The Rich Buddha (Slight Return)

“The hard part of freedom is that you always have a chance of getting it wrong, which is why, we tend to point people to cheaper rather than expensive options… Buy a Columbia 34 for $10K and a year later if you’re unhappy with it you can sell it for around $10K, on the other hand if you’d spent $350K for a Bendytoy it’s a whole different thing. Old boats have the advantage of already being depreciated to the Nth degree so they don’t lose what value they have.” — Bob Wise, Boat Bits, A choice here, a choice there…

This post at the League of Ordinary Gentlemen is a sort of an ode to a friend/mentor who is passionate about the whole “Many of the best things life are free, and a lot of the things that aren’t free are cheaper than you think” philosophy.

“Just today he sent me a note asking what I thought about starting a sailing magazine as a contra to the boating press as it exist (almost a carbon copy of the consumer electronics presss if you know that game) [DR: Positive write-ups in exchange for ad dollars.]

“Where film and sailing are concerned I never ever would have been able to have the experiences I’ve had unless there had been some there to whisper a clue in my ear. Else wise I would have had no idea what was possible; there’s just no money in giving people these clues (oatmeal, pressure cookers, Super16mm, good old plastic boats.)

“So my answer to Bob was “I don’t know.” It’s like cooking oatmeal on your stove. How do you sell that as an idea. It’s a good idea. A really good idea. But once someone has a pot and a stove, what more can you sell them? Not much.

“All we can really do is whisper in each others’ ears.” — A reader comment from Awesome Oatmeal on Ta Nahisi Coates Blog at

“[N]arasimha wanted to own his own car, and he told me that he was close to saving enough money. As we approached the airport terminal, he handed me a business card and asked me to call him whenever I needed a ride. By calling him directly, I’d dispense with the middleman. 

“And so I did. I sometimes had flights leaving at 2 a.m. in the morning, but he never once turned me down. If he couldn’t come himself, he’d set me up with one of his driver friends. None of them though, were as prompt, safe, or reliable as Narasimha. 

“One day, Narasimha arrived in a shiny white Ford Icon. I happened to be the first passenger in his new car, and he beamed when I congratulated him. He had purchased the car on a loan, and it meant that he was finally his own master.

“I asked him how he managed it all, and here’s what I could gather: Narasimha had an uncle who invited him to Bangalore, got him into the taxi business, coached him as a driver, and helped him procure the loan. I couldn’t understand everything he said, but by his tone, it was clear he was deeply grateful to his mentor. As hard and as smart as he worked, Narasimha had yet another virtue that helps counter “blaming the victim”: humility.” — Kentaro Toyama, The White Lie of the Self-Made Person,

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