Writing from a hotel in DC right now and having spent the last couple days in Alexandria, how could I resist pinging Tim via Twitter to see if I could drop in. To my surprise, he warmly invited me up, and of course I eagerly jumped at the offer.Mostly, I wanted to thank him and the rest of the team for producing such a great service that just gets better and better. Not only have I profited, I have learned tons more about China, India and various other parts of the world, and I have become far more sophisticated at valuing businesses, markets and industries. I can't put a value on that, though it's a steal at the subscription price.Seriously, after watching all the video clips, viewing the Flickr albums, and gobbling up anything posted by the GG crew in the newsletters, boards, special reports, tweets, blogs, fool.com, . . . (what else did I forget?), I feel like I am going to meet celebrities. Um, try not to stutter and be cool, I say to myself.Anyway, I enter 2000 Duke Street late this morning, ride up to the fourth floor, walk up to the front desk and ask for Tim; and, voila, out he pops from behind a door to warmly greet me (me, just your average-Joe GG member). And believe it or not, Tim really is as cool and friendly in person as he seems in print. Tim graciously gives me a tour of TMF headquarters, and . . . this gets even better . . . he introduces me to The Snake (who likewise graciously indulges me) and the rest of the team and other TMF analysts.I was surprised at what an open layout TMF has, where Tim and Snake are working in close proximity to analysts from the other services, so I can see there is more cross-flow of ideas that I might have imagined (except that Bill Mann apparently is now cordoned off in solitary confinement in a cell in the basement). Tim also shows me a wall where they have posted framed recs for the best and worst picks from each service (CGA and AIB for Global Gains) to both inspire and to remain humble. And yes, of course they do have a game room.Tim and Snake may curse me if this post triggers an avalanche of visitors, though if you get off the DC Metro at King Street and see the TMF sign high atop 2000 Duke Street, you may find the magnetic pull toward TMF HQ irresistible. Though, of course, Tim spent too long indulging my awe and wonder chattering about Global Gains, investing, different parts of the world, etc., and probably now will not have time to settle on a new pick for the next issue--for that, the rest of you can curse me. Sorry, though I'll now be proudly sporting my new "Fool" baseball cap no matter.
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