Coping: With Personal Retrograde

imageYou may remember we have had this conversation before:

It has to do with how events seem to cluster in life.  Sometimes the way life rolls out, seems like you can do nothing wrong.

Then there are days like Wednesday when everything you put your hands on turns to doggie-do.

The Facts:

Wednesday around here started off perfect (as most days will).  Had a great Peoplenomics column.  Elaine whipped up the usual (and now we’re informed – Cancer-causing) breakfast.

Nothing odd about that, but one of the egg yokes broke.  This happens so infrequently that it’s a miracle.  When E breaks a yoke it seems to signify that statistics are about to turn against us. E’s been cooking for more than half a century.  How much longer is classified somewhere above missile launch codes.  But let’s just say she is an expert in the kitchen.  Egg-cidents  don’t just happen to her.  Period.

Still, everything tasted great and shortly thereafter I sat down at the computer intending to answer emails – including from from a young reader who is becoming an airline pilot.

But, it wasn’t meant to be. 

Your battery needs to be charged.  Consider plugging in your laptop” the 17” Samsung at my overstuffed chair advised me.

“What the hell?  It IS plugged in,” I told myself. 

Still, just to make sure, I pulled all the plugs, reset the transient scrubber…you know – all that “supposed to fix it” kind of crap.  All to no avail.

Seven minutes remaining.”  Another pop-up on the screen..

Say, this is turning into something “un-fun.”

Turned out to be a lie, too.  The screen went black in less than five minutes.

The last time the laptop power cube went out, we were up with Branson, Missouri with the Landry’s – seems that was a couple of three years ago.  That’s when the original power supply failed.

Powr+ brand, by the way.  The heck of it is that I had the thought cross my mind not three weeks back “Gee, should I get a back-up for the laptop supply?  It has failed before… Naw, not now, too busy.”

Bad call.

On the way back from taking cover pictures for the upcoming novel, Panama and I swung by Wal-Mart to pick up a replacement.  They had a laptop power supply that would work with laptops.

Got it home, opened it up – no tips.  On inspection, the box had been opened by some partial shoplifter who had taken the adapter tips only.  This was a fact undiscovered until I got home.

So Elaine offers to run it back into town (half-hour each way) and a little over an hour later she triumphantly returns.  Only the power supply she comes back with doesn’t fit Samsungs.  Lenovo and half a dozen others?  Sure.  So this morning, she will take it back and tell the staff S-A-M-S-U-N-G.

While she was off being run around the block in town, I discovered that the FedEx people had delivered my new air compressor I was telling you about.

Works fine, except it was damaged in shipping.  The two pressure gauges (tank and down line pressure) were smashed.  Oh, and the handle doesn’t fit because one of the brackets was smashed out of round.

So off goes the customer service email on whether I return the entire machine or whether I fix the handle (easy) and they just send me the two replacement gauges so I can call that project complete.

Seems stupid to do anything else, but who knows.  In the meantime, until that’s resolved, the shop is out of commission because it’s got compressor shipping materials all over the place.

The rest of the afternoon was spent re-tasking the Supercomputer (i7 920 12gB, 500 gab SSD, multiple multi-TB additional drives on which my copy of software lives) so that it would pick up email which had previously gone to the laptop.

This morning I will actually go read all those emails.

That handled, the media computer in the living room (from whence I write this morning) was loaded with my site authoring tool…and in answer to reader Nelson, the configuration of that tool puts up a temporary post to download format of the site – which is why feed readers may have seen a strange looking post from me that made no sense.  It did to the computers.

Amazon is overnighting not one but TWO laptop power supplies.  And as long as I was at it, I tossed in a new battery for the laptop, as well.

But that’s not the point of this morning’s discussion, although it’s one hell of a lead-in.

Our real point is about how everyone has a “Personal Retrograde.”

The last time I wrote up a longish article on Personal Retrograde was back in December of 2014 – the article is over here.

Here’s the interesting thing:  In that article (Dec 30,2014, I noted that the retrograde date was January 21st.  So my personal retrograde seemed at that time to come three weeks ahead of the “recognized” date.

Fast-forward to the now.  If this crackpot theory of mine is right – namely that we all have a personal offset from the generalized retrograde – then we should see a retrograde around November 17-19.

What’s this?  Mercury is NOT  retrograde in three weeks.  But here’s the interesting thing:  We are about three weeks after Mercury goes direct station.

For what it is worth, the discovery du jour is that may actually have two positions in their charts where Mercury-like events may cluster:  One date would be in the vicinity of retrograde (mine is about three weeks ahead of it).  The other would be related to Mercury on-station in which case my offset would be 19-days after.

Now that I have all this figured out, life should get back to normal rather quickly.  The compressor gauges issue will be resolved, the new power cubes and battery will arrive – and things in the Ure household will be back to normal.

I would ask you to do a little research.  Astrology would not have been around for a few thousand years if there was nothing to it.  (The same could be said about major religions, as well.)

So next time you suffer a day where multiple things go wrong, jot down the dates and check them out against a retrograde source.  You may be surprised what you find.

On the other hand, it could have just been “The Bates Luck” that was rubbing off – my brother-in-law was present much of yesterday and his relationship with luck is legendary around here.

For example:  While on one of his combat tours in ‘Nam, he suffered a terrible leg wound.  Bad luck.  Fortunately, a medic got to him and got him into the closest LZ for medevac. Good luck.  Then the medevac helo lands on his leg.  Bad luck. 

He just shrugs it off and says “That’s how life is for me.” 

I will leave it to you to discern how his luck runs. But the study of luck just fascinates me.  If I can figure out all the bad luck days in life, then what’s left should be either “straight odds” days or “good luck days.”

And if we were to buy lotto tickets on those days….

If we ever move off the ranch, I will begin a $30 per month study of luck that will go something like this:

Since we know (empirically) that some times are unlucky and others are lucky, it stands to my (sleepy and still twisted) reason that if we buy a lotto ticket every day – over time we are bound to hit a few “winners”. 

Keeping track of our wins and losses, a patter should emerge.  And that would be the personal luck cycle.  You would want to marry, invest, and file tax returns when the luck is running your way.

When the luck is running in some other direction, either file or marry early or (as much as possible) engage on high luck days.

Crackpot theory?  Sure.  But so is trickle-down economics, Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, and Paul Ryan’s view of the border.

In the lead-in to the 2016 election, crackpot theories are totally in vogue and we’ll just go with the flow.

Besides, the research cost is less than $366 a year.

Back of the Book

On my upcoming novel DreamOver, I’ve decided to put an author picture on the back cover.

If you were reading an action-adventure novel, which of the following two pictures would make you more inclined to buy the book?  If that’s too tough, which one would make you run screaming from the bookstore?

Choice #1


Choice #2


I figure if Clive Cussler can put a picture of himself on the back cover of his books, with a vintage car from his impressive collection, I can do the same with airplanes.  Having only one makes the photo op decision relatively simple…

If you would drop an email to and simply put Choice 1 or Choice 2 in the subject line, that would be very much appreciated.  thank you.

OK, back into the daily financial stuff.  With the futures down, could this be the day Crack Babies of Wall Street figure out that with no economic activity, the Fed NOT raising rates is actually a very bad sign?

Write when you break-even



Coping: With Personal Retrograde — 38 Comments

  1. Hello George how you doing? Is that really you while I think what I would do since it’s Halloween put some false teeth in and spread some ketchup all over and put some long fingernails on and put some more catch up and have a side shot with you scraping your ketchup is be bloody nails on the side of the door trying to get in the plane that would be a great shot, after all it is a novel and who knows what’s inside

  2. Hie thee to a professional portrait photographer and start taking this seriously. You’ve spent how much time on the manuscript and then think a couple of five second snaps are adequate to the task of promoting your brand? If you don’t think you and your book are worth the effort, as a potential reader, I’m certainly not going to think so either.

  3. Definitely go for a neater look, and take the picture from in front of the wing at a 45 degree angle so there’s some aircraft to frame things. You can still stand in front of the tail number so that’s obscured. In both pictures, you’re standing in front of the most boring part of the plane.

    A shirt that contrasts with the aircraft is better, and tuck it in. You also might want to consider a cowboy hat – after all, you are a Texan.

  4. Number 2, but I agree with Mr.Woo, you could do better. Get away from the plane maby 4 feet, it will give it more depth and the plane will go softer focus? Even though you have a camera it doesn’t make you are a photographer. ;-) Lighting is everything.

  5. if you have to choose one of those, #2 is the best because there is at least some decent use of the light. forget #1.
    better still, try again with more thought about the lighting and framing.

    but #2 for sure.

  6. About the pictures. There’s more of the plain and your shirt and pants than there is of you. Go with a face shot and a smile (or smirk, whatever).

  7. Having advised CEOs, CFOs, and people at all levels of business regarding the effects of Retrograde Mercury for over 25 years, I KNOW it works. I even showed — and convinced a rocket scientist in Colorado and a PhD at Hubble — that paying attention to such perids makes life a lot easier. Of course everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and experiences.

    Now, on to what you experienced yesterday, George. That is a different animal — one astrologers call a “Void of Course Moon.” Strange name; however it refers to the period that happens every few days when the Moon makes no important angular aspects to other planets before it leaves one sign and moves on to another. During a VOC period — and yesterday’s ran all day — is when anything and everything “comes to naught.” I would be consulted by those same business types mentioned above for the list of that month’s VOC’s so that important contracts would not inadvertently be signed under them. I know that every business that was incorporated by our law firm under a VOC never did one day of business! That’s how impactful it can be. FWIW, there was an all day VOC this last Monday. The next all day one is Nov 4th.

    Solution — buy one of Llewellyn’s yearly astrological calendars and carefully watch for all VOC periods, and avoid initiating anything during that time. Or go on line and search fore Void-of-course Moon times for each month. Or not, as you see fit.

  8. thumbs down on those photos, George. A pic of you and your Beechcraft will only make poorer people refuse to buy a book so that you can buy av. fuel for your private plane. Maybe a photo of you in ragged overalls beside a rusted-out truck with a lot of duct tape on the windows??

    • Or a picture of you in your shop with tools in hand, or how bout a picture of you in front of your computer screens, something like that…

  9. Get a “pilot shirt” with epaulettes, put on the sunglasses, have somebody hold a “white card” for light fill, and wear an enigmatic smile. Tuck the shirt in, and strike a casual but determined pose. Stand in front of the Beechcraft logo, hiding most of it — leaving maybe Beec— Them’s as knows, know: them’s as doesn’t won’t, and dont’ matter. In short, inject some mystery, romance, and confidence. No photograph happens by accident. bb

  10. I agree with Penny. Redo. I like the pose, glasses etc in shot one, but it really needs the lighting of shot two.

  11. Re Mercury retro – and this is ultra simplified –
    there is a school of thought that says there is a shadow time – 3 weeks prior and 3 weeks after the actual Merc retro dates. Depending on what astrology signs and other placements are during a particular Merc retro will determine how it will personally affect you.

  12. Interesting comment about personal retrogrades. I have noticed something similar to this in my 40+ year study of the subject. I think it may be related to the aspects in your chart, not sure since I don’t have your birth data, but I am aware of the ‘shadow’ period around Mercury retrograde. A lot of astrologers say there is about a week window on either side, but I too have noticed a much longer time frame, not sure if it is 3 weeks, but surely it is longer than a week.
    I whole heartedly agree with what you say here, “I would ask you to do a little research. Astrology would not have been around for a few thousand years if there was nothing to it.” Opinions from those that have not studied a subject are like an just like…well, you know what I mean. Research, study and observation can not only be informative, but life changing. Love your column. Keep up the great writing.

  13. Neither of those pics work. I used to prep headshots in Hollywood (~8000 of them). Get a real photographer.

    One of my music teachers said. “The more I practice the luckier I get.”

    True, that.

  14. Hi; From N.E.Pa., #1, but lighten it up some, Had your Texas Patricia come by yesterday, only two inches of rain, and by the way the runaway lighter than air ship set down a few miles West of us. The big deal was the tether line it was dragging, pulled up guard rails, and a path of uprooted trees, and every electric line that it crossed, and a few cars in the rural Vo-Tech parking lot. Now how would someone prep for that ? It was relatively close to the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station ( Twin Nukes and some heavy duty transmission lines ).
    A while back ordered a trailer from Northern, got word it was lost in transit with only the empty box remaining, Northern sent a second unit, delivered by UPS, big and heavy for the UPS guy. Found it to be beat up and missing the axle . Advised Northern of the situation and they shipped an entire replacement trailer but at least they they used truck freight. So the third unit arrived, now i was not sitting around waiting for that third unit and painted and assembled the second one so that when the third unit arrived all I needed to do was install the axle and mount the wheels. Northern then had me gather up the remaining trailer and hand it over to UPS ( insurance claim ), so la,la,la,la life goes on.

  15. I feel for Elaine. I broke a yolk on 1 out of 3 eggs yesterday also. Rarely happens. Will have to look into the retrograde thing. We had a HORRIBLE September with one issue after another popping up, from a broken main water line to having to put down our 17-year old cat among many others.

  16. Coming from my professional photographer husband’s years of experience, better to take a pic on a cloudy or overcast day – no shadows and no squinting, plus the flash would give better lighting on you. I like the more casual appearance of #2. Rocking a Top Gun/Indiana Jones look for an action/adventure novel would be cool too – perhaps a combo of flight jacket and Indy’s hat.

  17. #2 Suave Man of Mystery :-) Good read today. I too had an impressively bad day yesterday. May start keeping track of them.

  18. George, George, George…
    Numerology, Astrology, religion, Nostradamus, magic stock picking systems – they are all the result of man’s refusal to accept that all life is accidental and there is no hereafter.
    While every clock may be correct twice a day, it also follows that is wrong 1438 times a day too.

  19. Needs a Choice 3. And someone with a bit of photography skill to take it. In both photos, the lighting is crap. It’s not just a trivial esthetics consideration. A bad photo will mark your book as amateurish. A cover photo sends a message. Make sure it sends the message you want.

    • I like choice 1.. sure the lighting is a little off.. but that can be fixed via photo shop..

    • I’m with all who say pic #3. Shoot it from in front with an arm on a prop blade (master switch off please). Lower the camera and shoot up, better lighting too,

  20. Pic 2, and maybe you could call Beechcraft and go for some product placement bucks

    Love your work, you da man!

  21. Neither one. Lighting on 2 better. Wear royal blue shirt, same style, face a bit more to right. Have camera from right, close to plane,
    light hitting face more, have someone tell you a joke and get shot with you laughing. You can still be touching plane.

    • I’m with Penny K, Kurt & Tamar Woo…better lighting so your eyes are not squinting and more of your soul shines through, and some form of manly blue shirt to show your strength of soul, and get some Beechcraft bucks for your efforts.