Wednesday, April 27, 2022


 The record shows that, for society, the richer we become, the harder it is to live within our means. Abundance is harder for us to handle than scarcity.

-Nassim Taleb


. . .  I think independence is one of the only ways money can make you happier. The trick is realizing that the only way to maintain independence is if your appetite for stuff – including status – can be satiated. The goalpost has to stop moving; the expectations have to remain in check. Otherwise money has a tendency to be a liability masquerading as an asset, controlling you more than you use it to live a better life.

-Morgan Housel, from this post on the quick disappearance of the once unfathomable wealth of Cornelius Vanderbilt 

The hopeful birth........................

 ..............of a sub-division:  Episode 21

Having sold all 49 of the lots in Phase 1 of Conor's Pass sub-division, we responded by beginning the 64 lot Phase 2.  The weather has been iffy and wet, but it's April in Ohio, expecting anything different would be silly.  Still progress is being made:

Topsoil stripped and building pads being created

Different soil types needed in different places

A borrow pit, source of compactible soil

this non-compactible topsoil will fill the borrow pit

Next step is to connect to the main sanitary sewer trunk line

The sewer trunk line is near the Licking River.  Need to lose
the water before we can connect.

Getting there

No supply chain issues for the sewer structures this year

Color me confused........................

 Pundits will tell you there is a 40% chance of just about anything occurring at any moment.

The one true bright spot with our current economy is that it's a level playing field—nobody has a clue what is going on.  Ben Carlson offers his take, leading with this quote from the fairly smart and fairly well-read Charlie Munger: "If you’re not a little confused by what’s going on you don’t understand it. We’re in unchartered territory.”

A forever question.............................


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Never saw it coming.....................

 The Economist – a magazine I admire – publishes a forecast of the year ahead each January. Its January 2020 issue does not mention a single word about Covid. Its January 2022 issue does not mention a single word about Russia invading Ukraine. That’s not a criticism – both events were impossible to know when the magazines were likely planned in November and written in December each year. But that’s the point: The biggest news, the biggest risks, the most consequential events, are always what you don’t see coming.

-Morgan Housel, as culled from here

A question like this..................... just one of many reasons to follow Martin Gurri.  In this instance, he is discussing sex and pronouns:

 I mean, can anyone conjure up a romantic vision of Greta Thunberg?

The hopeful birth.................

 ...............of a sub-division:  Episode 20

Our production builder, D. R. Horton, continues to make great progress in increasing housing availability in Newark and Licking County.  These houses hit the market last week.  Sources say that three are already sold.

A veneer really......................

 Everywhere in the West there are subversive minorities who, sheltered by our humanitarianism and our sense of justice, hold the incendiary torches ready, with nothing to stop the spread of their ideas except the critical reason of a single, fairly intelligent, mentally stable stratum of the population.  One should not overestimate the thickness of this stratum.

-C. G. Jung, from his 1957 work, The Undiscovered Self

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

      Brunetti had tossed Il Gazzettino into the waste-paper bin before leaving the Questura, but still he took the subject of one of the lead articles home with him.  As he settled on the sofa with Cicero's Against Verres and its denunciation of a corrupt official, Brunetti's thoughts were frequently diverted to the cascade of money opened by the pandemia that had, until recently, so ravaged the country.

     Not even the deaths of more than 125,000 people had put an end to greed - not that Brunetti has thought for a moment that it would - nor had it dulled the ability of organized crime to get its snout in the virtually unguarded trough.  Money had rained down and countless companies had requested compensation from agencies whose task it was to bestow the largesse of a frightened Europe.  He'd cringed at the sight of some of the names he'd read, both in the governmental agencies, as well as among the directors of some of the companies receiving them.  No doubt he and his colleagues in the Guardia di Finanza would become more familiar with those names as time passed.

-Donna Leon, Give Unto Others: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery

In the background...................

Ryan Tennis...........Pack Light But Bring Everything

unduly optimistic..............................

Braddock marching to Fort Duquesne

Franklin developed a mixed view of Braddock.  "This general was, I think, a brave man, and might probably have made a figure as a good officer in some European war," he said afterward.  "But he had too much self-confidence, too high an opinion of the validity of regular troops, and too mean a one of both Americans and Indians."  Braddock had boasted of the victories he would swiftly win. . . . 
French and Indians not cooperating

     Franklin thought Braddock unduly optimistic.  He tried to point this out.  "To be sure, sir, if you arrive well before Duquesne, with these fine troops, so well provided with artillery, that place, not yet completely fortified, and as we hear with no very strong garrison, can probably make but a short resistance.  The only danger I apprehend of obstruction to your march is from ambuscades of Indians, who, by constant practice, are dexterous in laying and executing them; and the slender line, near four miles long, which your army must make, may expose it to be attacked by surprise in its flanks, and to be cut like a thread into several pieces, which, from their distance, cannot come up in time to support each other."

     Braddock would have none of it.  "He smiled at my ignorance," Franklin recalled, "and replied, 'These savages may, indeed be a formidable enemy to your raw American militia, but upon the king's regular and disciplined troops, sir, it is impossible they should make any impression.'"

     Franklin fell silent.  "I was conscious of an impropriety in my disputing with a military man in matters of his profession, and said no more."

-H. W. Brands, Our First Civil War: Patriots and Loyalists in The American Revolution

Braddock mortally wounded

their special skill....................

 Looking back over the centuries, or even if looking only at the present, we can clearly observe that many men have made their living, often a very good living, from their special skill in applying weapons of violence, and that these activities have had a very large part in determining what uses were made of scarce resources.

-Frederic C. Lane