The brain went off first…waking me at 2:50 AM due to the hugely exciting events on this week’s to-do list.
For one, I am likely to drop back into “trading mode” this week and that excites the hell out of me. Wall Street is a casino you don’t have to travel to play.
For another, I had a really useful insight into the future of Bitcoin, so that’s now a whole Peoplenomics report for Wednesday.
Then there’s the matter of the weather turning cooler here. The heat pump kicked on for the first time this season.
OK, I know that’s not “exciting” to most people (means winter is coming) but to me there is the matter of rebuilding the deck on the front of the house. This kind of work is best done out of the summer heat.
Ideal working weather for my DNA profile is in the 45-65 degree range, although I can still hustle pretty well into the low 80s. Above that, I turn into a puddle of useless sweat and look for the closest air conditioned space. The (at last hallelujah!) arrival of cool weather means I can begin “unloading” some of my (whole summer’s worth of ) ideas into this plane of Reality.
Brain On Fire is something I’ve always had. It’s different than manic depressive disorder. That’s worth discussing a bit.
In depressive disorder, people tend to operate almost god-like when they are “up” but then they crash and can slip into dark despair (even becoming suicidal at the extreme).
One of the elective officeholders I covered in Pacific Northwest news days was a manic depressive fellow – a lawyer and a brilliant guy in his “up” moments. He quietly managed his disorder with lithium carbonate and that was that.
My own encounters with “brain on fire” have always been event-driven and thankfully crash-free.
The more pressure there is, the more I like it. Oddly, for some reason in my family there’s no “down side” which is common to the more manic experience.
Instead, my offspring are (like dad) addicted to the “rush” of what they are doing. One of my daughters is a super-serious mudder…and she and her-soon-to-be husband go off every few weeks to impossible mud-laden obstacle courses and love that sport. It’s their rush.
I have already told you George II’s exploits. Everything from repelling down the side of a 12-story building when he was young (and something of the local Raymond Reddick type more than a decade back) to being as deeply immersed in emergency medicine and HIV studies as a human can get. True, that’s not the same kind of adrenaline hit, but he’s made up for it with his Class C skydiving ticket and he’s about to turn over his 300th jump.
Not everyone gets Brain on Fire. Their loss, as I see it.
Some people are just perpetually laid back; to the point where you can’t excite them even poking them with a sharp stick. You’ve met people like this, I’m sure: Not engaged, not interesting (or interested). It’s what makes average people average, I suppose.
Brain on Fire is a kind of super-sized engaged in Reality…Some people aren’t. They don’t enjoy the view afforded by life at high speed…To BoF’ers that’s the only place to be – on the Edge.
Admittedly, three cups of strong coffee doesn’t hurt keep the Fire lit, once rolling. But it’s a lot more than just the caffeine working.
It’s the anticipation of worthy projects, a continuation rally this morning and (maybe – just maybe) into tomorrow.
What was the Harvey Specter quote from “Suits”?
“I don’t have dreams. I have goals.”
If I could box the Brain on fire feeling up and sell it, I’d be a rich man. It’s possibility thinking at its finest: One of those nights when you wake in the Huey Lewis moment “…the Future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades…”
Not every morning is like this. Many are average.
Analytically, some of it is the prospect of adrenaline (trading), imminent success (the novel should be coming together this week), the deck project is back on track, warm happy relationship rolls on, a fine dinner last night and a good run of personal “bests” over the past week. Still smiling about mastering the ugly crosswind landing in Hannibal, Mo. Thursday morning, for instance.
I keep my “trading boots” off, most of the time. But every now and then when I get a trading plan, I jump in…bare-back money riding. What could be more exciting?
Up in Dubuque, Iowa this weekend (more on that in a sec), I took a $100 bill and ran it through the Mystique Casino which is connected to the Hilton Garden up there.
The results were a disaster…but it reminded me why gambling in the stock market is much closer to poker than games like roulette. More skill, less chance.
In stocks, you can (in effect) stop the wheel where you are happy. It’s not that easy in options – which is where the real money is. But that’s the rush of it; matching skill against chance.
People who play the market come in two flavors: Investors and traders.
An old Wall Street joke has it that “Traders drive Chevy’s…Investors drive Cadillac’s…”
Most often, the “joke” is told by someone who isn’t a trader, and never had Brain on Fire. If they had, they wouldn’t make such stupid generalizations.
Besides, traders drive airplanes.
Ever since our discovery of bullet holes in our old Beechcrate, I’ve held back a bit on announcing our specific travel plans in advance. But now that the weekend is over, I can regale you with the adventure, a bit.
Being as it’s Monday, work can wait.
That’s Elaine’s fancy camera work coming into Springdale, AR on the way up Wednesday. It was something of a flap and bounce due to cloud cover.
A few minutes later, there’s the runway at Springdale…A couple of hours of discussion with Chris McCleary of the www.nationaldreamcenter.com site followed, if you’ll recall our chat last week. (Click the picture for a large view. My right hand is not on the parking brake – those are old-style manual flaps and I am just putting in one more notch on short final approach…This is where you transition the plane from 80 MPH down to 65, or so, and then touch down at 55.)
We opted to come back from Iowa on Saturday because the Sunday morning forecast just plain sucked. Saturday offered a solid 15 knot tailwinds the whole route south. We took it.
As it turned out, marginal visual flight rules and instrument conditions prevailed Sunday morning, so I felt no guilt about missing the Beech Aero Club annual BACfest banquet. Regrets? Yes. Guilt? No.
That is the whole point of having hard “personal minimums” – unbending safe flying rules that are adopted to keep us safe and out of harms way – especially when there is such a fine group of people (Elaine and me) onboard.
Next year’s BACfest gathering will be in Branson, Missouri…so that will be fun. And a much closer flight.
That said, the weather on the Saturday return flight was absolutely frigging amazing. Three hours and 42 minutes from KDBQ down to Fort Smith, Arkysaw (KFSM). Then about 2-hours flat from there to Texas.
This warms me again to comparing private aircraft with commercial flights.
It was 685-nautical miles from Dubuque, IA or Palestine, TX. That means 788 statute (regular folk, ground-walker) miles.
Now, let’s talk time: 3.75 hours from KDBQ to KFSM, another 2.0 from KFSM to KPSN and 0.5 on the ground for fuel and personal recycling. That works out to an average speed of 126-miles an hour – including the fuel stop. 137- miles an hour if we don’t count fuel.
According to Google, if we drove that, it would be 14-hours and 21 minutes of road time. Somewhere in there, I’m figuring 2-3 pee stops and fuel, and let’s have two burgers on the road, so 15.5 hours if you can safely drive that long. I don’t think I can. 12? Sure. 15? Where’s the no-tell motel? I have columns to write and trades to make. Sitting in a car for 16 when your brain’s on fire just don’t cut it.
Flying commercial wouldn’t be this fast, either.
Just for the hell of it, I put the same flight into Orbitz and came up with 5-hours and 42 minutes but that doesn’t count the half-hour further than the local airport, so the times are about equal…but only on the southbound leg. The fastest commercial flight from Tyler, TX to Dubuque was 10-hours and 55 minutes…to the old Beechcrate whumps commercial hands down.
Of course we would never go to Dubuque, except for the Beech Aero Club meeting. Still, nice country to visit and if you ever get to Dubuque, go check out the fellow’s house that has an inclined railroad up the side of the hill (open to the public now) which we’re told was worth the time to see.
A bit of Americana: A club member/volunteer (whose initials are Dennis Weiser) explained to us in the club van on the way out to the airport Saturday morning that many people don’t know the Dubuque area is where most of the lead was mined for bullets and such from before the Civil War forward.
By the time we got back from the whirlwind Saturday afternoon, we were shot, too.
Write when you break-even, or the brain warms up.