Wednesday, August 19

Greetings From Wherever

Well, here I am, looking at the Brussels skyline and watching the Love Boat. In French. This is the one where Captain Stubing's neice turns 18 and wants to lose her viriginity to Doc. Doc, ever the Gentleman, avoids temptation and tells her "the first time a grave moment" (serious=grave en francais but I think somehow the more correct - and ridiculous - tone the show chases). She tells Doc she is scared and he replies "when you are not scared, you know you are truly in love." She, eyes tearing and looking up to her commander: "You are a true instructor" then they together with the Captain, Julie, Isaac and Gopher who sing her "happy birthday." Wonderful stuff. Viewing Love Boat for the first time in like 20 years, the "props" stand out: there is the mustachiod guy leaning onto a wall talking to a broad while holding something on the rocks. The hairy-chested dude in tight trunks chats up Barbie nestled on the pool ridge. And the bottoms - the beautiful bottoms everywhere - whose wiggle serves the perfect seguay between scenes. Genius. And there is the Captain, pictured - what is up with his shorts and black bow-tie? It's not quite captainly, I might suggest. Still, black Isaac serves up the cockatails with a sprig of jive, Gopher adds the comic relief and Julie .. well, Julie's longing for the shore and her true love makes every voyage a veritable romance. In short, the perfect Saturday night team, who I often joined in the late 1970s pre-car and pre-dating. With Fantasy Island following, the perfect double-header. They just don't make TV like this anymore.

So I am in Brussels and this morning Bad Homborg and before that Amsterdam. Yes, I am on the hot trail of investor dollars. I share the ride with fund manager David who is going for the Big Bucks to invest in his quant driven strategy. David has spent considerable resources and time assembling the largest venture data set I or anybody has seen before - according to Dow Jones, 98% of all venture financings encapsulated. Using multiple regressions, he "scores" investments and increases odds on betting the winners. So far, my friends intrigued and the next step their commitments. Our week BTW off to a traumatic start as we miss our outward flight thanks to Heathrow where I cannot find the pre-paid parking bay. Don't ask. Analysing our late-night options, we drive to Luton Airport for our morning connection, requiring a 4AM wake-up call for a 6AM flight and 9AM arrival in another city in another country. We make it with five minutes to spare, our meeting never the wiser.

"You know how they got the name Merrill Stubing? I said "why did you pick a name like Merrill Stubing?" He said, "I'm a baseball fan, and there was a great ballplayer named Merrill Stubing that nobody's ever heard of from many, many years ago.""
--Gavin Macleod (aka Captain Merrill Stubing)