Monday, September 13, 2010

Loaves and fishes

Loaves and fishes was an expression we used in our lab when we obtained more than theoretical yield for our reaction. We could not shrug, say God is Great and accept the  bounty. No we had to figure out what went wrong. Weighing error? Incorrectedly tared glassware? The product has boatloads of solvent contained within? Or worse, the product wasn't what we thought it was.

I have an investment that could be termed loaves and fishes also. We also refer to it as the House of Cards.Basically, we receive high yields in part because they are returning part of the prinicipal. Theoretically then, the prinicipal should decrease. Does it? No, it is increasing! Loaves and fishes indeed! Now back in the lab, I'd be obligated to figure out what is going wrong or in this case, right but out here in the big, wide world, there are much more unknowns than there are in the controlled environment of the lab. Ironically, I got this investment for my mother after some fund manager wore me down calling me constantly telling me that my dad's over reliance in T-bills was dangerous and I needed to be prudent. To this day, I don't understand what was wrong with my dad's thinking (in this case, he was wrong about so many other things). Anyway, I caved with so much other stuff going on. Fine! Get me something safe that produces income!!!
I trust fund managers about as much as I trust lawyers: too much self interest involved in both cases clouding their advice.

Money is a difficult concept. I was trying to explain it to Naomi yesterday beyond  don't spend more than you have. I was trying to explain car loans: part of the payment is that of the principal and part of it is interest: in Dontae's case, huge amount of interest. If this interest could be reduced, life would be easier for them. Not too long ago (7 years?)she wanted me to buy a $100 outfit for a single use. I explained that we didn't have money to waste on that. She said she knows we do, Josh had told her how much we earn. Really? How much would that be? She said that he said we earn $1000/year. OK, assuming that is correct, wouldn't it be wasteful to use 10% of our income on this outfit?

I seem to running out of energy. Even though I had ideal conditions and had a day of relative rest (I had gone to the Y), running made me tired. Lunch was nice with J&J. I should have gotten the ropas viejas (old clothes) as I was starving. The vegetarian frittata didn't fill me up. I ended up eating Josh's mexican yams. It was a beautiful day and Steve and I walked around for awhile afterwards. I did note that my 'one of a kind' necklace can be had for much cheaper in a local store.

Something is killing my petunias as it did last year. Not unique to me, I saw signs of death in the public baskets too. Soon the frost will get everything.

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