MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600 700 Prē HTC Evo,Samsung 5. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

2nd Annual Alister MacKenzie Tournament to Save Sharp Park - Denouement


My hand-picked team of high handicap hackers finished with a par score. They were selected to take advantage of the Net Best Ball format that we were told would be the tournament scoring methodology.  Instead, upon arriving at the course we learned we would instead be scored as a Gross Scramble Score.  But I am not one to complain.  While a 72 is not a very good score for a four man scramble,  I am unlikely to ever again see a 72 next to my name, so thought I should document the scoreboard for it's historic value.


This was Sandy Tatum's winning team, which shot a 59...


Congrats to the winners [kaf, cough, ahem, blowjob, kaf, koff]. But I am not bitter.

Bo explains it all as only Bo can.
Patently unfair format aside... It was a great event, for a great cause that continues to attract some of the best and brightest Bay Area luminaries in the game.  Kudos to the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance, the Sharp Park Golf Club, Sharp Park restaurant and everyone involved. Great turnout, horderves , on-course grill, cool sweaters, and, of course, great golf on a great course.


And - I just love the tag line - "Come play for history." Perfect.

Last Hole






Approach shots on 2 (our last hole witth the shotgun start). The Other Mike got it to 12 feet.It was a makeable birdie butt, and our last chance to break par on the team scramble. To partially make up for the patent unfairness of high handicappers playing against low handicappers in a gross score scramble format, I stepped in to help the team as the fifth putter when needed.  We needed this putt to finish in red numbers:


We did not finish in red numbers.


Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

The Other Mike on eighteen ...


... is desperately hoping to contribute to the team effort before we run out of holes.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Thank you Bob...


... for once again saving the team from complete humiliation. On the 17th he stripes it down the middle of the fairway. Rick puts it on the green to 18 feet. And Roy drains it for the bird.


My coaching was instrumental to securing the bird and getting the team back to even. The Other Mike contributed... um... uh...  moral support in this team effort.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

16th tee portrait


Team mw.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Birdie putts on 14...

... all missed.


Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Roys approach on 13...


... bailed the team out after some poor team decision making earlier in the hole.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Team NetSuite at the turn

Lookin' good...




Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Putting for par on 10.


Which they could not sink. Our first team bogie of the day. Back to even.  These guys are embarrassing me.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Everybody missed their birdie putt on 8


Look. I am doing what I can,  but these guys are fundamentally uncoachable.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Coaching makes me thirsty.


And watching these guys play, makes me thirstier. There is only so much I can do. At some point, they actually have to get the ball off the tee and on the fairway or green.  I'm doing what I can.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

The Other Mike tees off on 4...


... into the trees on the right.  Just because he is my pinch hitter, it does not mean he should play like me.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

And we're off...



Shotgun start on the 3rd hole.


 Scramble format.



 The team  chose to use Rick's tee shot. Bob's approach got us within five feet of a birdie. All we needed was someone to sink the putt.


A great start. Team MW is one under after one. Little did we know that we had peaked out.


Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Live Blogging Sharp Park Tourney


 Sunny and warm. We couldn't ask for a better day.

But they switched the tourney format from net best ball to a scramble. My high handicap team is screwed.

Sent from my Sprint HTC smartphone.

Second Annual Alister MacKenzie Golf Tournament to Save Sharp Park


My well-worn SF public golf cap collection
The San Francisco Public Golf Alliance is again sponsoring a benefit tournament to help protect this civic gem from the continuing assaults of the W.E.B.L.E.E.D.U. Axis.
  16th Tee - (click to enlarge)
Details here:
"The Second Annual Alister MacKenzie Tournament to Save Sharp Park will be held Saturday, June 22 at Sharp Park Golf Course. The tournament will be hosted by the San Francisco Public Golf Alliance, together with the Sharp Park men's and women's golf clubs, Pacifica Chamber of Commerce, and Pacifica Historical Society. All proceeds go to our ongoing campaign to Save Sharp Park Golf Course.

Your entry fee pays for a long day of fun, 18 holes of golf, a great tee prize, and donation to the great cause of saving Alister MacKenzie's historic public golf links. The tournament format will be foursome best ball (1 ball) , net and gross. We will have 2 shotguns: at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., followed by silent auction, a raffle, and other festivities in the Clubhouse."
Adding to my cap collection
Heading to Pacifica now to join my foursome.  We had a great time last year, and this year promises to be even better.  Only problem is that  I can't swing a golf club. No matter. I have designated Other Mike as a pinch hitter, and will be coaching the foursome to victory.  And live-blogging of course.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Driveway to [abalone] Heaven


As noted in prior posts, the driveway of our Mendonama property was long overdue for maintenance. We hired Mason Excavating out of Gualala to do the work, couldn't be happier with the result.  Not that I need an excuse to head north, but ran up for the day to check it out.




 Before and After

Thought it would it would take two days but they finished in one. I missed getting any pics of the work in progress.


My shoulder injury precluded any ab diving, so nothing else to do but hang around and enjoy the scenery.




Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Truthiness About 60+ Year Old Sales People


This will be a little out of the ordinary for this blog, so I feel I need to preface this post with an explanation.

Although I was an early adopter, I always considered LinkedIn to be little more than a glorified contact list and didn't use it for much of anything else. Since going public, LinkedIn has evolved into something that offers interesting content and commentary that pulls me in regularly. An article that got my attention recently was Steve W. Martin's post "The Truth about 50+ Year Old Sales People" linked from a discussion thread on Linked-In Sales Management Executives group:
"It's still hard times for salespeople and sales managers over 50 today. As companies have downsized, they find themselves five times more likely to be let go when compared to their younger counterparts. They also have a more difficult time finding new jobs because younger sales managers have five basic fears about hiring someone older than themselves...  Given these fears, I would like offer five factors sales managers should consider when choosing between younger and more senior salespeople."
I'm a fan of Steve W. Martin's work but have a few problems with this article. I started to reply in the comment thread, but it soon became obvious I would blow through the comment length limit (an unsurprising development to regular readers of my other blog). So, I need somewhere to unload - this blog wins.

Like others in the Linked-In comment thread, I'll start by declaring my demographic allegiance. I am sixty years old and was in high tech sales and sales management my entire professional career. The age discrimination issue discussed by Martin does not affect me directly as I opted out a few years back to work on a second act and pursue other life goals. Nevertheless I feel compelled to raise my voice out of demographic loyalty to my aging tribe and correct a few of Mr. Martin's assertions. Calibrate as you see fit.


First, credit where it's due – Mr. Martin does a nice job of distilling the irrational and “unfounded” fears that a young sales manager may have about hiring a senior salesperson. That said, I have my doubts about his first “unfounded” fear being actually - you know - unfounded:

They are Un-coachable. Younger sales managers fear older salespeople are set in their ways and won’t take their directions.”

One wonders why the young sales manager would think that about us oldsters? Why wouldn't a senior salesperson like myself be eager to take guidance and learn new sales techniques from a manager who's mother was wiping his diaper-rash chapped ass with vaseline while I was out closing multimillion dollar competitive enterprise software deals? Sure, that young sales manager could very well have some deep sales insight that might change a world view honed over a lifetime of competitive cut-throat enterprise sales. It could happen. I guess.

But other than that quibble, Martin is spot-on with his litany of unfounded young sales manager fears. I would just offer a bit more clarification about that his last listed “unfounded” fear:

They Really Want My Job! Perhaps the biggest fear of a younger manager is that he is hiring someone who may upstage him in the eyes of senior management in order to fulfill an ulterior motive of taking over his job.”

Trust me young sales manager. We really don't want your job. Yes, we know for an absolute fact that we could do your job much better than you. In our sleep. With a hangover. While concurrently writing the Great American Novel, managing two fantasy football leagues and kicking your ass in Halo. We know that.

We know every single thing you are going to say before you say it. We have carefully considered every sales idea that occurred to you long before you thought of it. It's okay. We'll pretend to be interested and thank you for your suggestions. This is what you need to understand - We want you to look good.

You look good when we close deals and crush our number. We're fine with that. No shit - we really don't want your job. Nobody in their right mind wants a first line sales management job. Been there. Done that. If you are doing that job right it means you take the blame when things go wrong and get no credit when things go right. But somebody's got to do it. We're glad it's you and not us. I hope this eases your mind.

My real issue with the article is not the “fears of the young sales manager” as outlined by Martin, but his rationale for hiring 50+ salespeople. Lets go through them:
  1. Do you sell to C-level?”
First, if your company is not selling to C-level, you cannot afford to hire a senior sales professional. Mr. Martin makes the excellent point that a gray hair CEO is going to have more confidence in a 50+ sales professional than some twenty-something who thinks planning ahead means not forgetting their iPhone on the bedside table. The problem is that he does not go far enough. Truth be be told, your typical 50+ salesperson is still nursing delusions of youth (“Fifty is the new thirty!”) They have yet to give up on their hope of being a rock star or playing for the Yankees. They are probably dying their hair or shampooing with minoxidil or  buying Grecian Formula in bulk or all of the above. As Martin points out, if you want to effectively sell to gray hairs you've got to have gray hair. Your 60 plus sales professional has embraced the gray. For all the reasons that Martin outlines, if 50 something is good, 60 something is better.
  1. It’s about relationships, not Rolodexes...”
Actually it's about both. Now - your typical 60 something salesperson actually had a real Rolodex at one point in his career, unlike anyone 50 or under. Moreover, as an early adopter who could fully appreciate and embrace real sales productivity tools, that contact list was painstakingly transferred to the original Palm Pilot as soon as it was available (Yes – your 60 something sales pro is fluent in “Graffiti” -a lost skill). He/she has continued to roll forward every single contact from the beginning of time into every new technology since. Sure, some of those contacts have been sucked into Salesforce.com along the way, but they are all still in that senior sales pro's smart phone today.

Does he/she actually remember all these contacts? Fuck no. Many of them are probably dead by now. That's the point. Your average 60 plus sales pro has more dead people in his contact list than your young sales manager has even met in his professional career.

You want to talk about building relationships? How about entering a new C-level contact into your smartphone only to find it already there. Happens all the time with your 60-something sales pro. You met that CFO when she was a public accountant putting together an S-1 for a bubblicious dot com IPO in 1999 . She helped you spend their investor's money on enterprise software that was never implemented. Ah - good times. Instant relationship. The best relationships accompany the biggest “Rolodex” and the biggest “Rolodex” belongs to the eldest among us.

  1. Wit.” “...don’t judge a book by its cover and assume a little gray hair means a lot less grey matter.”
I don't think “wit” means what Steve W. Martin thinks it means. No matter. Despite Martin's contention, you can judge a book by it's cover. And if there are no shades of gray on that cover, it's probably a pretty boring book. Just sayin...
  1. Sales is a Mentor-based Profession...”
True. But sales is first and foremost a performance based profession. Nobody understands that better than a 60+ sales pro. So, yeah, Mr. Young Sales Manager, your team is going to benefit from having a seasoned sales pro as an example for the rest of your staff to emulate. But not as much as you are going to benefit from having a seasoned sales pro make your numbers for you.
  1. Who Do You Trust? Peek into the cockpit as you board your next commercial flight...”
Since the average age of commercial airline pilots is in the mid forties, and since it is only in recent years that the airline industry relaxed the pilot's mandatory retirement age of 60, this is probably not the best example that Mr. Martin could have used to counter the ageist bias of clueless sales managers. That said – when I settle into my airline seat and see a pilot who looks like they could pass muster at a high school prom, it is a little pucker inducing. So... point taken. Now that I think of it, I feel the same way about when interviewed by sales managers who only need to shave twice a week. But I digress.

The sixty something sales professional is the last of a breed. Their sales career started when every sales office had a team secretary who brought hand written phone messages on pink post-it notes, important phone numbers were memorized and the location of every pay-phone in the territory was a strategic advantage. They understood the concept of planning a major team sales presentation because the custom 35mm slides needed to fill out the presentation carousel took two weeks to prepare from the corporate graphics department. Competitive analysis meant stealing leads from the wastebasket of a competitors sales office and reading their forecast white board with binoculars from across the street. Not that I ever did anything like that. You just hear stories.

Now that same sixty plus sales pro is responding to voicemails, e-mailing forecasts, collating Linked-In prospect employees with their smartphone contacts and composing a Powerpoint sales presentation on the passenger seat of the car while barreling down 101 to the prospect's office. And they still memorize all  important phone numbers.

Look, I've got nothing against 50 plus salespeople. Some of my best friends are 50 plus salespeople. Let's just wrap this up with a couple of quotes. First to paraphrase Ronald Reagan:  ”I will not make age an issue. I am not going to exploit, for purposes of a job, my opponent's youth and inexperience.".  But if you want real breadth of experience selling in all environments, you've got to go 60 plus.

Finally there is wisdom in P.J. O'Rourke's book title: “Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence and a Bad Haircut.”

It works every time.