I've been offline and mostly sick for over a week, so just to catch up quickly:
- The big news is the Mac that I'm writing this on. See below for my first impressions.
- Markets continue to move up and down rather aimlessly. My own take is that people (both of the "political" and "business" camps) want to try to take us back to a place which we can't go back to.
- The same is true for housing. As the Tom Petruno suggests in the LA Times today, it may finally be time to stop trying to support the unsupportable and allow housing to decline to a market clearing price. Yes, it would be painful, but the pain will happen no matter what. Let's get it over with.
- I really enjoyed my friend Nigel Swaby's presentation at Ignite Salt Lake about his involvement with Casey Serin. The online discussions of Casey are where I got to know Nigel, and really regretted having to watch the video feed from home because I was too sick to fly out. Casey was, and in many ways still is, the personification of the financial delusions that have led us to where we are today. I found his bizarre "how the hell could this happen?" story to be as fascinating in it's own way as that of Martin Frankel.
- Chaos is on Prozac. Not something I really relished doing, as he's just being a cat after all. Unfortunately, he's gotten into a very bad anxious cycle since major surgery in March. Hopefully we'll get him back to a normal routine and slowly wean him off it.
- Dr. Beth Hagenlocker at The Cat Practice is amazing!
- I've been slowly continuing my energy audit. The results are not particularly shocking. The refrigerator is using about 30% less electricity after a good coil cleaning and slight increase in temperature. The cable boxes continue to be a major culprit. Simplifying my desk around the new Mac should also help.
- Credit is still there if your credit is good, though they're obviously still fishing for people who will make a mistake and pay hundreds of dollars in interest on a "zero interest" deal. Apple's credit parter Barclays gave me double what I needed for my Mac purchase. They're certainly betting I'll miss a minimum payment and not survive the "12 months interest free." I'll certainly schedule payments to make sure I do.
- This year's birthday trip was pretty light-weight. A few days with friends on the American River. A day in a raft, a couple of others in an inner tube. Just what I needed.
- Looking forward to the Bay Area, Utah and maybe Denver in September. New York in August. Haven't been away for a while.