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April Showers Bring May Flowers

Published for Tuesday - April 30, 2024

April Showers

Written Sunday - 04/30/24 2:05 PM

Remember the old adage about April showers brining May flowers? Well, as I publish it's the last day of April and rain is indeed in the forecast for today.

Looks like the flowers arrived early but there seems to be plenty of new blooms on the rose bushes and some of the other bushes. Patty has a beautiful pair of trellises and it looks like the gorgeous roses are ready to pop over there.

In fact, her entire garden area is loaded with blossoms on the Azaleas and the Knock Out roses along with the other plants. What a beautiful site it already is over there in her garden, with plenty more yet to come as the warm weather arrives.

Even the new grass seed has taken hold and is filling in wonderfully. We're delighted to see that it's even flourishing in the shaded areas beneath the trees as was promised with this particular seed.

The Week Ahead

Published for Monday - April 29, 2024

The Week Ahead

Written Sunday - 04/28/24 6:25 AM

As I write it's Sunday morning before my 2 miler. I'm publishing for Monday the 29th which means this will be published later after lunch today.

I'm guessing that Jon got back sometime yesterday from his AMEA engagement and departs for D.C. and NYC sometime tomorrow morning early. Patty and I had a wonderful time with the Snow family yesterday.

We got to enjoy a wonderful Taco lunch as well as seeing the grandsons play in their pool. The water was apparently cold, but that didn't slow them down one bit.

Oh, and I hope they get the freezer working on their refrigerator. It's new and should be working just fine, but it's not. That's a major bummer.

Something made a loud noise and woke Patty and I up in the middle of the night, but we never did figure out what it was. Everything seemed to be in good order this morning with no evidence of anything having fallen that made the noise.

The forecast is calling for a rainy Tuesday and then a full weekend of rain coming up. I hope we get some of that just to water Patty's garden.

A week from Tuesday (the 7th) is going to be a busy day with a doctor's appointment in Birmingham at 1 PM and then Noah's concert that same evening at 7 PM. I'm hoping we will have time to squeeze a supper in there somewhere, but we'll have to wait and see on that one.

Addendum: 04/28/24 01:45 PM

We're getting to be a napping family. It's almost becoming a regular thing for the two of us.

Just got up from a short after lunch nap. Looks like it's going to soon be time to turn on the AC. We're trying to enjoy a break between that and the heat but it may turn out to be a very short break.

Oh, and Patty did find the source of the noise that woke us up in the middle of the night. Apparently, the heavy mirror in her office (directly below our bedroom) fell from the wall to the ground. It landed in a way that allowed it to stay upright as it had been on the wall and fortunately it did not break.


Published for Sunday - April 28, 2024


Written Friday - 04/26/24 2:50 PM

As I write, it's Friday afternoon. Tomorrow we're going to visit the Snow family and join them for lunch. Should be a great trip all around.

Patty is supposed to bring a dessert but is not sure what she wants to take since few of us are eating sugar. I don't envy her position but am still looking forward to the day.

Jonathan is at the Alabama Music Educators Conference and I think All-State is mixed in with the event. According to my calendar he gets home tomorrow and just in time to grab a bit of rest before heading to New York City and Washington D.C. with the band. I'm sure that promises to be a great event and just in time to finish out the year and start his summer.

What a blessing it is to have wonderful family. I'm looking forward to some time together.


Published for Saturday - April 27, 2024


Written Thursday - 04/25/24 12:55 PM

Back on the 21st of this month, I offered a post about my sugar addiction. This is a follow-up to that post.

I mentioned a need to focus upon natural sugars. This is working out very well for me.

I went to the local grocery store and purchased some plums and bananas. Both have worked very well in keeping me away from items that come with added sugar.

In fact, I don't remember the last time (until recently) that my body weight has remained down near the bottom of my targeted (5 pound) range. But, moving to natural sugars has done just that for me.

I still do the protein shake on the 4 days that I add weight training to my daily regimen. And, I still add a banana to the end of my lunch each and every day.

The plum comes in sometime in the late afternoon (before supper) or evening (after supper.) It removes the need to snack and removes the desire for taking in any sugar.

Monday, I purchased pizza for both of us and Tuesday I ate the last half of mine for supper. I didn't do a plum (since I was out of them) but added about half a pound on both days due to the pizza.

I should note that in past times I could have easily eaten the entire pizza in just one sitting. But, not any more. Half a pizza does me just fine now.

I'm quickly seeing just how much snacking and over-eating is a mental thing. In other words, I'm still having to play the mental game but not to the extent that I have had to play it in the past.

Good habits are being built. Moderate focus is required to retain the good habits and the good results.


Published for Friday - April 26, 2024

Routine 3

Written Wednesday - 04/24/24 5:15 PM

My sweet wife asks me from time to time what it is about life that I really like. I guess my answer has always been my routine.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've always sort of been an inside kind of guy. In other words, most of the things about my routine happen in doors.

Whether it's blogging, ham radio, weight training, running (on a treadmill), sitting down at the piano or with my guitar, watching movies on my iPad, or watching the news, politics, or the market, I seem to have gravitated toward inside types of things.

Now, assisting Patty in her garden is another thing altogether. That's my outside activity where I get to defeat balance challenges and do something to support my sweet wife.

Heck, the slope is so bad in our yard that I could easily fall if I didn't have balance challenges. So, it's really no big deal to get out there.

In fact, after watching the yard crew struggle this week, I approach my outside support with a renewed sense of confidence. If those guys can struggle out in my yard, then why can't I?

Ham Radio

Published for Thursday - April 25, 2024

Icom 7600 - 2

Written Wednesday - 04/24/24 6:30 AM

Hard to explain. I don't understand why the ham bands have been so bad lately.

There's just no activity. Even after I run and/or workout it seems the only stations on the bands are few and far between and ones I have already worked.

As can be seen above, it's particularly early and there's just no one out there. 15 meters is very quiet and if I swap off to 10, 12, or 20 it will be exactly the same.

Oh well, can't put it off any longer. Time to do a 2 mile run and take the day off from weight training.

Those 2 milers are getting more and more difficult at these fast speeds. Let's see how today goes.


Published for Wednesday - April 24, 2024


Written Monday - 04/22/24 6:40 PM

When it comes to politics, I've done all I know how to do to be as objective about things as possible. Heck, I've even struggled through some of the CNN propaganda and it was, and still is, a struggle.

Sure, I don't agree with everything that Trump has to say. However, I do agree with a lot of it. And, I'm in almost total support of his policies. Where I think Trump falters and brings about his critic's disdain is in his personal behavior.

In that respect, we are both on different pages. Still, it seems to me that his personal behavior, while something not to like, is not reflective of any of the things present in his policies, and those are the reasons he has my vote.

Former president, Donald J. Trump, is truly an odd duck. But I don't see how anyone can vote against the guy. Especially with what has transpired under the Democrat's watch. I just don't see how anyone can support all that has been done.

Worse yet, I don't see how anyone can cast a vote based on a pet peeve. How can anyone miss the greater good by voting strictly for the candidate (in this case, Biden) who is fully supportive of their favorite pet peeve? Abortion comes to mind.

On that topic, I think there was amazing wisdom put forth by Trump. I think he even has given up what he would like to do to push the issue out to the states and let them decide.

If I felt so strong I would move to a state that supports my position. Or, better yet, and because of my place in life and the nature of what I believe on that topic, I would stop to realize that I can live out my wishes in any state, no matter what that state decides, and even if everyone there is in disagreement with my personal position.

In other words, abortion is an issue that no longer affects me and my wife. I would prefer to live in a pro-life country, but it's not a hill upon which I feel a need to fight and perhaps give my life. Does that mean I have no passion for what I believe? Hardly!

I don't think we can push folks to believe like we do. We have to let others live and believe whatever they choose. I like living in Alabama because so many share our mindset that we can enjoy the culture that comes with that mindset.

Here's the funny thing. What is truly important to me is values. I don't see them in Trump's or Biden's lives, but at least they seem present in Trump's policies.

That's what I think Trump is trying to do by pushing the decision out to the states for abortion. And for that, and so much more, he has earned my respect and my vote.

Credit Card Purchases

Published for Tuesday - April 23, 2024

Credit Cards

Written Sunday - 04/21/24 3:15 PM

Wow, these scammers have really gotten good with their schemes. I just received an invoice that appeared to be from a very legitimate organization.

What made the scam so convincing is that I was thinking I did business with them a long time ago.

Now they were sending me a note that my account would be debited for a rather large amount so that I would continue receiving their service. I've already been through this with these scammers before so I should be onto them.

Problem is that this looks very legitimate as it did before. And if I were to do what I did last time I would call to ensure they do not bill me for that rather large amount and would fall into their very sophisticated web of deceit.

In fact, the big give-away is that they provide a phone number for disputing the charge. And the other big give-away is that they don't mention the card number (or part of one) that will be charged in this transaction.

So, I'll just watch for that amount on one of my two credit cards and when I'm not billed, that will confirm the scam.

I really hate to admit that they almost scammed me first time. That's what I get for being an upright citizen. Even my wife recognized it for what it was but I couldn't get past how convincing the guy was on the other end of the line.

All I can say is, Wow!


Published for Monday - April 22, 2024


Written Saturday - 04/20/24 5:30 PM

I like to go outside despite my balance challenges. I really wish I could run outside once again and enter races but for now and with these balance challenges that just isn't meant to be.

I really hope that the tilt table test reveals that there is something that can be done about my balance. I'm scheduled for that test in the first week of next month at a doctor's office.

Still, if they can't find out anything I'm prepared to continue this process of getting older and all that has been involved with it. I'm truly grateful, as I've said before, that I can still do most everything I was ever able to do, even if some changes have had to be applied to the process.

Speaking of changes, I've had to make some concessions (such as moving to a treadmill for my runs) where I have something to which I can hold on. And I have to be a bit more careful on weight training days than before. But at least I still can do my workouts.

Getting around is a bit of a challenge but I'm not going to let it win. If I do, then I would probably go down hill pretty fast and be in the same bad shape in which so many others my age have found themselves. This is an attitude thing and I intend to be in the winner category no matter what it takes.

Speaking of going outside, today I went out and cut the labels off of the new azaleas in the yard and picked up the old blooms that have fallen off of the bushes. Patty's beautiful design is really starting to take shape over in the side yard. She came out and we looked at everything together. It was fun.

Otherwise, I'm becoming more of an indoor guy. My primary hobbies have become ham radio, this blog, watching the news and politics, watching movies on my iPad, a daily dose of running, and weight training four times a week. I also manage to pick up the guitar or sit at the piano when the time is right and I listen to books read aloud with my Audible account.

I also really like the division of labor upon which Patty and I have settled. I think the daily chores is a good thing and part of what keeps me focused.

Oh, and I only experience balance problems when standing so driving has not been a problem at all. In fact, I make a weekly run to get our groceries and that always turns out to be a good thing.


Published for Sunday - April 21, 2024


Written Friday - 04/19/24 3:05 PM

I can see why dad ate all the candy that he wanted to eat. He was addicted to sugar.

I feel the same way except I'm trying to do something about that addiction. I'm trying to avoid anything that doesn't have natural sugars.

Gummy Nerd Clusters had become my go-to sugar thing. Other than having the occasional sugar crash, I don't really have any noticeable adverse effects when I consume it.

But, that doesn't justify my cravings and it especially doesn't justify my letting go and picking up some Gummy Nerd Clusters. Most of all it doesn't justify placing myself at risk for something like diabetes.

It's bad enough that they are pretty expensive. It's worse that I struggle with them like I do.

I do a protein shake in the morning after my runs and weight training. I do a banana for my lunch dessert. Both of those curb my cravings. But not for long.

By around 3 PM I start to struggle and it's an ongoing thing. I suspect I'm going to have to have more than one banana a day and I'm going to have to have other natural sugars to get rid of this problem. Grapes work for me.

So do peaches and watermelons when they're in season but I can't get them year-round like bananas and grapes. Oh, and I can just sniff something sweet (even with natural sugar) and put on a pound or two in the process. That doesn't include apples, which unfortunately I don't really like.

It's a horrible burden with which I have to live, but hey, that seems to be my lot in life. I know things could be worse and I know that complaining is not going to help. Time to do something about it and fix the problem!

Actually, fixing the problem should not be a big deal. I've already fixed my snacking (and weight) challenges and I expect my sugar cravings to follow suite. There's some evidence that I'm already headed in the right direction.

Addendum: 04/20/24 6:50 AM

Went to the local grocery store yesterday and purchased some plums and bananas. Had a plum when I got home and had a banana last evening. Even with all of that, I was down more than half a pound and very content with the lack of a sugar craving. This is going to work well.

Garbage Day

Published for Saturday - April 20, 2024


Written Thursday - 04/18/24 7:00 AM

As I write (and can be seen directly above this text) it's Thursday. And Thursday around here is garbage day for me.

Time to walk around the house and bag up the Walmart bags lining each of the garbage cans in the different rooms. Time to replace those bags with fresh bags from our most recent Walmart adventure.

Time to put all of that into the main garbage bag, tie it and replace it, and walk the tied off bag up the hill to the main can where they do the pickup early on Friday mornings.

I also do some other trips up to the main can with just our kitchen garbage. And, from time to time, I'll make an additional trip just because some of the cans in the house get full - especially the one in our bathroom.

Despite being asked not to leave the can up on the street all week long, the good folks where I live do just that (and so do I.) That's because the main outside can, even with its wheels, becomes too heavy to push back up the hill to the street once it's loaded down with the weekly garbage. Especially for us older guys.

The fee for the garbage service is $20.70 per month and is added to our monthly water bill. In fact, it's about the only check I have to write on a monthly basis. All other monthly bills are automatically drawm from our checking account.


Published for Friday - April 19, 2024


Written Wednesday - 04/17/24 3:40 PM

I'm a real sucker for a toucing movie scene. And few have touched me like the scene near the end of Awakenings.

Robert DeNiro, who received an Oscar nomination for his role in the movie, has already reverted back to an uncontrolled medical reaction. His uncontrolled movements are painful to watch.

But, his passion for the character (Paula) played by Penelope Ann Miller, and the cafeteria scene where she dances with him and brings his movements under submission, is a sight to see.

I'm not sure if that scene really played out in real life or was added for artistic benefit, but either way it was a beautiful thing to behold.

Here is the scene pulled from YouTube. After clicking the play button, hit the 'f' key to watch in full screen mode. Hit 'f' or 'esc' to revert back:


Published for Thursday - April 18, 2024


Written Wednesday - 04/17/24 6:55 AM

I knew when I opened up the coffee yesterday that I had purchased the wrong thing. However, I could not find evidence of it on the plastic bottle.

Still, the shiny crystals in the container looked more like instant coffee but even with an additional search, I could not find evidence of my error. How could this be, I wondered.

Well, this morning I found the fine print on the label. I had indeed purchased instant decaf coffee. I got the decaf part right but missed out entirely on the instant part. I still wondered how this could be.

I guess the container should have given it all away, but I don't make those purchases often enough to know the difference. I dropped the ball on notifying my wife of the shortage so she could place it on her shopping list.

And so I went to the store uninformed and ready to fall prey to the instant coffee trap. And I fell into the trap head first. My purchase was a bad one.

Oh well, painful lesson learned. Guess I'll go back and purchase the right thing this time.

Meanwhile, it's time for my mid-week two mile run.

My Diet

Published for Wednesday - April 17, 2024

My Diet

Written Tuesday - 04/16/24 6:50 AM

Well, I'm up and ready for a one mile run and some weight traing. The weight is way down. That's a good thing.

I even ate pizza last night but held back from how much I would normally eat. And no snacking yesterday. Just starving myself to death. LOL!

I'm below the midpoint in my 5 pound range and haven't been that low in quite a while. I'm going to work toward dropping on down to the bottom of my range. I'm also off of beer and sugar.

Haven't had a beer in several weeks and as for added sugar, well, haven't had it in a few days. Ate a pretty green banana for a dessert with lunch and it was not really sweet at all.

That was probably good for me. Especially since I had cottage cheese mixed with my tuna for lunch yesterday instead of a sandwich. I like that combination. Oh, and no chips for lunch either. That had to help!

Dow Futures

Published for Tuesday - April 16, 2024

Dow Futures

Written Sunday - 04/14/24 6:30 PM

I was so sure that Iran's attack on Israel and our involvement in the entire thing was going to pull down the market. It may still, but you wouldn't know if from the dow futures.

As I type right now the Dow Futures show +90 at 38,328.00. A bit earlier they showed +99 at 38,337.00 That may not hold up until tomorrow when the market opens but it's still surprising to say the least.

I'm a buy and hold on 1,000 shares of BAC (Bank of America) in at 27.75 and up over $8,000 at 35.79. it was up at 38.35 but has fallen off the edge in the last few days.

For the record, and although I'm still steering clear of this one, DJT (Trump Media and Technology Group Corp) is down at 32.59.

That's a long way down from the 60.50 where I jumped in and the 59.40 where I jumped out for a $110 loss on just 100 shares and not that many days ago.


Published for Monday - April 15, 2024


Written Sunday - 04/14/24 6:25 AM

Well, Patty and I got some take out and settled down in front of the TV just in time to see that Iran had attacked Israel. We knew it was going to happen, we just didn't know exactly when.

Turns out, our timing was perfect. We were well prepared to take in the activities presented on Fox News. And they brought in the big guns to cover this major event.

All of the standard Sunday night shows were cancelled in order to bring coverage of the attack. Mark Levin was actually in his hotel in Israel when they went to him during his time slot. Apparently none of the talking heads knew he was over there and all seemed quite surprised at the discovery.

It's now Sunday morning as I type and I need to see what is going on over there. The news reprorts (online) that the attack was pulled off by Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps in coordination with the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, Lebanese group Hezbollah, and the Yemen Houthis.

The attack is codenamed Operation True Promise. It involved the use of over 300 drones, cruise missiles, and balllistic missiles. Apparently 99% of the launches were claimed to have been intercepted by Israel. Iran also warned Israel that a more severe response would be presented in case of retaliation.

Time to go and get in a 2 mile run. No weight training on the schedule for today.


Published for Sunday - April 14, 2024


Written Saturday - 04/13/24 8:05 AM

The ham bands are getting better. I worked a lot of countries yesterday, including Thailand which is a hard one to find and get.

It's a bit confusing though because (when the bands are in good shape) I'm used to getting Europe in the AM and the far east countries in the PM. However, today I'm working the far east countries in the AM. Go figure.

Just got a run in and already worked 15 stations this morning. 15 is what shows up on the QRZ Logbook page and is therefore my daily goal.

Today's far east countries include Indonesia (5) and China (2). I also worked some European countries including Spain, Germany, Scotland, Russia, and Italy. I even worked a station in the Majevica mountain range (in the municipality of TEOÄŒAK) in the federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. A location in TEOÄŒAK is pictured above.

Our Daughter

Published for Saturday - April 13, 2024


Written Friday - 04/12/24 3:05 PM

Had a very nice chat on the phone with our daughter today. We talked a lot about what God has been doing in our lives and I see the evidence of my wife's incredible wisdom in there.

I have to give both Allie and Josh (her other half) a lot of credit for what God is doing with both of them. Together they are building their own culture and it's a culture that involves two very energetic and two very different boys (or should I say, young men.)

Allie honors me by picking my brain because she indicates one of the boys is a great deal like me. I wish that were true but Noah is so far ahead of where I was at that age. He has capitalized upon all that the Lord has put in front of him.

So has Gabe except he's an adventurer like his father. Gabe is also a lover of animals. For all I know, that may have also come from one of his parents as well, but I see that passion as more of a God thing. God seems to have placed a very big heart, passion, and love in Gabe for all creatures great and small (and particularly those who have a lot of fur.)

Allie continues to be a student of God's Word. I love to hear her share about all that God is showing her and doing in her life. It's an amazing thing to see and hear.

It's equally amazing to see and hear all that He has placed on Josh's heart. I wouldn't want to get in the way of all that guy is doing and all that God seems to be doing through him. Just like with Allie, it is indeed something to behold. What a blessing he is to our family.

Keep up the good work you guys! You're doing some pretty awesome stuff!


Published for Friday - April 12, 2024


Written Thursday - 04/11/24 1:00 PM

I checked the rain gauge after a few days of rain and was surprised that there was not more than 1.75 inches, as can be seen above.

Our average annual rainfall is 50 inches here in Ohatchee. Average snowfall is only 2 inches.

We escaped most of the excitement that was forecast for the past few days. In fact, we missed the storms entirely and skipped some of the rain too.

All evidence suggests we're headed for spring. I believe we received a light dusting of snow this past winter that probably wasn't enough to even show up on the historical snowfall charts for Ohatchee, Alabama.

Passing the Buck

Published for Thursday - April 11, 2024


Written Wednesday - 04/10/24 7:00 AM

Despite new categories such as investing, and the time I've spent there recently, the spiritual arena is still most important to me. And, my new category called People is another topic that is very important to me.

As far as my 'people' category goes, it's been a number of years since I've been part of a church where 'people' reside.

On the other hand, I'm grateful for the additional time that provides me to spend with my wife, my kids and their spouses, and those two amazing grandsons.

My wife and I have talked about looking into a church but just have not been able to pull the trigger. There's a number of reasons for the place where we find ourselves currently and the fact that we have stepped away from church.

I certainly don't need to defend our thinking on that but I also don't want to miss the Lord if He is trying to get our attention and change our focus.

I'm the first to admit that it can be very difficult trying to explain to someone why we're not in church. But it can be equally difficult to join a church just to have an answer for those folks. I don't want to do that either.

There's a large contingent of folks who have stepped away from Church but not from God. That describes us to a T. The responsibility with which we are faced is very much like owning a business. The blame for any missteps rests totally upon our own shoulders. There's a lot of responsibility tucked in there.

More than that, there's a lot of focus that is generated when you can't pass the buck and we are definitely in a position where we can't pass the buck with what we're doing. We have to own every decision that we make.

Please pray for us in this. More than anything, we want to be open to God's moving and hearing his voice in all of this. And we don't want to get out ahead of Him.

What's So Great About Christianity

Published for Wednesday - April 10, 2024


Written Tuesday - 04/08/24 11:45 AM

It's the latest book I'm reading with my Audible Subscription. In fact, this one is Free and yet a very worth while read. I'm learning so much! I've still got another credit for a free book, but want to finish this one first.

It's a lengthy read and yet power packed from beginning to end. It's written by Dinesh D'Souza. I can't begin to imagine the research that went into this book.

The book is made up of 8 parts spread across 26 chapters and a wide variety of topics. It was released in October of 2007 and has almost 12 hours of read time.

Charles Schwab

Published for Tuesday - April 09, 2024

Charles Schwab

Written Friday - 04/05/24 5:15 PM

I made a note earlier in the investing category that I don't want to spend much time in this area. I was referring to trading, not a history of my activity in this arena.

Like I've said before, I don't want to get back into trading. I don't want to get back into a level that I was at previously. That was a lot of work.

I'm doing a buy-and-hold on Bank of America and that only because it did a big pull back to a screaming buy position. I don't want to do what I did recently with DJT stock. I knew it was risky when I did it and I'm very fortunate to have bailed out at a very small loss.

I lost $110 on 100 shares. Things could have been much worse. I could have had losses in the thousands. In fact, things did get worse because I fell back into that stressful groove for a very long weekend trying to manage my 100 shares of DJT stock. No more of that. I did that long enough.

When Patty and I moved to the Atlanta area, we went there with Amoco Fabrics and Fibers. I had joined the company while still in Savannah, GA with the idea that I would assist with the move of their I.T. operation to the West Atlanta area.

When I left Amoco and joined PeopleSoft, I moved my investing operations to the Charles Schwab company. Now I could get stock quotes over the telephone so, I ramped up my trading activities.

Looking back upon things, I was very fortunate to come out way ahead on a financial basis. I wasn't that smart, but was a good and careful student of investing. It paid off for me other than one very painful tax season.

I was Schwab's number one trader one year and with a business trip to New York City, they were able to get me out on the exchange floor. I also got to watch the market opening on the Chicago Board of Trade, which was quite something to see.

Oh, by the way, remember in Cobb County when the guy pulled out a gun and shot some people at that stock trading firm? That all happened right down the street from my PeopleSoft office. I was the last person to get out of the area before the police closed off traffic due to that shooting. I saw them do it in my rear-view mirror while driving down Peachtree Street late one afternoon after teaching class at the PeopleSoft office.

Bubble and Crisis

Published for Monday - April 08, 2024

Too Big to Fail

Written Friday - 04/05/24 4:30 PM

I don't remember much about the dot com bubble of 1995. I just remember being very scared of the volatility in those stocks and basically steering away from them.

Looking back, that was a good move. I certainly could have made money off of shorting those stocks, but I have never been a short-seller. Frankly, I'm not smart enough to make money on that side of things.

On the other hand, I vividly remember the 2007-2008 Financial Crisis. I was in a job change when all of that took place and wasn't doing much of any buying or selling. I joined RightNow Technologies and left my technical sales position with Scott Armstrong's Firm.

Boy, was that ever a miserable situation. Nothing like having the company leadership make the news for illegal activity. That happened after I departed. Can't believe they asked me to vouch for some of them in a court of law. Why did they think I left?

Joining RightNow was also the reason I swapped from Charles Schwab to eTrade. It was a requirement to have an eTrade account as an employ of RightNow to receive stock from the company so I moved everything over to my new broker.

What I remember most about the Financial Crisis was two movies. One was called Too Big to Fail and the other was called The Big Short.

The latter of the two was a bit long for my taste but I really enjoyed the former. It was produced by H.B.O. and came out about four years after the event took place. It really painted the picture of that financial season and provided a clear perspective of how close the U.S.A. came to a financial calamity, despite the fact that things did indeed get pretty bad during that time.

Black Monday

Published for Sunday - April 07, 2024

Black Monday

Written Wednesday - 04/03/24 6:00 PM

I was riding home from the Georgia Ports Authority, where I was the system programmer. I was listening to the business news on the radio and the guy said that the Japanese were concerned about something and were pulling money out of our market. That was good enough for me so I called my broker the next morning and requested that he sell everything in my account and move me to cash.

I'll never forget his response. He called me some very bad names and said that in this biggest bull market of all times I would surely come to regret my decision. I had no idea what I was doing but stuck to my guns, in true Hutch DeLoach fashion, and now I was sitting on a small pile of cash and nothing else.

Monday of next week was October 19, 1987 - Black Monday as it was later to be called. The Dow dropped 22.6%. My broker lost everything and had to leave the firm and move back in with his parents.

I wish I could say that I was smart enough to do some buying but I wasn't. In true Peter Lynch style I waited for the knife to fall, stick in the ground, and wobble a bit before I once again became a buyer. I don't think I would have had the stomach to endure any earlier purchases. There was just too much up and down for me.

Turns out the Japanese were right. Getting out of everything was probably the best move I ever made in the stock market - especially since I had discovered margin and was utilizing it heavily. Had I been leveraged like usual I hate to think what might have happened to me in all of my ignorance.

E. F. Hutton

Published for Saturday - April 06, 2024

E. F. Hutton

Written Wednesday - 04/03/24 5:00 PM

Not long after I moved to Savannah, I decided to get involved in the stock trading world. Back then, I doubt it was referred to as stock trading unless one was super wealthy and could afford that kind of thing.

That's because everyone worked through a broker and you had to pay a commission for the broker's services each time you purchased or sold something. And those commissions were expensive. To the tune of over $100 per trade. That's over $100 to get into something and another $100+ to get back out.

So, that means you had to hold something long enough for it to cover the broker's commission. It was not like today where you can often get into or out of something without any extra fees and you can do it quickly, online, and all by yourself.

Some of the E.F. Hutton offices were empty. I tried to get permission to do my own trading but to no avail. I was too young to know what I could and couldn't do. My young broker was very patient with me. He had to be, LOL!

I remember the first time I used his services to buy some options. The stock was very cheap, whatever it was, but the options literally tripled overnight. My broker was out the next day so I utilized the services of another broker to get out of those options and capture my profits. The trading bug had taken a bite out of me and I was hooked.

Tulsi Gabbard

Published for Friday - April 05, 2024

Tulsi Gabbard

Written Tuesday - 04/02/24 2:00 PM

I just finished watching a Tucker Carlson interview with Tulsi Gabbard. I really like what she has to say and now understand why Robert F. Kennedy Jr. asked her to serve as his running mate, despite being turned down.

Based on the interview, if Donald J. Trump was to ask her to serve as his running mate, it seems she would say yes. I understand her motivation and after learning a lot more about her via that interview, I do indeed, hope he will ask her.

Her understanding of the crossroads at which we find ourselves as a country uniquely qualifies her for that position and it would posture her to perhaps have a successful run for the presidency in another four years. After what I heard from her today, I suspect she would have my vote.

Her spiritual declaration puts her on a different page from me. However, I suspect I could look past that for the positives she brings to the table. I guess I need to do some more homework on that topic.

I would assume, based on the interview with Tucker Carlson, that Tulsi Gabbard has shed her ties to the democratic party in becoming an independent. That includes her (previous?) support for Bernie Sanders.

I would also like to know her current party affiliation and her thoughts along those lines. Is she still an independent and does she have any major concerns with the Republican Party Platform?

Those are just a few of my need-to-know things before I could actually cast a vote in her direction. Of course, joining Trump would not hurt my presidential voting prospects for 2024. Like I indicated before, I hope he will ask her to join him.


Published for Thursday - April 04, 2024


Written Tuesday - 04/02/24 6:30 PM

Well, with some fear, I've added another topic to the menu. Investing.

I say 'with some fear' because I don't want it to be a topic where I spend a lot of time like I used to do. Me and the idea of investing go back a long way together and we've gone through lots of technology along the way.

Years ago, I purchased a Vic 20 computer (which was a lead up to the Commodore 64) and developed a stock quote device. My Vic 20 would make a free call to the Dow Jones News line and obtain stock quotes.

The Vic 20 would then hang up the phone line and call my pager (in the old days well before we had cell phones) and send just the stock prices. It was up to me to remember the order in which they were being sent, since pagers did not allow for letters that would have been used to send the company stock symbols.

Converting the stock price to something that was meaningful was the goal. (Stock prices started out using eighths.) For example, IBM might be 100 3/8. Using today's terms that would be the same as 100.375 so I would send 1100375 and have to do the mental conversion to arrive at the original stock quote.

The first digit (in this case a 1) indicated the order of the stocks (which means I could send 9 quotes.) The other 6 (or less) digits represented the stock price.

I would also have to remember that IBM was the first quote in the list. Usually I could tell which stock was being sent because of the approximate price and did not often have to remember the order of stocks being sent. The trick was in the software that was used to do these conversions on the front end.

Once the stock prices had been sent, the pager vibrator would go off and they would show up on my pager. Then the Vic 20 would hang up the line, wait ten minutes or so, and do it all again. If I had to attend a meeting, the pager vibrator could be turned off with the push of a button. It was that simple.

In future posts, I will share more about my time with EF Hutton in Savannah, Ga where I had to use a broker for trades, and my time with Charles Schwabb in Atlanta, GA, where I finally could do things online.

Some years later I swapped to Etrade who was recently purchased by Morgan Stanley. I still sign into my old Etrade account as I have always done before, even though they are now owned by Morgan Stanley.

I also want to write about Black Monday - October 19, 1987, the 1995 Dot Com Bubble, and the 2007-2008 Financial Crisis. Should be interesting.


Published for Wednesday - April 03, 2024


Written Monday - 04/01/24 8:45 AM

Well, I lost $110 on DJT. I woke up this morning down more than $300 in the pre-market and stated to bail out but the stock started climbing.

I purchased the stock last Thursday in the after-market for $60.50 and promised myself that if it dropped below $60.00 I was out.

DJT jumped around in the mid $59's (still in the pre-market) and I was out at $59.40. Next time I looked it was up in the $60's. Oh well, can't win 'em all.

I just looked again and it's down @ $56.31. Had I waited and bailed out at this point I would have lost $419. Getting out turned out to be a good move after all.

I don't plan to play with DJT anymore. Too volatile and too risky for my blood.

Addendum: 04/01/24 12:05 PM

Can't believe DJT is now down in the low to mid 45's. Currently 45 and change. Big and negative news pulled it way down = -26%. Like I said, too risky for my blood.

Addendum: 04/01/24 06:10 PM

Can't believe DJT closed down at $48.66 and is further down at $47.70 in the after-market. Up from the low of the day but still way down and more than -23%.

More on Easter

Published for Tuesday - April 02, 2024

Easter 3

Written Sunday - 03/31/24 5:40 PM

Well, as I suggested on the post yesterday, both of the kids and their families did indeed join us for an Easter lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant over in Atalla, AL right across from Walmart. El Patron is the name of the place.

We agreed that it was time well spent together including the time back at the house. All in all, a great day!

I was a bit surprised that we couldn't fit the two bicycles in the Snow family's car, but I suppose they were bigger than we thought. Josh offered to come back by sometime with the truck to pick them up.

Patty and I are so blessed to have the families of our kids make the 1+ hour drive over to spend a short amount of time with us. It's something we don't take for granted.

It's still Easter as I type and the meaning of the day is not lost on all of the time spent together with family. In fact, I can't think of anyone with whom I would rather spend the Holiday. The meal blessing was a moment to remember the day and its meaning. And even now, another moment to remember.

We thank you oh Lord, especially here on Easter, for the gift of your son Jesus Christ and what he means to each of us. We thank you for His life and that, on the third day, he was resurrected. We thank you for the day-to-day guidance of the Holy Spirit and we are grateful that we will spend eternity with Jesus for He is risen, indeed!


Published for Monday - April 01, 2024


Written Sunday - 03/31/24 6:55 AM

It's Easter Sunday as I type. Both of the kids and their families are coming over for lunch out at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

Got the run out of the way and the new week is coming up. Also, put in the changes for the new month here on the blog.

Short post today.


Copyright © 2024 Hutch DeLoach