Gift Giving

As we approach the New Year and ready ourselves to reflect on the past and to ponder, however briefly, the future, it is traditional to gift those with whom we share our lives.

Why not give a gift that will keep on giving? Give them a book.

Some more Friday

I am going to try just thumbnails inserted into the post and see if the thumbnail will allow you to pull up a larger image.

Looking down the Valley
Looking down the Valley
A Frosty Tree
A Frosty Tree
Two Frosty Trees
Two Frosty Trees
A little different from Thursday
A little different from Thursday

A brief Fall Winterland that only lasted a few minutes. Then it was gone, and so was I.

Friday was a bit different.

Friday morning we awoke to bright sunshine and the remains of a fog that crept in on deer’s feet in the night. It would not last long.

The fog had moved down valley
The fog had moved down valley

But had left a bit of itself behind.

A bit of Fog
A bit of Fog

hmmm, maybe these pics are too big a file size. Let me try some other options.

Cloudy Thursday

Another experiment – Thursday was a cold cloudy day.

Can you find the frost line?
Can you find the frost line?

And from a slightly different angle

Can you find the hidden critter? I din't even know it was there when I took the pic.Can you find the hidden critter?

I didn’t even know it was there.

This is a bit of an experiment inserting images into my post.  I have some more coming from Friday.

Being Lazy

I just came across this site that gives some guidelines on developing worry-free investment portfolios. They make sense to me and I think I am following them with my own retirement planning.  I do like #5 – If you’re not saving 10%, you’re spending too much.

I wonder about this quote:

Albert Einstein put it very simple: “There is no greater power known to man than compounding interest.”

I checked on Snopes and it is undetermined that Einstein really said anything like that. So he probably didn’t. Even though the sentiment is right on.

I don’t worry about what my portfolio is doing these days and I keep telling Elaine not to worry. We have set up a portfolio as best we could and we will see what it looks like in a few years.

My concern about the current state of the market is for the overall state of the US and Global economy. We have to live with the macroeconomic fallout of this meltdown and I don’t see any reliable hands the helm at present. But what do I know? Maybe paying dividends to shareholders of failing financial institutions is the best way to go. Not.

A New Cross Poster

My old Cross Posting application seemed to stop working when I upgraded to the latest version of Word Press, so I am trying a new one:

Live+Press allows WordPress posts to be automatically crossposted to a LiveJournal user blogs. This fork of the plugin is licensed under GPLv3. All contributions and suggestions are welcome. More plugin details and help can be found at the plugin home page on google code. Originally written by Jason Goldsmith By Tania Morell (aka digsite).

The old one was

LiveJournal Comments 1.0.3

This plugin displayes a number of comments in posts crossposted to LiveJournal. You can see how if works here. By Alexander Bishop.

A World Record Setter in the Family!

My sister Cate recently participated in a World Record Attempt for Wingsuit Formation Flying. And they succeeded! As I understand it, they used the first four days to get folks use to formation flying and then 71 of them made the formation happen on Nov 12.

Why my sister Cate wants to throw herself from an airplane with nothing more than a wing and a prayer is a story from another day.

Congratulations Cate!

Why have the UK papers covered it so well?

The Telegraph

The Daily Mail

The Sun ( with a picture Slide Show, but it is The Sun)

The end is just the again beginning

I found this interesting article by Michael Lewis, the author of Liar’s Poker, discussing a bit of what’s been happening on Wall Street in the twenty years since he left. I liked Liar’s Poker when it came out and find it disturbing that the next generation of Wall Streeters found it to be a useful how-to manual.

There is an object lesson somewhere in all this involving doom-sayers, pessimists, and people trying to see the dreams all the while ignoring the nightmares. How to make reality the nightmare? Ignore it for a while. Wall Street seems very good at ignorance.

Eisman was appalled. “Look,” he said. “I’m short. I don’t want the country to go into a
depression. I just want it to fucking deleverage.” He had tried a
thousand times in a thousand ways to explain how screwed up the
business was, and no one wanted to hear it. “That Wall Street has gone
down because of this is justice,” he says. “They fucked people. They
built a castle to rip people off. Not once in all these years have I
come across a person inside a big Wall Street firm who was having a
crisis of conscience.”

Even I, an uneducated fiscal novice, could see that a house of cards was being built with my, and everyone’s, money for the past decade. And it was being built in an earthquake zone. And I was asking at every chance “how can I protect my investments?”  And knowledgeable folks couldn’t help me. Even those that agreed that an earthquake was coming didn’t have any viable alternatives. Now I see, I should have shorted the mortgage/CDO/CDS market.