Monday, March 9, 2009

Dances With Death

Death comes for us all

The dance partner no one can ignore, Death, is as sure to take your hand as a fiat currency is sure to ruin its host country.

This sign coming to a town near you.

We must all take care to prepare for rough waters ahead, as our reaping-hour is soon at hand. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out our insolvent situation will soon come crashing down around our ears.

Bad news is systemic, to be sure, and while we can't all just soak up 'bad news', we can take that news and do something productive with it.

Case in point:

I lost my job a week ago. I'll be collecting unemployment (never before have I even considered this, but now I have 2 kids to think about. if it were just me, however....)until I find a job. That old saying, 'you have to go where the money is' rings true. I had a job offer in less than a week, and even interviewed, but I would make more on unemployment than if I took said job. And that's before taxes.

What have I been doing? Since foresight is the mother of calamatous dodging, I started a 20'X14' Garden. I already have seedlings, and the horse manure is put in (unmulched, but it's a start... Florida sandy soil will grow nothing but weeds unless you put 'something' in it), and it's all coming together. I did that just this weekend. By hand. Not a motor to be found, save the lawnmower pulling the trailer full of sod out, that is. Hard work, you say? Damned right, and good for me, too. Manual labor is something I can get behind because it helps me think, and gets me in shape (other than the gourd-shape).

So, why am I not depressed because I lost my job? Hell, I found one less than a week later, that's why. I just didn't take it. Maybe not the best choice, but I could do day labor and make more than I was offered, so that's always an option. I'm also not depressed because there's ALWAYS a way of doing things that differs from your normal routine, and may be better in the long run. Hopelessness and belly-aching about problems does nothing to solve them, so chew it back and move forward.

Back on on topic, we're in for a wild week, financially speaking. Everyone is chin-jawwing about the stock market all of the time, and sure, its bad and all, but the S&P is what you should be looking at. Do some homework and you'll see why.

Stocks set to open on the downside this morning, we'll see how far down the rabbit hole goes today. My prediction? before we ever see true bottom, there'll be a rally, a several weeks long one, that brings us up to 9,000-10,100 area, before coming down on our heads. The bottom? Between 1,000-3,000. I know, I know, everyone's an economist these days, but that kind of talk is crazy-talk, right? Like, when everyone said the bottom wasn't going below 10,000, right? That kind of crazy-talk? Uh-huh. Ayuh. That's the ticket!

Wasn't long ago, a year maybe, that I was asking vendors (I was in the wholesale trade of flooring) and contractors, asking them about the economy. "Oh, it'll get better soon" was the usual nonsensical response I would get. "We'll be out of this mess soon" was another good laugh. I would say, "Wait and see. We're going down faster than the Hindenburg." and I'd get scoffed at. No biggie, I'm used to that.

Oh, the humanity!

Ah, but when I talked to the same guys a month ago, a different response was issued. "I don't know what to do" and "I lost 2/3rds of my 401k" were a few, as well as "I don't think we're gonna make it" and "I don't see a bottom to this thing", which were favorites.

Everything was okay a year ago, but now? Now everyone's running in circles and screaming while their hair is on fire. "We're ALL FRIGGIN' DOOMED!!!" to quote the Mogambo Guru.

But, news is just news. Try to do something constructive with it, instead of sit on your rump and bemoan the universe for your ills. Only you can do something about it.

Here's a few tips:

Off your ass.
Out of paper assets.
Proactive not Reactive.
Buy food, ammo, first-aid.
Plant things that will suppliment your food-buying.

do these things now, or just sit and wait for your dance partner. Your choice.

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