went to visit Warren Buffet and his Merry Berkshire Hathaway Festival of Capialism. Yes, I scored the tickets on eBay and they actually let me in to the Shareholder Meeting. Me and 31,000 of my closest friends. Buffet's fan(atics) filled the Qwest Center, and then some.
Having gotten some last minute intel from GA, I showed up at 7:10am for the 8:30am meeting. Being just me, myself and I, I scored a pretty good seat about 5 rows from the floor, on the aisle. Again, on intel from GA (thanks buddy!), I had my binoculars, so I did some intensive people watching until the show started.
I had a great conversation with very smartly dressed lady who has been coming to Warren's annual party for the past FIFTEEN YEARS. Dude! We discussed how this was probably the only event in the Qwest Center where you could "save" your seat by simply draping a newspaper over the seat and leaving. People did this! They showed up, draped the newspaper, then went and got breakfast or visited the exhibition hall. Then about 8:00am, they came back...and their seats were still there!! She also mentioned that people bring their purchases from the exhibition hall back to their seats and leave those too, when they take a potty break.
This kinda restored my faith in the human race. A tiny bit.
All in all, the BRK shareholders are pretty fine peeps. Generally older than me, there were a lot of grey-haired couples, in sweater vests and trousers, looking very dapper and buying lots of peanut brittle.
WTF? Yes, peanut brittle! See's Candies is one of BRK companies. At the exhibition hall, I circled their (giant!) booth like 3 times, looking for an opening to buy some candy. But I was DENIED. 8 rows deep was the line to check out! For candy!
I kinda like these folks....
As far as racial diversity, there was some, but not really representative of the general population, IMHO. I saw many Asians, lots of Germans, some Hispanics and Indians, but I was hard pressed to find any Black folks. ??? I pondered this way too long before deciding that, well, the companies that BRK owns maybe just don't really market towards that population. I guess. Once I noticed this lack of diversity, it was hard to overlook.
As far as male/female ratio, I was pleasantly surprised. There was pretty many women there. Probably because of the aforementioned 'couple' thing.
At the exhibition hall, I got my picture taken at the GEICO booth on a way-cool motorcycle, and flirted with the Fruit of the Loom fruit guys (the purple grape guy was especially cute).
And, the highlight of my day...I saw my personal hero, Tim Ferriss, author of "The 4-Hour Workweek". He was sitting in my section! I did one of those, "is that HIM? Is it? Nah. Hmmm... Yes! It's him! Oh shit. Do I go say something? What?!?!" I was chicken and didn't approach him. Then read on his blog the next day how he was nervous about the possibility of meeting Warren Buffet and how he prepared his elevator speech, just in case.
Lesson learned. Next year I will prepare for the impossible.
Saturday night was the big Beach Party. Food, music and lots of Buffet fans, in the Nebraska Furniture Mart parking lot. As it turned out, this was the longest line of the day! These folks wanted a damn $5 taco, and were willing to wait in line for it. Quite a long line...
We passed and ended up in the hotel room with pizza and wine and "Chronicles of Narnia". All in all, and fine ending to the weekend.
So, did I learn anything that will make me piles of cash in the next year? Well, sadly no. Did I experience something that lots of people don't and that I may not again my in lifetime. Yes!
And that, my friends...is priceless.