Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tick Tick, Tock Tock

Both of the pocket watches hanging from the wire shelf above the computer here are doing their thing......springs unwinding and cogs and wheels turning....letting me know every time I look over there that bedtime is approaching.

I intend to beat ol' man 2008 to bed and wake up at my customary time......30 minutes after the eggs have gone cold so's I have to zap them in the microwave for 20 seconds.

A new day, a new year ahead of us. What will it bring? I have no idea, but will be willing to bet a buck that at the end of 2009 we'll look back (should we be so lucky as to make it through) and be glad to see the ass end of it also.

May you live in interesting times has been said my more than a few to be a Chinese Curse. Hope that you will all prove that to be wrong in the New Year.

So Happy New Year Friends and relatives. I won't be there to sing 'Auld Lang Syne' and give you a big ol' kiss.........but if I were, I count yourself Lucky.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

An exercise in futility

Or at least so This would seem to me.

I mean.........come on......if you look at a nighttime satellite image of that part of the world (Korea) you see only darkness above the 38th parallel. Kim ding dong has continued the process of sucking the life and money out of the country and they can barely produce enough to feed themselves a starvation diet.

I don't know why I bother to comment on this event except it happened right after I got married almost 41 years ago and at the time was a big deal, yet the US was as hapless in dealing with it as so many other episodes over the years.

Yes.......we have a judgment....given by a Federal judge in this country as a result of a lawsuit that N. Korea didn't even bother to respond to. Do they ever think they'll get a penny of the award?

Now if they had been given the authority to use any means they could come up with to collect the money or other satisfaction they might deem appropriate against the leader of N. Korea, including letters of Marque allowing them to seize (if they could hold it) property anywhere in the world, or to take a pound of flesh, blood, or bone from nearest his heart. (I wouldn't make the mistake that one of Shakespeare's characters made.) Then they might feel that they obtained justice.

Still they have to remember that the Crew of the Pueblo were spies and and as such really shouldn't even be having this conversation. They knew the risks when they signed on.

I'm tired of this topic.........

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What's coming in '09 ??

I have to confess that I am not optimistic.

Some other people are not either.

I post decide. Either that or ignore it and wait and see. Methinks that is what most people will do, to their peril.


I'm all for it.

Lately I've attempted to do a little walking, in order to prepare myself to do a little hiking and exploring in the N.E. Georgia hills.

Did you know that NE Ga contains the only rain forest east of the Mississippi?

It's true........a small area just north of Clayton in Rabun county Georgia receives more that 150 inches of precipitation a year. The coves and valleys there are verdant with flora and fauna both..........many not seen in any other area.

I digress however, from the topic of Torture in the heading.

I decided I'd try to reduce the amount I consume daily (a task that is somewhat difficult around the Christmas Season as there are so many goodies to get rid of).

A small remnant of some of the things I have to eat for the Holidays yet.

I also decided I'd go to the park and walk around the track...........Ha

More like hobble around. It's 6/10 of a mile and by the time I'd gone half way around it my heels and feet told me that Plantar Faciatitis was not a thing of the past, but an all to real present. Likewise just a few strides further let me know that shin splints will nearly make and old man weep. I finished the circuit, but was passed by little old men and ladies half again my age and by one ol' gal with a walker. One joggers dog thought I was a light post and tried to piss up my leg...
.......f**king mutt.......I'd have kicked at it but didn't feel up to having my ass kicked by an 18 year old Coed.

Just Damn!!

Both the above problems are caused by tendons and ligaments which are too tight for one reason or the other.. Much stretching and taking of pain potions are in order.

Since I don't seem to get enough benefit from the amount of stretching I do, I'm reduced to wearing the below torture device for several hours each night. I'm supposed to wear it all night, but somehow it comes off during the night.

Alternating it between feet on successive nights and increasing the amount of tension on the straps to pull my toes toward my shins has given me some relief as has a new set of insoles to compensate for high arches.

You'll be glad to know that I can now walk completely around the track and the last time out only developed shin splints during the last 100 feet. But more torture and walking will remedy that hopefully and soon the hills will be alive with the huffing and panting of my-own-self as I pull myself along from Rhododendron to Pine tree, all in pursuit of the end of the rainbow and the Fountain of Youth. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Very, very good

While munching on chocolate covered cashews (yum) I learn that my sister's youngest son is home from Iraq. Missed Christmas but just in time for New Year.
Life doesn't get much better than this.

I wish I were more tech savvy..........I'd copy and paste the picture of her hugging him. Her smile would light up America's Mall for weeks.

Thanks Seth.........Welcome home.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Home again, Home again

Jiggity Jig
I ate enough to stuff
a rather large pig.

Merry Christmas late in the day.
We've arrived back from the eldest daughter's home where we ate and laughed, broke open the presents and scattered wrapping paper to the four winds.

We guys sat and stood around laughing at ourselves, Obama, the kids and Grandkids running amok. We talked about hunting and fishing and the ills of the world.
The women folk put on a feast that would have fed twice as many.

I was treated to a Japanese Fruit Cake by the eldest daughter for my birthday...Yum!!
Brought most of that bad boy home so will have to delay the diet for the new year till all is consumed. Right now I am feasting on the requisite Pistachios I receive every year for Christmas. That will aid in the scrubbing of the colon which I undertake at least once a year by consuming several pounds of those salty bits of goodness as fast as I can shuck and gobble them down.

I hope you all had the best Christmas of your lives, whether young or old. I certainly did. At least for a little while the looming depression, recession or EOTWAWKI was eclipsed by something greater than our puny cares.

God Bless us all, Everyone.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter winds

Winter blew in yesterday with blustery arctic gusts that while not too bad in the morning, were brisk enough to drive a person indoors before the sun set. On a positive note though, was sunny and bright.

Today also dawns sunny and bright, with the thermometer reading down about 26 degrees......low enough to put a thin film of ice in the water bucket. Droplets froze on the sides of the dipper as soon as it was exposed to the air.

The leaves are all down on the ground and blowing around where they are dry enough. I don't guess a little tannic acid from the oak leaves will hurt the dogs water. Probably cure her insides a little making her tougher. When I first went outside she was in her little house ( a plastic 55 gallon drum wrapped in two layers of quilt, then wrapped with a double wrapping of plastic tarp, the inside layered with cedar shaving and wheat straw set on the porch of the tool shed), all the way in the back with just her nose stuck out of the straw. I don't know how warm it was but will say that I was tempted to get in there with her.

We loaded up the car and went down to the mother-in-law to spread a little Christmas cheer with her and the sister-in-law. We went out to a local Chicken Express where every one except me got the Catfish plates.......and I got the chicken livers. One might be excused for ordering 12 livers when you consider the average sized chicken.

They must have bred these chickens with Pterodactyls because they were each the size of a Cornish hen. I did my manly duty though and only had to give away six of them. I think the guy doing the counting went to the same high school I did. Lets just say that it looked like more than twelve.

Of course by the time we arrived back home it was time to take a mean meditate, in the Lazy Boy.

The economy must be really bad............I had a lady this evening try to sell me a plastic bag of sand, calling it gold. Claimed it had been tested at a lab and everything. I hope she kept her receipt and kept up with the boyfriend who gave it to her in exchange for a small loan. She'll have to get repayment for that by taking a pound of flesh from nearest his heart. LOL

I'm guessing that the investors who gave Billions to Bernie Madoff might be feeling much the same way.

Another cool night on the way, the a start on a new year with a warming up spell...
.......near 70 degrees by the weekend. It's sure tough living here in the South. Must be that Global Warming we've been hearing about.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Where do you find Barney Frank?

I read and make snide decide.

by Byron W. King

Clearly the Fed wants to spread more cheap liquidity around the world. But
is the world’s problem really not enough cheap dollars? It seems to me
that we got here – deep in this current recession – with too many dollars
floating around. Too many people borrowed too much cheap money. Now the
big blowback of history is that we’ve entered into an era of deleveraging.
So the biggest concern for most of the world’s governments, businesses and
households is overall solvency. Can people pay down their bills as they
come due? For far too many people, the answer is “No.”

My inner-Austrian economist tells me that what the world needs is more
savings and more capital formation. The world needs more basic
productivity. Instead, we are getting more bailouts and government
programs that will benefit people and firms of dubious productivity.
That’s not capital creation. That’s capital destruction.

And pity poor OPEC. Saudi Arabia needs oil prices at $60 per barrel or so
just to cover its national budget. At $45 per barrel, they are losing
money. Russia needs to see oil at $75 to keep its accounts in balance, and
that’s before they lay the keels for the new fleet of aircraft carriers
they are discussing. And those poor souls in Iran? Mr. I’m-a-Dinner-Jacket
needs $100 oil to meet payroll. While Generalissimo Chavez of Venezuela
needs $125 oil to cover the national outlays. So OPEC wants to cut output
and try to drive the oil price back up.

Will it work? Don’t bet against OPEC on this one. They want to cut output
by over 4 million barrels per day. That’s a lot of crude. So expect to see
oil prices heading back up in 2009. We won’t see $147 again any time real
soon. But expect higher oil prices as 2009 unfolds, and expect to see
higher prices for everything else within the energy chain.

OPEC’ predicament just goes to show. The key OPEC players sure got used to
high oil prices in a hurry. They believed their own press releases. They
thought that oil was high and going higher, as if there was never an oil
bust before.

So you can have a lot of money, but not know anything about how money
works. Then again, we in the U.S. shouldn’t gloat at OPEC, let alone
laugh. Not as long as we keep electing the same members to Congress, year
after year.

Speaking of that, did you see Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) on CBS’s Sunday
evening show 60 Minutes the other day? That noted public intellectual
Leslie Stahl interviewed him. Along the way Ms. Stahl called Mr. Frank
“the smartest man in Congress.” Wow. If that’s true then we’re in trouble.
OK, Rep. Frank is smart. He sure is not dumb. He came across as bright and
quick-witted. Ms. Stahl made sure to tell us that Rep. Frank “went to
Harvard.” (Big deal. So did I.)

But Rep. Frank came across as an angry and bitter man. From what I saw on
60 Minutes, the meaning of money does not register with Rep. Frank. He
just wants to spend dollars on things that make him feel good. And if you
disagree, he has a prompt explanation for why you must be a bad person. He
will give you a non sequitur of a comparison for why his subjective
feelings are better than yours. And if you persist he has a personal
put-down. He’ll call you an “idiot” or something worse.

Well, Rep. Frank is what I think we’re going to look back on, one of these
days, as a “financial sociopath.” He comes across as just in favor of
spending the national wealth with no regard for the long-term
consequences, as if the $10 trillion national debt is not already
crippling the nation. As Ronald Reagan once asked, “Where does this
country find such men?”

In Barney's guess would be to look for the asshole on the end of a dick.

It just goes to show about 60 Minutes. They can misquote you. Or worse,
they can quote you correctly.

Until next we meet,

Byron W. King
for The Daily Reckoning

P.S. I’ll keep you updated on these issues, and on other news about the OI
portfolio, in future articles. In the meantime, check out my latest

Editor’s Note: Byron King currently serves as an attorney in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of
Pittsburgh School of Law in 1981 and is a cum laude graduate of Harvard
University. Byron is also co-editor of Outstanding Investments, and editor
of Energy & Scarcity Investor.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Let us Scam

Sung to the tune of "let it snow"

Let us Scam, Let us Scam, Let us Scam.

This from CNN's Cliff Mason...

"But I can't deny the similarities between how social security operates and what Bernie Madoff was allegedly doing with his investors, or should we call them marks?

With the Social Security system, workers pay 12.4% of their salaries into the system to cover payments to retirees, who themselves paid into the system when they were working. Except the original recipients of social security in the depression never had to pay payroll taxes because the system didn't exist when they were working.

Now look at the definition of a Ponzi scheme courtesy of wikipedia: "A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that involves paying abnormally high returns to investors out of the money paid in by subsequent investors, rather than from the profit from any real business."

As a creation of the previous Great Depression, the Social Security System may find its end in the coming years, as Baby Boomers begin to collect their dues and the system's obligations begin to rapidly outpace new deposits. Indeed, should the next few years be as turbulent and costly as 2008, the system could simply unravel.

But many of you are already either fed up or frustrated. You've had enough, and you just want to know something for certain. You want to know the truth. And rightfully so, because so much of the world economy really is just lies piled on top of more lies piled on top of even more lies.

The charts and graphs that give ‘economists' all their power...are honestly just a sham...

But hey.........interest rates are at zero %.......I'll refinance my house which is now worth less than what I owe on it and live large off of the money I'll get back.


Dear Sam Jr.

Hope to hear that you are doing well and looking forward to a nice Christmas. We continue to get along and are glad that we don't have to worry about our jobs like so many other folks at the end of this year. It's hard to miss what you don't have. So we are fortunate in that respect.

The economic turmoil and almost daily revelations of losses and scandals by heretofore well respected and supposedly well funded financial institutions has cast a pale of gloom over this country and much of the 1st and 2nd world countries. The third world just keeps trying to find enough grasshoppers to exist on.

It is interesting to me to note that the country which first gave the world a Democratic form of government, Greece, is experiencing Riots over the shooting of a young man that threaten the stability of their government.

Although ours is supposed to be a Representative Republic, it is devolving rapidly into Democracy to the point that even Represetatives to the Congress don't know any better. Will our populace ever reach the level of disappointment that the Greeks are experiencing? Wouldn't be a pleasant thing to go through, but may in the end be necessary.

Time will tell.......I suppose.

Till next time.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Too soon spoken

Found to my dismay that the Elgin, spoken of in the previous post, will need a little loving attention paid to it. Seems to be a bit tired after 98 years.
Fortunately I know a competent watch and clock man. Since it ran so good and smooth it may just need a little cleaning and adjusting.....perhaps a new mainspring.

Would that the current financial problems that supposedly plagues the world be so easy to fix.

Perhaps if the Fraud of the Federal Reserve hadn't been allowed to exist for the last ninety-five years, we wouldn't have so many corrupt politicians and so called money managers around.

If the presidential election was to be held in 2009 (and not 2008) would that make a difference for Ron Paul?

One of Washington's most conservative of fiscal conservatives; Ron Paul preaches the ways of small federal government, hard money and an end to the Federal Reserve/Bankster regime that's decimated the global economic system. I for one believe his message would have resounded with a much larger audience in today's economy than it did a year ago.

After all, US$8 trillion in taxpayer promises could probably swing a few votes.

Especially when those promises are combined with the shady actions of those in power.

It is even more apparent now that everything possible was being done to keep the cracks in the system from becoming huge gaping chasms until the election cycle was in the to speak.

We cracked open a bit of the food storage the other day. I'll have to replace that and add to it, and the ammo storage before too long.

The tree rats in the back yard are good and fat from the abundance of acorns this fall. If I can hold off till the next crop are started in the spring, maybe I won't have to cause this particular bunch to go all extinct.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Stuff like This fascinates me.

Quite possibly because I am more adapt at tearing things apart than putting them back together, so that anything with clockworks draws me in like a moth to a flame (or a light bulb, since I don't use lots of flames now-a-days).

And if it is wrapped in 14kt gold like this little # 12 Elgin pocket watch I picked up yesterday, while stopping in at the Jewelry Store where the Portuguese Beauty works, well......... all the better.

I would have brought home the PB (Portuguese Beauty) but I'm pretty sure the wife might have objected.

Oh well........I'll just have to be content with small mean Stuff.

I also got a small ladies pocket watch made by Champ Watch Co. Switzerland in 14 kt gold with small mine cut diamonds set in a moon shape on the back.

The Elgin keeps perfect time so far (24 hours)....the Champ....not so much.

Now-a-days you can get the time from your cell phone......

......but it doesn't have the same STYLE.

It is just so much more satisfying in drawing your watch from your vest or pants pocket and gazing at it for a few seconds.......maybe holding it to your ear to make sure it ticks and tocks.......then giving a couple small turns to the winding stem. Then placing it back in it's pocket and giving it a light pat to make sure it's secure.

In a time of political change, economic upheaval, doubts about the future.......we can look at something crafted with pride one hundred years before, then think of all the upheavals since that time and know that some things can be counted on.

It's sort of comforting in a way.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Good Evening Cousin Sam

"The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!

If this is true, it is a serious fact, and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it."

Good evening cousin Sam jr.,

Hope the letter finds you well. It seems that much of what we hear now-a-days gives the feeling of doom and gloom. People are uneasy about the economy and how the greater amount of government, with new laws, will affect it. A great deal, I suppose depends on what the new Democratic Administration will try to do. They are all ready making pronouncements, even though, as of tonight, technically, Obama isn't even the President Elect as he seems to think he is. Tomorrow the Electoral College meets to make every thing official. Don't foresee any thing changing the outcome, but, one never knows.

The Asylum on the Potomac (AotP) has ceded much power to the Secretary of Treasury, Hank Paulson, over spending a huge amount of money in any way he sees fit. The Cowards in the Asylum want to have someone else they can point to if anything goes wrong. Abrogating their responsibility seems to be the new in thing up there.

This has caused me to think much on the matter of What is Law, and why do we have laws. Do laws grant us rights, or do we grant rights to lawmakers?

The Declaration of Independence states in part that we are given rights by our creator, and in turn give rights to a governing body;

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"

......Suggesting that since a Creator has given us life......whether you believe in a Creator or not........that since we have life, we have the right to preserve, develop and to perfect it, to the best of our individual abilities.

We take our abilities and apply them to the resources available to us, convert them into products and use them. They become US so to speak......our production....a part of us.....our property. But, since it is in the nature of man to want to survive with the least discomfort possible, and work or labor is discomfort to some, they will seek to take from the producers and use those products to preserve their own life....or comfort......without work.

Since we have the right to life, hence to the produce of that life, we, if smart, will join together to preserve each others life and property and freedom, or liberty against those who would take with out effort on their own part. In other words we have the right to defense, carried to a logical joining together, to preserve, defend, and protect those rights.

But, some how, we have gotten away from many of the ideals that my Uncle so proudly stood for.

I will continue to think on these matters Sam jr., and invite you to send me your thoughts when you can.

Love to you and your family,


Saturday, December 06, 2008

It's beginning

There be times when I am a little slow to get the Christmas Spirit. Not so this year. I've already bought the one present I have to buy each year........well, I do pay for most of them......but, I don't have to do the shopping.

We listened to Celtic Women sing "Oh Holy Night" on PBS and I've already been dancing to Christmas songs with the youngest Grand Child. We are keeping her tonight so her Mom and Dad can go out to eat for their 3rd anniversary.

She was dressed in her new Princess Dress.
Here is a shot of her and Nanny with the dog and his chew bone.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Good ol' Fred

There seems to be very little good news on the economic horizon......or above it or below it, these days. For those who might have flown back during the dark ages you might remember having to cage the gyros. This consisted of holding them steady until they were spinning at the proper speed. If you didn't, you might find yourself following an apparently level horizon into a spiraling turn into the ground......where upon you would suffer a gruesome death caused by recto-cranial inversion.

But there are those out there who have been in the midst of the AotP (Asylum on the Potomac) for long enough to be able to translate the gibberish they put out so we the great unwashed can understand.

In an effort to further your education and enlighten you (and because I have nothing original to say myself, I present Professor Fred.

I freely admit to swiping the idea from Guyk who got it from someone else.

Why, Oh Why, didn't he run harder? Of course I don't blame him.........the mindset of at least 51% of the population is one of plunder and likely will be for as long as it takes for envy to be reduced to tolerable levels once again or the producers of this country all fly away to a Galt's Gulch somewhere. Current and future leaders will be blamed for this debacle for a thousand years. But only by those who understand......or have the ability to learn.

Dr. Gary North wrote a book over 25 years ago called "The Politics of Envy". As usual he was a prophet unrecognized but by a very small Remnant. A watchman on the wall that no one wanted to listen to when giving the warning of the Barbarians approach.