Monday, September 29, 2014

Detroit Real Estate As An Opportuniy

I was watching PBS coverage of Detroit's efforts to demolish blighted houses, and I found myself wondering how cheap houses in Detroit have become.  The answer was "very cheap."  This 3 bedroom 1 1/2 bath house lists for $750.  That;s not a down payment, but purchase price.  Ir looks like a nice ranch-style brick home.  Okay, it is Detroit, but Michigan is shall-issue. If you are retired, or self-employed, that makes housing costs effectively zero.  My mistake that's a rental.

Do you have a really big family?  This house is 6,202 square feet, 14 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms.  #239,900.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Different Kinds of Pain

How many different kinds of pain are there?  I have been asked to identify if the pain in my wrist and arm are joint, nerve, or muscle pain.  The occupational therapists say it is nerve pain, and had the doctor put me on neurontin, which seem to be alleviating the pain.  All  these exercises  physical therapists and occupational therapists are putting me through are at least uncomfortable and some are painful.  but at least my right hand can grasp smalll objects now, but still can't type.

Lone Wolf Attack

A Muslim man gets fired from his job.  From Yahoo news:
MOORE, Okla. (AP) — A man who had been fired from a food processing plant in an Oklahoma City suburb beheaded a woman with a knife and was attacking another worker when he was shot and wounded by a company official, police said Friday.
The 30-year-old man, who has not been charged, stabbed Colleen Hufford, 54, severing her head in Thursday's attack at Vaughan Foods, Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis said.
"Yes, she was beheaded," Lewis told The Associated Press before a Friday news conference.
Lewis said the man then stabbed Traci Johnson, 43, a number of times before being shot by Mark Vaughan, a reserve sheriff's deputy and the company's chief operating officer.
While questioning the suspect's co-workers, investigators learned he had recently started trying to convert several employees to Islam, Lewis said. Moore police have asked the FBI to aid in the investigation and look into the man's background because of the nature of the attack, Lewis said.

Fox News is reporting that the killer;s Facebook page shows that he  was a jihadist, with [i  Liberals are still pretending that there is nothing Lslamic about this.ctures of 9/11, bin Laden, and brecent beheadings.  Liberals are stll pretending that there is no Islamic connection.

CNN is running HBO's Terror at the Nall about the Westgate Mall terror attack in /Kenya last year.  This is a devastating film. Is it time to  amend the first amendment so that Lslam does not have an equal legal status.  And no more trips to public places unarmed.  Kenyan security forces unlike some courageous undercover police shot the good guys.  The security cameras show the terrorist praying to Mecca.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ebola Predictions From CDC

September 23, 2p14 NPE reports:
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization agree that the epidemic is speeding up. But the CDC's worst-case scenario is a jaw-dropper: If interventions don't start working soon, as many as 1.4 million people could be infected by Jan. 20, the agency reported in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
 Read World War Z to consider the social consequences of pandemic, or Gina Kolata's Flu, a history of the 1918 flu pandemic.  I'm not  sure which is scarier.

Obama Acting Like Bush

Watching MSNBC squirming over Obama's actions against ISIS is entertaining.  On the one hand they are not happy that the U.S. is engaged in military action (think of the phrase "every dead person creates another terrorist"), but at the same time they don't want to criticize Anerica's first affirmative action president.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blbbering Emption

Since the stroke I have been very noticeably nore emotional.  I was watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie, and even though the setup of the episode was a shameless example of Pushkin'd esrning that if a revolver apeeats befpre act 2 it must be fired before the play ends, I will still choked up by it.   Apparently this is comm\on in left-side strokes.

First World Problem: Going Home Next Wednesday

I am supposed to be released next Wednesday.  But spending eight weeks in a hospital after a stroke iis definitely a First World Problem.  In the Third World, stroke usually means death.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tragedies

Not everyone is in the rehab ward because of strokes.  In many cases, there are young people here with stitches completely traversing their scalps.  Traumatic brain injury cases, usually because of car crashes.  One really tragic case is a young (20s) man, who sits in a whheelchair with a completely vacant look.  Sometimes at night I can hear him whining or crying.  I don't think he is in pain, so much as disheartened by his inability to communicate with anyone.  My wife says that she soe time sees his father sitting with him, with a  thoroughly dejected and lost look on the father's face. What a tragedy.  Seat belts, air bags, driving carefully and soberly, are all very good ideas when you see these tragedies.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

News Only Because of Who Published It

In a conservative publication, it would not be news.


OVER the past two decades, the majority of Americans in a country deeply divided over gun control have coalesced behind a single proposition: The sale of assault weapons should be banned.

That idea was one of the pillars of the Obama administration’s plan to curb gun violence, and it remains popular with the public. In a poll last December, 59 percent of likely voters said they favor a ban.

THE REST OF THE New Yoyk Times ARTICLE COULD HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY ME.

IRA 10% Penalty Exception

I mentioned previously that the 10% early withdrawal penalty does not apply to 401k funds withdrawn in the event of permanent disability.  But it turns out most of retirement funds are in an IRA as a result of a rollover a couple of years ago.  It turns out the same rule applies for an IRA.
Topic 557 - Additional Tax on Early Distributions from Traditional and ROTH IRAs
To discourage the use of IRAs for purposes other than retirement, the law imposes a 10% additional tax on early distributions from traditional and Roth IRAs unless an exception applies. Generally, early distributions are those you receive from an IRA before reaching age 59½. The 10% additional tax applies to the part of the distribution that you have to include in gross income. It is in addition to any regular income tax on that amount.
Distributions that you roll over or transfer to another IRA or qualified retirement plan are not subject to this 10% additional tax. For more information on rollovers, refer to Topic 413.
There are exceptions to this 10% additional tax for early distributions that are:
  • Made to a beneficiary or estate on account of the IRA owner's death
  • Made on account of disability

Time to Adjust My Portfolio

A couple  years back, I bought a number of preferred stocks and other equities with high dividends.  Mostly, these have worked out well.  ..  Barclays Preferred (BCS:PRD) has a current annual yield of 7.89%.  Relative to  paid for it, it is still an 8.5% yield. Others have been disappointing.  Atlantic Power (AT) currently has a 14.32% yield.  The stock has fallen in value since I bought but even relative what I paid for my 1000 shares, it is still a 2.65% annual yield. Not great but better than a CD or money market fund.  Some of my more recent purchases have performed very well, like FrontierTelephone (FTR) which has a current yield of 6.17%, and compared to where I bought it, is returning 9.1% annual yield based on what I paid for it, but also $1500 IN EQUITY GROWTH.  a COUPLE OF HIGH YIELD STOCKS THAT STOPPED PATING dividends need to be sold, and replaced with stocks Suburban Propane..

Rare Good Sense From Lurch


Rekease Date

The current release date is two weeks.  I was having some problems walking todau becaae of weakness in myb right leg. so the n.eurologist ordered a CT scan to make sure something ekse hasn't gone wrong

Monday, September 15, 2014

New CDC Smoking Ads

Being in the hospital means that I am seeing advertising again.  If I never see another of the stupid Fiat 500 ads that is fine.  But CDCs antismoking ads are powerful, like this one.



Wgile I don't like Nanny State nonsense ar least these are attempts to persuade not order or force, the approach that should be used for disxouraging drug abuse.

Hard Dieting

I now weigh 186 pounds, 24 pounds below what I weighed on heart attack day.

nice animation of the War of 1812 Battle of Baltimore

showing movement of forces.

Proverbs 31:10

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.  And that describes my wife.  She has been by my side every day but one as I go through this ordeal, comforting me, doing her best to manage household finances.

Eagle, Idaho Post Office Incompetence

My wife shipped the Windows 8 ASuS laptop back to the seller September 3 at the Eagle Post Office.  No refund showed up on my Discover card.  Where was it?  According to usps.com, the tracking history showed tat Eagle PO had accepted it, but there was no other tracking history.  If it left Eagle PO it never made it to another PO.  Worse the clerk at Egle PO was completely incurious as to why.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ear Infection

I came down with a very sore throat shortly after the nausea started.  The doxtor on call had a  culture done, and noe I am on antibiotics.  I an hoping xuring this infection will imptove my sleep.



Thursday, September 11, 2014

Car Replacement

As I prepare to  retire, I am making a list of new or slightly used cars to replace the Corvette and the Jaguar.  I want an AWD sports sedan for vacations (we intend to see the USA), and so I don't need to worry about repairs.  My current list of cars to consider:

Ford Fusion AWD
Jaguar XF AWD
Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7L V8
Dodge Charger AWD
Infiniti G37 AWD
Mercedes C400 4Matic
Subary Lrgacy SPORT AWE
Toyota Highlander

Need:s comfortable for long road trips, fast, spacious, AWD or  4WD.

Going Home For The Afternoon Tomorrow

Rehab isn't quite done with me, but I am going home tomorrow afternoon for a few hours, to spend time with my wife, my cat, and my telescope, and a decent bed.

End Game Retirement Strategies

A traditional end game retirement strategy was to convert assets into bonds (often municipal bonds as a way to avoid federal and state income tax) or buy utility stocks with decent dividend yields.  Utility stocks are traditionally considered "widow and orphan" stocks because once upon a time public utilities were regulated in the public interest and for that reason they were guaranteed to be profitable.  As a result it was hard to buy public utility stocks and have them stop paying dividends.

Times have changed.  Bond yields while better today than they were a few months ago, but still pretty disappointing.  There are municipal  bonds with yields of 4%-- which means you need a nest egg of about one to two miilion dollars to live a middle class lifestyle on bond interest only.

There is an alternative strategy (fortunately).  Take a million dollar nest egg. buy equity mutual funds.  Most reasonably  well managed growth equity funds grow about 10-15% a year.  If you sell 6% of these mutual funds each year, you get about $60,000 a year in taxable income. Most of this is going to be long-term capital gains and thus only subject to the 15% federal marginal tax rate.  After federal and state income taxes, that $60,000 will be at least $47,000 (depending on your Schedule A deductions).  At the same time, only selling 6% of your mutual funds means that on average the remainder will grow about 4-7% a year.  The Rule of 72 tells us that the million dollar nest egg will still double in 10-18 years.  Why do you care about this.  You can't take it with you.  The reason is twofold: you don't want to outlive your nest egg, and I would like to leave a few million to my kids.

Now, there are other portfolio mixtures that work too.  Over the last few  years, I have purchased a mixture of common and preferred stocks, many with yields above 5%, and corporate and municipal bonds with yields in the 5-8% range.  These dividends range from exempt from federal and state income taxes to subject to the 15% marginal federal income tax rate.  The net effect is similar to the above.

Index funds might be a better choice than many of the mutual funds.

Ruger As Good Investment

Seeking Alpha make a strong case that Euger renaubs a stribf investnebt.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

More Fingers

Progress is measured slowly on this. I am now able to walk a considerable distance withouta cane, although my therapists are still holding onto a belt just in case.  The little finger on my right hand now twitches.  One unfortunate problem is that if I turn my head to the side and lie down, the room spins and I get nauseated.  I am told this is not an unusual problem after a stroke.  The crystals in the inner ear get misaligned.  There is apparently a therapy that can realign the crystals.  I am waiting for that therapist to be assigned.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Thoughful Essay About Evil

Are The Orcs Winning? 

If A Largely White Mob of Teenagers Did This To Black Victims

Wilding incident in Memphis. Disturbing video.  Is there any question that the President and the mainstream media would be calling for a national conversation about race?  If the term wilding is unfamiliar to you, this article from the February 10, 2014 Tampa Tribune about a wilding incident at the Florida State Fair should give you a feel.  Anyone who wonders why young black men are often targets of prjudice should think carefully about what such incidents do to popular perceptions.

Monday, September 8, 2014

I Hope Obama Is Smarter Than He Looks

From September 8, 2014 Free Beacon:
 
Two Russian strategic bombers conducted practice cruise missile attacks on the United States during a training mission last week that defense officials say appeared timed to the NATO summit in Wales.
The Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers were tracked flying a route across the northern Atlantic near Iceland, Greenland, and Canada’s northeast.

Analysis of the flight indicated the aircraft were conducting practice runs to a pre-determined “launch box”—an optimum point for firing nuclear-armed cruise missiles at U.S. targets, said defense officials familiar with intelligence reports.

Disclosure of the nuclear bombing practice comes as a Russian general last week called for Moscow to change its doctrine to include preemptive nuclear strikes on the United States and NATO.

Gen. Yuri Yakubov, a senior Defense Ministry official, was quoted by the state-run Interfax news agency as saying that Russia’s 2010 military doctrine should be revised to identify the United States and the NATO alliance as enemies, and clearly outline the conditions for a preemptive nuclear strike against them.

Yakubov said among other needed doctrinal changes, “it is necessary to hash out the conditions under which Russia could carry out a preemptive strike with the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces”—Moscow’s nuclear forces.

Progress

I am now walking with assistance) to the toilet and wiping my own bottom.  It is amazing how much excitement there can be mastering the skills of a 3 year old.  Iam exhausted because the beds are so soft that Ican't really sleep.  And sleep is urgently required.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Careful How You Carry

From September 3, 2014 Reuters:
(Reuters) - An Idaho State University assistant professor with a concealed-carry gun permit shot himself in the foot with a semiautomatic handgun that accidentally discharged from inside his pocket in a chemistry classroom full of students, police said on Wednesday.
There is no detail explaining  uow this nappened.  But my guess is that the trigger guard was not enclosed by a holster, and either a finger, wallet or key got inside the trigger guard. Always have a pocket pistol in one's pocket the  trihhrthuardtol in a pocket holster that covers the trigger guard.

Another Day of Physical Therapy

Exhausting, but I am definitely getting stronger.  Dinner tonight was a quite decent cheeseburger, french fries, and chocolate shake.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Attended A Stroke Support Group

About 20 other stroke survivors. led :istwning to their sef-introductions I found myself greatful for my good fortuee.  Many are five years later and stilll suffering significamy cognitive deficits.  A member of the Collefe of Western Idaho board of trustees was tgere who immeddiately recognized my wife and I

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

ScopeRoller Orders Rolling In

Ufortunately Iam not well enough to do any manufacturing, and not home to supervise my son or daughter doing the manufacturing.

PJMedia ran my stroke article

moved to Acute Rehab

Just down the hall to room 3442. 

progress

89.9 kg; 13 pounds lost from heart attack day.  I can now move all fingers on my right hand, although not all individually.  Physical therapy had me walk without a cane today.  I did not get very far before I ran out of energy, but I am about to be transferred from subacute rehab to acute rehab where I will get three hours of rehab therapy a day instead of two.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Returning the ASUS W8 Box

The ASus notebook I bought recently is useless.  My daughter who uses W8 said that something looks wrong with this   installation; the usual options for changing the login options are missing.  No more Windows 8. Assoon as I get this asus returned credited, i think i will  buy. this Windows 7 one.

Carbs Are The Enemy

The September 1, 2014 New York Times:
People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades, a major new study shows.

The findings are unlikely to be the final salvo in what has been a long and often contentious debate about what foods are best to eat for weight loss and overall health. The notion that dietary fat is harmful, particularly saturated fat, arose decades ago from comparisons of disease rates among large national populations.

But more recent clinical studies in which individuals and their diets were assessed over time have produced a more complex picture. Some have provided strong evidence that people can sharply reduce their heart disease risk by eating fewer carbohydrates and more dietary fat, with the exception of trans fats. The new findings suggest that this strategy more effectively reduces body fat and also lowers overall weight.
The new study was financed by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. It included a racially diverse group of 150 men and women — a rarity in clinical nutrition studies — who were assigned to follow diets for one year that limited either the amount of carbs or fat that they could eat, but not overall calories.

I Thought Sex Education Was Going To Prevent This Ignorance

From September 1, 2014 Daily Mail:
Half of 26 to 35-year-olds were unable to correctly identify a vagina on a medical diagram of the female reproductive system, a new survey has found.
In contrast, the majority of older women aged 66 to 75 were much better educated about their body parts.
Or is this ignorance the result of Islamization of Britain.

If I Do Business With A Company They Must Be A Good Investment

I endedup buying a thousand shares of Frontier Telephone a while back because their stock had a dividend yield exceeding 6%, and Frontier Telephones, is, even after  serves laregely rural customers like me who have no realistic alternatives.   My wife just finished negotiating our propane bill down by 50% with Suburban Propane (bet you didn't know that you can do thiis, even after delivery), so I looked them up, and yes, they have an annual dividend yield of 7.92%.  That's a decent return.

Partial Solar Eclipse Coming October 23, 2014

This will be visible in much of the Western U.S.

Oh, Waiter!

My right index finger is now following orders.  And my right thumb, less willingly.

Watching Daytime TV Requires Soul-Scrubbing Afterwards

Steve Wilkos' show seems to be a steady stream of black men defending themselves from paternity claims and accusations of having molested the current woman's daughter.  Why you would voluntarily go on a show like this to defend yourself, and then offer such lame responses looks like something the KKK would produce to make black people lokk stupid and depraved.  That trash TV like this has a mass audience, is very disturbing.

Fortunately this Headline Refers To the Ship Not The Document

Constitution takes one last spin before retrofit

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Little Sense From Range Operators

this Septemer 1, 2014 Washington Times article about gun tourism to the U.S. mentions that this tragedy where a 9 year old lost control of an Uzi submachine gun causing the death of her instructor brought back memories of going to Front Sight in Pahrump, NV for one of their free submachine gun classe many years agos.  This was an opportunity for some father-daughter bonding so I enrolled her as well.  After the first day of instruction, no live ammo, the instructor pulled me aside to express his concerns that she might not be strong enough to control an Ingram M-11 on full auto.  He had no reservations about her emotional maturity, just strength.  It was all handled very professionally and respectfully.  After my own experiences firing the M-11 full auto 1200 rpm (a really wicked piece of machinery) lead me to think they were being too cautious, but far better to be overly cautious.  The article aforementioned mentions that

But behind the bravado, owners acknowledge they are one errant movement away from tragedy. Cohen’s business, for example, is installing a tethering system that will prevent machine guns from riding upward after firing — the same motion that killed the gun instructor this week.