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December 2017 Newsletter
December 20, 2017

It’s been a couple months, but I’m back with another riveting newsletter!

This month’s edition is packed full of fun and useful information, as well as our staff Christmas card!

Here’s the complete line-up for the month:

Pg. 1: These are a few of my (least) favorite things…
Pg. 2: Introducing the Millwood Brewing Company!
Pg. 3: Fun Winter Activities
Pg. 4: Warren Buffett’s Keys to Success

Here are the links for the digital version of the newsletter, as well as the Christmas card:

– December 2017 Newsletter (Digital Version)

– Christmas Card!

And if you’d rather read all the newsletter content on this page, all 4 of the articles are posted below. Enjoy 🙂

These are a few of my (least) favorite things…

With Thanksgiving season over and Christmas right around the corner, it’s always a nice time for reflection about the things we’re grateful for in life. Claire and I are fortunate to have most of our family living in town, and we’re always thankful that we get to see most of them during the holidays. Her sister, plus  the husband and 2 kids, are also coming this year all the way from Atlanta, so we feel even more blessed!

However… telling you all about what I’m grateful for this season might be a tad boring, so let me spice it up a bit and tell you what I’m NOT grateful for. Better said, let me tell you all about what really annoys me this time of year. I can sum up most of it in 2 words: Instant Gratification

Are you familiar with that term, “instant gratification”? It’s the “I want it now” approach to life, and it’s absolutely everywhere this time of year. If you flip on your T.V. or browse through a magazine, you’ll be bombarded with advertising that will tell you exactly what you need to buy to either make yourself happy (right now!), or what you need to buy for a loved one to make them happy. Those Lexus commercials are my favorite… they’re the ones with the big bows tied around a $70K car sitting in the driveway. My, those people look happy! My wife would absolutely kill me…at least I hope she would!

In about 3 weeks, you’re going to be hit with a new set of ads, many of which will be geared towards helping you lose those unwanted holiday pounds. Do you think these ads will be selling you a long-term health and nutrition package, designed to help you make some slow and long-lasting positive changes in your life? I hope not, because you won’t buy it! Instead, they’ll be trying to sell you some “instant gratification” in the form of “buy this weight loss pill and lose pounds and inches overnight!” That, my friends, is instant gratification, and it drives me nuts!

My biggest problem with instant gratification is this: it’s a bit like doing drugs (or so I hear 😊). You get a little high every time you do it. So you keep looking for more little highs. Over time, you realize that the little highs aren’t doing so much for you anymore, so you need a little more. But then after a few weeks, a little more isn’t cutting it, so you look for even more… you get where I’m going with this.

So let me tell you what I don’t want for Christmas this year: please don’t buy me a new electronic device, or a new car, or any other fancy equipment or clothing. Instead, I’d love to spend more time with my friends and family, creating memories, and enjoying new experiences.

Here are a few ideas I have on my list:

  • I’d love to go ice-skating, either at Liberty Lake or on the new ice ribbon
  • I’d love to get up to one of the ski mountains to go snowboarding
  • I’d love to go sledding with the kids, and maybe go for a winter hike

That’s just me. It may not be you this year, but hopefully it’s food for thought. Just to clarify, I don’t spend the holidays being irritated about this stuff. I just see the ads for what they are, and I focus on what makes me happy. That’s what I’m all about! I hope you find happiness this holiday season with your friends and loved ones, too!

Happy Holidays!

Introducing Millwood Brewing Company!

Another fun and exciting business is about to pop up in Millwood! Millwood Brewing Company is located on Frederick Street, just west of Argonne. I recently had the opportunity to interview one of the owners, Chuck Watkins. Here are some interesting details about the brewery.

Q: When did you and Shelley decide you wanted to open a brewery?

A: About 5 years ago, we started researching community-based breweries. A good example is the brewery in the Perry District. We researched several properties in Spokane, and Millwood met our business model criteria.

Q: Why did you choose Millwood for the location?

A: The Millwood area has excellent community involvement, and they have a major arteriole in Argonne, which has 40,000 cars driving by every day. Our location also has easy access to I-90.  In addition, Millwood is planning to construct a walking trail that will travel right by the brewery, making community access even easier. All of these factors made Millwood an appealing site for our brewery. My wife, Shelley, went to high school at West Valley, and our goal is to be very involved in the community and be able to give back as much as possible. Shelley’s dad, Jerry, was involved in the beer industry the majority of his life and was very involved with the Millwood community. He passed away this last year, and he was a big inspiration for opening a business in Millwood.

Q: How many beers will you offer? Do you brew them on-site?

A: Once we’re up and running, we’ll offer 7 beers, which will all be ales (no lagers). This includes a variety of beers, including an Irish Red, a Scotch Ale and a Session IPA. We’re also going to offer a seasonal beer, an “experimental beer”, cream soda and root beer, all of which will be made on-site.

Q: What else will you offer at the brewery (other beverages or food)?

A: The location will be family friendly, and we’ll serve things like root beer floats for the kids (the cream soda and root beer and non-alcoholic). We’re not allowed to serve wine per state regulations, but we’ll also serve cider, as well as some other gluten-free options. In the spring, we’ll feature more food options, including an outdoor kitchen, which is going to be really cool and unique. For now, we’ll serve light snacks.

Q: When do you officially open?

A: That’s always the magic question… Since we developed the entire property, including the building and the grounds, we still have some inspections to pass. After we pass the mechanical inspection, we can then legally turn on our equipment and start brewing beer. We’ll start brewing 4 styles right away, and they should be ready in 10-20 days. We’ll then brew the remaining 3 styles and have all 7 ready within a month or so. Overall, we should be fully functioning sometime in January.  

Fun Winter Activities!

Although many of us aren’t huge fans of the cold and ice that inevitably comes during the winter each year, there are quite a few fun activities in and around Spokane to keep you entertained while you wait for the sun to come back! I interviewed the staff recently, and here are some of our favorite ideas:

  1. Check out the new ice ribbon! This is the first of many renovations to be completed at Riverfront Park. Although I was a little skeptical at first, the more I see it come together, the cooler it looks. The ribbon is scheduled to open on December 8th and traces a course through the park, down towards the Bloomsday runners. There will be several special events involving the ribbon, including themed dress-up nights and pet-friendly times. Should be fun!
  2. Fireside Music Series at Arbor Crest. Many of you might be aware of the concert series up at Arbor Crest Winery during the summer, but did you know they also have a concert series during the winter? It’s true! Every Friday and Saturday evening, from 5-8 p.m., you can enjoy free music in their lovely wine tasting room. You can of course enjoy a glass (or bottle) of wine while you’re there, and they also offer food pairings, as well as some beer options. Sounds like a great date night!
  3. Gingerbread Build-Off. This annual event is now held at the Grand Hotel between December 10th-December 24th. Local bakery artists compete to create the most extravagant gingerbread houses. You can view the houses for free, and kids can build their own for $7.
  4. Visit the Gaiser Conservatory at Manito. From December 8th-December 17th, this greenhouse conservatory will be decked out in over 40,000 lights! You can check out all the cool plants and arrangements from 4-7:30 p.m., although in years past we’ve been able to get in a bit early.

That last idea may get to you a little late, but there’s always next year! If you need one more idea, you can always check out the indoor water parks at Triple Play in Hayden or at Silver Mountain. Or you can join Joe and me for pool therapy and a soak in the hot tub!

Warren Buffett’s Keys to Success

Recently, I decided to order a book about Warren Buffett on Amazon (I’m a self-confessed Amazon junkie, but I’m working on it!). As I was cruising through the books about Buffett, I found a condensed version called “The Life, Lessons & Rules for Success.” I love these condensed books, because I find it difficult to read entire books these days. Just give me the most important 20%!

At the end of the book, they list Buffett’s 15 Success Principles, as well as his most famous 25 quotes. I found them fascinating and wanted to share my favorites with you. Let’s start with my favorite success principles:

  • #1: Extraordinary Focus. On a new HBO documentary, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are sitting at a table together and asked to write on a piece of paper the one thing that has contributed the most to their success. Interesting coincidence that 2 of the wealthiest people on the planet wrote the same word: focus. Both men attribute extreme focus as their primary key to achieving such levels of success in life.
  • #2: Live Below Your Means. Despite his billions of dollars, Buffett still lives in the same house he bought in Omaha, Nebraska in 1958 for $31,000. He’s also an admirer of watching the little expenses in life.
  • #3: Understand What Success Means. Buffett defines success not in terms of monetary achievements, but by something else. Taken from the book “When you get to my age, you’ll measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. That’s the ultimate test of how you lived your life.”

And now for my favorite Warren Buffett quotes:

  • #1: “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” So I’m sorry if you need my help moving furniture this weekend, but I’m not available 😊
  • #2: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” I think most of us living in Spokane can really relate to this one. Running into people I know pretty much everywhere is one of the things I love about this area. But when you make a mistake, it’s not always so fun!
  • #3: “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Buffett is referring to his views about long-term investing, although I think this analogy is applicable to a lot of areas in life. Plus I like the reference to trees, and my mother-in-law is on the Millwood Tree Board…go Vikkie!
  • #4: “I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business. I read and think…and make less impulse decisions than most people in business.” With the fast-paced world we all live in, this last quote really had an impression on me. It’s the one key idea from the book that I’m already starting to incorporate into my weekly schedule.

I hope you enjoyed my little book report this month! There are several books just like this on Amazon about a variety of other influential people of this era. For about $8, they might just make a good stocking stuffer!

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(509) 892-5442

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