Six days ago, Niagara on the Lake was the latest wine region for me to taste beautiful white wine. The Niagara region in Ontario province in Canada is known for really good wine. Trius winery was the first spot, in which Sauvignon Blanc wine and tasty seafood was consumed. Then, the next winery for me was Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery. This winery is walking distance from Trius, and Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery is a distillery also. Besides wine, whiskey is the other beverage made in the same location. The great Hockey player opened up his winery in 2017, and it has crisp Pinot Grigio and Riesling wines. The Niagara region is known for good wine, and it is called Niagara-on-the-Lake to be precise. The area is home to Niagara Falls, which lies in Canada and the USA. The Niagara region will be etched in my mind forever, as a fun place to drink wine in cool 68 degrees Fahrenheit. For Saturday, the Casa Loma castle is a huge gothic style revival house. The castle is in midtown Toronto, and the rain had stopped in time. Across from the Casa Loma castle is the Casa Loma stables, which is a little bit nicer in my opinion. The Casa Loma stables is a historical landmark, and the stables had incredible Halloween decorations. At the Casa Loma stables, a very pretty Chinese woman wanted me to take a picture of her parents. Instead, Mandarin Chinese words came out of my mouth and she smiled at me. Instead, the picture was of her and the parents. It is great to practice a language, which G. Ripley had to speak for three years. After Casa Loma castle and stables, the final destination for me was the CN Tower by Lake Ontario. It was the third time for me to be in this majestic tower, that is the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. CN Tower is the third tallest tower in the world, and it was declared as one of the modern seven wonders of the world in the 2000's decade. The tower is a picturesque icon of the Toronto skyline, as it juts 1,815 ft. The tower is a great place for G. Ripley to speak French, and a few people understood my words in the lovely language. As for my next trip to Canada, Montreal might be the city to see. Au Revoir from Rahulio Ganpuleone! Enjoy the picture above of green vineyards producing wine, in the Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery.
CIC 101 is a course at a fictitious European univ., and your instructor is Ricky Greenleaf. CIC 101 stands for Catalonia Independence Crisis. Picture yourself in a conference room with twenty people and your instructor, Mr. Greenleaf; is covering the Catalonia state problems in the country of Spain. You may be in London or Paris, but remember that Spain has a very high unemployment rate. If Catalonia becomes their own country, how can they be a prosperous nation with Barcelona being the main city for that economic cash cow? Catalonia wants to become an independent nation, as the prosperous area of eastern Spain voted to become independent in the past week. Barcelona is the second most populous city in Spain, and the most populous city in Catalonia. The main problem in Spain is Catalonia independence will bring a huge constitutional crisis, for Europe as well as the Spaniards. The European continent is dealing with Brexit for the past 18 months, and Catalonia could be another problem for the EU (European Union). Essentially, Catalonia is performing the incredible secession from Spain. More than 2 million people cast votes for separating Catalonia from Spain, and Catalonia could be an independent sovereignty by the middle of October 2017. Can you believe that statement? It could become a reality, as this former Olympic region (Barcelona 1992) could be better off by itself. Then, there’s the flip side which Ricky Greenleaf wants you to follow. The idea here is for Catalonia to stay in Spain, as the country depends on this region for many resources and economic indicators that may help Spain overcome a high unemployment, etc. As many of my readers know, Brexit is an idea that should not have come to fruition. The same can be said about Catalonia and their secession from Spain. Spain needs to work within the country, and their government should unite to keep Catalonia as an economic juggernaut in the Iberian Peninsula. Catalan politician Mireia Boya should work with right-wing Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, instead of pushing the Catalonian population to protest against Spain.
Finally, let’s move to some hypothetical situations in the 1st quarter of 2018. If Catalonia is a separate sovereign nation, what is the form of currency? The EU would have to vote to accept, or reject Catalonia into the European bloc. The EU is coping with Brexit already, and the nations of Portugal and Spain may not be the only ones dealing with the constitutional crisis. Many nations in Europe would be affected by Catalonia secession. The next hypothetical situation is does Spain continue to be an authoritarian state/country, as the Spanish govt. rejected recent negotiations brought about by Catalonia. Spain has blocked internet sites in the country, arrested political leaders for other ridiculous reasons, and is influencing the media. In the end, France and Germany may try to help their Spanish ally but will it be too late. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron may aid Spain, but Catalonia may want to be the seceded state. Catalan could be the official language, and Spanish could be the secondary language. Hope you the reader has gained knowledge about the current political chaos in Spain, and Catalonia. Enjoy the picture above of the current political/geographic map of Spain and Portugal. This map may change in another four to five months, but that is out of our control. Remember that countries, and regions can become independent in the correct fashion not via secession.
Today, the discussion is on web browsers that people use to surf the Internet on a computer or smartphone. For G. Ripley's Experiences, the audience has viewed my weblog in Internet Explorer (or Microsoft Edge) web browser on a regular basis. Personally, my weblog should be viewed in another web browser like Mozilla Firefox. Back in 2005, Firefox was introduced to me by my roommate. It is an easy to use browser, which reminds me of Netscape Navigator. Firefox is used on Android mobile operating system. Safari is a web browser used on Apple Mac computers, and people use this browser on their Iphones also. The last major web browser that consumers are using frequently is Google Chrome. Chrome might be used more than Safari, and it can be used on the Android operating system in many useful ways. Next, there are five more web browsers that are used on Ios or Android OS; plus on PCs in other continents (Europe, Asia, etc.). Some of us go to the Opera, while there is a growing population that uses the Opera web browser globally. This web browser is owned by a Chinese company, and Opera's web standards are similar to Google Chrome. Opera was the fifth most popular web browser on the desktop in 2015 worldwide, and it has been used on mobile phones to view websites in various languages in Africa; Asia; and Europe per statistics provided by StatCounter. For mobile smartphones, Opera is used primarily on Android OS. Now, our story moves to an web browser that has the same name as my favorite underwater mammal. A dolphin should come to your mind quickly, and the Dolphin web browser is used primarily on Ios and Android operating systems. Some of Dolphin's main renowned features are tabbed browsing, and gesture browsing. This web browser has received positive reviews, and garnered acclaim plus strong comparisons with the ranks of Chrome; Safari; and Firefox. On to CriOS, this web browser is Chrome on the Ios mobile operating system. This web browser can be used on Android operating system as well. Cr is the symbol for the Chromium element too. For the penultimate web browser, Headless Chrome is defined as running the Chrome browser in a headless environment. A headless browser is an impressive tool for automated testing and server environments in which you don't need a clear UI (user interface) shell. This web browser is used more on the Android operating system for smartphones, than the Ios operating system. Lastly, GSA is short for Google Search Appliance. It is considered a web browser in a different fashion, than the previous eight browsers mentioned above. Essentially, GSA is a device that was rack mounted for providing document index functionality. The software was produced by Google, and Dell built the hardware. GSA was retired as a product in 2016, and the last year of support will be 2018 per license renewal agreements. Finally, most of these web browsers can be used on tablets such as Apple Ipad; Samsung Galaxy Tab; etc. At the end of this anecdote, you should have learned about nine different web browsers and how they are used. Enjoy the picture above of the icons used for five web browsers: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, and Safari. Bye Bye!
Doing Karaoke is a fun thing for me to do!! It is something that G. Ripley has done eight times. The songs to sing come from groups like U2, John Mayer, Coldplay, and Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP). It was great for me to sing 'Angel of Harlem' two nights ago in Tempe. The karaoke experience is something to enjoy, and that song is a classic track by U2 from their 1980s' music collection. Singing karaoke was the highlight for lucky platypus' going away party. Lucky Laurie is moving across the pond, and it was a fun going away party. Other U2 songs that have been on my karaoke playlist are "Where the streets have no name," and "Beautiful Day."
After U2, John Mayer has awesome songs like "Clarity"; "Split Screen Sadness"; and "Say." It has been really cool to sing those 3 songs at Karaoke in Scottsdale. Some planes fly at the "Speed of Sound" by Coldplay. G. Ripley has sung that incredibly difficult song, as you have to hit the right notes.
Last but not least, Red Hot Chili Peppers sing "Slide" and it's a great song on their Californication album. It is an awesome track, which G. Ripley sang in Scottsdale Karaoke in 2013. Now, let's fast forward to 24 hours later. My buddy, Naleeno, had requested Grimaldi's pizza for dinner. The restaurant has pictures of the NY skyline, Central Park; Times Square; and Statue of Liberty which gives the customers a major NYC feel/experience. Naleeno drank some beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon wine, and Peroni was my drink of choice. Next, we decided to go to Royal Palms Hotel for some more libations. At the exquisite resort in Phoenix, we saw some beautiful femme fatales. Naleeno enjoyed the tour, and the different fountains/pools. At one point, the two of us wanted to search for the right 'sex area' with exquisite YSL's. YSL is young, seductive ladies. It is Rahulio lingo. At the 10:50 hour last night, Naleeno had no idea that G. Ripley would dip his feet into the fountain at RPH. For me, it was an impromptu experience that involved a picture too. Even better, Naleeno and G. Ripley wanted to send the picture to Miss Cabrero. That task was done and she liked the picture. As this story ends, may you (the reader) have learned a nice ton of information about G. Ripley; Naleeno; Laurie; and Miss Cabrero. Until our next adventure, Arrivederci!!! Enjoy the picture above of U2, one of my favorite music bands. G. Ripley (aka Reliable Source of Gossip) has seen them in concert multiple times. Peace!
It is time to inform you of China's leading sport utility vehicle (SUV) maker, Great Wall Motor. The company goes by the acronym, GWM; and the huge Chinese automotive firm is trying to acquire Jeep from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Forty eight hours ago, executives from Great Wall Motor made it clear that they wanted to buy Jeep. Today, the Great Wall Motor co. is doing an about face by stating that there are huge obstacles to overcome before the deal can go through. The Trump admin. and other higher ups' in Washington DC would have a tough time approving this merger. Also, FCA exec. have said that Great Wall Motor co. did not approach them with 'let's make a deal.' Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has mentioned that a new partner, in the automotive world could help FCA to become a more nimble company. Yet, Volkswagen and General Motors declined Sergio's offers in the past two years. Marchionne has mentioned in the past, that Jeep or Ram brands could be sold before 2017 ends. Both brands are the FCA's main moneymakers. If Jeep or Ram were to be sold, the brand's development teams would be gone as well. Both of the brands have strong development teams, which would bring a large amount of automotive and engineering knowledge to help their new company(s).
Furthermore, the following three brands of Dodge, Maserati, and Alfa-Romeo; would have to produce a major uptick in sales if Jeep or Ram were to be sold off. Jeep is projecting global sales of 2 million vehicles, a nearly four-fold increase from the start of the five-year FCA plan initiated in 2013. This sales projection is an outlandish one for 2018, for Jeep to achieve. At this time, the global automotive world is experiencing a massive SUV boom like never seen before. Fiat has old headquarters in Turin, Italy; and current headquarters in London, UK. FCA is registered in the Netherlands, and Chrysler has a huge domestic base in Auburn Hills, Michigan. All four of these countries (US; England; Italy; and the Netherlands) would have to vote 'yes'; before any major deal is made. The selling of Jeep, or Ram would face tough market scrutiny from Europe, Asia, and North America. China has tried to enter the US automotive market for the past decade, but it has been unsuccessful in each attempt. FCA is the world's seventh largest auto manufacturer. Lastly, Mr. Marchionne is the top man at the following companies: CNH Industrial, FCA, Ferrari, Maserati, and SGS (swiss based MNC). It is incredible how he helps his employees to manage all of these well known firms, on a global scale. Enjoy the picture above of Great Wall Motor, with its well-crafted slogan. As for Sergio Marchionne, he bids you with 'addio.'
Unfortunately, Elon Musk (founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla plus other co.) has split from Amber Heard, beautiful Hollywood siren. For Amber, she had moved on from her ex-husband Johnny Depp; to dating Elon. Now, Amber and Elon are in splittsville. They remain friends and their busy work schedules led to the breakup. Amber will be in the 'justice league' movie, which releases in 3 months in theaters. Amber and Elon dated for almost a year, and their relationship was kept private. Smart move by both people. Let's move onto Elon, and his companies. Tesla and Solarcity merged in late 2016/first quarter 2017. Recently, Peter Rive left Tesla and he was one of the main founders of SolarCity. Many well known executives from SolarCity have left the newly formed company. SpaceX is going to launch the Falcon Heavy rocket, which has three boosters. The private space company raised $350 million recently, valuing the company at $21 billion last month. Falcon Heavy rocket is more powerful than the latest space rocket, which NASA had produced.
Next, Tesla is continuing their push to sell the Model 3 sedans to the general public in third and fourth quarters of 2017. Tesla's electric car has to make a profit in 2nd half of 2017, or it will continue to be a profitless company for shareholders and stakeholders alike. TSLA has market cap. of $61 Billion on NASDAQ stock exch., and they will produce a model X and Y car also. When these electric auto models will hit the pipeline, who knows? Let's go underground now to the Boring Company, Musk's foray into building low cost tunnels for an eventual Hyperloop. This company is the most current one, which Elon started. It is constructed to alleviate traffic, for all auto consumers nationwide. The main goal is to see people drive from NY to Washington DC in less than 135 minutes, via the super fast tunnels. From first glance, this idea seems preposterous yet Musk has beaten the odds before. Like SpaceX and Tesla, the company will be based in CA. SpaceX calls Hawthorne, an southern suburb of LA; as its home. Tesla has its main offices in Fremont, and Silicon Valley. The Boring Company is calling Los Angeles, as its company headquarters. Lastly, Mr. Musk has admitted that his life is replete with an unrelenting stress to be the best. He opened up to marketwatch.com, and other news outlets on his uncanny work ethic and motivation to achieve success on his own standards. Many business leaders would be shocked to hear about Elon's fifteen to twenty hour working day, as opposed to the usual 8-10 hr. work day of many average global employees. In closing, Elon may or may not have depression but he strives to control his flaws. Everyone can't be perfect, and Elon knows it. Enjoy the picture, and quote by Elon. It is true in many ways, and it can interpreted for all sorts of go-getters.
Well, venture capital is the focal point of today's story. Bill Gurley is an experienced venture capitalist at Benchmark Capital, a renowned private capital firm in San Francisco. Bill is a general partner at Benchmark, and he has his own weblog called 'Above The Crowd.' For Bill, he likes to be an well known supporter of pensive spending and public market accountability. This train of thought is quite different than one of the companies that he invested in. The company that G. Ripley described is Uber. Bill was on the board of directors of Uber, a highly valued start up.
Recently, Uber has come under fire as Travis Kalanick resigned from the popular ride sharing company. Kalanick held the CEO position for quite some time, but Gurley was instrumental in calling for the resignation of Kalanick.
Back to Gurley's current roles, He left the board of directors at Uber a few weeks ago. During his tenure on the Uber board, Bill led the company in a behind the scenes fashion. He steered the popular ride sharing firm, even though the company dealt with widespread fallout from accusations of misconduct and sexual harassment. Bill G. is not too enthusiastic of Uber's self driving car strategy. Uber had a market cap. of $69 billion at one point, but it will not follow through on an IPO in 2017. Outside of Uber, Gurley is on the board of directors at some of the following companies: Ubiquiti Networks; Zillow.com; OpenTable; and Grubhub. Also, one should go to www.abovethecrowd.com to read Gurley's blog. Before working at Benchmark, Gurley was a partner with Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. These days, you can find Bill on the various social networks a la Twitter; Facebook; Linkedin etc. Some of Bill's big investments were Snap, Instagram, and NextDoor. Snap went public in 2017, but the company's stock price is under the IPO price already. Instagram was acquired by Facebook. NextDoor is the neighborhood social network in LA; Phoenix; and other highly populated cities in America.
Finally, Bill is extremely tall as he is 81 inches above the ground. That is 6 ft. 9 in. for all those math experts, unlike myself. Bill received an undergrad. degree from University of Florida, and an MBA from UT Austin. He owns homes in Atherton, and Truckee, CA. Benchmark Capital invested a small amount ($5 million) in Ebay, back in 1997. Today, Ebay counts as one of Gurley's investment hits. Investing in startups continues to give good rates of return, for Gurley. One of his latest investments was in Zipcar, which is a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group now. In closing, Bill Gurley has been writing or 'blogging' for more than two decades. This feat is remarkable for the author of this post, to digest as G. Ripley wonders 'How does Bill find the time to write, when he invests in many successful startups?' Gurley can be wrong about investments, like jet.com. He is an outspoken critic, that is recognized by the likes of Marc Andreessen and Roger McNamee. Andreessen is a current partner at Andreessen Horowitz, another popularly successful VC firm. McNamee is a founding partner of Elevation Partners. Roger is one of the oldest, venerable VCs in silicon valley. As my writing for this post comes to an end, may the reader have gathered a monolithic amount of useful information on venture capital and Bill Gurley. Enjoy the photo above of a pensive man talking about public markets, and useful technological products. The man is the talented Mr. Bill Gurley.