A nice way to stay in touch with loved ones, and a convenient way to share my opinions without having everyone just walk away...wait a minute, where are you going? I wasn't finished..

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I'm a little disappointed when I go to someone's blog site and they haven't posted for a week. So apologies to all.

When I wrote about gold I said I'd explain about my concerns for the US dollar. It's pretty simple actually. The dollar has no intrinsic or fixed value. It's worth whatever you can get for it.

Originally, money was gold (or seashells or beads) - something desirable and rare. Using money was the practical alternative to a barter economy. Minting coins from gold has been done for thousands of years, and was a necessary step in developing economic systems. Governments reserved the privilege and responsibilty for minting coins to themselves, and insured a standard weight of gold for their coinage.

During the late middle ages as trade expanded banking houses would accept deposits from merchants and write IOUs for the amount of gold deposited which the merchant could use to make purchases further away than it was convenient to physically move the gold. The selling merchant would accept the IOU and take it to a local affilliate of the issuing bank to get the gold he was due. The bankers also came to realize that they till the IOUs were presented for payment they had gold on hand which they could lend out for the borrower's IOU. (This is essentially what we now call the multiplier effect - the same gold being used to make a purchase far away was being loaned out at home The banker could be in trouble if someone defaulted, which I guess is why Shylock was so upset.)

Then a couple hundred years ago governments started printing currency. Like the bankers IOU the currency represented gold stored in the treasury, and could be redeemed at the treasury for an predefined amount of gold. (For a long time it was $20 for an ounce of gold). One nice thing for the government was they could print currency in excess of the amount of gold they had on hand. I mean not everyone was going to show up all at once and ask to have their currency exchanged for gold. By printing more currency the government could facilitate greater economic activity and greater national wealth.

I wrote a lot more but then I saved a draft and when I reopened t this was all ther was, I'll have "to be continued"

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sunday morning

Mellow, thats the mood this morning. I have the new Neil Diamond CD that Santa brought Janett for Christmas on the cd player, and sun's coming through the blinds. I pan fried a small steak for breakfast, and cut up a little bit of it for the cat, Angel, who's a little disoriented since Janett's out of town. I mean, I don't know how this cat going to get by-she's accustomed to getting stroked and cuddled about twelve hours a day.

I get to bring Lou his truck back today. When I borrowed it I didn't plan on keeping it for two months, but that's how long it took Joel to get my Nissan running. Not his fault really, it didn't start one cold morning so I left it sitting in the garage for a couple of years. The bill came to around nine hundred. He said he burnt through seven distributors before he rigged one that worked. When I got the bill, I told him I appreciated his not charging me storage. He said "No, I wouldn't do that." I don't know much about the Mexican sense of humor, so I just figure Joel had a lot on his mind that morning. Oh, and the nine hundred included the tow in, a tire, an oil change, a battery, and some front end work. I guess the new springs were the most expensive thing on the bill.

The Bears are playing today. I'll watch the game at Lou's when I drop his truck off. Mark is going too. That way he can watch the game with the guys instead of with Steffy and Kim, and then he can give me a ride home. Sounds like a plan. The thing is I have to go wash Lou's truck first. I think I can find one of those places where you pull into the bay and use a "wand", but as I sit here I keep thinking how long the line is going to be on a sunny Sunday morning before a Bears game. I'd better hit it. See Ya

Saturday, January 07, 2006

About fifteen years ago I was invited to be my friend Terry’s best man. I’ve been to weddings and heard the best man tell funny stories about the groom, but I didn’t have any funny stories about Terry. Besides they had an M of C who did that.

I said some nice things about Terry and his bride and said their relationship was characterized by their courage and kindness, and that was my toast – to their courage and kindness. In the years since I’ve thought of how important those attributes are.

A couple of years ago I saw a TV show and they had done a survey and announced the most important ingredients in a successful relationship are compatibility and a shared dream. Isn’t that precious? Give me courage and kindness every time.

It takes courage to decide whether to buy groceries or get the brakes fixed, courage to go to work when you messed up and the boss isn’t happy, courage to sign on the bottom line for a mortgage or business loan, courage to go to the doctor when you don’t want to hear what he has to say. And always kindness. Because kindness preserves and enhances the dignity of both. Our beloved cannot be what we want them to be without our kindness, to appreciate, to sympathize, to encourage.

So always practice courage and kindness, and good luck

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Fiesta Bowl

So, tomorrow's a big day.

The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame meet the Buckeyes of The Ohio State University. The Irish are currently ranked number 5 in the country, Ohio number 4. A match-up of traditional powerhouses, but the two teams have only met four times. Some folks suggest that in the 1920's the coaches at Michigan and Ohio State appealed to the anti-Catholic prejudices of other Big 10 schools to block Rockne's efforts to get ND into the Big 10. Whatever, there must have been some bad feelings - Notre Dame didn't play Michigan or Oho State for almost 50 years.

This will be Ohio States third Fiesta Bowl in four years, and who could forget that double overtime win over Miami for the National Championship in 2003? Oh, by the way, did you hear Maurice Clarett, star running back of that 2002 Ohio State team is wanted by the Columbus OH police for an armed robbery outside a bar last night? (Notre Dame fans can't help mentioning "character issues" relating to other teams players and former players.) Meanwhile Notre Dame hasn't won a bowl game in twelve years. Irish fans hope they've turned the corner with Charlie Weis in the head coaching position.

We're going to watch the game at Steffy and Mark's house, and hope to have a small crowd in attendance. I got to select the menu, so its smoked butt sandwiches and suusages and sauerkraut. Maybe some on the ladies will provide more delicate fare.

I figure Coach Weis will try to play some ball control offense to keep the Irish offense on the field since the Irish defense lost a lot of starters last year and has been vulnerable in 2005. He'll want to keep the good Buckeye linebackers away from his QB, Brady Quinn. So maybe screens, and reverses. I don't know. They say Weis is successful in part because he's so hard to predict.

But don't underestmate the Irish D. The new kids are experienced now, and may want ot prove that they're not the team's weakness. Ruck Mintner is a good defensive coordinator and coached D for Lou Holtz at Notre Dame, (though, I think, Holtz's best defenses were Barry Alvarez's squads.)

Hmmmm, lets say ND 31 OSU 24 GO IRISH!