Tim Ferriss: living well versus doing well

I have a lot of respect for Tim Ferriss.  In a world where many pursue the standard career (and lifestyle) path, Tim champions the alternative and encourages his readers to pursue their dreams, not the status quo.

His latest post includes substantial excerpts from Rolf Potts’ Vagabonding and discusses the merits of time wealth versus material wealth.  Even if your dream isn’t to strap a backpack on your kids and travel the world, this post is worth reading.  It offers strong arguments for the accumulation of time wealth and, at the end, Tim has included many resources for simplifying your life that can add to anyone’s bookmark library.


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Parenting: these days won’t last forever

There is so much that I want to do and all of it requires time:  managing the business, writing, finding and meeting people who are working on interesting projects, tasting wines, seeing live music. 

Often, the time that I have allotted for these activities is hijacked by the needs of my children.  My three year old daughter wants to play with her dolls.  My five month old son needs to be held or wants to explore the living room by scooting along on his back.  When they need me, they get me.  Whatever project or activity I might have planned gets pushed aside as I get on all fours and enter their world. 

I find sometimes that I resent the supplication of my own needs for theirs.  How can I possibly accomplish all that I want to when I am at the beck and call of two unpredictable radicals who have no understanding of their Daddy’s ambitions? 

Saturday morning, I should be writing. Instead, my daughter is giving me an eye exam.

The resentment is always followed by shame.  How can I be jealous of my own children?

I’ve learned that the only way to reconcile these feelings with my greatest desire, the ambition to be a great father, is to remember that the window of childhood is short.  My daughter is not always going to think that playing dollhouse with her father is the best thing in the world.  Before I can even really appreciate that he is scooting, my son will be crawling and walking. 

It is cliché, perhaps, but you have to be mindful that the time is short and you have to appreciate the joy inherent in parenting.  There may be more productive ways to spend a Saturday morning than sitting on the floor of your living room, surrounded by miniature furniture, watching a twenty pound dynamo propel himself with his newly discovered legs and listening to the fictional exploits of the family that lives in the bright pink four story Fisher Price doll house.  But there is no more rewarding way to utilize your time than experiencing the transient pleasures of parenthood. 

Time will continue to present challenges as I look to fully realize all of my potential but I must continue to immerse myself in the experience because it is not going to last.

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Chateau Giscours 2005

Let me start by saying that I have always been a skeptic of Bordeaux. 

I mean, I get it.  Bordeaux is one of (if not the) greatest growing areas in the world for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  The classification system established in 1855 set the standard for quality designation based on terroir, introducing the modern era of wine.  Wines from classified sites are among the most sought after wines in the world and may sell out on the futures market years prior to release.

But I have always been a value guy, or to use a term that is gaining traction in the beverage industry, a QPR (Quality Price Ratio) guy.  For my money, several regions in the world provide a luxurious drinking experience that is not going to be nearly as expensive as Bordeaux. 

My cellar, as humble as it is, testifies to my preferences.  Chateauneuf du Pape, Rioja, Tuscany, Ribera del Duero and even Bandol outnumber Bordeaux in my old world selections.  Those wines aren’t cheap either but I’ve always found them to be less expensive than Bordeaux while still offering an elegant drinking experience.

Chateau Giscour may have changed my mind.

Like a velvet massage for the tongue

I received a bottle of the 2005 Margaux last year as a gift.  On Sunday, I opened it up and drank it with a humble but tasty pasta carbonara.

The color of the wine was dark and deep.  It looked almost black at points in the glass, more of an intense dark purple than of any spectrum of red.  It opened quickly despite the fact that I lazily chose not to decant it, showing an impressive complexity of scents:  cassis and pepper were present but so were honeysuckle, tar and vanilla, all working in concert.  My mouth started watering.  Bordeaux prejudice or not, this was shaping up to be something special.

“Mmmm,” my wife pronounced when she stuck her nose in the glass.  Wine being a social thing, we both grew more excited about the juice in front of us when our opinions corroborated each other. 

By far, the most impressive aspect of the wine was the mouthfeel, the velvety, soft expansive presence that the wine exhibited as it spread across the tongue.  It gently coaxed the tastebuds to open, infusing them with a rich combination of dark berry, cassis, tar and tobacco that lingered pleasantly. 

The tannins still maintained a firm grip but the meaty carbonara sauce adhered to the tannic structure,  enhancing both the flavor of the wine and the intensity of the sauce.  All in all, a great way to end the weekend and start the week. 

Perhaps I need to rethink my perception of Bordeaux.  After all, value can be present at any price.

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Taking Back My Name

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the importance of cultivating an internet persona.  Simply put, someone somewhere will google your name and you want them to be able to find positive intelligence about you. 

The idea never held much value for me.  I am gainfully employed and give little thought to what might pop up when someone enters “Nate Klatt” into a search engine.  I googled myself several years ago, when I was looking for a job and the first page was filled with entries that linked to articles I had written during my tenure as a public relations professional. 

When I decided to check again, I assumed those entries would still be the top responses.  Little did I know that my name had been taken from me by a 6’4” 292 pound behemoth, playing Center at Northwest High School in Clinton, Ohio.  As a high school senior, Nate Klatt had already garnered the attention of NFL scouts and had clogged the web with information about his impending decision on where to play college ball.

The other Nate Klatt

No big deal, right?

I thought so at first.  Then I started reading more about the effect of social networking on the new economy.  A current school of thought about the true power of the web is the ability of people to find others with like interests who want to collaborate on real world projects.  There could be people out there right now, around the world, who share similar passions and view points with me, who could be working on amazing projects, things I want to be a part of, to make the world a better place or make lots of money or both.  I want those people to be able to find me just as I actively seek them out.

To be visible, I have to take back my name.  This blog is one step in that direction as is my involvement in other web communities, both social and entrepreneurial.  To effectively establish my own internet persona I am going to have to go to war, over the next several years, as the other Nate Klatt establishes himself at Michigan State (thought for sure he’d choose to be a Buckeye) and then enters the NFL draft.  I will have to battle against terabytes of information distributed by ESPN, Scout.com and other media powerhouses.  Either that or I will have to change my name (which I am pretty much unwilling to do.)

The original Nate Klatt, at right, doing market research in Burgundy, 2004

So, Nate Klatt, it’s on.  Honor and the new economy demand that I defend my name and I am going to go to the mat to make sure that people know who the original Nate Klatt is, what he is good at and how to find him.  I choose you.

(Note to Nate: I don’t really choose you.  You’re 6’4”, 292 pounds and 19 years old.  I’m 5’8”, 165 and have a torn ACL from a recent skiing accident.  Just don’t do anything to make the Google onslaught any worse.  Please.  Oh, and when you do enter the draft, think Broncos.  They’ll need someone to shore up the middle and protect Tebow for that extra 267 milliseconds his throwing motion demands.)

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My Newest Project

Welcome to my blog, a home for my collected thoughts on writing, business, wine, music, family and other things of great social and political importance.  Please check out the links under the header to learn more about me and check back frequently for my latest ramblings.

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