Jarrod Ives, a former WunderHaus restaurant employee, works on his music Nov. 3 in a studio he built in Hot Springs, Ark. His newborn daughter, Ella, sleeps next to him. (Will Newton for The Washington Post)

For a lot of people the Pandemic has given us time to consider a lot of deep questions. And some of the lot-of-us are asking the following: Do I have to have a job-job?

Most are a “yes.” But some aren’t so sure.


This story follows some folks looking for alternatives.

It’s an excellent breakdown of the splintering effects of the COVID on a single restaurant, Little Rock’s WunderHaus.

Yes a lot of restaurant jobs are the worst, but a lot of the worst jobs teach the best stuff, both about business and the business of being a better version of yourself.

When you’ve figured out some of the world for yourself, the path to improvement–should you have any interest, will be better mapped out.

Employees will be back within the next two years. It has been my experience that if you let them go do their thing–figuring out a bit of the world and themselves–they return all the better for it.

And they are ready to work.


This what I do at night and the evenings (and on the weekends etc.).

I have a small record label that’s a growing collection of my more organized music projects; a release platform for my music, cues and songs for professional commercial use, and–as of this year, a growing filed recording library.

Does anyone out there have any music needs?

Rather than a generalist, I do a few things very well (synth textures mixed with folk instruments to name one).

Below is from early this week. Cuckoo is from Norway and a bit of a modern titan in today’s YouTube-based synth world. This is a pice I did that will go into a pack I am building called Today’s Future [but]_non-dystopian_. (starts at 10:52!)

A formerly partially frozen AP Festival Pizza.

I get asked all the time if I would get back into the restaurant business. 

The follow up question is typically along the lines of ‘what would you do different,’ or something like that. 

Hard “NO” on #1, but I think a lot about #2.

Nobody doesn’t know it’s awful out there right now. So much pivoting … 

These people may not be coming back.  Barring an economic shift (which will come at some point). A topic for another post.

What would I do if was to open another pizza shop? Start with the pizza itself. There is nothing new under the sun, but you can innovate with existing products and procedures. (And tech. Could this be a business blog entry/ linkedin-thing if I didn’t mention tech?)

** Remember, we are simplifying and automating crap procedures. Nobody wants these jobs right now.

  1. Use a raw frozen dough skin. You cannot know how many unwanted employee hours are deleted here—and potential order problems solved. Austin’s Pizza of the past did this: we used them at ACL. Guess what? Pizza was sometimes better there than at the stores. 
  2. Use an automatic sauce machine/ robot. They exist. They probably work. It seems like a small thing but it’s not. 
  3. Get a dairy to develop a pizza-sized cheese sheet. Trust me on this. I have been to cheese plants (oh the smells). They can make a 14” log and slice it with deli paper in the middle. 

We have cut out a huge amount of non-staff-able, poop-y labor, we have avoided most problems that can occur before the restaurant opens, and we have reduced costs with perfect measurements. If all of this can be done from frozen even better. 

All the (only one) person has to do is set this pizza in the oven. That’s it. A HUGE amount of pizzas are just cheese.

Part 2 coming soon; probably Fridays. 


Please read this article!

There is a lot of blind, exuberant love for Elon and Tesla in this town right now. A lot of smart people are starting to feel more than a little unsettled about it.

Ask yourself: Why is your Uber driver dishing out investment advice right now? I remember this kind of things happening twice before (2000 + 2008).

Don’t be afraid, but be skeptical. The best kind of optimists are a bit grumpy because they are born skeptics.

Article High Points:

It sums up why we, as Austinites, should be really weary of Elon Musk.
“Elon has parlayed an almost religious movement of true believers to fund losses. This is a business that’s never really made accounting profits, let alone actual cash flow. Amazon did all of that, generating internal positive cash flow. Tesla has just burned cash. “

More on the dangers of religion and $$ is always good.
“…you have entire asset classes and investment theses and ETFs and portfolios that are built on nothing more than narratives about disruption and innovation and belief. It is, by definition, faith and religion, and I find that to be extremely effective and extremely dangerous.”

It identifies why there is no one to make your hamburger.
“I’m more concerned about the people who have dependents or mortgages, and everything has been working. In some cases, they might have had a job that maybe wasn’t so great. And they decided to quit it because they’re making more money speculating in crypto or speculating in the stock market and maybe even levering or buying on margin to do that.” 

And it talks about why last mile/ home delivery companies are absolute s*#t.
“It’s amazing today watching and benefiting as a consumer, from Jokr and Gorillas and these under 15-minute delivery services, because I lived during the Kozmo.com and UrbanFetch moments, when you would order something and a dude would bring you your one-dollar drink with a hot chocolate chip cookie and a T shirt and a CD with a wrap on it, and you could order something again seven minutes later, they would do the same thing. Those companies went bust. That idea is back, and it’s being funded again. As a consumer, I think it’s brilliant. As an investor, I think these things are going to crash and burn again.”