Wednesday, January 07, 2009


There are lots of state-wide associations in Austin. These organizations lobby the legislature on behalf of their members and put out newsletters and maybe vet members with some sort of credential. This one looks interesting in today's charged environment. Do you think the members of this group got a lot of business during the Enron debacle? Has everyone forgotten Enron in the wake of Madoff and bailouts? I haven't because I had one loan bond that the *&^%$ broker who sold it to me has to keep on the books at zero value because occasionally the powers that be send a few dollars or a few shares of stock in some company. I then have to explain these little poops of money to my CPA as return of principal on that bond. Assaulted by fraud and terrorized by bookkeeping. It was a tiny part of our portfolio and I'd have been glad to show the loss and move on but NO...couldn't even do that. A couple of failed munis have been similarly troubling. We diversify, though, so we try to just ignore this stuff. Piles of paperwork about restitution arrives. We recycle it. Can you imagine what paperwork the Madoff investors will receive and, if they want a chance at any of their money back, how much they will have to fill out? Ugh.

But I digress. I diversify and so these matters are not extreme to me. Not yet anyway. They are just little additional glitches to add to keeping up with different accounts, stocks, funds, bonds. But is interesting to think of the perspective of fraud investigators coming along, after the fact, looking at things knowing that the financial statements may be a crime scene.

I really wanted to return to the topic I touched on earlier, during Holidailies. Sadly, Holidailies is over now. Oh, it's a good thing really as most beginnings and endings are in a way. And that topic was perspective which I talked about in the entry entitled "Do You See What I See."

Did you look at Holidailies while I was participating? Did you actually arrive from Holidailies? I know some people read from there due to comments and some "Best of" designations. (Thanks, anonymous readers panel.) But beginning on a portal like that is like going to a giant outdoor concert with hundreds of stages with different bands playing around the clock only you can go back and forth in time. You can still never quite see it all and you will never experience it quite like any other visitor there.

The page is static now when you open it because folks are not allowed to post new entries because the fun ended 2009-01-06 23:59:59. Miraculously someone managed to post at the last minute. The happy result for us is that this entry is on top of the Holidailies page. And it is an amazing entry about projects and focus. That entry really hits home for me. I've written many times about the struggle for focus. But a never made an art project to represent it and then blogged about it. Yo! (An example here. Or search for 'focus' in my blog. Searching for a word in someone's blog is an interesting random walk.)

The penultimate (I just love that word, don't you?) entry recorded went with the writing prompt of epiphany (Epiphany) and has this great quote: "Anyway, you can imagine how the kings might feel about their holiday nowadays, latecomers to the party, bearing wine and snacks, not knowing that coffee has already been served, or worse, that the hostess is already hungover."

You see what I'm doing, right? I'm conducting you on a random walk through Holidailies. How long will you be able to follow along without succumbing to the temptation to just follow a link yourself?

Often when I went to the Holidailies page I'd use it to find Chip and Jette's entries to see if they'd updated because when they write they are very cool. I'd just search the page for 'Chip' or 'Jette' to find a link into their blogs (even, though, yeah I have them bookmarked and Chip's on syndication). Today this strategy runs me first to an entry where the excerpt mentions Chip and Jette. A delightful entry it is, too, with a 'Best of' designation which made me look at it and made me learn a new word, triolet, and marvel at someone's long-standing Holidailies production of one (a triolet is a certain form of poem in case you didn't follow that link). The next button in my search does lead to a new Chip entry, however, and I had to stop and read it. (He used the word penultimate. Sweet.) I had to comment, too. I'm back now.

So I searched for Jette and found a new entry. She posted a picture of this, only close up. And, oh...there is my building in the picture! After veering off to Jette, I for some reason I decided to go to the entry recorded just below hers. A rant about returning Christmas stuff. I'm not a returner. (The world is divided into those who return things and those who simply give them away. Or regift them.) But I, um, digress.

So you get the idea. We all take off on a tangent through life, seeing what we see, missing what others see, learning new words at 60 and not knowing some words ever until we die. Do you ever read an obituary of someone you knew slightly and find out about ton of things they did and knew and places they went and think "Hmmm...what a different life from mine they had." And also be amazed that what you knew of the person was a very different view.

Well, that's my random walk of the day. I'm going to exercise and do chores of the domestic variety as well as some financial chores. I may keep up blogging here after the Holidailies rhythm or I may drift into other pursuits. I have several ideas for the long-neglectd Journal of Unintended Consequences, for example.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I really do hope you keep writing here. I followed you from Holidailies and have enjoyed your entries, though I don't always comment. Your writing is interesting and thought-provoking.

That was the penultimate paragraph. Now for the ultimate paragraph: Some backsliding on the single resolution for the New Year, but I am told that an early slip-up is a good way to firm up a resolution. So here's hoping....