USOB Accounting 101

He wants to catch a fish. That’s great, right? Well, let’s set aside for a moment all the warm fuzzies – connecting a boy with nature, passing on our proud American sporting heritage, igniting the light of wonder in a child’s eyes, forging resilient father son bonds through blah, blah, blah etc. – and take a look at this objectively. What does this new development mean for ME catching fish? Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the touchy-feely stuff. But I really like catching fish. Viewed through that admittedly crass and selfish lens, the squirt claiming this next rung on the participation ladder is a decidedly mixed bag. We can all agree that on balance, in the long run, it’s a worthy investment for all concerned, but am I over-leveraging my near term opportunity flow? Did I, as initially calculated, hit the jackpot, or did my spring season just crap out? Enter the Universal Sporting Opportunity Balance accounting method  (USOB).

Some USOB fundamentals:

1.   “I can do whatever the hell I want, so long as I take the kid with me”.  Steven, first to fatherhood, pointed this truism out to me years ago.  In other words, Kiddo Engagement (KE) is a primary asset on the USOB books, compulsory engagement included.

2. Compulsory engagement alone does not a USOB fortune make. If you’re going to get after it, you’ll need Eager Participation (EP). We can think of EP as the compound interest of USOB.

3. EP terms are subject to unpredictable rate fluctuations and frequent renegotiation. The past 3 years have seen steady inflation. A full belly, warm, dry body and clean butt used to do the trick.  Then an occasional walkabout was required. During the hopper glut of 2012, EP prices climbed through Dad catch fish to, Dad catch fish, tot release. EP markets closed last week at use of faux fly rod.

4. EP investment involves unforeseen risk, including loss of USOB principle. There is no prospectus available for review prior to investment. For example, catching fish requires the use of hooks. Performance with the faux fly rod has not engendered confidence in management capacity.  USOB markets do not respond well to Avoidable Traumas or Injured Toddlers (ATIT).

With a firm grasp of these simple fundamentals we’re able to build predictive models for any number of scenarios that might arise. Using the current quandary as an example, we can reasonably postulate that:

 (KE x EP) / ATIT = USOB

Ergo, I’d better hook this kid into a trout ASAP

16 Comments on “USOB Accounting 101

  1. I like the logic here, however – what happens when you have more than one kid? You guys think the seam is tricky right now? Wait til there are two or (gasp) three tributaries entering the main flow. It will make your one-kid problems seem almost silly.
    Love your stuff. Keep up the good work.
    Stalking it in VT…

    • Thanks for checking us out and for the kind words JB. Steven’s got two, and you’re right. I’m not sure how he does it. We’ll be applying USOB principles to assorted dilemmas in future posts, maybe even tackling the multidimensional calculus of a big family, so stay tuned…
      and keep stalking it in VT.

  2. Great analysis! As one who eventually flavored the lives of two young ones with the love of nature, I believe my wife understood these fundamentals though she didn’t use the same terminology to make sure that I understood.

    • Thanks for checking us out and for the kind words. I’m planning on applying the same USOB lens to other scenarios in future posts. As a guy that’s been known to follow metaphors too far into the weeds though, I just hope it continues to make sense for folks. Please let me know if it doesn’t.

  3. Your photos look like you’re not too far from my neck of the woods in northern Utah. Where approximately are you and your little one? (It’s OK if you’d rather not say… I understand not giving that type of info away).

    • Close indeed. Central Wyoming is home for us. Having lived in SLC for a couple years as a kid i know and love your neck of the woods. Thanks for checking us out.

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  8. Hey Matt, I laughed pretty hard when I finally figured out the punchline for your formula. How long did it take me? I refuse to say. Did someone have to tell me? Not going to talk about that either. What I will tell you is that I spent a long time pondering what it meant that your function is undefined if ATIT (Avoidable Trauma or Injured Toddlers) is zero.

    I’m digging the blog, you guys keep it up.

    • Hey Kirk, I’m glad you’re digging the blog and that you caught my little joke. I’ll be honest though, you started to shake me at “function” and totally gave me the slip with “undefined”. Math is not my strong suit (which I think may have been the gist of what you were pointing out in the first place).
      Thanks for reading.

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