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Friday, April 3, 2020

Riding Again, Hopefully

The Boss had invasive spine surgery last September and has slowly getting better ever since.  We recently joined the Y and only managed to get there 1 time before it was closed due to the virus crap hitting the fan.  She hasn't gone anywhere for about 6 weeks.  I've done all the necessary travel.

Today she went with me to the horse barn for the first time since last June.  She enjoys brushing her horse, and the horse seems to enjoy it as well.  So she brushed her horse, and she was done in.  Months of inactivity has sure taken its toll.

In about 2 weeks she has a follow up doctor appointment to check the condition of her spine.  Depending on what the Doc says, we'll be able to stat riding our horses again.  Starting with short rides and working up from there.  She told me today that I'll have to help her get on due to her lack of strength.  That's OK with me.  I like grabbing her ass.

Riding the trails is not strictly staying home, but we'll do it anyway.  We'll be as far away from people as we can get around here.  It'll also be good for her core strength and emotional health.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Cabin Fever

Sure wish the rain would go away for a couple of weeks, and the Boss wasn't still recovering from spine surgery.  The outdoor shooting range is closed because of the China virus and I don't have a riding partner to take the horse out.  The two things I enjoy doing, and my two stress relievers are not now options.  Taking care of the horses helps, but not quite enough.

Watching TV is getting old as all hell.

Poor Data

It's all over every news channel, numbers confirmed infected and dead.  As far as I'm concerned they're practically useless numbers.  Numbers per capita has a lot more meaning.  The published numbers for the US are now higher than Italy. But so what?  What's the population of Italy?  I'd bet it's less than the 330 million we have here.

Think of it this way. Let's say 10 percent are sick in NYC.  That's a much larger number than 10 percent in say Dayton Ohio.  To be meaningful you must divide by the population of the area studied.

Scare tactics?

Saturday, March 14, 2020


Champaign Illinois just turned into a dictatorship.

That sure as hell wouldn't fly where I live.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

At the Y

Took the Boss to the Y today so she could try the water aerobics class. After spending months basically in a chair, she thought this might be a way to regain some muscle without putting much stress on her repaired spine or bad knee.  It went well, except that her knee now hurts a lot.

While she did her thing I decided to swim some laps to work my lungs and heart a bit, and keep some strain off my arthritic hip.  It's been maybe 30 years since I did any swimming, and that was quite evident.  Instead of doing laps, I could only go about half the pool length without stopping to rest.  After about 30 minutes of stop and go I called it quits.  Sure felt it when I got out of the pool.

Getting old sucks.

Financial Impacts

Instead of using all $50k of cash in my account, I bought into a couple of mutual funds with $30k.  Those funds have historically done well.

Every month I get a royalty check from a company in Texas.  The amount depends on the market price of crude oil and natural gas, and also on how much was taken out of the ground.  It's not that much money, but it has served as our 'pocket cash' for the month.  We like cash over plastic. We use it for groceries, restaurants and other minor expenses. Back when gasoline was twice as expensive most people were complaining.  Not me. The royalty check was almost as much as my salary.

The virus has greatly reduced the demand for petroleum energy, which then reduces the market value of oil.  And to make matters worse the Russians and Arabians are in an oil price war.  With the price of oil around $34 a barrel there is no profit to be made. With time, this will kill the oil fracking industry, and thus make us dependent on oil imports once again.

And to throw gasoline on the fire, the company that sends my royalty check has filed chapter 11.  Apparently they borrowed and made investments when oil prices were high, betting it would stay that way.  They can't pay their debts. I have no idea, at this time, as to how that will effect me.

Good thing I have a decent retirement portfolio.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Chinese Bug

By my estimate I lost, theoretically, around $200k from my retirement portfolio last week. The bug from China is hurting a lot of businesses and the stock market. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the bug was originally intended to be a weapon, but managed to get accidentally released. You never know about the Chinese.

Oh well, it's about time to buy in with the $50k of cash in my account now that stock prices have dropped.