Monday, April 30, 2007

Strange but true . . .

This may not mean anything but yesterday I decided to do a review of McKibben's Deep Economy, and because I had seen but not read a review of it in the LA Times Book Review, I knew that readers might be aware of it. But at the dry cleaners I happened to glance at a local street magazine and lo and behold there it was - another review. Talk about timely. It's not serendipity if you can't take advantage of it, is it? Anyway, after I'm done writing mine, I'll at least have two ways to compare it.

Meanwhile, our contracts for the fair haven't arrived and it's driving me sleepless.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Bees and their Business

I have decided to follow up on the post that began with the question about paper or plastic because I actually took that over to GRS and started a comment thread provoked further interest in seeing what else I might have to say about this small is beautiful idea.

The bees are dying. Myth versus reality. Mites could be the cause. So could humankind. Colony Collapse Disorder 2007, Disappearing Disease 1915, Dwindling Disease 1960. The first is world wide and appears to have affected 70 to 90 percent of the honey bee population. Less bees, less beekeepers, more crops genetically engineered. Apparently there is a cross-continental migratory bee industry wherein the hives are moved to the crop area. Google yielded the usual 1 million are so hits on the topic. The flower crops are being bred to be scentless, no scent no bees, no pollination, bees have fly past the point of no return in order to find a nectar source especially in urban growth areas which means just about everywhere. However, I didn't find any mention of plastic being a causative factor. Now I'm planning on referencing Bill Mckibben's Deep Ecology and referring to several blogs: The Compact

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The morning comes and . . .

I wake up with the idea in my head. I thoughts are running into each other as I realize that sleeping on it has been good. So I grab my robe, put on my slippers, and make some coffee. Then its straight to the computer where I open up last night's post and quickly copy my lead sentence into notepad. Then its over to the Get Rich Slowly forum where I post my question in the general discussion area under new topic. Almost immediately there are replies. Oh, I do like this blogging world.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Here's a question

How come I rarely come across posts that have to do with the ecology in the personal finance blogs I read? I mean they talk about growing their own food, and spending less on doodads, but none of them mention that this is a way to save the planet.

More on this in the morning. T just came in and announced that she's ready for bed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's been one of those days

when things coalesced into the form they were meant to be. T. needed a flyer for her class and we needed a purpose for our website. So while writing out a description of our company's purpose for her flyer, I realized that that was what was missing from our website. Now, someone who lands there can see what they will get if they email us for info and what they can find if they search our site for books or games or investment advice. It's nice to find out that we really do have a purpose and can really offer a service.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fore Closure . . .

So what can I say. This, if you're a real estate invester, is a hot topic right now. Our son who works in a local real estate office in the foreclosure department tells me the number of foreclosures has gone up 1000% since December. And at the last three real estate/financial seminar presentations my partner and I attended the topic of foreclosure purchasing was the loss leader that heated up the signups. Last night one of our friends called to tell us she will be going to Vegas next week for a four day real estate symposium on, you guessed it, foreclosures. T. and I talked about this last night and came up with the following comparison. Investors who take bear market puts are similar to investors who shop for properties when the bubble bursts.

Monday, April 16, 2007

We plan, the gods laugh ... but we laugh back

That's how it goes with us. Experience has been a good thing for us. When we realized that Mr. Financial Engineer was just an insurance salesman it became quite amusing to watch and listen as he tried to macro us into a million dollar whole life policy. We were amazed at how he managed to polish our financials so that we'd qualify. Qualify, like it was some big test that would prove we were worthy of the insurance company's trust. But our sales experience from our own business stood us in good stead so to speak. And after digesting his pitch, we fed it back to him in a $100,000 increment that fit our financial statement not his.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

What I Don't Know

is how my partner and I got where we are. We never signed anything. Never wrote out the parts each of us play. Never even thought about how we just one day found ourselves introducing ourselves as partners. I do know I purposely choose that term when I want to refer to her. I want to avoid the predjudice implied in calling her "my wife" and I know that I feel that being rigorous in this regard is a part of the equation. We share everything even when we don't. And we don't agree at first about many things. But somehow we have learned that in the end we will be together and that's why our partnership works.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Midweek Blues . . .

Wednesday, and I can't seem to get it going. I wrote out a list and even checked things off as I did them but somehow that hasn't relieved this sense of sadness or upsettedness or frustration that is sitting on my shoulders. Wait. Strike that. It isn't on my shoulders it's in my soul. That why this entry is called what it is. Now back in the day, I could look forward to Wednesday because we all would meet up at the local happy hour to play pool and dance. And dance I did. Hard, like I was trying to escape something. And it worked. For that week, it got me through to the weekend, where I could ride my bike for hours, and find quiet places to read. But of course, that's where the blues would start up again. Knowing that I was, and would always be alone in my life because that's the way I learned to survive. That's where I learned if you didn't connect with people then you wouldn't have show them anything but the surface.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Trust . . .

is hard to come by and we are lucky when we have it. Trust in yourself. Trust in others, and they in you, is the essence of a workable and a good partnership. My partner and I developed our trust over years. When we met, I had a small business and a daytime job. She had a small business, too. Separate but equal we came together because she needed the service I was selling, dance lessons. But soon after we met, I discovered she was doing something in her business that I had done as a boy and now as a man found I really missed. Truck farming and farmer's markets.

Gradually, over the first year or so of our knowing each other, we became involved. I asked her to compete with me as a dance partner. She asked if I'd help her by managing a concession at a rock concert. We worked with each other and over time it became clear that she and I were looking for similar things in a partner. I retired from my day job. She built a concession stand. We began to work the summer circuit of fairs together. Twenty hour days, for a month at a time. We still kept our businesses separate but they were definitely growing closer together.

But in those early years we came close many times to breaking up. One time she pulled over to the side of the freeway and demanded that I get out of the truck. We were on our way to Ventura and had been having a discussion about how to treat our employees. She began to insist that it be done her way. I told her I didn't work for her but with her. And at dance practice, when we were preparing for a dance contest, my demand that a step be done a certain way would often get in the way of us actually being able to dance together as a team.

So how did it happen that we developed a trust that became a partnership?

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Partners, an over and under view . . .

So the other day, or was it a night, I decided to take some of that advice I've been reading about how to run a blog and put it to work. So in a sense you could say that this rather loose affiliation that I'm forming with other bloggers is a partnership. One of the mind and very contemporary. Meantime, I am in a very committed partnership with T. my long time business associate, companion, lover and best friend. We have formed a corporation together, invested in real estate, married in common law, and worked side by side, sometimes cheek by jowl, for many years. We are complimentaries. She is open and friendly and filled with a boundless sort enthusiasm to do good things well. I am certainly more closed and introverted, but still quite willing to get involved. Together we form a team that on the surface would not seem to be possible. And yet, it is.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Things to do . . .

While noodling around in my thoughts the other day I realized that it had been awhile since I listed out the possiblities for writing. So here in no particular order of importance are several topics that I will be writing about as the weeks become months in the endless days of summer. Where's the money?, Partners and Partnering Up, Seller's Financing, Carrying Your Own Paper, Hard Money, OPM, 0% Interest Purchasing, and Life Without Credit Cards.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Scattered thoughts about planning

So my mind is really full these days as we move towards adding new elements to our financial plan. Insurance has loomed its bland face onto our horizon in the guise of a referral from one of our real estate lenders who sent us to a financial engineer who then turned out to be a life insurance agent/planner. So the whole question about our coverages came up. And this led us to the understanding that we should increase our liability coverage in the form of an umbrella policy for all of our personal holdings and seriously consider adding whole or univeral life insurance to our financial package. After two sessions, we were suddenly confronted with having to make an appointment for blood and urine screening even though we had yet to hear a quote as to how much this type of insurance would cost. In the back of my mind, I'm already thinking of Phillip Wylie and his cautionary essay on what he called Momism. After all, an insurance company is really just another financial institution designed to make and keep making money. So far, this has led me to start searching for more information before we leap any farther.