Dean Clough

April 20, 2022

Portico Darwin: Behind The Lines

In my never-ending quest for relevance in retirement, I'm always looking for ways to channel my energy in to something positive.  This blog and are one example.  I also virtue signal via my volunteer efforts:  I am currently with Veterans Launching Ventures.  And I walk 5 miles in The Presidio just about every day, which keeps the doctors at bay and the weight off despite my prodigious intake of weissbier.

But in addition to the writing you're subjected to here, you may have missed the fact that I publish a whole bunch of other stuff.  In fact, I just finished a new monograph called On Managing TeamsThis is a serious effort I made to capture my experience and current thoughts on leading projects and people.

It is intended as a compliment to On Entrepreneurship.  I published this at my website late last year, but I just put it into more of a reader-friendly article/PDF kind of format.  It is intended as a one-stop shop for those so inclined.  It's also an autobiography of sorts, at least of my entrepreneurial life.  I hope it's actually better than that sounds.

However delusional, I have come to believe I've had a number of somewhat unique experiences, in the enterprise and entrepreneurial worlds, from which others can benefit by hearing.  These monographs are my attempt at getting my own professional message out there, on topics about which I'm the most passionate:  managing and starting businesses.  

10 seconds of seriousness:  if you're reading this, and have the time to read them, I'd love your feedback on either or both, good and bad.  

Or, you could eat, drink, or go outside.

I would like to thank Steven Simon for his very thoughtful response to my post from last Friday.  Here are his comments in their entirety.  

A couple of comments about the "It's So Gay" section of this issue . . .

As a father of a 13 year old daughter, I have seen this gender/sexual identity issue up close.  There are now dozens of "versions", each with its own name, colors, and even flags.  So that 20% number is not surprising, but it's also BS.  Here's my take on this . . .

  1. The actual numbers are likely no different than they were in the past, but it's just easier to identify as something other than straight cisgender. 
  2. It's often used as a way to get attention, especially by school kids.
  3. This one is my personal theory, but I think it's often used as a defense mechanism.  Being something other than straight cisgender helps defend against the perceived lack of attraction some kids are or will receive from the opposite sex.  From my minimal engagement in this issue it seems that these alt identifiers over-index with girls and have an inverse relationship with popularity.  If true, it would support my theory. But I have neither the time nor the desire to find out.

Also, I have a friend I met at work in 1995 and we've been in touch through the years.  He has done work for my business periodically.  A few years ago, at the age of 53, John became Heather.  Here is part of an email she wrote me last week, which I thought you would find interesting.  For background, Heather graduated from a very prestigious university, has a wife and two 20-something kids, works in analytics, has a great sense of humor and is "wicked smart".

"I'll tell you, one of the truly weirdest aspects of transition is that you have to start from a blank canvas and figure out who you're going to be, only it isn't a new canvas because you have all this lived experience behind you.  It's an old canvas with the paint scraped off.  This gives you so many options.  You get to think about what new colors and forms you want to draw, but you also have to think about what there was from the old you worth salvaging.  And then there are the parts and pieces that transfer over no matter what because they're so deeply embedded, and the parts that will try to sneak through that you do not want anymore.  This stuff is difficult!

The more I come to know about it, the more I realize that transition is a deeply spiritual experience.  Anytime some flathead tells you that transition is nothing more than putting on a dress and changing your name, you can go ahead and tell them they're nuts."

Steven's comments and those of his friend Heather only underline my observation from last week:  what a complex and nuanced subject.  One that goes beyond The Reedy Creek Improvement District.

But now, let's turn to sports.

6 degrees of separation?  If you know a particular reader of this blog, we're talking 1 degree of separation.


And as a public service to you foodies out there, I give you the clearly wannabe blogger Hunter Deuce.  He occasionally has these outbursts, and who am I to censor him?   

Hey buddy!

Just wanted to give a shout out to this place (Palette Tea House) - we had lunch there on Saturday with some friends.  Obviously, being in Ghirardelli Square meant tourists - although we made reservations and were able to breeze by the line of people who were waiting as walk-ins. 

The service?  Took a little while to be greeted, but once the drinks and food started showing up, it was smooth sailing.  The food?  Excellent - dim sum, and a variety of meat, seafood, and vegan dishes.  The real winner?  Their Wagyu beef chow fun.  I have never, ever, had beef this tender in a dish like this. I could easily see myself rolling by there sometime and hitting the bar for a couple of Kolsch beers and the chow fun.  I think we got out of there for $150 per couple (with tip), which given the booze and food we had seemed like a good deal.
Superb!  But the real question:  is this anywhere near Gunther Strobel's eagerly awaited new venture?  Enquiring minds want to know.

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.

I would say I have a love/hate relationship with this group.  Some of their stuff is among my favorites by any band.  But the early, crazy-town albums, or the later, maudlin schlock stuff?  Not so much.  And this is an album that has all of that - some just absolutely Killer tunes, with a couple (looking at you, Misunderstanding) of borderline embarrassing songs.   Here is Genesis and "Duke".


About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.