Monday, February 3, 2020

Notes From All Over, Part 1 -- Nothing About The Bakken -- February 3, 2020

Books: well, that didn't last long. I mentioned that I was going to read (again), the The New Yorker anthology on articles from the decade of the 60s. I read half a dozen articles, got bored, put it down and moved on. Too many articles on the Vietnam War. If folks think Trump is divisive, they need to re-live the LBJ days. And it cost upwards of 250,000 South Vietnamese lives. There are 57,939 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I think the wrong guys have been impeached over the years.

McNamara: born and raised in San Francisco; US Berkeley; Harvard Business School; US Army Air Forces during WWII; a "whiz kid" at Ford Motor Company; close adviser to JFK; and US SecDefense remembered for counting body bags.

Market: I won't be looking at the market until later today at the earliest; I may not look at the market until the end of the week. We'll see. I will check on dividend announcements. For those who like dividends, it's been a great year so far. Nothing so far today. CenterPoint Energy announces no change in dividend going forward.

Bye-bye-JCP: may be booted from NYSE.

Back to books: from my top shelf, Rediscovering Homer: Inside the Origins of the Epic, Andrew Dalby, c. 2006. One has to be a real fan of Homer, et al, to enjoy this book. Way too much detail. Great to read one or two pages at a time in a peaceful setting.

Speaking of which: I have found that one of the most peaceful settings every school morning is watching the birds outside Sophia's house. We put out lots of bird seed on the patio -- three different locations -- and two bird feeders. I chase the big black crows away who always seem to arrive first. They leave (I assume they come back after we leave the house for the day). The first songbirds to arrive: the blue jays. And they are big (or they fluff out their feathers to stay warm which makes them look bigger than they really are). Then the cardinals: usually one male-female pair. And finally all the little junkos, finches, sparrows, and three mourning doves. Usually one squirrel shows up. I used to chase the squirrel away, but no more. I've learned that the songbirds are not particularly bothered by the squirrel.

Peaceful setting: Sophia's kitchen has a huge bay window from which to watch the birds. I wash the dishes by hand ("never" use the dishwasher); by hand, it's very relaxing and there's no bending up and down filling the dishwasher. While standing there washing the dishes (and I never dry them; I let them drip-dry) I can watch the birds. Sophia is eating her pancakes. Incredibly peaceful to watch the birds. My earliest memories, back to my toddler days, are of cedar waxwings in the evergreen shrubs even when it was 40° below zero (Fahrenheit). During the summer, walking in the fields outside of Williston: the western meadowlark. My maternal grandfather's hobby  in late retirement, before he moved to a nursing home, painting models of birds. He was incredibly crafty. Quite an artist in his own way.

Books: I have one full bookshelf devoted to birds. Those books will not be given away. I'm giving away most of my other books. Another box will be donated to the school today, including a  pristine 3-volume set of Ernest Hemingway's letters and a pristine 3-volume set of Mark Twain's autobiography. At one time those books were worth "everything" to me, but I find that I don't read from them much. I've moved on. Or perhaps I should say I've moved back -- back to Homer.

Politics: Sanders will easily top Pocahontas. The trial her hurt big time -- but -- by the way, do you know the first place Pocahontas visited after the US Senate adjourned after voting "no witnesses"? To a brewery in Iowa. I kid you not. Why did an image of Kavanaugh just flash across my beady little eyes?

Fracking: being reported everywhere it's important -- and that's not very many places -- Pocahontas, who plans to ban fracking and shut down oil and gas production in the US, receives a very small amount of royalties from oil minerals in her home state of Oklahoma; sounds like about a thousand dollars a month was the best she ever did. 

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