our next president. In a landslide, they forecast Elizabeth Warren to win the Democratic nomination and Trump to win another term by more than a 2 to 1 margin. And that is with half the USA favoring Trump being impeached. Even the NY Times who wants Trump impeached perhaps more than CNN is learning the tricks of the trade Trump has used his entire life will delay or avoid this altogether. Utterly fascinating and we’re living the moment.

Sorry but have to brag about the best powder dipping system out there and its EMMA ZIP DIP. Nothing like it  with the most amazing odorless glue system and ultra fine powders. Everyone is loving it!

Last parting shot about getting “older:” You go to the mall and nothing in the stores excite you anymore. No wonder advertisers seek those 18-49 years old.

Happy Tuesday!

Go Green! Go White! The Inside View at MSU

Who will win the MSU-U-M football game?

View Results

September was a remarkable month for me and the Broad College of Business. I got to speak at the new Gaynor Entrepreneurial Lab (GEL) in front of 80 or so students for nearly 80 minutes (longer than the actual playing time of a football game) and it was a truly engaging time. You can listen to the podcast, just Goggle search.

A couple days later I was part of the ribbon cutting for the Pavilion, the new $62 million dollar building that will make the Broad College competitive with the best of business schools and has created a space for students I could only have dreamt about way back then. For $3 million, the BUB and I scored front row seats.

Academics is alive and well at MSU. 2019 marks the highest incoming freshman class in history, the highest number of students overall and highest GPA and ACT scores required. With all the scandals, students still want to invest four years at MSU.

The flip side of all this is athletics. I knew it, when I said athletics, your mind immediately went to football! The irony of the situation is that MSU has more than 100 athletic programs but no one cares about any of them except for football and basketball. That got me to thinking: Why are there four years to a college degree? Why not three, why not five? Why are there four quarters to a football game?

I’ve been going to MSU football games for enough years that I now have second row seats near the 50. The games always started at Noon, tailgating at 9:30AM. I never drank alcohol then but Turkeyman was a treat. So was watching the marching band and the cheerleaders. The game lasted three hours and perfect timing to get home and enjoy Saturday night.

Lately MSU hasn’t had many noon games, in fact, not a single one this year. We had to play Western at 7:00PM if you can believe. Why? The NCAA dictates each team’s schedule meaning it’s all about money. Now the games last more than 3.5 hours and the scoreboard even shows the commercial time left in green. At home you can at least go to the bathroom, grab a snack, scan your phone or switch channels. Not so in a stadium especially when it is cold, rainy, windy or even sunny. Those 2:40 minutes go by very slow.

But what the heck, we’re talking smack down football. Football is the sport that changes man like no other sport. State makes a first down, fans high five. State runs an offensive play without fumbling or being intercepted or losing yardage or being penalized, fans high five. State scores a touchdown, a new world of order just happened and the stadium erupts. Fans are so easily manipulated. We will put up with anything when the team wins, even those f—–ing commercials.

Let me tell you this: At the ribbon cutting, we had the new President on stage, Sam Stanley, a fine young man of 65 who I had the pleasure of having breakfast with. We had Sanjay Gupta on stage (he was full of smiles!), the Dean of the business school. We had Minskoff on stage, the guy from NY that gave $30 million, the biggest gift to MSU of all time. Not once during any of their presentations did the spectators high five. Behind the stage area were more than 100 MSU students. Sure they clapped politely, but not a single high five.

That my friends is the difference between academics and athletics. That my friends is the power of football and somewhat basketball. High fives.

Now that academics is better than ever and the Broad College of Business is on the way to competing with the Ross School of Business, it is time to clean up athletics, specifically football and leadership. We all know athletics is the root problem of the Nasser tragedy that cost the then President and then Athletic Director among others, their jobs. We now know there are more stories from a couple years ago that both Dantonio and Simon have to testify after the football schedule is over with. And sadly we know that the MSU football team are losers with no offense, no defense, no special teams and certainly no coaching. The team is pathetic and look, MSU hasn’t won a national championship since 1966. We deserve better. MSU fans deserve better. The state of Michigan deserves better.

I for one decided to give up my season tickets. I will not be alone. Certainly Dantonio will retire after this season. Hopefully a new AD will be hired so we can start fresh. And everyone else in-between, time to clean house.

I’m proud to be a Spartan and clearly, academics rules at MSU. But all the crap that has gone on at athletics over the past few years has damaged MSU’s reputation and we need to get that back and that is what Sam Stanley is going to do. I’m just a donor who bleeds green but come on, we cannot watch another football game in which we lose 38-0 and when the Detroit Free Press gives out 0’s to the coaching staff, offense and defense teams.

Until something drastically changes, I’ll forgo my annual donation, second row seats and eight hours of Saturday misery and once again enjoy my fall Saturday’s.

In the meantime, go visit the Pavilion. It is truly one of the best college buildings you will ever see, complete with Panera Bread, team meeting rooms, high tech team rooms, classrooms, lounges, free space and so much more. That my friends is an investment worth making.

Happy Thursday!

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

How many times a week do you eat fast food?

View Results

Love, love, love the new EMMA Beauty products. I just received the first micro-batch of Triple Treat and it’s like no other product. It is three products in one: cream, lotion and oil. The slip is awesome, the fragrance level is just right and it’s super concentrated for an impactful experience.

EMMA Beauty Triple Treat Intensive Moisturizing Cream, 3.3 oz.

EcoTherapy Hand & Body Melts are the ultimate paraffin alternative and using it with Triple Treat, your hands and feet will have gone to heaven. Swear.

EMMA Beauty EcoTherapy Hand & Body Melts

ZIP DIP is the revolutionary powder system that everyone is raving about and we have yet to ship. Finally we expect delivery end of the week. The entire system is pretty awesome and being totally odorless, frosting on the cake. And everyone is going to love the glass jars too.

EMMA ZIP DIP EMMA Powder Nail Color, Swatch

Speaking of loving a new product, the All-In-One Hair Dryer & Volumizer is the miracle tool that hairdressers can’t get enough of. For the first time in a long time, salons are actually retailing a hair appliance. Love it!

XHI All-In-One Hair Dryer & Volumizer Hot Air Brush

ISPA (spa show)starts Wednesday in Las Vegas and this could signal the beginning of the end. The show floor is the smallest ever with about 250 exhibitors. But there were less than 400 registered spas as of last week. This is while the spa business has never been better. Even spas located in Vegas aren’t attending. Trade magazines, trade shows, trade associations: It all makes you truly understand the power of the Internet and social media.

Football season is here. Lions started out worse than predicted although how the worst team in NFL history can start out winning is truly an oxymoron. State finally looked good, albeit against Western. U-M? Not sure how the fans tolerate Harbough. But nothing like football to kick off the fall season!

In case you are wondering how my hip is doing, all swell! Another 6 weeks and back to spinning and full yoga. So much better than before, certainly if you know someone that needs it, recommend they do it sooner than later.

I just cancelled Netflix. Other than Ozark and Stranger Things, the network is a joke for adults. I’m loving Succession on HBO and hating The Affair on Showtime. In fact, not watching it anymore after the first episode was so bad. So much more fun reading a good book.

Fast food sales have surged this year. Chipotle, McDonald’s and even Popeye’s are blowing it out of the water. Typically you see this in a down economy or when unemployment is high. Experts chime in that American’s are addicted to fried, salty and tasty food. At the same time, more gyms are opening than ever. Yet obesity is winning the game. One Popeye’s fried chicken sandwich is 480 calories (not counting fries, soft drink). One hour of yoga or working out pretty hard is 300 calories. Hmm, no wonder obesity wins every time. Home cooking is at a record low (do you wonder where they get all these stats?).

Divorce rates are the lowest in 35 years. Then again, the percentage of marriage age adults getting married is the lowest in decades.

Apple has its big conference this week announcing the new iPhone 11. 5G is going to be the rage, let’s see if 5G is part of this phone even though the networks are not rolled out yet. Internal fingerprint ID and updated photography are other enhancements rumored. Will it be enough for us iPhone users to trade up?

Happy Monday!

Out Of My Mind On A Tuesday Mornin’

When do you think the start of the next recession will be?

View Results

So three days after my hip replacement surgery I’m walking without a cane. All is good. Then a few days later I’m in my office and my hands and fingers start to scratch like hell. I can’t stop scratching, it feels so good. I get home, call my derm and he tells me to slather crème on my hands and come in the morning. OK. But later at night the itching intensifies to the point I have to go to ER. In fact the itching was so bad I was thinking of being in a Saw movie and seeing if I could stop itching for ten minutes or die. Death was more enjoyable. Anyways, the doctor gives me a Benadryl IV and the itching starts to subside. Another IV a couple hours later and I could breathe again. But hives don’t go away just like that. After being released, later that day they moved to my back and legs. My lip was swollen, even my eyes were affected. Hives has to be one of the worst things to experience and hope you never have to in your lifetime (1 in 5 will). They think I was allergic to aspirin and aspirin has a 5 day half-life in your body. No more aspirin for me!

Yes I missed Cosmoprof and yes, I missed nothing at all. The only ones stating the show was a success were the show promoters and my reliable sources told me not only was the show floor eerily quiet, there was no action. Sunday was especially slow. Then again, just about half the show is packaging, less than a third of the show is professional (whatever that is these days) and the rest are tiny beauty start-ups that Cosmoprof for some reason has tried to make them super stars. Alas, this show is going down and in fact, next year it is being held just a couple days prior to July 4 and for the first time, starts and ends midweek. Why? Cheaper of course. But wait, in 2021 the shows moves to the LV Convention center. Why? Cheaper yet. Good for the Westgate but c’mon, how pathetic to see this happen.

Wallop! Ouch, being walloped is never a good feeling and this is exactly the feeling we got July 1 when Trump added 25% tariffs to many categories that were sight unseen. One category was nitrile gloves. Most interesting, nitrile, vinyl and latex gloves cannot be manufactured in the USA due to the chemicals required for production. So why would Trump add 25% to millions and millions of gloves that we must have on a daily basis? The list is excruciating and will immediately increase prices in the market. No wonder core inflation was up this month. Come September 1, virtually all other item will be tariffed at 10%. Sorry Trump, you are a complete moron fighting a trade war in which you know nothing about. At least with President Xi, there is a sense of strategy and compromise. But with the elections not until next year, the stand-off could get even more intense. Then again, Trump might just tweet he f—ked up and get rid of all the tariffs. This is no way to run the economy. [Update: Trump just postponed the 10% tariffs that were to take place September 1!!!!! Freaky]

Everyone is loving thebeautybook Fall 2019 edition. Me too. I have to admit, we have the most innovative products in the marketplace and some of which I am really over-the-top with include EcoTherapy, Scentworks melts, EMMA ZIP DIP, EMMA Gold and all the new treatments along with retail products, Triple Treat massage cream and the entire new lineup of scrubs and butters from Ginger Lily Farms.

Now that ForPro Professional Collection is the best-selling brand in the business, I guess I should be flattered about all the Chinese trading companies stealing our name and using it on their counterfeit products. I can only imagine what luxury brands must go through to protect their trademarks and designs.

I’m watching Season 3 of Stranger Things. Totally 80’s and totally awesome. But after watching the last episode, bye-bye Netflix.

Hard to believe but the new MSU Pavilion building is done and open for the new school year. The Gaynor Entrepreneurial Lab is ready for prime time and I get to speak September 27 to about 100 students. With more students in college than any other time in history and student debt quickly approaching $2 billion, I’m not sure this is the best time to be a student. Then again, there is nothing more fun than four years at a great school like State.

My surgeon cleared me yesterday and now I can go back to lifting weights, ride a bike and shortly, swim. The things you take for granted. One thing for certain: The more trips to the doctor, the less you take things for granted.

Happy Tuesday!