Saturday, July 24, 2004

I really wonder if we haven't passed our zenith as the light of the free world. We have a ton of petty political bickering, we're preparing for the last war and we're unbelievably vulnerable. For the last century we have lived with two friendly neighbors to the north and south and vast oceans to the east and west. Defending the USA has been, for that last ceentury, somehting that we do "over there". Now the attacks are here as of 9/11. Our ports, out railroads, our container based shipping system are virtually unprotected. Our entire emphasis is on the air transport system because we've been hit there. The situation has an almost slap stick comedy quality about it.

Friday, July 23, 2004

I've been engaged in a couple of flame wars on MuseCube (http:\\ with what I can only characterize as a sociopath. Sometimes people get me going and this fellow certainly has the ability to make me want to write. Fortunately quite a few others share my opinion and have been very supportive.

I don't want to sound like I'm on a lone crusade. He's at war with everyone and I just took a piece of the action, got my shots in an dtook a few before the thread got deleted by the management.

My office is pretty much together. I still need to put in some shelving above the desk. That could come together over the weekend.

I'd thought for several days that I'd lost the self-portrait of dad from the late 1930s. I searched everywhere including the old place (being the last place I can recall seeing the painting). I was in a panic and heart broken as I prepared to accept that the painting had been lost to the ages. What a relief to find it packed with several other things.

We've listed the old house. It should go on the market for much more than we expected. It will be windfall and pay down the loan on this place to a very manageable level.

We have been very lucky with the buying and selling of homes since we started in NJ. A quick calculation suggests that we've lived pretty much for free, having made far more on the sales than we had on the table with the purchases. It seems our luck is holding and for the third house in 7-8 years the real estate agent is telling us our timing is impeccable. We have consistantly made more on the houses than it has cost us to pay the mortgages. It's not showing up in the cash flow but it sure helps the net worth.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

It seems there's always one loose cannon rolling around the decks of MuseCube. The current incarnation prompted me to post the suggestion that folks ought to do a Googel search on the word "sociopath". Thought he calls himself InAFlash I think I'm going to start calling him FlashInThePan. That should stimulate some conversation.

Jackie and Ray came for dinner. I think they enjoyed themselves - in spite of the fact that Ray and I have so little common ground. He even complimented me on my office. I thought that was a very positive thing!

I have a sense of mild foreboding, it seems. I think more often about death and dyeing than I like to admit -- certainly more than I've admitted to anyone standing. I found the picture of mom and me, taken the month before she passed away --- actually, probably closer to two weeks before she died. She looks so small and frail.

I think often of my father, too. Frequently I ponder the thought that all of those things that were so important to him while he was alive instantly became useless baggage once he passed away. I imagine that will be the fate of all the things I consider important, as well.
This year has not bee a kind year in the market. I'm looking at losses of around $36K with they year more than half over. Fortunately there's enough ballast that there are no direct ill effects. There is also the fact that last year was exceptionally good, showing significantly more profit than this year is showing losses, leaving me ahead of the plan for the last two years. Sometimes you have to take the long view to make things look good.

It's sunrise in Arizona. I can see the sun just starting to break over the horizon in the east. I've been up since about 2:30AM, unable to sleep ... Not an event so much as "situation normal".

I remember when I used to hand write my diary in spiral bound notebooks. When I sat down to the task, it seems I would write for pages. I've not recaptured that fascination with detail. Perhaps it's just that I'm out of practice. Perhaps it's because there is a sense with blogs that someone might actually read what is written. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact it's easier to find things to write about when things are going badly that when there are moving along smoothly. I don't know what the answer is ... Perhaps even a combination of those factors plus something else I've not considered. No matter.

We will be listing the other house (9902) shortly. We have an appointment with Mary to go over the paperwork -- primarily the disclosure form -- and sign off on her representation in the sale. I'm ready to be done with the place and to pay down the loans on this place as well. Thought the rates are favorable and the fact that we're only paying interest for the time being makes the bill manageable, I think we'll both be far happier when the amounts are negligible. I hope the sale goes quickly. We are anticipating getting more for the house than we'd ever imagined. I guess that's the effect of all those Californians moving here to the Tucson area and pumping up the property values.

Where do they work? Do they work? Or did the simply bring wealth with them? Tucson is very much a blie collar town as far as I can see. There are veery few opportunities. Yet there are communities with $500,000 homes springing up all over the map. A million four is not a strange number. We see listings for homes at that level all the time.