Saturday, July 20, 2013

Two shots.............................................

Tim Conway and Harvey Korman................................

 

Live............................................

Marshall Tucker Bank........................This Ol' Cowboy

 

Obstacle............................................

"But by far the greatest obstacle to the progress of science and to the undertaking of new tasks and provinces therein is found in this — that men despair and think things impossible.  For wise and serious men are wont in these matters to be altogether distrustful; considering with themselves the obscurity of nature, the shortage of life, the deceitfulness of the senses, the weakness of judgment, the difficulty of experiment and the like; and so supposing that in the revolution of time and of the ages of the world the sciences have their ebbs and flows; that at one season they grow and flourish, at another wither and decay, yet in such sort that when they have reached a certain point and condition they can advance no further."
-Francis Bacon, Aphorism XCII

Difference....................................

"Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be."
-William Hazlitt


















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Fifty years ago.........................................

Paul (leaning) Newman.................................................Hud

 

Opening paragraphs.............................

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were doing direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
-Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Editors................................................






















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33 Guidelines for investing in real estate....

Guideline # 4:   Value is derived from usage.

The value of investment real estate is derived from its use, or from its potential use.  Over time, that often changes.

It is not a bad thing to invest in real estate that is being under utilized.  Actually, we have made a career of it.  One can create significant value by upgrading the use of a specific property.

A quote attributed to Schumpeter...................

from the La Bocca della Verita blog:

"It is unreasonable to expect the economist to forecast correctly what will actually happen as it would be to expect a doctor to prognosticate when his patient will be the victim of a railroad accident and how this will affect his state of health."

Wondering where and when he said that, the Oracle Google was consulted concerning one Joseph A. Schumpeter.  Did not find the quote above, but did turn up the following additional dandy quotes:

"Gentlemen, a depression is for capitalism like a good, cold douche."

"I felt it my duty to take, and to inflict upon the reader, considerable trouble in order to lead up effectively to my paradoxical conclusion: capitalism is being killed by its achievements."

“The first thing a man will do for his ideal is lie”

"Any existing structures and all the conditions of doing business are always in a process of change. Every situation is being upset before it has had time to work itself out. Economic progress, in a capitalist society, means turmoil."

"We always plan too much and always think too little."

"The stock exchange is a poor substitute for the Holy Grail."

"Nothing is so treacherous as the obvious."

"Bureaucracy is not an obstacle to democracy but an inevitable complement to it."


"It is not true that democracy will always safeguard freedom of conscience better than autocracy. Witness the most famous of all trials. Pilate was, from the standpoint of the Jews, certainly the representative of autocracy. Yet he tried to protect freedom. And he yielded to a democracy."

Friday, July 19, 2013

A new dream every day.........................

Marshall Tucker Band...............Running Like The Wind

 

thanks for the reminder Ray

Is a picture worth a 1,000 words................?

















Reasonable people can come to different conclusions.  Here is one conclusion (in way less than 1,000 words).
thanks Craig

Traveling..................................................

















thanks Rob

33 Guidelines for investing in real estate.................

Guideline #3:  The money is made when you buy.

You make your money when you buy.  It takes hard work, discipline, and time to consistently earn money as an investor.  If you overpay for an asset, it just makes it that much harder and takes way more time to earn a return on investment.  These are investments we are making, they are not trophies to acquire.  When sellers are asking too much for their property, the wise thing to do is to let them continue to own it.  Husband your resources until the right investment can be acquired.  Buying at cap rates below 8% is to be avoided at all costs.

Editor's Note:  Many smart people have been spending real money at cap rates well below 8%.  Either they know something I don't - which is very likely - or they  care a lot about the return ON their capital, not not so much about the return OF their capital.  Many smart people believe that the current low interest rate environment helps buyers because it makes borrowed money cheaper.  I believe low rates favor sellers.  Cheap money  is a trap that causes buyers to overpay.  Let's wait and see what happens to all those investors who purchased property at a 6% cap rate when interest rates rise to 8%.

Another Editor's Note:  For this blogger's take on cap rates go here, here, here, or here.

Fifty years ago........................................

The Beatles.................................Till There Was You

 

If we really want to improve the outcomes from both parenting and our educational systems...

.........we should start teaching the young'uns about the real world (and practical aspects) of money, finance, compound interest, credit, debt, taxation, balancing a check book, reading a profit and loss statement and balance sheet, savings and investing.  Wouldn't it be lovely if most of us folks in the US of A accepted the responsibility for our own financial well being, rather than relying on a company or government?  A good first step towards that ideal would be teaching that it is possible......and interesting.........and stimulating.........and rewarding...........and fun.  

Opening paragraphs..............................

On 14 October 1285 Alexander III, King of Scotland, married as his second wife Yolande of Dreux, descended from Count Robert I of Dreux, a son of Louis VI of France.   It was a marriage welcomed by his subjects.  His first wife Margaret, daughter of Henry III of England, had died in 1275 having borne for her husband a daughter and two sons, Margaret, Alexander, and David.  But within the space of three years all were dead:  the younger son in 1281 unmarried, the elder in 1284 without issue and in 1283 the daughter, who was married to Erik II, King of Norway, died in childbirth leaving as heir to the Scottish and Norwegian thrones a sickly infant Margaret, the Maid of Norway.  The succession stood in jeopardy.
-Ronald McNair Scott,  Robert The Bruce:  King of Scots

Lessons......................................
















thanks gerard

I don't know what it is or what it means............

..........but it involves talent, creativity and fun. And, I like it.   Minilogue/hitchhiker's choice.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Gone but not forgotten..................

Jackie Gleason (1916-1987) channels his inner Ralph Kramden

 

Compulsion.....................................................

Barenaked Ladies....................................Brian Wilson's Song

 

Lest we forget.....................................

                 Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The meaning to those words seems plain enough.  I know this governing thing is hard, especially when many of the governed aren't at all enamored with being told what to do, or think, or say.  I know that many people will quickly trade liberty for security.  But still.......one Amendment at a time, the words to our Constitution seem to have lost any meaning.  Sadness.

Bugbears.........................................

"Mankind are an incorrigible race. Give them but bugbears and idols - it is all that they ask;  the distinctions of right and wrong, of truth and falsehood, of good and evil, are worse than indifferent to them."
-William Hazlitt



















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Opening paragraphs.................................

Over the past few centuries, two transformations - one scientific, the other democratic - have altered the thinking and the well being of the human species.  The scientific revolution is still gathering momentum, but has already revealed more about the universe than had been learned in all prior history, while the technological applications of scientific knowledge have rescued billions from poverty, ignorance, fear, and an early grave.  The democratic revolution has spread freedom and equal rights to nearly half the world's inhabitants, making democracy the preference of informed peoples everywhere.
-Timothy Ferris,  The Science of Liberty:  Democracy, Reason, and the Laws of Nature

Fifty years ago....................................

Walt Disney........................The Sword in the Stone

 

When only the "perfect" picture counts.............
















back story and larger photograph is here

33 Guidelines for investing in real estate............

Guideline #2:  Know why:  a twofer.

Know why you are investing - Part 1

Investing for cash flow looks different than investing for capital appreciation.

Know why you are investing - Part 2

Investing is a long term thing.  It takes time to be a successful investor.  It takes discipline to keep at it.  Not every day is a fun day.  Making the decision to defer on immediate gratification in exchange for future financial independence requires some internal fortitude.  But, as Jim Rohn, one of my early teachers, said, "If you have enough reasons you can do the most incredible things."  

Do you have good reasons to invest for the future?  If not, find some soon.  It makes it all easier.

Just another list that I'm not on..............

............40 websites that will make you cleverer right now.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Today's dose of Whose Line......................

Looking nice............................................

9 minutes and 37 seconds of the J. Geils Band live.  Feel the power.

 

Is there anything a cat can't do........................?













































Want more?  Full fatcatart gallery is here.

Beware of dog.............................


Acknowledging of course that normalacy is merely the psychosis of the majority.............................

News you don't need:  the top five most bizarre mental illnesses

Fifty years ago.............................

Susannah York/Albert Finney......................Tom Jones

 

Opening paragraphs.............................................

Like an earthquake, the stock market crash of October, 1929 cracked startlingly across the United States, the herald of a crisis that was to shake the American way of life to its foundations.  The events of the ensuing decade opened a fissure across the landscape of American history no less gaping that that opened by the volley on Lexington Common in April 1775 or by the bombardment of Sumter on another April four score and six years later.
-David M. Kennedy,  Freedom From Fear:  The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945

33 guidelines for investing in real estate.......

Guideline #1:  Do it.

"I found the road to wealth when I decided that a part of all I earned was mine to keep."  So says Arkad, the hero of George Clason's classic book, The Richest Man in Babylon.

The idea is that out of any paycheck or income stream we must first set aside a percentage for savings and investing, then we can spend what is left.  If we do it the other way and spend first, there will never be any money left for savings and investing.  Something about human nature.  Something about discipline.

Most of our economic troubles in this country would soon disappear if reading and understanding the principles of The Richest Man in Babylon was a requirement for high school graduation.  Do yourself a favor - read this small tome once a year.

To summarize Guideline #1 for investing - just do it.

Editor's Note:  The 33 guidelines first showed up, in no particular order, on this blog more than three years ago.  Seemed like a fine time to re-play them, this time in order.

A rule of thumb............................

..................from Ben Casnocha:

".....if you want to identify the most senior, knowledgeable people in an audience, look for the people who are taking notes and asking questions."

For a more complete understanding of his point, read this.

Struggling.............................................

"I hate to be near the sea, and to hear it roaring and raging like a wild beast in its den. It puts me in mind of the everlasting efforts of the human mind, struggling to be free, and ending just where it began."
-William Hazlitt


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Rumor has it................................

..................that Whose Line has returned to TV

 

Obsession.................................

Janis Joplin....................................................Summertime

 

I love the heat, if only because I can post this song - again.  Enjoy!

Sure is.................................






















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Keeping cool..............................




thanks Ann (please be sure to heed her warnings)

Absorbed............................................

The ordinary surroundings of life which are esteemed by men (as their actions testify) to be the highest good, may be classed under the three heads — Riches, Fame, and the Pleasures of Sense: with these three the mind is so absorbed that it has little power to reflect on any different good."
-Baruch Spinoza





















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Fifty years ago...................................

The Beatles......................................It Won't Be Long

 

On changing lightbulbs..........................

....the definitive, and peer reviewed, answer to "how many" is here.

thanks mungo

Continuing the theme.....................



















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I thought it was about time.........................

........to update my Webster's New World College Dictionary.
Victor Davis Hanson gets us off to an interesting start.

See....................................................

"We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts."
-William Hazlitt





















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Monday, July 15, 2013

If.......................................................

Tim Hardin..........................................Reason to Believe

 

Time tested and Sweetie approved.............
















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Us pesky humans...........................

We just refuse to succumb to Malthusian nonsense, regardless of how many books it will sell.  WRM reports on human ingenuity and the water "crisis".............

One of the biggest feeders of Malthusian fears in recent years has been the body of literature predicting the threat to our fresh water supply. Book after book after book has described the water crisis facing the planet. History has shown that human ingenuity has allowed us to overcome challenges thrown at us by geography, the elements, and alleged overpopulation. Could it be that this time it may be no different?

Full essay is here

Choose.........................................

"As men's habits of mind differ, so that some more readily embrace one form of faith, some another, for what moves one to pray may move another to scoff, I conclude ... that everyone should be free to choose for himself the foundations of his creed, and that faith should be judged only by its fruits"
-Baruch Spinoza
























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Fifty years ago..................................

McLintock..........................................John Wayne and friends 
They just don't make movies the way they used to.
 "Good party, but no whiskey. We go home."

   

Opening paragraphs....................

                                            Chapter 1

                                         I AM BORN

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by someone else, these pages must show.  To begin my like with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o'clock at night.  It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.
-Charles Dickens,  David Copperfield

Is it just me.................................

................or has the national news media totally lost its way?






















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Veneration..............................

"Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious."
-Albert Einstein


















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Sunday, July 14, 2013

I'll never grow up.................................

The Zombies......................................Time of the Season

 

The more things change.............................

     Burke's other goals included abolition of the Board of Trade, a perennial target of opposition politicians over the centuries, and of the office of the Third Secretary of State, responsible for the colonies, and specifically America.  But more interesting are the obvious targets that he omitted.  Pensions were known to be widely abused, as were sinecures within the Exchequer itself, yet Burke proposed only modest changes to them.  Politic in seeking consensus, he was also respectful of what he saw as private property, and personally reluctant to deprive any many of what might be his livelihood.  More than this, he believed that it was greatly to the benefit of the nation as a whole that long and disinterested public service be rewarded, and so encouraged, with honours and property.  His goal was a balance between the twin evils of an ossified aristocracy and a politics of court favorites, drones and placemen eagerly shimmying up the greasy pole.
-Jesse Norman,  Edmund Burke:  The First Conservative

On enthusiasm.........................

"There is a sort of enthusiasm in all projectors, absolutely necessary for their affairs, which makes them proof against the most fatiguing delays, the most mortifying disappointments, the most shocking insults; and, what is severer than all, the presumptuous judgement of the ignorant upon their designs."
-Edmund Burke

























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Fifty years ago........................................

Cleopatra...................Taylor,  Burton, Harrison, et. al.

 

Budgets?  Budgets?  We don't need no stinking budgets!  Originally slated to cost $2,000,000, the final 1963 production cost $44,000,000 (equivalent to $323,000,000 +/- today).  It was the highest grossing film in 1963, yet still lost money.  Go figure.  You can read more than you want to know about the film here.

Unexpected..................................

"If God had wanted to put everything into the universe from the beginning, He would have created a universe without change, without organisms and evolution, and without man and man's experience of change. But he seems to have thought that a live universe with events unexpected even by Himself would be more interesting than a dead one."
-Karl Popper

















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Profound mysteries............................

“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.”
-Charles Dickens


















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A verse for Sunday....................

36  "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

37  “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 

38  "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Luke 6:36-38
The Holy  Bible
New International Version

Opening paragraphs.......................

                                                   Chapter 1

     TREATS OF THE PLACE WHERE OLIVER TWIST WAS BORN AND OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES ATTENDING TO HIS BIRTH

     Among other public buildings in a certain town, which for many reasons it will be prudent to refrain from mentioning, and to which I will assign no fictitious name, there is one anciently common to most towns, great or small;  to wit, a workhouse;  and in this workhouse was born;  on a day and date which I need not trouble myself to repeat, inasmuch as it can be of no possible consequence to the reader, in this stage of the business at all events; the item of mortality whose name is prefixed to the head of this chapter.
-Charles Dickens,   Oliver Twist