Sunday, April 10, 2016

Day 2308

I discovered today that one of my best friends from college was just diagnosed with lung cancer. The guy didn't even smoke. Life can be very unfair sometimes. I've reached the age where people post good news about their grandchildren and bad news about themselves. Sadly, almost everybody I know is falling apart. That's why I go to the gym on Sunday and feel vaguely guilty that I don't go everyday. Even in the best of circumstances, it is an uphill battle to stay healthy. Some things we have control over, but a lot of things we don't. If there was anybody I thought could have avoided cancer, it would have been my clean living college friend. It just wasn't in the cards.

My accountant called this afternoon to tell me that he'd finished my taxes. In the course of our conversation, he asked me if I was happy with my broker. I asked why and he said that the management fees on my account seemed pretty high when you looked at the rather dismal performance of my portfolio. He said I'd probably do better if I just put everything in a boring index fund that mirrored the S&P and forget about it. I've thought the same thing for quite a while, but have never been sure what to do next. I've asked friends if they liked their broker or financial advisor and most of them were just as disgusted as I am. Nobody seems to want to recommend anybody. Very few small investors are doing well these days. Increasingly, I think the whole system is rigged to benefit the rich and powerful. In the not too distant past, you used to be able to go to your bank and get a 5 year Certificate of Deposit that provided a nice monthly return with no risk at all. US Treasury Bonds also provided a very nice return with little to no risk. Now, anything with any promise of a decent return comes with quite a bit of risk. Investing has become synonymous with gambling. In this kind of environment I can see why Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have become popular. I don't think either of these men can reverse the tide of globalism and corporate greed that created this mess, but at least they have identified the problem.

I tried to fix the odd French made toilet in one of the bathrooms today with little success. They stopped selling these things quite some time ago when plumbers refused to repair them. Parts are impossible to find and plumbers just tell me to buy a new toilet. Instead of a simple fill valve and float that you could buy at Home Depot, this toilet uses a proprietary French fill mechanism that looks like it was designed by Rube Goldberg. I've been using super glue and epoxy to patch the thing back together for years, but it's leaking again. One more frustration in a very frustrating month.

I had another website to update this afternoon, so I barely had time to go to the gym. I did have a good workout, but vacuuming the house and cleaning the rugs will have to wait. While I was at the gym I noticed that I was the only one holding on to the handrails while I was using the treadmill. I must have a terrible sense of balance. Everyone else seemed to be walking just fine without using the rails. It's been a busy day and I'm glad it's over. It's weird to have most of your work on the weekend. I bet there will be nothing for me to do tomorrow. Monday's are like that. Don't get me wrong. There's always something to do if you count doing laundry and cleaning up poop. I just wish there was something exciting to do.

Apollo is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day