Over the course of the last few articles, I committed to keeping you updated on my reading (“Andrew”), learning (re-finishing floors), and efforts on the cookbook.
First to be addressed is “Andrew,” the biography that I read was about Andrew Carnegie. Now here was an interesting fellow. I read his biography, which was no small feat. There are many biographies on him. I read the one by Peter Krass, almost 600 pages; it offered a lengthy review of a very complicated man.
I was interested for several reasons. I could identify with a majority of the happenings taking place in Western Pennsylvania. I played soccer in several of the towns mentioned. According to the book, Carnegie’s accumulation of wealth had questionable means. No doubt he was tough. He skirted ethics. Several of the situations would be great fodder for a business ethics class.
He was born in Scotland in 1835. He died in 1919. Companies he founded include: US Steel, Carnegie Mellon University, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Keystone Bridge Company. He was an avid writer and penned letters and articles aplenty.
His accumulation of wealth came in many and varied forms. He was interested in the employees’ well-being, yet worked hard to assure his business entities were profitable. There were times both clashed. He was consistent about his preference in organizational profit in his early years.
“During the last 18 years of his life, he gave away $350 million (conservatively, $65 billion in 2019 dollars, based on percentage of GDP) to charities, foundations, and universities – almost 90 percent of his fortune. His 1889 article proclaiming “The Gospel of Wealth” called on the rich to use their wealth to improve society, and stimulated a wave of philanthropy. Krass’ work on Carnegie is well worth the time investment.
My learning: I have found imperfections in my application of stain and gloss on the hard wood floor I recently completed. I sanded spots and “touched up” with the stain and gloss. Yes, it is better than it was. I am torn about re-doing the entire floor to assure a job well done.
So, now what should my strategy be? Individuals who sew will tell you that, “if it is not right, tear it out and do it right.” Well, I am at that point with the floor. Here is where my “stubborn” takes over. Like the individual who sews and sees the need to re-do, I want (need) to re-do the floor. I am unable to re-do the floor today. Perhaps, unable to re-do the floor in 2020. I have committed (to myself) to re-doing the floor. When, is uncertain. I will let you know when I start Hardwood Floors – Version 2. Isn’t being stubborn wonderful?
The final words for this edition of “About Business for Business,” thanks to the many folks who have been submitting recipes for the Cookbook. Submissions include: Peanut Butter Dog Treats, Cherry Dessert, Rhubarb Dessert, 5 Cup Salad, Tortellini Soup, Snow Ice Cream, Brigadeiro, Strawberry Blue Cheese Hamburger, Oatmeal Cookies, and Pierogis. Thinking and writing about the recipes is making me hungry. Have a recipe you would like to share? send it to [email protected].