I was about to pen one of my long (sometimes laborious) musings and I thought “You know, people might like to know about more topics in less detail…so what don’tcha try that in Friday morning’s epistle?

Well, fine then.  Here’s life as seen through the inbox.

IF Works

At least so far.

If you haven’t been paying attention, IF is intermittent fasting.  Basically, you eat whatever you want on one day (confining eating to a single 8 hour period is best).  And then, on the alternate day, you drop to 1/4 or less of previous calories.

I’ll let you know how this works,  but so far results seem promising…but more than anything as you age seems like the old bod gets a lot more efficient at turning fuel into fat – even with no sweets and cutting out white flour…

Quest for Adventure

Thanks to all that sent in suggestions on what to add to our upcoming cruise to keep things interesting.  Sure enough, some great ideas…and there’s this one about our more or less writing off Europe:

Mr. Ure, I’ve been a long time reader of yours and truly appreciate your musings and wanderings around our great planet.  However, don’t be afraid of traveling to Europe as part of your Bucket List.  I lived in Germany for 18 years, while being a part of the US Air Force.  Needless to say, I was there when terrorist strikes hit our military installations and industrial leaders were kidnapped and assassinated.  Nevertheless, my family and I traveled throughout all of Europe without any fear.  There are many places to visit and experience without the worry most Americans think about when they read news accounts of what happens overseas.  I’ve been to Paris and it’s beautiful, as are the people.  Please don’t let a few ignorant people dissuade you from a marvelous time traveling.  I am currently living and working in China (city of Zhengzhou…say like Gin Joe) and find the people here remarkably polite, gracious, and welcoming.  It’s definitely not the China of the Nixon era.  As an Adjunct Professor at the Henan University of Technology, my students are eager to learn more about their world, the United States, and just about anything Western even to the point of visiting the US should the opportunity arise.  Yes, they’re aware of the crime, the murders, the poverty, and the screwed up government we have, but they want to see for themselves.  So I ask:  give Europe a chance.  My ex-wife, who is German, lives in Germany and would be very happy to act as a guide should you go.  Thank you for taking the time to read this email.

Your Faithful Follower,

{redact]  Chief Master Sergeant, USAF, Retired

I haven’t completely ruled out Europe except for a couple of factors.  The reason Ure International Airlines exists is so we don’t have to run the group-grope gauntlet. Two hour legs, walk arounds.  None of this 9-hour flight stuff.  Deep vein thrombosis is serious stuff, even with a baby aspirin or two.

Second reasons is cost and care to guess who’s cheap?  Third reason:  I don’t trust the Euro any further than I can throw it, although Germany is very gold-friendly – we just don’t seem to be able to repatriate their gold we’re “holding for them” and something stinks to high heaven there.  But lacking a course on the back story, it remains just above our pay grade.

Positive part of German:  Lots of wifi and potentially some payback on the misery of several years of study of their damnable language.  Um-lauts, ess-setz and enough conjugated whizzies to drive one to distraction.  Ich habe, due haBst, er hat…or some kind of stuff like that rattling around.  (A respectful moment of silence for Herr Casey…the teech.)

It’d be worth it just to see if people can really talk like that and make sense. I listen to Merkel and wonder.

Explain SNB Negative Int. Rates

*See previous note on people who speak funny.

A bank does negative rates when people are hoarding cash.  And the interest rate spread is so bad, they can’t make money on the lousy choices they have to deploy lending.

Really three things are going on: 

1.  A screw-back.  For the US getting serious about tax cheats.  They’d made a business out of that.

2.  They are fighting deflation, like everyone else.

3.  They decouple from the Euro to set up a defacto two-tier currency system.

This last point is critical.  In it, we see a strategic hint that if the Euro runs into trouble, they don’t want to be tied to a sinking shoip.  And Franc ly, that’s not a bad plan.

The Fine Art of Generalizing

How good a generalizer are you?

There’s a marvelous article on Situational Awareness in the January issue of Sport Pilot, put out by the Experimental Aircraft Association (of which I’m a member).

While the article is about “staying ahead of the airplane” mostly, it’s also an article that generalizes extremely well.

Situational Awareness (SA) means “being aware of your awareness” is one way to put it. 

And while it’s true that it’s one more thing to remember, I have used high SA a couple of times to get me out of places (like inadvertent IMC) where I wasn’t comfortable.

That’s not the point.  The point is that damn near everything about SA can be applied to school, work, home, and so forth.

It’s sometimes little things (the work checklist:  keys, computer, cash, documents, calendar, etc) or other times being aware of a competitor’s newest product and finding out its shortcomings ahead of time.  When you’re managing a P&L you need to ‘see” several months into the future because when you start making corrections after sales have sagged, you can quickly get behind the power curve.  Same thing with firing deadwood in the organization.  Even the best of airplanes needs to be re-trimmed  as it burns off fuel – same thing with companies.

Grabbing any magazine you want is not a waste of time, if you grad the mental-game articles and then generalize them to your own position in life.

A little situational awareness training in airplanes may not be particularly worthy, but generalizing SA out into all areas of life (its very much like defense driving, for example) had potentially huge payoffs.

3Doodler

Hat tip to Chris Tyreman who is a marvelous graphics artist when not rehabbing homes or retranslating old Hebraic source to extract new meanings from old Bible…

He’s jazzed about the 3Doodler pen – which CNN did a piece on over here.

Yes, you can find the3Doodler 3D Printing Pen with 50 Strands of Plastic, Black at Amazon for $170-bucks.  But I can’t think of anything that needs air doodling.  You know it’s gotta be a huge seller with the Skunk Works types, though…

You Haven’t Said Much About flying This Week

Oh…,true.  Long write up on the adventure over at the www.beechaeroclub.org site.

Basically, the new carb I had put on 6-flights hours back is not running right (EGT is too high and whole thing is running much too lean, no impact from idle mixture which should give a 50 rpm rise when leaned on ground at idle with warm engine.. yada, yada) so the carb is being checked out by another shop to find out what’s wrong with it.

Yes, we tore down the whole induction side, primer lines, geez…name it, we’ve gone it.  Only one more suspect if the carb passes muster and that would be an exhaust baffle, but that’s such a low prob outcome….This may add to firmness in the pricing of distillery stocks (as it’s the kind of problem that could drive one to drink.)

School Lunch Program

While out and about yesterday, I got a major earful about how Washington is planning to fund school breakfast and dinner programs – this on top of the lunch program.

The right-wing radio talk show consensus is that if a parent isn’t feeding their kids breakfast and dinner, they ought to be investigated for abuse.  One meal a day –  as a family is important and feeding kids is more important than the latest cell phone or newest sneakers, rims, or whatever else passes for stylin’ in today’s FU values systems.

Should such programs be monitored so they serve the working single parents?  Yeah, prolly.

Gonna happen?  Nope.  Federal empire building and the replacement of parenting by the Nanny State.

But don’t get me started on that.

By the time I got home last night (from test running the airplane) I couldn’t tell if my blood pressure was high from the salty Chinese food at lunch, to the nasty carb problem on the airplane, or the schools replacing families issues.

Hell, next thing you know, you’ll pop a kid and sign ‘em over to the state…..and they’ll assign them to a foster home and we will have completed the total monetization of kids.  And with that will come an almost automatic 15 percent of population bound for jail.

F me to tears.  Where’d America go?

We continue the quest Monday.  Don’t forget weekends are not for couching, but free time to investing in something which will pay you some real dividends overs time:  Sweat equity isn’t taxed until something is sold.  Stupidity is taxed at every turn.

If you don’t have a productive plan for the weekend (which is your most valuable time) try to work on that today…I mean milestones, down to the 15- minute block of time, cost estimates, and materials can be picked up on the way home tonight.

Mine is the hydroponic deck railing project.

Write when you break-even…

George   george@ure.net

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