Sage Customer Visit – Music in Motion

Earlier this week I had a chance to sit down with Amy Stewart, COO of Music in Motion.

Music in Motion offers over 5000 music, movement and dance education resources and music-related gifts for all ages – books & CDs, DVDs, software, games, posters, awards, classroom and ethnic instruments, incentives, gifts, teaching aids, and costume accessories for performances.

I love getting to know more about what Sage customers do and why they do it.

I Was Wrong About Joe Biden

Several years ago, I posted a snide comment about the fact that my wife and I donated more to charity than Vice President Joe Biden and his wife. While this has remained true for the last few years, upon further reflection I was wrong to be critical of the VP.

C_Joe_BidenThe reality is that he should not be donating anything to charity. In fact, any donations he makes are quite hypocritical. No, rather than donate, Mr. Biden should instead pay extra money in taxes. At a minimum, he should be making voluntary contributions to pay down the national debt. I have come to believe that the majority of people should do this as well.

You see, most people believe that government does a better job than charities at helping people. After all, if this were not the case they would not support expansive government programs that do just that.

My belief now is that anyone who believes that government should be the provider of “the general welfare” should not in any way support any charity through their donations of time, talent and treasure. They should not volunteer their time, instead, they should get a part time job and in addition to the tax money that gets taken out of their paycheck from this job, they should send the rest of their paycheck to the IRS.

alg-springsteen To broaden this idea, when the next natural disaster occurs, musicians, like Bruce Springsteen, should not have a concert to help the people directly, but instead, give the money to FEMA. Most of these folks think like Biden. Clearly they believe that  government is the fulfillment of society. Why they would donate a penny or a second to any charity is beyond me. To do so is to admit that private charities perform these function better than their beloved government.

Sorry, Joe. I admit, I was wrong. Please don’t give any more to these institutions.

My Interview with Sage Customer Ring City

Today, I had the honor of speaking with Tom Fun, the owner and operator of Ring City.

Ring City is a importer/exporter of fashion jewelry and has been producing the finest quality fashion jewelry since 1982.

Recently, the have begun to broaden their customer base by diversifying into a specialized retail market – charitable fund raising. These will be jewelry parties for soccer teams or PTAs in order to raise money. It is a win, win, win – for the customer, for the charity and for Ring City.

My thanks to Sage Partner Johnny Pabian of Pabian Partners for setting up this interview.

Doing the Impossible

This week I received the alumni news from my high school, Chaminade, an all-male Catholic institution on Long Island. Photos from this year’s graduation graced the cover dated July 2013. Normal stuff. Then this:

[Guy’s name] who graduated with a four-year cumulative average of 100 percent, is shown at left…

To explain the magnitude of this let me state that at Chaminade, averages are kept in tenths and even hundredths of a point and are displayed with pride in the entry foyer. In addition, in an average year, 99 percent of the graduating class goes on to college, and about 1 percent, every year, are appointed to service academies. In other words, this place is highly competitive and the kids are pretty dang smart.

I had to do the math. To get credit for a 100 percent average over four years, this dude had to average over 99.95 percent, otherwise, it would have been rounded down to 99.9. I made some assumptions with regard to the number of tests and quizzes per week and I estimate that he answered a total of 186,480 questions in his four years. Over that time period he only got fewer than 93 answers wrong.

Wait, it gets better.

If tradition at the school holds, each subject has a comprehensive exam at the end of the year which accounts for 50 percent of the grade for the year. By comprehensive, I mean comprehensive. The test includes questions about material taught from September through June. Again, making some assumptions about questions per test over the four years, I estimate about 7,000 questions. To achieve the necessary 99.95 percent, he would be allowed to get three or fewer of the 7,000 answers incorrect over the four year period.

Say what!

[Guy’s name] is off to Columbia in the Fall.

Disclaimer: In speaking with a classmate of mine he offered some additional thoughts: 

  1. Standards at the school may have changed in a few ways: a) Extra credit and makeup work were not an option when we attended. If this is no longer the case 100 percent is a bit more doable. b) Grading standards may be relaxed as well. Meaning, this 100 percent may be based on an over 99.5 percent average. 
  2. If anything my assumption with regard to the number of questions may be on the low side by a factor almost two, meaning the total number of question could be near 350,000. 

PS – This post would receive a grade of 90 or so, due to excessive use of the passive voice. Way too many usages of the very “to be.” Be, am, is, are, was, were, been, being.